Freelancers, consultants, solopreneurs and other independent workers are on the rise and they all need a personal website. The third step to Kaitlin Zhang’s 5 Steps To Build Your Personal Brand Online© is Platform, which is your personal website.
If you’re wondering what a personal website can do to your brand, let me enumerate why:
First impression matters; introduce yourself on your website first.
The online impression that you build is a result of the content that your audience sees and reads about you. That’s why your personal website gives you an avenue to “represent yourself professionally” (Neher 2017). Utilize your website to share and highlight your “interests, passions, and highlight the best aspects of your personal brand” (Neher 2017).
Ideally, the personal website has your name as the url: yourname.com so it ranks higher on Google and is likely the first result somebody sees. This will also make your name rank higher in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu etc. A highly ranked website establishes credibility and can bring in organic (non-paid) traffic to your website.
A quote from Tim Ferris, American author, entrepreneur, and public speaker, sums up the importance of your personal brand online: “Personal branding is about managing your name – even if you don’t own a business – in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your ‘blind’ date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.”
Control your own narrative
In other words, write your own content and tell your own story. This will give you control of the narration of your story and allowing you to craft the content that suits the brand that you’re building. Anyone who is searching for you online certainly would land on your website. So take the opportunity to introduce yourself and share your story. In addition, I strongly recommend having a blog on your website to share your thoughts, news and updates so that your followers can see that you are engaging in your niche sector. Blogs also have the added benefit of establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Imagine having a sales person why works 24/7 to promote your brand!
Think of your personal website as a best friend who tells others about you at a party while you are not there. They are not shy to tell others about your experience, achievements and personality. The website promotes your brand and connects with your visitors. You can also use your website for marketing purposes. You can collect email addresses and future promote yourself through email marketing. Imagine having a sales person who works 24/7 for you to promote your brand! Opportunities will come to you while you sleep.
Utilize e-commerce capabilities to conduct business
This is especially true if you’re a freelancer or solopreneur. Having your own website will make your information available to your prospective clients. Design your personal website to feature your best work and jazz it up with great photos and videos.
In an article published in Forbes, Workfolio’s report states that “56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidates personal website than any other personal branding tool” (Smith 2017). If you’re a freelancer, your portfolio showcasing your best works will help you win projects.
Furthermore, you can activate your website’s built-in e-commerce capabilities. This will help attract businesses. If a client wants to book an appointment or buy a product, they can do so directly from your website. if you were a speaker, someone can book you through the system directly. If you were an author, you can sell your book directly through your website.
Show initiative to your employers
If you are employed, having your own website will show initiative to your employers. It displays that you are creating your own way of building yourself up and giving yourself a platform to showcase your strengths. Just make sure you understand your company’s publicity policy first. I have met a few people in professions that this would not be suitable for (e.g. police officers). However, the majority of people could benefit greatly from having a personal website.
- Read more: Why Your Personal Brand Online Matters
All your contact information clearly displayed
Imagine you were referred by a former client but your potential client can’t find out anything about your online. Your contact details will be able to give readers and potential clients your contact information including your social media accounts. If you have your personal website set up properly, then you can expect new leads to come in all the time. These leads are also extremely valuable because they have already engaged with your brand, seen your website, and decided that they like you enough to get in touch.
Press coverage, achievements and testimonials all in one place
Your personal website is where your most up-to-date information should be housed – who you are and what you are doing. Make sure you also maximize your website to include relevant information about you. Do you have any press coverage? Do have any awards or industry recognition? How about getting some customer or colleague testimonies? It would be good to compile everything in one place and your website is the best place to house these.
Are you ready to get started with your personal website?
Two important things to remember is: 1) have a mobile-friendly website and 2) make sure someone can tell who you are and what your website is about in one second of seeing your home page. If you would like some help, get in touch with us for a 1 to 1 consultation and let’s get started!
“Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle, by Hannah Wei | Unsplash.” Back to Unsplash. N.p., n.d. https://unsplash.com/search/photos/internet?photo=aso6SYJZGps. 17 Apr. 2017.
Muhammed, Abdullahi. “9 Reasons Your Freelance Business Needs A Website.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 Jan. 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/abdullahimuhammed/2017/01/25/9-reasons-your-freelance-business-needs-a-website/2/#5e16b54371b9. 05 May 2017.
Neher, Krista. “Why You Need a Personal Website.” Launch Yourself: Define, Design and Deliver a Powerful Personal Brand Online (Training Program). N.p., 14 July 2015. http://launchyourselfnow.com/why-you-need-a-personal-website/. 05 May 2017.
Smith, Jacquelyn. “Why Every Job Seeker Should Have a Personal Website, And What It Should Include.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 Apr. 2013. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/26/why-every-job-seeker-should-have-a-personal-website-and-what-it-should-include/#2dc0e771119e. 05 May 2017.
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