Have you ever wondered whether eBay's About Me pages were of any true value to you and your business? Actually, the About Me page is a valuable tool that helps you tell customers what they want to know about you, about your products and about your business. Here's a look at the good things About Me pages can say about you.
The grand idea: eBay instills interaction
In eBay's earliest conception, founder Pierre Omidyar envisioned an online community that would be accessible, interactive and even altruistic. He conceived an online marketplace and social hub where people would come together to trade in an open and engaging manner. His belief in the power and inherent goodness of "community" was immediately translated into eBay's Feedback Forum, the place where traders would post comments about their experiences with one another in eBay transactions. By this, he had established a transparent marketplace where the eBay users would co-mingle in a visible way, conducive to fostering good business and better interpersonal relations.
To a large degree, the Feedback Forum has achieved its purpose as serious buyers and sellers have learned the value of conducting themselves responsibly to protect their good name (and establish a good eBay rating).
How about 'About Me?'
In addition to the Feedback Forum, eBay also introduced the "About Me" page, a tool by which registered eBay users could post information about themselves, their business and their purpose at eBay. Essentially, it could serve as a virtual Yellow Pages listing explaining to community members and potential customers about a person or business, what products or services they provide and why they're to be considered upstanding members of the eBay community.
If ever you've scoffed at the value of an About Me page, thinking it would have little to contribute to your bottom line, think again. The About Me page says an awful lot about you.
If there's a clever story behind how you decided to name your business, share a brief snippet about that
What to include in an About Me page
It's safe to say that few would be interested in lengthy dissertations about your full life's history or your personal peccadilloes. OK, so what should an About Me page contain? Consider including this important and engaging information in your About Me page:
- Start by stating your name or the name of your business. Let folks know who you are and, if you're using a business name, make sure it clearly and compellingly communicates what sorts of goods you deal in. If there's a clever story behind how you decided to name your business, share a brief snippet about that.
- Open with a welcome message that immediately conveys your business tone and style (preferably friendly and inviting, of course). Be sure to also indicate something about your eBay history, your business experience and any relevant special skills or hobbies that help visitors get a better idea of who they'll be dealing with.
- Provide additional information that tells of your business and customer service goals, both online as well as in any brick-and-mortar setting you might operate. Explain how your product and business approach differentiates you from any competitors and how you'll be available to answer questions in order to endure a positive and pleasant customer experience.
- Offer useful information or articles (excerpts or permissible reprints) that help your visitors learn even more about the sorts of items you sell, the sort of commodity you specialize in, and of which can be of use to them as they make decisions about purchases from you.
- Share a photo of yourself, your business place (but skip the messy office if that's where you're working) and a company logo (if you have one). Again, these are the elements that will help your visitors and customers remember you and your wares. In the eBay setting, this serves as your virtual business card as well as a door-greeter "hello" to everyone that enters your online marketplace.
The best news of all of this is that you can create an About Me page as simply or elaborately as you'd like. Whatever you choose, create your About Me page as one of your first orders of setting up your online shop, and know that you can easily revise it later, as you see fit. In this way, you'll have posted a friendly and informative welcome sign so prospective buyers can get to know who you are.
The value of an About Me page
OK, so creating an About Me page is easy, but is it really of significant value to you? Well, if you doubt whether it's an effort that could provide payback to you and your business goals, look at what's communicated directly and "between the lines" within your About Me page:
- It provides a more human element to the online bidding and buying experience (and there are many buyers who, even to this day, are still jittery over the idea of engaging in a transaction with a perfect stranger in cyberspace).
- It puts a face to a name-that is if you include a photo of yourself or your business place. It lets buyers actually see who they're dealing with, rather than having to merely rely upon an online seller ID name.
- It fosters a greater sense of trust since buyers will see your willingness to provide more information about yourself within the eBay community. It demonstrates your commitment to engaging customers directly and in a friendly manner. It also shows your commitment to doing good business online.
Every day, big businesses work hard and spend big dollars to perfect and promote their company images to consumers. At eBay, you can do the same without having to lay out a big budget. With the About Me page, you can let folks know about you, your business and your products in a way that's a close to actual interaction as possible.
The best news: About Me pages are free for you to create and publish. That's savings you can take to the bank.
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Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.