You’ve heard us say, again and again, that a corporate brand is not enough. You also need a personal brand. People prefer to do business with people—people whom they admire, trust…and with whom they share values.
That personal brand is essential in order to connect with your ideal clients. You will use it as you demonstrate your expertise, as you build belief in what you do (and in how you do it), and as you make the personal connections that will lead to long-term, loyal business relationships.
What’s more, your personal brand is yours. No matter how long you work under the umbrella of your corporate brand, when you move on, you take your reputation with you. You can then continue to work under your personal brand or take your personal brand to a new corporate brand…with some serious negotiating power attached to it.
Which leads me to this question:
Does your Personal Brand need its own Website?
Every situation is unique, but in general, if you are a public figure within your corporate brand, if you do freelance work that supports the perception of your expertise, if you’d like to further build your personal brand, its influence and its reach…then, yes, a website is a great idea.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin work on your personal website:
- Purchase all related URLS. If your name is Joe Smith, purchase joesmith.com, joesmith.org, joesmith.biz, etc. Also consider purchasing URLs with the geographical suffixes specific to where you’ll be doing business (e.g. joesmith.co.uk). If you’re a global brand, avoid geographical suffixes, as you may cause nervousness for those who find a URL that’s outside their country.
- Build your site with expert SEO. Conduct keyword research to find out what words and phrases your ideal clients are using to find the product or service you’re offering (or words they use to look for help with the problem(s) you solve). Avoid settling for the most popular keywords, as the competition could bury your website in search results. Instead, look for keywords that are somewhat popular, but that have low competition. Use these keywords in text, in titles, META tags, video descriptions, photo descriptions, captions, and links. Do not stuff your website full of keywords, but instead use them where they would naturally appear.
- Start with the basics. As you set out to build your website, understand that you do not need to start with lots of pages. Avoid foraging for old video or photo, for example. Instead, keep it simple with a welcome page, a bio page, a contact page and links to your social media places. As you build your personal brand, add a blog, a video compilation, photos…and whatever else you think will demonstrate your expertise and your professional values.
- Populate with Content. Informative, relevant content will not only build your personal brand, it will keep visitors at your site for a longer period of time and fulfill search engines’ “fresh content” preferences. Both will result in higher search engine rankings. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to write a blog on your website. Blog posts can consist of news updates, how-to articles, recaps of events, opinion pieces and more.
- Stay true to your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your personal brand is innately unique, because it’s all about you; however, it’s easy to copy what others are doing. When that happens, your website becomes just like everyone else’s and your personal brand gets lost in the slush pile. Ensure that all images are unique to your personal brand. Choose colours and fonts that speak to your distinctive qualities and offerings. When in doubt, do it differently.
- Testimonials. Word-of-Mouth advertising is priceless for corporate brands, and the same goes for personal brands. Add a testimonials page to your website and publish all the nice things people are saying about you on there. Consumers who are considering doing business with you will go there to see if they like what people are saying, and to see if they have anything in common with the people saying those things. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to include a link to the reviewers’ page(s).
There is so much more to learn about creating a website for your personal brand; however, this should be enough to get you started. Take this information with you when you talk to your web developer and web designer—and always make sure that the person you choose is intensely interested in getting to know your personal brand and building the website around that. Remember that your website is your representative, and “anything less than you” does a disservice to your personal brand.
Ready to take the next step? To learn all about building your personal brand? Then I invite you to attend one of our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamps—full-day fully immersive branding experiences that will equip you with everything you need to get started on the fast-track to a brilliant brand. Click here to learn more and register.