Your Personal Brand: How to Build a Personal Website
Your personal brand is what separates you from everyone else in the world. It’s what makes you different; or at the very least, it’s what makes you, well you. While there are many different ways to promote a personal brand, one of the best and easiest ways to get started is by creating a personal website.
You don’t need to be an up-and-coming musician or graphic designer looking for an outlet to display your latest creative work to have a personal website. In fact, these sites have become a valuable tool in the job-hunting process for both new grads and professionals with a few years under their belt.
So how do you get started?
Answer this Question: Who Do I want To Be?
Before you start on the actual website building, it’s crucial to stop and ask yourself this question. Yes, this is a hard question, almost as hard as realizing you are an adult and still can’t answer what you want to be when you grow up.
The first step in creating your personal brand, both online and offline, is to organize your thoughts and create your personal brand vision, how you want others to perceive you.
Already stuck on this first step? A good tip for getting started is to make a list of three or four people whom you admire. Make some notes on why they stand out to you, why you admire them. Maybe they have a strong work ethic or they represent a cause you appreciate. Try and pinpoint the reason you even pay attention to them in the first place. Also be sure to note how you came to know these people, or even just know about them.
Make it Personal
Next, it’s time to go digital and begin building your personal website! If this sounds intimidating to you, don’t fret. There are a lot of great tools available that make putting together a site easy. We recommend taking a look at:
- WordPress – This is the most used content management system in the world. The interface can be a little intimidating at first, but there are online forums dedicated to helping you get started. The best part? You can build a basic website for totally free! If you feel like getting a little fancy, there are some paid upgrades you can make as well.
- Squarespace- This is another easy-to-use platform. Squarespace has become renowned for it’s beautiful design options and has a ton of website examples for you to pull inspiration from. Make sure you have a little extra room in your budget if you plan on using this option, however. A basic subscription costs around $12 per month.
- Wix– The newest kid on the block, Wix has rapidly grown to become one of the more popular website builders around. Similar to WordPress, you can build a basic site for free. However, if you’re looking for some additional options like your own domain name or hosting support, you’ll need to look into some of their paid plans.
Once you’ve got your website builder of choice, get to building! This is the fun part, where you can customize the look and feel of your site. All of these tools allow you to choose custom designs, images, colors and fonts.
Once you’ve got the design down, it’s time to move onto the content.
Create an About Page
Since you are building a personal website that’s all about you, the most important place to start creating content is on the about page.
This is where you tell your story. This section should not only include where you’ve been but also where you’re headed. Are you a graphic designer taking HTML classes and hoping to be a creative director? Say it. Whatever your goals are, mention them. Tell readers why you’re passionate about these goals and what you’ve already done to help yourself start achieving them.
But be careful to keep in mind that this is a professional about page, not a dating profile page. Keep the details focused on what an employer needs to know.
Post New Content Regularly
This is an important step as it shows anyone visiting your site that you’re active and engaged with your goals and interests. Be sure to set a schedule for yourself for posting new content. You can add new content daily, weekly, monthly…really whenever you want. Just make sure it’s consistent.
And don’t worry; not all of this content needs to come from you. Share interesting articles you read or updates on the industry you’re interested in. Make sure to give credit to the original source though!
You should include at least some content that is completely your own as well. This is a great chance to share your opinion and show off some of your professional skills!
Build Your Network
Remember that list you put together of people whom you admire? Reach out to them! Interact with them! This is a great opportunity to let them know you follow their work and admire what they do.
Building your network is key to landing your dream job and advancing your career. Start connecting with important people in your industry by linking back to their pages or mentioning them in social media posts. You’d be surprised to find how many of these people notice you and even reach out to you.
Building a personal website to promote your personal brand isn’t as complicated a step as it may seem. Even if you create the most basic website with only the bare essentials, it will be worth the investment of your time.