In my Prove It! campaign article series recently, by request I ripped apart the personal and professional site of Kym Huynh in “Prove It: Kym Huynh Exposed.” Using my advice, he’s updated the two key pages I attacked on his site, the front page and about page, and the results are spectacular.
The goals of the Prove It! campaign are to get you rethinking what you put on the web and how it represents you, whichever “you” you are on the web. It’s about publishing content with intent, community building, some SEO and traffic building exercises, but mostly it is about helping you expose yourself to your audience so they trust and respect you and what you have to share with the world
Kym’s bio and front page were packed with information about him, the things he’s been involved with, but it was confusing. The two pages said basically the same thing and didn’t reveal enough to make me interested from any angle. He did too much and it felt verbally cluttered and weak. While it was impressive, it didn’t compel me towards action.
As a reminder, my summary conclusion was:
As a clear welcome statement and landing page, Kym’s welcome bio is perfectly placed. It accomplishes its goals: Introduction.
However it leads nowhere. There are few calls to action and nothing to compel me to dig deeper and really learn more about who he is and what he does and why I must want to get to know him. It’s critical that some follow-thru be a part of the tweaks to his layout and design. I need more calls to action.
Who you are on your site is an integration of all the things you are, not just your bio. Kym is many things so why not celebrate them all and let us peek behind the scenes to see the real intelligence behind the pretty face and bio. Then the entire site, not just the bio, would meet his goals.
His follow-through on that advice was stunning.
Kym beefed up his front page with the complete definition of who and what he is and what motivates him in every decision he makes. He’s a driven man and he pulled the curtain back on his back story to help us understand the whole picture.
The front page now begins with:
My family were refugee survivors from Vietnam; victims of a political regime that saw intelligence as a threat and one where having your say involves risks and consequences. They left their world and generations of belonging behind to start over in Australia, rebuilding their lives and family in a strange land and making it their own. The story of their escape and survival is part of the foundation of my personality.
It is a story that I rarely share, but it is one that permeates everything I do. There are two things that I find constant: (1) You can find out a lot about people by listening to them; and (2) You have to do the best with what you have.
For these reasons, my life goal is to make a lasting and positive contribution to this world by always listening, always learning and helping people reach out and touch and inspire the lives of others from all corners of the globe.
BANG! To the point. A personal mission statement. You know what made the man and how the man makes what he does of the world. It’s such a powerful opener there is no room for doubt, no open-ended, vague statements that makes the reader fill in the blanks with their imagination and own storyline.
It creates authority. The truth I know about Kym is that he is honest. Honest beyond fault. If you want the truth, you go to Kym. He’ll say it kindly and with great compassion, but there will never be any dancing around the truth, just the truth. His opening statements support that truth.
It’s also highly personal. In an episode of The West Wing television show, actress Glenn Close appeared as an impossible candidate for the Supreme Court and her character knew it. She was forthright, brutally honest, and told the staff that she knew she was a shill, the token woman interviewed for the position and that she would never be recommended. The staff was so blown away by her integrity and honesty, they wanted to move her from the impossible list to the short list – the only person on the list – immediately. That’s the kind of honesty Kym projects. You want him around you because he plays no games with you. He won’t waste your time. You value it and move him to the top of your list. That is what comes across immediately in his opening pitch.
On his About Page, Kym hits with the full impact of his resume, holding nothing back, changing the words to concentrate on his entrepreneurship. He didn’t change much but what he did now makes the story leap off the page.
Suddenly, the diversity of his accomplishments explode off the page with a united front. This is a man who is a leader, a visionary, a risk taker, someone willing to experiment, winning some and losing some but always learning in the process – and people are noticing him.
Kym Huynh is an entrepreneur and founder of two of Australia’s hottest startups: WeTeachMe and Native Tongue. He was awarded an Honorable Mention in Anthill Australia’s “Top 30 Under 30 2011.”
He is also founder of LawYourPress, Stories of Our Journeys, Bitwire Media, WordCast, the world’s largest Neopets gaming fansite Pink Poogle Toy, and more recently a network of alternative sport and humor-oriented blogs.
Kym is featured in more than 70 media publications–including StartupSmart, ZDNet, The Next Web, Anthill, News.com.au, Business Insider, Shoe String Launch, The National Student, TechNode, The University of Melbourne, The Age, Herald Sun, The Telegraph, The Australia, Adelaide Now, Courier Mail, Perth Now, mX, NYDailyNews, Quad-City Times, Dateline USA, and more recently in N-TV, CBS News, BBC and ITV2–and presents as a guest-lecturer at the University of Melbourne where he presents and speaks about entrepreneurship.
The page now features photographs of Kym standing in front of a classroom and in front of a crowd, speaking, teaching, and leading. The images support the text, and the character, talents, and skills of the man.
Do You Trust the Man?
The most important lesson I want to convey in this year long Prove It! campaign is how to build trust and relationships based upon the words, design, and interactions you have on the web – every pixel matters. I want you to prove it.
Kym Huynh asked me to make him prove himself and he did. Have you? Have you looked at every pixel on your site and the messages it conveys to your audience. Have you asked yourself to prove yourself to your readers?
Let’s all learn from Kym’s example and make honesty not just visible but an essential part of our online story.
Prove it! Article Series
- Campaign 2011: Prove It!
- Prove It: It’s Starts With Defining Who You Are
- Prove It: Kym Huynh Exposed
- Prove It: What Makes You Trust a Website?