It’s interesting, and probably completely arbitrary how the littlest things can turn a potential client on or off to hiring you.
Your About Me page can be one of those things. It is likely the most visited page on your website after your homepage, and I always tell my consulting clients to keep it simple. Give your potential collaborators a peek in to your personality, but don’t over-share. (You never know which creative director is vegan, hates cats, or your favorite football team.)
For commercial artists, art buyers aren’t likely to care what kind of gear you are using, where you went to school, or how long you’ve been married. They are likely more interested in your personality on set, your skills, and your client list.
“…potential clients are interested in knowing past experience. For instance, when I worked Agency side, our art directors and clients were always interested in knowing who the photographers have worked with prior.” - Shannon McMillan, Homestead Creatives
When you are drafting your about page you might ask yourself, “what would I say about myself and my artwork if I had 30 seconds in an elevator with my dream client?”
I prefer to read an about me page (or bio) that is written in first person. I’m on your website, I want to hear from you. I love it when an artist also has a great writing voice, but if you don’t, there’s no shame in hiring a writer or editor to help you out.
“There are different schools of thought on first- versus third-person, but an About Me page, in my opinion, should be written from a first-person view: using ‘I’, ‘me’ pronouns to tell your story from your own point of view. It helps to establish that connection and convey your skills, experience, education, and feelings about your work that only a first-person piece can.” - Liz Feezor, Writer & Creative Strategist
Should you include a photo? It’s up to you, and it can certainly affect getting hired. You may want to crowd-source some opinions before posting one, and remember who your audience is (it’s your clients, probably not your mom nor your bestie.) If you do include a photo, it should reflect your personality and who you are as an artist, i.e., you may not want to use a formal studio portrait of yourself if you don’t specialize in studio portrait photography.
It can also be great to take a little risk in how you write and design your bio. Use emojis if appropriate, make it rhyme, post a video instead. You are a creative, get creative, be memorable. Your bio doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s.
Finally, proofread and edit! Get a second opinion, bribe a copy editor, but do not have crappy grammar or misspelled words. Your about page is essentially your first interview, make it count.
Here are a few case studies, if you will -
Stephanie Todaro - this one is heavier on the personal info than I would normally recommend but it works for her client base (families like hers) and she has a fantastic (and hilarious) writing voice. Her personality and genuine love of what she does really comes through.
Fawn DeViney - short and sweet with a classic polaroid, but if you scroll a little bit further you’ll find some testimonials that are true to her brand (without sounding like she asked a random population of co-workers to write her a LinkedIn recommendation).
Denise Crew - one of my favorite bios, so unique and fun.
Danny Clinch - Fun then-and-now photo. Passion + CV/cred + Personality… for me it would be perfection if only it were written in first person. Third person almost always reads a pretentious to me, and I know that’s not Danny.
But what about the no-bio?
You may notice some artists choose to skip the about me page altogether. No bio says: I’m too busy with current clients to be yammering on about myself or possibly, if you don’t know about me, you probably can’t afford me. 😉
Need professional advice on your about me page? Schedule a free 15 minute call with me and I’ll answer any questions you have! I work with photographers, stylists, illustrators and other creatives and small business owners on their bios, portfolios, and SEO.
P.S. I’m rooting for you!
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