Boundaries being as porous as they are with social media, this advice also applies to profiles on Twitter and Facebook. This entry comes in addition to the current topic of discussion on the forum and previous entries on this site are included at close.
- Not being brief. The content on your About page should not require a scroll.
- Do not write “we” in reference to yourself especially if you’re a one person company. This is a common beginning writer’s mistake known as “the royal we”; the Queen can do it but few others can. Say “I”. Even the largest firms don’t use we.
- Don’t write a book for your About page bio. This is not a resume or an autobiography. Summarize your personal history into one paragraph. Sure, you want to say enough so that people identify with you and surmise you share their values but be brief.
- Pass on or severely curtail soliloquies on your sources of inspiration. Everyone has inspiration. People bang on about their pets, kids, religion, politics or whatever as having inspired them to move forward on their dreams. Be careful.
- Be very careful about capitalizing nouns (person, place or thing). Names of people and places (Paris etc) can be capitalized but not things (“Suits” “Fashion Designer”).
- Avoid the dreaded wall of text. Always use white space (double carriage returns).
- Failing to use spell check.
- This is the biggie (read: what I’m annoyed about today). Do not mention or allude to your politics, race, sex, religion, scientifically dubious positions or controversial topics unless it is germane to your product line. If you make sacred garments, by all means mention your faith etc. Otherwise, let it go. You don’t want to alienate people who were ready to buy from you.
Case in point: A woman who is starting a contract sewing operation wanted me to help her get customers. I don’t know her so I poked around and ended up at her FaceBook page. There I found she “likes” only one page so it stood out. I wrote her back and suggested she remove it because she will alienate at least half of her potential customers. She thanked me but she hasn’t removed the link (and is still soliciting work). It doesn’t matter whether I agree with her or not. I can’t send her any business because she’s already demonstrated poor judgment and I have no assurances she won’t continue to exercise poor judgment in the future which could affect designers I know. Obviously I wouldn’t want to make any referrals if there is potential for bad outcomes.
In some ways, I’m glad that that these kinds of people do you the favor of advertising their unsuitability so you have the heads up on who to avoid. If they’re flakey in one way, they’re usually flakey in others.