Create Your Personal Brand by Creating Your Own Website

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Create Your Personal Brand by Creating Your Own Website

One thing is certain: your website is the only online area you own. It’s also a fantastic place for folks to get to know you. When people contact me for assistance in developing their brands, the first thing I do is build to see whether they have a website. Many folks do not own one.

That is a Blown Chance

Building a personal brand, like building a website, can be frightening, but neither has to be difficult. If you are serious about building your brand, you must also invest in building your website. Let me explain why, and then teach you how to construct a website in the same way you would a house.

Websites assist people in finding and getting to know you.

The disadvantage of not having a personal website is that it makes it difficult for people to find information about you. They may search Google, news websites, employment websites, and social networking platforms and posts to piece together their identity. It might be a time-consuming process.

But My Company Already has a Website

Because I work with a lot of executives and entrepreneurs, they frequently tell me that they have a company website and don’t see the need for a personal website. Why would a company website be sufficient for getting to know you?

Sure, you might have your bio on your company’s founders or team website, but will that provide enough information for visitors to get to know you? Nope.

Your firm’s website is about the company, not about you. (Unless you are a solopreneur, in which case your personal website can double as your business website.) Your company website is all about recruiting business and keeping relevant.

It is sufficient to have a dedicated website to exhibit who you are, what you enjoy doing, your work, your blog, and/or contact information. Don’t worry, if done correctly, your personal website will assist in driving business to your business page.

Everyone Requires a Home Base

When I educate clients on how to build their personal brands, I remind them that most individuals do the correct things in the wrong sequence. I did the same thing. I didn’t have a website to share with my followers for the first year I was starting to build my brand, and I wasted a lot of energy blogging without a plan.

This was a squandered opportunity for folks to get to know me better. I didn’t even consider it at the time. But after someone pointed out the importance of having my website, I realised my error and launched my own personal website in 2015.

People will look you up on the internet. So why not assist them in finding you and learning more about you from you?

In today’s hectic environment, you need a site where people can access and scan to determine whether they want to do business with you. This is true whether you are in education, looking for work, already working, or are establishing a company. For instance, if you’re in college, having a website may assist you to find a job.

If you’re a librarian, you could use your blog to promote your expertise in book trends, which could lead to a promotion. If you are an entrepreneur, explain to investors why you are worth their money.

Many people make the mistake of relying on social media sites as their “home base.” But guess what? You do not own social media platforms. Consider it a lease for corporations to benefit from your personal info. Furthermore, social media networks are not immune to hacks.

My Twitter account was recently compromised. Yep. My “property” had been broken into, and my profile had been stolen. It was a horrible sensation, as the hackers not only tried to defraud people using my image but also deleted over 50,000 of my tweets. Yes, I have over 50,000 tweets. Poof. Gone. And I have no way of getting them back.

Furthermore, social media firms can change their algorithms and rules, suspend your account, or even permanently ban you from their sites.

When you think about it, that’s hardly much control. That is all the more reason to have a physical location as well as an online presence. And that location is your website! People will learn something about you one way or another. You might as well be in charge of your story!

If you’re still not sure that you need a personal website, consider the following:

  • Are people looking for you online?
  • Do you have a portfolio you’d like to show off?
  • Do you want to have control over the information that is available about you online?
  • Do you want to make it simple for people to contact you?
  • Do you want to build a trustworthy online reputation?

If you responded yes to any of these questions, you should think about building your “online house” as a personal website. And it isn’t as difficult as you may assume.

You can keep your website simple; no novels are required. You could construct a quick homepage with tabs leading to your bio, services/products you offer, potentially a blog, and a contact page for people to reach you, as well as links to your social profiles. You can also make it a single page. It’s entirely up to you.

There are platforms like Wix, Webflow, and a plethora of other solutions that don’t require much technical knowledge to set up. I like WordPress because of its reputation, security, and customizable nature, however, it does necessitate a few procedures. There are precise actions to take regardless of which platform you choose, and I’m going to share them with you.

Building a house requires labour, and so does maintaining a website.

Consider building a website to be similar to building a house. The foundation, frame, drywall, paint, furnishings, and decorations are all required. You will also have a real address where people may locate you! It takes time, work, and imagination to make it happen, but it’s worth it because it’s YOURS.

So, here are seven actions you may take to build your website, also known as your online home.

Step 1: Determine Your Address

Every house has an address, and your website should as well. The URL that people type into their browser to look for your website is the address of your website. As a result, I recommend that you begin your website development by considering and acquiring your domain name. You’ll want to keep the domain memorable so that people can locate you.

You may be most familiar with the dot com extension, but there are many other options available. If you have a common name, yourname.com is probably already taken. If such is the case, you might try adding a Mr. or Mrs. to the front, or you can add a word at the end, such as “speaks,” if you want to be known as a speaker. Get inventive to fit your specialty, but make it personal and include your name as much as possible. After all, people will be searching for your name, and if your domain name includes your name, it will score high in searches.

It might be as simple as my domain name, Ryan.online. You can generally get a discount on the first year of domain ownership and then pay for subsequent years on auto-renewal. You can choose almost any domain name you like as long as it is not already in use.

Take note of the dot online domain extension on my domain. To see if your name is accessible with a dot online, go to Ryan.online/dot online and search to see what is available. (You can also get a discount if you use the code “GINGER!”

I also own ryanfoland.com, but the dot online extension is easier to remember. I always tell people that if they want to locate me online, they should go to Ryan.online. I’ve had problems in the past with people not knowing how to spell my last name, so advising them to go to ryanfoland.com risks them entering it incorrectly or, worse, forgetting it. And don’t get too worked up since the beautiful thing about domains is that you can have multiple of them and have them all point to the same spot. If you go to ryanfoland.com, it will take you to Ryan.online.

