What is Personal Branding?
A personal brand is a mix of all the unique things that make you, you. It is a combination of your skills, experiences, personality, and story. It is how you want to be perceived by the world. A good personal brand should differentiate you from your peers. By ignoring your personal brand, you will hinder future opportunities and let other people control the narrative about you.
Despite living in a digital world, personal branding has existed before the internet. Business cards served the same purpose as online personal branding does today, however, while not everyone may have needed business cards, it has now become much harder to avoid having a personal brand with social media. Managing your personal brand is crucial in todayâ€™s age and a personal website will make it easier to control it.
Who Needs a Personal Website?
There are some professions that will benefit more from a personal website than others. For example, a photographer or digital marketer will have the ability to show off their portfolio in a creative manner as opposed to an accountant trying to showcase his talents. However, that does not mean that a personal website offers no value to an accountant. Most professionals will be able to benefit simply because you can showcase more of yourself compared to a resume. Despite an accountant not having stunning photos or creative campaigns to display, they can still communicate their skills while incorporating their own personality. A personal website serves as a dynamic resume and anybody can get creative with it to flaunt their personal brand.
Why Do I need a Personal Website?
There are a multitude of reasons why professionals need a personal website. The benefits are:
- Managing Personal Brand â€“ A personal website will help you manage your personal brand online. You are able to direct traffic from your social channels such as LinkedIn to your website where you can showcase much more of your professional life in a creative way. If you are a funny and outgoing person, any reader should be able to pick that up via the tone and language on your site.
- Great for Recruiters â€“ Recruiters love a personal website because they can have a better understanding of your personality and accomplishments. Like we mentioned, a personal website is like a dynamic resume, while also sharing personal hobbies and interests.
- Great for Clients â€“ If you are self-employed then a personal website is a must-have. A personal website is great for you to gain new clients. By providing testimonials and a portfolio, you show potential clients why they should pick you. Moreover, if you are struggling to find clients, a personal website will improve your chances significantly as you will also have an opportunity to get new clients using SEO tactics and Google ads.
- Freedom to be Creative â€“ When you have a personal website, you have full control over how you want to be represented. If you believe certain skills are more important or stronger than others you can display them on the landing page. This way you can be sure that this is the first thing the reader notices.
- Acquire Web Development Skills â€“ For certain professionals such as marketers and graphic designers, a personal website means working on web development skills which can help you stand out whether to get a job or new clients. By creating a stunning and user-friendly website, you are showing web development skill by simply having a personal website.
- Portfolio and Skills â€“ A personal website is great for showing off projects or skills you are really proud of. It can be difficult to translate the success and scope of projects through a resume or LinkedIn. With a website you have much more flexibility, you can choose to dedicate a section or a whole page to a project. Moreover, you can also include pictures or videos from the project that validates the skills you claim.
What Does a Personal Website Have?
A personal website should be unique but should also include common elements. First thing you should include is an elevator pitch. You can put this on the home page or on the â€śaboutâ€ť page. The elevator pitch should be short but convincing. You should treat an elevator pitch as if it is the only thing a visitor will see. Think to yourself, what are some takeaways you want the reader to leave with if they only read the elevator pitch?
A personal website should also have a portfolio or examples of your previous work. If you are an artist or a designer, look into incorporating a gallery page. If you are a business professional you can use case studies to show how your skills translated to success. Moreover, if you are a writer, you can have samples of your work with links. A portfolio is great addition to a personal website and provides a visitor with greater understanding of your work experience. On a resume you are limited; on a personal website you have the freedom to write how much you want, add photos, links and reviews. When creating a portfolio, you can highlight and emphasize certain projects that youâ€™re happy with.
If you want to stand out some more, add testimonials. Testimonials are great as they help reinforce your personal brand. Moreover, it adds proof to your claims and they will hold even more clout if the testimonials are provided by someone well respected in the industry. This is a great way to show off soft skills youâ€™ve acquired. Rather than you saying you have great leadership, let those who you have led say that about you. It is also more genuine this way. However, donâ€™t make this a section where you brag about how great you are. Avoid adding testimonials if they make vague comments, instead ask those providing testimonials to be
specific. Get them to explain what specific habits or attributes make you a great person to work with rather than stating you are a great person to work with.
How Do I Start on my Personal Website?
Now that youâ€™re convinced to start a personal website, letâ€™s look into what things you will need to start your personal website.
- Register a domain name: This first step is simple but you have to buy a website name. Sometimes your desired name will be taken and you will have to choose something else. For example, the domain name of JohnSmith.com might be taken, instead try getting PhotographyJohnSmith.com. If you are looking for more tips on domain names and registration click here. Get creative with it!
- Choose a hosting service: For a personal website, we recommend going with a shared hosting plan. It is the most affordable option available and the resources you get with shared hosting will be enough to keep your website running just fine.
- Connect Domain to Your Hosting Provider: The next step is to connect your domain to your web hosting provider. Once it is connected, you are ready to be hosted and can start building your personal website. With Canadian Web Hosting, you can complete the first three steps in one whenever you join our hosting plans. Â·
- Create a Website Using a Website Builder: You can use tools such as WordPress and Weebly website builder. Both tools are fairly easy to use and are great for professionals looking to have a blog on their personal site.
- Add Content: The final step is to add content to your site. You have a lot of freedom to build the site how you would like, so keep in mind to brainstorm and plan out your website before starting to build. Donâ€™t repeat information too much and try to keep the site clean and easy to follow. Going in with a clear understanding of how many pages you need and what content is going on each page will help when creating content.
How Do I Incorporate My Personal Brand into My Personal Website?
Now that you have a website, how exactly do you let your personal brand shine through? First and foremost, you have to understand what your personal brand is. Ask yourself questions like, what are your values? What are your goals? What is your personality? These questions will help formulate a brand for yourself. If you are a humanitarian, you can share some charities that youâ€™ve volunteered at or some causes youâ€™re passionate about and why. Design is also a great tool to bring out your personality. You can use themes, colours, fonts and images to incorporate your personal brand. A streetwear photographer may choose to use a colourful theme or use a graffiti style font. A wedding photographer may choose a pink and white theme and use a handwriting font.
Great Personal Website Examples
Jayed Rafi: www.jayedrafi.com
Jayed Rafi does a great job of designing his website and showcasing his skills and accomplishments on the homepage. His website is easy to follow and read. You leave his personal site feeling inspired by his website design and have a clear understanding of his work experience.
Justin Leigh: www.leighrealestate.ca
Justin Leigh has a great functioning website. It is extensive and allows his potential clients to even to look for real estate properties right from his website. His personal brand includes a high level of professionalism and expertise in the Vancouver real estate market.
A personal website is something that most people need in todayâ€™s society. It is a tool for you to manage your personal brand and it can serve as a cornerstone for bringing new opportunities. By failing to have a personal website, you harm the ability to gain new employment opportunities and clients. Plus, you have the ability to control the perceived image of yourself and promote your best skills and abilities.
Getting started on a website seems like a lot of work but follow the steps provided in the post and you will have your own personal website in no time. It may be time consuming at first, but once it is set up, you only have to maintain it. When it is up and running you will start seeing the benefits of having a personal website.
If you are convinced to start a personal website, you can start by clicking here. Canadian Web Hosting makes it easy. Once you choose a hosting plan you can think of domain name to register (or if you already have one, you can transfer it to us or connect it to your hosting plan). By the time you complete your purchase, you are ready to create your website using Weebly or WordPress.
Have you created a personal website before? Do you have any tips we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!