A great website is your biggest asset and can handle several “tasks” at once. Think of your website as a 24/7 employee that works for you 365 days a year. That includes all the holidays. All the Sundays. And all the 3 AM mornings for late-night owls. It speaks directly to your audience around the clock, something you can’t possibly do as a human being.
Whether you’re a career professional or starting a business, here are 5 steps to building a great website and why it is the most important tool you need to elevate your brand.
1. Write amazing content
Blogging is the fastest way to elevate your brand online and build authority. Millions of people use Google every day looking for answers. Here’s an example of why creating content and staying consistent are important: Let’s say you’re a health coach and your goal is to work with busy entrepreneurs that are having trouble maintaining a healthy diet. Sure, you can go to all the networking events, join all the fitness forums and attend all the conferences to put yourself out there and attract clients. But if you published a blog at least once a week sharing quick recipes for busy entrepreneurs or how to meal prep like a pro, that’s 52 more chances your ideal clients can FIND and work with YOU!
Another example: Let’s say you’re a project manager and your goal is to secure a job as a Director of Marketing within a year. Blogging is an excellent way to show off what you know and build relationships with potential employers. While on the job hunt, you can share your blog on your resume and allow prospects to learn more about you, your personality, and your expertise. Blog about the latest marketing trends and the results you’ve gotten for clients in the past. Share links to these articles in your cover letter and watch an increase in the number of interviews. Before you know it, you can go from making $70,000 a year to over $100,000 in your new, high-level position. All from a blog!
2. Design, design, design
Listen, people are judgmental. Gone are the days when you can get attention by just starting a blog. While blogging and creating compelling content are important, it’s not enough to “just have a blog” and neglect the actual look and feel of your website. If you’re calling yourself a leader but your website looks like a 10-year-old built it, people will not take you seriously! That’s just true tea. First impressions matter online, too.
3. Invest in professional photos
When taking pictures for your website, this isn’t the time to try to take a bomb selfie. Invest in a photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist, and even a wardrobe stylist for a photoshoot. Allow yourself to be served by experts, people who know what they’re doing and can make you look like a million bucks from just one photo. This photo will not only be used on your website, but also on social media pages, brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials. Remember, first impressions matter!
4. Always buy YourName.com as your domain
To build credibility and be seen as a leader, you should always build a personal brand by purchasing YourName.com, even if you have a business name. If you’re wondering “why?!”, it’s simple. Your name will never change. Except for those who do change their name (doesn’t usually happen more than once in their lives) or have been married more than once and carry their spouse’s last name, your name will be the most constant thing throughout your life. If your first and last name isn’t available, consider a domain with your middle initial. For example, MelodyThomas.com wasn’t available, so I bought MelodyCThomas.com. C is my middle initial.
5. Build an email list
In addition to having a great website, an email list is your most valuable tool. The truth is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest aren’t going to be around forever. And since you don’t own anything you post on social media, at any given moment they can shut down your page (or their entire platform) and there won’t be much you can do about it.
A great way to build an email list is to create a free offer (I call them freebies). A freebie is free information that is your niche and speaks to your target audience. This freebie should entice your audience enough to want to give you their name and email address to retrieve it.
Your freebie can be in any format you choose:
If you are a business coach that helps women entrepreneurs make their first $1,000, your freebie can be one of the following:
5 Things You Need to Attract Your First Client
25 Business Ideas You Can Do to Make Your First $1,000
The Blueprint to Make Your First $1,000
Because your website and email list are two things you own and have control over, it’s necessary to use these tools to your advantage to build credibility as a leader.
As a rising leader, you have the power to build your reputation and control your narrative. By following these strategies, you’ll be 5 steps ahead in building credibility and your true talents will get known, recognized, and appreciated.