Your domain should be simple and short, ideally featuring your name. You will always be you, therefore the domain of your website should not change. You may change, as we all do, and you can alter your information accordingly, but you should carefully consider your personal website’s URL.

Step 2: Prepare Your Foundation

Your domain name must point to a location where all of your information is stored. Hosting comes into play here. Your hosting service is where your code and data are kept online. I’ve worked with HostGator, GoDaddy, and Cloudflare. Consider hosting to be a virtual cloud-based basis for your online residence.

Hosting typically costs $10-30 per month, and you can usually receive significant discounts if you purchase it annually or in larger chunks. Signing up for a hosting account requires no technical knowledge. Make the effort to investigate hosting services ahead of time so that you are aware of their costs, features, and limits.

Step 3: Create a Floor Layout

There are numerous web development services available. Some are simple, with no code and the ability to drag and drop. If you are not tech-savvy, these are excellent solutions. I’ve tried several other versions, and my favourite is building on WordPress. I’ve discovered that using pre-designed templates helps to get things developed quickly. And they look fantastic. This is the exciting part, I assure you!

A WordPress template is a pre-built house with many “room” layouts and an overall structural appearance. Go to Theme Forest and look for a WordPress template, being sure to include the word “responsive” in your search. Hundreds of website variants are already developed, usually with filler photos and content so you can see how it looks.

Before purchasing a template, you can explore it and see how it looks in real-time. Using a responsive template design means that your site will appear excellent on a desktop, mobile, or tablet device. You don’t want to irritate your site visitors with difficult-to-read text or items that don’t render properly. This is quite significant.

It can be difficult to choose from thousands of templates. You want one with the appearance and feel of your brand. If you’re not sure what that look is, check through themes and discover which ones speak to you. I’d recommend picking one or two.

Ask your friends whether they think the theme fits your personality and career ambitions. Then, once you’ve decided on the appropriate templates, give it some thought before committing. Then you pay the $50-80 for the template, and you now have full access to all of the website’s codes. When you purchase it, you will be able to download the zip file.

If you prefer a hassle-free website with hosting and no-code template options, look into Wix or other providers. I understand that not everyone can or wants to use WordPress, especially if they need to employ assistance.

Step 4: Layout, Paint, Furniture, and Hanging Pictures

Consider the structure and appearance of your home. I recommend that my clients first create a wireframe. A wireframe is an outline of your website’s many pages and subpages. Begin with the main menu, and consider what major topics or places you want to share with the rest of the world.

I find it easier to create a Google Doc that depicts the desired menu layout but is broken down with the copy and pictures you want on each page. The aim is to first arrange all of your material and have it ready to go so that a developer can easily migrate to a template. If you don’t utilise a template, organising your information first will make it easier to populate your site as you build out the parts you want.

Don’t worry about being fancy if you’re just starting. Simply place the information you want visitors to know on your website. The benefit of having your website is that you can constantly add to and update it.

For example, I have added the following pages to my website that were not originally part of it.

I created pages to discuss my sailboat racing experience as well as my interest in travelling.

My podcasts have been uploaded to my home page: World of Speakers, The 3-1-3 Challenge, and Good Jibes.

I’ve updated the details about my speaking services.

Because people were requesting me to assist them with their TEDx Talks, I decided to build a page to help future clients understand how I assist them in crafting and delivering ideas worth spreading.

You can also learn how to work with me on building your personal brand.

After I published my book, Ditch the Act, I created a book page on my website that leads to the main book website, which links to Amazon.

I also created a stick figure page that contains information on my NFTs and links to my stickfigure.store site.

My initial website “home” was more of a shanty, with an About Me page and links to several of my posts. And when I added additional material and services, I created extra pages that functioned as “rooms” to my online property! “I don’t have enough material to support my own website,” I’ve heard many people say. That, in my opinion, is nonsense.

You are who you are, and you have a backstory. So just build a one-page website and think of it as a one-room dwelling. Then, as you build your brand, add more material, and improve the site’s functionality, you can add pages or “rooms” as needed!

Step 5: Build Time

You will need to engage a WordPress developer (unless you are one!) to take the template and connect it to your hosting service, and then point your URL to your site, much like you would a contractor to build your house. They can populate the template using your Google Doc copy and photos. They will hide or eliminate personal parts from the template, and before you know it, you will have your website. Isn’t that great?

There are numerous WordPress developers available, and you can engage a freelancer to assist you in putting your house together. They will require your logins as well as the zip file containing the template code, so do your homework and choose someone reputably.

I prefer to hire programmers who have been strongly recommended by others in my network. Send me an email if you’re searching for a dependable programmer, and I’ll make some introductions. You can also seek referrals or post on freelance websites. Simply ensure that the person you employ has a lot of expertise and positive evaluations. Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a lousy coder.

Let’s not even get started.

Step 6: Upgrades and Do-it-Yourself

Once the main site is constructed, you can buy a “builder” plugin to edit your website if you like to DIY. I recommend Beaver Builder or ColibriWP. The WordPress employee could assist you in getting it set up so that you can edit your site whenever you want. These builders make it simple to make changes and additions, even for non-technical users.

These are the six processes I took for my websites. It’s how I developed my personal website, Ryan.online, as well as my stickfigure.store website, where I sell my stick figure NFTs.

Step 7: Invite Others to Your Online Home

Having a website is both convenient and liberating. Because you can share your truth online, you will have an advantage over other professionals who do not have one. Invite others to come over and visit once your online house (also known as your personal website) is up and running! Please let me know when your new website is ready so that I can check it out.

I hope this post was helpful, and please feel free to ask any questions you have about website building! I’d be pleased to share my expertise, so please contact me on Twitter @RyanFoland or via email at [email protected] Thank you for reading, and until next time, see you online!

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