Managing your Brand with a Personal Website or Blog
By Carrie Wakeford.
A personal website is like an online résumé, C.V. or career portfolio, located at www.yourname.com. A personal website will help you build and manage your personal brand on the web. Because the business world has moved online, this step is critical for business professionals, entrepreneurs and job seekers. In fact we already know that many professionals are already taking steps to manage their online presence.
A personal website can help you manage your career, communicate with your customers and clients, and secure proposals. It means you will be found online by anyone looking for the skills and/or services you offer.
It all starts with the results of a Google search. Have you Googled yourself lately? Are you happy with what you found, or does your personal “online brand” need a makeover?
Your personal brand, or your image, is your reputation; it’s what others know about you based on your values, personal traits, skills, abilities, education and experience. It’s what makes you unique; it’s how you stand out from the crowd.
Sarah works in sales and has decided to apply for a management position. A few years ago, she developed a personal website and blog that includes her professional profile, information about her past experiences, her education and training, her personal interests as well as testimonials and references.
Initially Sarah launched her personal blog because she knew potential customers would Google her name. Although she has a LinkedIn profile and she uses Twitter, she wanted to do something further to help her stand out from her competition. She also wanted control over the information that showed up on “page one” when customers Googled her name.
Sarah realized that her blog could also be used to track her successes. She decided that it would be helpful for her supervisor to see her blog before each performance review, and Sarah included a link to her site on the résumé she submitted when she applied for the management position.
If your personal website is built using software like WordPress, you can include a blog. A blog allows you to share personal updates such as skills, training and experience. You can use your blog to share industry information or knowledge of your field which will help to position you as an expert. Enabling comments on your blog helps you connect with other people in your field such as peers, employers, customers and recruiters.
Blogs can also help you improve your “personal SEO” by driving traffic to your site and improving your Google ranking.
6 Ways a Personal / Professional Website Can Help Your Career
A personal / professional website:
- Gives you control over what employers, recruiters, HR managers, hiring managers, peers, customers and clients see when they Google your name. You decide on the information and images to share – creating a professional image.
- Helps you stand out from the crowd by doing something unique.
- Improves your “personal Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) so can people find you.
- Develops your network and helps you connect with others. For example, you can link your site with your other social media accounts, driving traffic back to your site.
- Demonstrates your knowledge, and positions you as an expert in your field.
- Allows you to show the world you have the technical skills, creativity and the drive to go the extra mile to manage your career.
What to Include on Your Personal Site
- Your name and other keywords in your content to help you with SEO.
- Résumé-type content. A personal / professional website allows you more room to share information than a 2 page résumé or C.V.
- Your name in the URL www.yourname.com.
- Your picture and other images. e.g. graphs, charts, company images, work images.
- Pages such as: Home/Bio, Contact, Work Examples, Successes, Current Employer, Testimonials or References, Work History, Education, Training, a Blog, Hobbies and Interests.
- Examples of your work.
- A short YouTube or Vimeo video introduction.
- Links to your other social media accounts. e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
Note: Social media profiles such as LinkedIn are great for helping you network, build your brand and improve your SEO. We will look at complementary social media options in a future blog post.
Contact Black Cap Design if you would like to chat about options and ideas for your Personal / Professional Website.
Source: Black Cap Design