How To Create a Website That Will Strengthen Your Brand
Creating a website and creating a brand are not the same things. Hence, your website might have a million dollar look, yet still not reflect your personality or corporate identity.
So, then what’s branding, you ask? Above all, it’s really a smart question to consider before starting to build your brand.
Here is a good example of branding. Suppose you are driving your car along the streets of some unknown city. You are focused because you don’t know the way, and need to follow your GPS navigator prompts. Either way, you see the road signs, stop at the traffic lights and suddenly you see the arrow showing you which way to turn to get to McDonald’s and have a snack. Indeed, you don’t need the distraction of reading, as the golden arches are recognizable at first sight. They are associated with affordable, quick, (to some tastes) tasty food, burgers, fries, free WiFi and more.
That is branding, by way of example.
In fact, a brand is a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, emotion, employees, tone…. Furthermore, your brand highlights what’s different about you. From our example with McDonald’s, the golden arches became part of the brand. Accordingly, those arches separate their product from all other fast food restaurants and they’re a recognizable symbol even for very young kids.
At last, why should you build your personal brand?
Building a recognizable personal brand opens many professional opportunities. Strengthening your brand is leading to: a better job, better contacts and clients for your company, industry recognition, and more.
Building a brand identity
First of all, we would like to tell you that creating a website and strengthening your brand shouldn’t necessarily be difficult. Don’t have a website yet or your resource looks outdated? Go to TemplateMonster.com or any other credible website templates provider and just choose one of the business WordPress themes from the variety of templates available in their inventory.
Supposing you have already picked out a template for your future website. Maybe you will change your mind after working out your personal brand establishing strategy.
So, establishing your own brand will let you:
- Tell your story as you want it to be told
- Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry
- Create something bigger than the business and the product
- Produce real value for your followers
Here are the first steps to get you started in establishing your personal brand online:
1. Define your own story.
Before telling your story, you’ll need to figure out what it will be. Asking yourself the following questions might help:
- What are your core values?
- What are your personal strengths and skills?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are your unique personality traits?
- What will make you stand out against your competition?
Choose only key elements from your answers to the above questions and make up a short paragraph that you can use as a basis for all your online communication.
By the way, to get really crisp and concise “about us” paragraph, you can try the time-tested “elevator pitch” formula: What do you do? For whom? For what purpose?
2. Audit your online presence.
Now you have the story you want to tell people. But let’s take a look at what story you’re actually telling today. Start by Googling yourself and see what appears first. Is it your personal Facebook profile? Visit the image tab. Which photos of you are listed here and are they the ones you want to come first? You can set up Google alerts to monitor new mentions going forward if you don’t like the current ones.
Next, go through your various profiles and platforms and see what story you’re telling there. Take a note of any areas that need updating. In addition, If you have lots of inappropriate photos on Facebook, make tweaks to your privacy settings and make sure that all photos and posts are restricted to your friends only.
3. Review or create your LinkedIn profile if you don’t have the one.
There are plenty of different social networks out there but for the professional world, the main one you should worry about is LinkedIn.
Here are some quick tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile:
- Post a professional photo
- Customize your headline
- Write a clear summary
- Describe each of your past and current positions
- Get recommendations from past employers
- Add your key skills
4. Claim your other social media profiles.
Some people say that Twitter is dying. But for those of us who use it, the benefits can be huge. These include staying on top of the latest news, publishing blog posts and, importantly, connecting with peers and potential customers.
When selecting the right social network(s), you need to think about who you are, what your business is, and who your clients are. For instance, there’s no point in setting up an Instagram account if you don’t like taking photos and don’t like sharing aspects of your lifestyle publicly. Likewise there’s no point in getting into Periscope and Snapchat if your target audience isn’t on there.
5. Create a personal website.
Having a strong presence on social networks can be a great start but if you want to get serious about building your brand online, you really need a website. It doesn’t have to be super fancy. It can be just a couple of pages with a short bio, your CV or resume, your contact details and links to your social network profiles. Furthermore, you can create something quite nice just on Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress or get a little fancier with Wix or Squarespace. Get a custom domain name and ask someone to proofread all the copy for you – especially if you’re not a native English speaker.
6. Use a professional email address.
It is not recommended to use a Yahoo address for professional contacts. Indeed, it’s embarrassing. Gmail is clearly the standard these days. It’s even better if you can secure your own domain name. You’ll get this automatically if you have your own website, e.g.: firstname.lastname@example.org or why not email@example.com. Eventually, you can even add other email addresses to reflect the size of your business. For example, you can have firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and so on.
7. Produce valuable content.
It’s great to have a presence on different networks but if you stop there no one’s actually going to know that you exist. Start by commenting on and sharing other people’s content. What is more, you need to create and publish valuable content for your peers to read and engage with. It’s totally up to you which format you choose here. If you enjoy writing, adding a blog to your personal website could be a good idea. If you’re more of a verbal person, why not try podcasting or vlogging? The medium will also determine which platform you choose. For example, YouTube might be interesting for video. No matter what format and platform you choose, be purposeful. Remember, each blog post you write and each tweet you send is your personal brand. So make sure you’re building something cohesive and effective.
We hope our tips on strengthening your brand will help you to create a website that will deliver emotional connection to you or your products and services. Most influence factors have critical emotional components, which is why brand marketing is so important. If done right this process will be easy and fun.
We wish you best of luck in creating the most remarkable website that will strengthen your brand combined with other efforts.
Have any questions/additions/thoughts? They are welcome at the comments section.
This post was sponsored by Template Monster (in case you hadn’t guessed!)
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