Branding Yourself with a Personal Professional Website

What direction is your expertise flowing in?

Ever think about starting a website for you personally? Everyone is an entrepreneur. Whether you work from home, place & service vending machines, run a fashion line, sell real estate for a big company, or run your own multimillion dollar enterprise, you are an entrepreneur.  For those who have their own company or function as a sole proprietor,  branding yourself online comes with the territory, but for those who work for commercial lenders, real estate companies, retail banks, or sales training companies, branding yourself online is vital!

Starting your own website is a very inexpensive way to demonstrate your expertise to a global audience. Your own website can show your interests as well as your expertise and serve as your showcase for both. The sky’s the limit.

If you work for a big company, chances are you have an area of expertise. What direction is that expertise flowing in? That area of expertise has value whether you are at a big company with exclusive rights to your service or a small company where the entire operation relies on you. Chances are you will not be with the same company your entire career but will attain a reputation of being a subject matter expert. It’s important to create an online presence that is representative of that so no matter where you go, you will take your expertise and contact information with you.  We’ll follow with an example.

Dave Smith is an investment advisor. Dave helps people with their 401k rollovers and other types of investments. Dave works for Klugman-Randall Finance and plans to remain there the rest of his life. One day Dave comes into work and finds out that the entire company has been shut down due to a Federal investigation into the officers’ conduct. Dave was once the 401k ‘guy’ at Klugman-Randall. Now Dave is on the street and instead of being ‘Dave, the 401k guy’, people only know him as ‘Dave, the unemployed guy’.  That’s no fun!

When you arrive, are you recognized as a “subject matter expert” in your field, regardless of who you work for?

If Dave had branded himself online prior to the company closing, Dave could have interviewed or even started his own business as ‘Dave, the 401k guy’. When you arrive, are you recognized as a “subject matter expert” in your field, regardless of who you work for?

Have you:

Streamlined your contact information?

Built credibility as a subject matter expert in your field?

Booked speaking engagements & seminars?

Started multiple entrepreneurial enterprises based on your brand?

Promote Your Expertise

A website can help attract an audience that needs your expertise. If you have an expertise in setting up audio and video for live performances, you may have some great photos of setups for amps, monitors, and other technology. Your website can be a perfect place to showcase your work outside of social media and a place to share with colleagues or potential clients without compromising your social media privacy.

Blogging

Writing a blog can help give you the credibility of a ‘subject matter expert’ in your field. Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert not only builds up personal and commercial credibility but is the root of ‘search engine optimization’, or SEO.  Blogs can help people become familiar with your expertise as well as share your experience and expertise with others. Posting simple ‘how-to’ content such as how to change a front doorknob or how to change your car’s air filter can be a great way to show expertise if you are a handyman or a mechanic respectively. You can share tips, tricks, and techniques without undercutting your revenue. Social Media is based on short posts and updates but blogs are a way to fully demonstrate the depths of your knowledge. A blog can also help you attract and increase influencers / followers.

Social Media Cred!

A website of your own can help build your social media following. Links on your own website to your social media get clicked by readers who may then choose to follow you. You can also start a newsletter with Constant Contact or another newsletter service and gain subscribers through your website. Your website can help build your following which you can then continue to market to.

The Job Hunt

Employers and recruiters received many resumes every day. You can stand out by including a link to your personal website. In addition to your resume and a great photo, your site shows a potential employer your initiative. A website can even showcase your talent and skills if you are a photographer, writer, web designer, or many other professions. A subject-matter personal website could pay for itself in your next job!

Converting Prospects

Your personal professional website can serve as a point of connection after you meet with a prospective client. If you sell credit card processing, you could house links to your applications  & rate review forms. Your website can serve as a paper-saver and help foster conversions by allowing those who more ‘digital’ oriented to begin the process before getting frustrated or being courted by a competitor that makes closing the sale online easier than closing with you!

Getting started is easy. 

  • Start your own website which will help you express your status as a content matter expert, brand yourself, and create a central point of contact no matter which company you work for or what enterprise you may be involved in.
  • Create a blog where you write about things that interest you. Create sharable, compelling, and relevant content about your subject to convey your status as a ‘subject matter expert’.
  • Write articles on your website on your subject that portray you as a subject matter expert. If you are a B2B or a quiet part of a bigger process, what do you do that helps smoothen a process behind the scenes?
  • Secure testimonials by others especially influencers for your website as well as print materials.
  • Create multimedia content such as videos, audio, podcasts, and photos that convey your subject area for your website.
  • Create a single online point of contact for all your enterprises. You may be a financial advisor today but you might also start a side business or second business with a fashion line, property management,  or a catering business. You want a single point for all your enterprises.
  • Build your brand as you being a subject matter expert in your field by making speaking engagement booking available on your website.
  • Build a following that can transition anywhere you go.

With a few simple steps you go from ‘an employee of someone else’s company’ to a subject matter expert lending their services to a company for a fee and take a major step to making yourself invaluable & entrepreneurial.

 

Next up: Building a Network of Subject Matter Experts