As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to have a personal brand website your audience recognizes to ensure long-term success. Whether you’re just getting started or have already established your business, understanding your target audience and building your brand identity through a personal site can increase awareness of and engagement with whatever it is you’re selling. Here’s how to successfully grow your personal brand website and the benefits you stand to enjoy.
What is a personal brand website?
A personal brand website is a site that showcases an individual’s brand or the public persona through which they provide offerings. For example, Tony Robbins has a website (with his name as the URL) that promotes his brand and various business endeavors. Like Robbins’ site, the best personal brand website will not only look nice, but also display your brand’s mission, vision and purpose.
A personal website also serves as the central hub for content creation in your strategic marketing plan. While a website should be just one piece of your marketing plan, it will allow you to stand out among your competitors, create important connections, expand your reach and portray yourself exactly the way you want to be seen.
Being authentic on your website and discussing both your triumphs and your struggles shows transparency. Plus, if your brand storytelling is honest, it will help your audience relate to you on a personal level.
How can you grow your personal brand website?
It’s not enough to simply create a personal brand website and have it exist. For your site to be beneficial to your entrepreneurial pursuits, you have to take steps to ensure you’re reaching the right readership, keeping content fresh and promoting the page. In other words, you want to make a personal brand website and then grow it. The tips below will help you do just that.
Understand your target audience.
Business owners know they have to understand their target audience when they run a store, and the same rules apply to managing a personal brand. When you want to grow your brand and website, you have to think about the goal of your page and whom you’re trying to reach.
Do you want potential clients to find your website and email you with a job offer? Is your aim to connect with other experts in an attempt to start a new project? Think about who you want to attract to your website, and create content and marketing material that resonates with that group.
For instance, if you’re a freelance writer, you know clients don’t have time or lack the skills to write their own content. In that case, you would want your site to demonstrate how you can fulfill that need for them by writing on their behalf. Just like a business aims to solve a customer’s problem or address their interests, your personal brand website should as well. When you know the kind of people you want to reach and what you can offer them, it makes growing your brand long term much more manageable.
For regular insight into the people visiting your site, use a tool like Google Analytics. Based on the data, you can adjust your efforts accordingly. For example, if the metrics show young women ages 18 to 24 are your most frequent visitors, that may be a demographic you want to target more going forward. [Check out the essential data analytics terms you should know.]
Connect with experts in your industry.
There are plenty of experts in your industry who are likely willing to engage with your brand. Thanks to the large number of people who use LinkedIn and similar platforms, you can easily find people who have the same interests and experiences. Networking on LinkedIn and elsewhere can help you build connections and start exciting new projects that bring attention to your personal brand website.
As an added perk, when the average person or business owner sees that you’re engaging with a famous expert, there’s a good chance that will be seen as an endorsement of your services. The idea here is simple: “If (expert) trusts them, they must know what they’re talking about, so I should look into what they offer.” Consumers are much more likely to visit your website and see what you’re about if they notice people they know are talking with you or about you.
Teaming up with industry experts is different from influencer marketing because it’s not a paid promotion. Rather, it’s a meeting of the minds between two people with similar interests. The fact that the conversation is playing out publicly for people to see is great for attracting people interested in what’s being said. These people are more likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
If you live near a big city or like to travel, you may also want to consider going to business conventions in your industry. You can meet people in similar sectors, grow your network and pass out cards that list your website’s URL. If you’re ultra-savvy, you can even collect emails for your site’s mailing list while at the event.
Establishing at least 500 connections on Linkedin displays an impressive “500+” badge on your profile, showing profile visitors you may be well established in your industry. It’s worth connecting via LinkedIn with people in your field whom you can learn from or whom you may want to work with one day. If you develop the right relationship, they may even be willing to plug your website.
Create a personal blog.
Surprisingly, personal blogs are often an afterthought to some people who make brand websites. It’s not hard to see why. There’s the idea that since the website is already full of content, there’s no reason to also create a blog that lives on the site too. As it turns out, the opposite is true. Small businesses need blogs, and entrepreneurs building a brand identity do too.
That’s because blogs are a great way to show off your personality and flex your creative muscles. The fun part about running a blog is that you can write about whatever you want. This freedom may help you shine in a unique way that attracts the attention of potential clients and peers. If you want your website and brand to grow, focus on creating content for your blog that resonates with your target audience and is relevant to your career.
Let’s revisit the fictional freelance writer we mentioned earlier. This person could write a blog post explaining the benefits of hiring a freelance writer or the pitfalls to avoid when hiring a copywriter. At the end of the blog post, the writer can include a call to action that encourages the reader to get a quote for their services. That blog post just delivered helpful information to the reader – and possibly a new client to you.
A bonus of creating a blog is you can target keywords for your industry in your posts, which can improve your ranking on search engines and earn organic traffic. This is known as search engine optimization, or SEO. Many people don’t make it past the first results page of an average Google search, so crafting quality blog content that makes your site rank highly is vital to your website’s growth. [Learn how to gain blog subscribers and repurpose your blog content.]
Market yourself on various platforms.
Entrepreneurs need to think beyond their websites when they want to promote their brands. Attracting people to your site may be one of your objectives, but to accomplish that, you also need other platforms. For example, it’s wise to create profiles on various social platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, and build brand communities that send people to your website.
Diversifying your social media presence is critical. The more places where you promote your brand, the more opportunity there is for everyone who can potentially benefit from your services to become aware of and go to your website. For instance, if someone regularly uses YouTube but doesn’t have a Facebook account, one of your YouTube videos may lead them to your site. But if you market yourself only via Facebook, you’ll miss out on getting the attention of those who use YouTube only.
Another way to increase brand awareness online and drive traffic to your website is to partner with social media influencers. You can seek out influencers who specialize in your niche on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and pay them to promote your brand or offer them a free service in exchange for a shoutout for your website. The key to successfully using influencers to build your brand is finding someone with a small, highly engaged audience that’s similar to those you’re targeting.
What are the professional benefits of having a personal brand website?
A personal brand website can establish credibility. By using a site to showcase your professional history and what you have to offer, you make the case for why people should work with you. Below are additional advantages of having such a site.
- Keeps you competitive: A personal brand website allows you to display your work experience, education and portfolio so readers can see exactly how you stand out from rival entrepreneurs. Featuring on the site client testimonials about a job well done can also give you a competitive advantage over others in your field.
- Stays current: A personal site is a living document. You can continually update it to highlight new awards, skills, completed projects and news in real time. By keeping your website fresh, you ensure visitors are getting the most current information about your successes and what you can offer them.
- Lets you control your personal brand: Creating a personal brand website helps you establish your own narrative on the internet. It is powerful to be the one in charge of telling your story and crafting your reputation. And should someone try to negatively impact your brand identity, your site is a great place to combat such efforts and reinforce why you’re someone worth doing business with.
- Showcases your creativity: Those in visual industries like art and design can take advantage of their personal websites by using them to display their work. People in less visual fields can use their sites to get creative with their bio and branding. There are rich opportunities with a website to flash your personality, and that creativity and intimacy can make people want to work with you (or, at the very least, keep visiting your site to see what else you have up your sleeve).
- Cultivates brand awareness: With a well-made website, your target audience will know exactly the mission, purpose and vision of your brand. The more recognizable your brand is, the more your brand’s engagement can grow and lead to long-term success.
Sean Peek contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.