First or third person?

March 29, 2018

 One of the questions I'm asked regularly is how to write a great 'about me' page - and it's something everyone struggles with. There's nothing more awkward than singing our own praises, after all - particularly for the terribly British among us! 

 

There was, for many years, a trend that saw people adding an 'about me' page that was written in the third person, as if we'd had someone write it about us as a reference - even when it was glaringly obvious that it was written by the person being described.

 

This trend came, I believe, from the rapid and overwhelming growth of bloggers as influencers, and the desire that many of them had to be seen as more than just a one-man-band shouting into the void. 

 

In order for these single entities to appear more authoritative, more important, in a flooded market, the third party voice indicated that there's a team behind the brand - a workforce who have created something significant and cohesive. People worried that if potential customers or contacts realised it was just them, sitting at their kitchen table trying to earn a crust, it would somehow make them seem less significant, less qualified and less impressive. 

 

This approach, though, can also create a distance between you and your target audience - and that distance could be precisely what's lost you the job, before you've even got a face-to-face. After all, if you haven't connected with your skills, how can they?

 

A third person 'about me' becomes an 'about them' - and being a step back from your own achievements and saleable skills makes it harder for you to really engage your target market. To do that, you need to be what you're selling - and to sell what you are

 

And this doesn't just apply to the sole traders and freelancers - this applies to any organisation, of any size. No matter whether you are running your empire from your kitchen table or a part time member of a hundred-strong team, you are just as important to the people you work for, and with. 

 

Even for a huge project, for a global organisation, there's always a named project leader - a name that the customer can refer to, a face they can communicate with, and that helps them to have confidence that they are a priority, and that someone has taken a personal interest in the success of their project, and their needs will be met. 

 

If you wan to truly connect to your target market, to instil an air of confidence and trust, you have to build a relationship - and that's easier if you begin as a person - speaking from the first person about yourself, and why you do what you do. 

 

So skip the third-person intro, don't create a distance between you and what you do, and don't let the gap build between you and your clients. Change every 'he is' for an 'I am', every 'she once' for 'and then I' and tell your story, sell your passion, and see your engagement grow.

 

 

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