Not really, I don’t even know who you are yet. However, I can still give you some advice if you’re willing to read a little more. Oh good, let’s continue.
I’m no expert, but…
In all candor, I only set up my about.me page 5 days ago. So why listen to anything I have to say? I’ll tell you why: it’s been a whirlwind 5 days, and I’ve learned a lot.
Two days after setting it up, I had 30-40 views. Then, they listed my page in their directory under the “inspirational” section. Don’t ask me why. In fact, go look at it and then tell me why, I’d love your opinion. The views took off. This morning it had recorded over 1050 unique visitors in 5 days. Subtract the first two days and you see what I mean. Why has it been a whirlwind? Because I have viewed and/or responded to every single visitor. That makes for a busy time. I clicked through so many pages in such a short time, I learned a few things that will help you.
The First Few Seconds are Crucial
If I were to read everything that everyone wrote on their pages, it would have taken me weeks. With so many pages, I had to move quickly to get through them. Some grabbed me right away, others I closed within 2-3 seconds of opening them. If you are going to use the site (and I think it’s a good idea), then at least consider the points that I will oh-so-bullet-pointedly list below.
- Don’t use a stock image as your background. They have some great photos to choose from, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve now seen all of them multiple times, and they get old quick. Be original with your images. Photos of you or that you have taken are best, but at least use something that no one else is using. If I see the freaking ferris wheel picture one more time I’m going to do something un-nice.
- Use a unique headline. “Something manager at somewhere” or “something major at so-and-so university” is boring. Why would I want to read further, unless I’m looking for that specifically? (chances are they’re not)
- Don’t write your life story in your biography section. You can add tons of links, apps, and sites to your profile, so don’t spill all the beans up front. No one wants to read a page-long story on what is essentially a business card. Keep it short and sweet – make them want to find out more about you.
- Don’t make your biography section your resume. You can add a link to your resume. There also places to add education, work history, and whatever tags you want. Again, too much to read up front loses interest. See the previous point.
- Include some information. The opposite end of the spectrum is one that has driven me equally as nuts as having too much on the page. I’ve seen some great designs that left me cold because they had nothing but a picture and a name. Minimalism is wonderful, but you have to give folks something to get them interested.
- Make it readable. Again, I’ve seen some pages that I thought were really good, except that I could barely read what they wrote. Make sure that your fonts are colored in a manner that doesn’t blend in with your background. It’s insufferable. Arrange the page to be easy on the eyes, not a puzzle to be deciphered. Separate your paragraphs (if you write that much) to make them readable, not one continuous stream of words.
In summary: Good photo, enough information but not too much, readable, and interesting. Look, you can tell that I’m no graphic designer by looking at this blog, but if I can make my page on about.me follow the advice above and look decent then you have no excuse.
Below are some of the pages that I think look great. Make sure you click the Thumbs Up to compliment them. Love to hear your thoughts on all this mumbo-jumbo.