Stepping Out as an Author, Speaker or Consultant? You Need a Personal Website
If you run your own business or occupy the C-Suite, you may not have thought much about building your own website. It’s easy to believe your company’s online real estate is enough, that—with your bio displayed just a few clicks from the homepage—you’re doing what’s necessary to get your name out there. But the truth is, if you’ve set out on your own in any way, shape, or form—with speaking engagements, a book, a consulting gig, etc.—you need a brand that’s distinctly yours. And that means you need your own site.
When you stake your own virtual ground, you create a home base—a place where people can find you directly and read up on what you’re all about. As such, your website should display your individual brand, separate and distinct from your business, as well as your mission, your book and other individual projects. When people can easily find what they need to know about you, they’re more likely to reach out with speaker, publicity, and press inquiries, which can be a major boon for your personal brand.
Your website can also serve to further cultivate those inquiries by showcasing the great work you’ve done. Curious about what your site needs to make you stand out and give potential clients and collaborators the information they need? We’ll break it down below:
A speaking page: If you’re sharing your insights anywhere—colleges corporate meetings, trade shows, television, radio, podcasts—you need to broadcast it! And if you’re not doing speaking engagements yet, it’s probably worth your consideration. Engagements can help you get the word out on the work you’re doing and build your authority, a crucial aspect in cultivating the kind of reputation you want (for more on building authority, and the power of the Authority Marketing system, click here).
What should go on that speaking page? A brief overview of your area of expertise and your experience, followed by what your engagements offer. Maybe your talks give firms the insight they need to take their business to the next level, or maybe you’re focused on telling your story to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to take the next step. Either way, a reader should be able to quickly glance through and understand what you tend to share. Finish it off with a link that allows them to make contact.
A Press or Media Page: Your press or media page should include any interactions with… you guessed it: the press or media! Links to articles and videos where you’ve been featured, interviewed, or quoted are worth flagging for your visitors. Make sure to include the publishers’ logos for a little extra clout.
Blog: People are coming to your site because they’re interested in what you think, and there’s no better way to give the masses what they want than a blog. With a blog, you can reflect on current events, personal and professional milestones and highlight your work and services—along with information that adds value for your readers.
Search Engine Optimization: This isn’t a page, but it’s just as important as any on your site. If you haven’t optimized your website to garner traffic, you’re not going to achieve the kind of reach you want. Working with a marketing strategist to create customized page titles, meta descriptions, focus keywords, image tags and more will ensure you show up when people are looking for relevant insights or services. Good SEO is the gift that keeps on giving, as it will continue to drive new traffic to your site month after month.
Fired up about all the possibilities of creating or refining your own website? Great! You should be! But before you dive in, it’s worth it to conduct a brand audit—or review what’s out there, both in terms of the content you have online and what you’re competitors have going on. This is vital. Why? In this day and age, most people are likely finding your brand online, rather than in person or over the phone. They’re seeing you on Instagram, reading your insights on Twitter, or encountering your work through media mentions and seeking you out to learn more. As such, the kind of impression you’re making really matters. Take time to review your existing content and ensure it aligns with the message you’re trying to convey.
When all is said and done, you’ll be the mogul of your own brand—and the master of your own destiny. Need a little help figuring out how to take things to the next level? Click here to see how we build game-changing personal brands.