- Building your personal brand is essential.
- Social media doesn’t provide the freedom or longevity your personal brand needs.
- A personal website is the best way to share your content and build your brand.
Building your personal brand can be just as important as building a company brand. No matter what your business or career industry is, by building your personal brand, you develop an audience and are able to further your creative and business endeavors.
With all of the resources and tools available today, many people get hung up with using social media as the means of personal brand development. Social media provides a free and simple platform for posting content, reaching a target market, and building a loyal audience.
Yet, when people become entirely dependent upon social media for the creation and maintenance of their personal brand, they are basically relying upon something that has no foundation. This means that in the blink of an eye, everything they have built can be lost.
Instead of focusing and depending on social media when you build your brand, you will want to spend the majority of your time and attention on crafting a personal website.
Personal website or social media?
If you did a double take, you’re not alone. Many people think that developing a personal website is going backwards instead of moving forward.
Years ago, websites were a top priority. Anyone wanting to get their work out into the world or to build a name for themselves got a domain and created their own personal website.
Along came social media with its simplicity and ease. It offered a free way to get your name out there, build a profile, share content, and become visible to the masses. Not only that, but slowly, everyone was there. You could find people that you knew in high school, connect with your grandma, use hashtags to make your target market aware of you, and you could do it all in one place, from one account.
Little by little, social media became the norm and personal websites faded into the background. Marketing experts began to promote social media as the “must” of digital marketing. In fact, businesses that didn’t join in with the social media world found themselves struggling to keep up with those who did.
Social media has been a game changer for businesses and marketing. However, there have been a number of unintended consequences when social media has been the sole focus, at the expense of websites.
Those who ditched their personal websites for social media are beginning to find that they have less control over their content and their personal branding.
They have to fit into the box that the particular platform has created, conforming much of their brand to meet social media standards. Building up their name and reputation takes time and often requires quite a bit of deviation from their intended purpose as a way for their profile to be noticed.
Circling back to personal websites
On the other hand, those who maintained their personal websites through the advent and rise of social media, tend to have large, loyal audiences. They have built a reputation and voice of authenticity that people trust. They have developed their own, open, free platform, that gives them a face of authority amongst their target market.
Thus, when it comes to personal branding, it’s essential to circle back around to the world of personal websites. That doesn’t mean you’ll want to ditch your social media accounts.
You need to have a strong social media presence that allows you to engage and connect with your audience. However, view your social media accounts as a stepping stone to your website, which is the mecca of your brand and the place that you want your audience to end up.
Your personal website is your space to share your content, build your identity, and develop an authentic, public voice. It provides you with a number of benefits that you just don’t have on social media such as longevity, permanence, freedom, security, and the ability to build your reputation as an expert in your niche
Building your personal website
Hands down, if you want to gather an audience, build your personal brand, and gain a reputation as an expert, you need a personal website. You will want to take the time to craft and design an optimized, relevant website with valuable content that speaks to your target market.
When you are planning your website, take the time to determine your goal. Consider what you want to accomplish with your site and what you want to share with your audience to get there. Plan out the content that you are going to post on your website, as well as when and how you will post. Create your website aesthetic, choosing a look that fits your persona and the brand that you are trying to build.
Your personal website is a representation of you. It shares who you are with the world and has the potential to either make or break the personal brand you are trying to build. In a sense, it’s your autobiography, giving you the opportunity to tell your story to others.
Don’t fall into the trap of solely focusing your personal branding efforts on social media. While it provides you with some great opportunities, it is merely a step on the path towards becoming a loyal follower of your personal website.