Creating a brilliant website for your personal brand does not have to be difficult or expensive.
Simply follow these steps to create a personal brand website that drives traffic, increases conversions and lets you connect with your target audience in a meaningful way.
Step 1: Choose the right platform
There are a couple of different platforms you can build your website on, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
WordPress is one of the most robust platforms in terms of overall customization capabilities and content production features. You can use one of their free templates or purchase an highly customizable premium template like Divi to build a beautiful website for your personal brand.
However, if fiddling with web design and customization is not your favorite thing in the world, using a website builder like Squarespace or Wix might be a better option for you.
Their simple drag-and-drop interfaces, and clean, modern templates, make it easy to create visually stunning websites even if you have no idea what you are doing.
Step 2: Zero in on your messaging
To make sure your website reflects what your personal brand is all about, you are going to want to sit down and hammer out a few key aspects of your messaging first.
How do you want your potential customers to feel when they land on your site? What is your USP? Why should your audience choose you over your competitors?
In addition to helping you drive conversions, clarifying your message and core values will also help you zero in on the visual aspects of your website that you may want to emphasize.
Once you have these questions answered, we suggest creating a brand board to keep in front of you while you design your website and write copy for it.
You can include things like your color scheme, your preferred fonts, your logo variations, and even a small mood board to inspire your design choices.
Step 3: Build a skeleton
Instead of trying to get each of your website pages perfect on the first try, build a skeleton of your ideal website first.
Decide what pages you are going to have and use a piece of paper to map out a few key elements (headers, buttons, calls-to-action).
Most personal brand websites will have a Home Page, an About Us page, a Services/Products page and a Contact page. We also suggest adding a Resources page to help your website visitors find exactly what they are looking for.
This is where drag-and-drop builders (like the one Squarespace has) really come in handy.
Instead of working within an existing template design, you can adjust your website elements and play around with them before committing to a final version.
Step 4: Write great copy
Having great copy on your personal brand website will help you connect with your audience in a more meaningful way (and make more sales).
Think about it: have you ever purchased something just because you liked a brand’s logo?
If your messaging and copy are on point, a few design blunders won’t even matter.
However, keep in mind that there is a difference between product-oriented copywriting and copywriting that emphasizes your personal brand.
You are essentially selling yourself, so you have to pay particularly close attention to the voice and tone of your copy. Ensure that it projects the exact image you want it to project.
If you have the resources to hire a professional copywriter for this, great! The best ones will also give you wireframes to work with in the next step.
Step 5: Design, design, design
We hope your copywriter told you that copy should drive design, not the other way around.
When you have your selling points (your copy) ready to go, there will be fewer decisions to make when it comes to design.
And, if you created a brand board in Step 2, you are already halfway there!
All you have to do is go to your chosen template and customize the default color scheme and fonts to match your branding.
Then add your logo and other branding elements to the header and the footer of your site. You can also include some royalty-free images from sites like Unsplash to maximize the visual impact of your website.
Step 6: Add images of yourself
There is no avoiding this with a personal brand.
You are selling yourself, which means that your face needs to appear front and center on your website (or at least on your About page).
However, having professional photos taken does not have to be an expensive endeavor.
If you are starting out on a shoestring budget, you can check out your local photography schools and see if there are any students who could use some shots for their portfolio!
Step 7: Get personal
It’s not called “personal branding” for nothing.
Including little personality quirks in your written content is essential to make yourself stand out from other brands.
(Try to be a little more original than saying you are a “coffee lover”, though.)
Same goes for consistently using the same greeting and sign-off phrase in your content. These little things will make you memorable in the minds of potential customers!
Step 8: Include a way to connect
Personal branding is all about communication and connection, so you are going to want to give your visitors a way to connect with you immediately after entering your website.
Include links to your social media, showcase your Instagram feed and give your visitors an incentive to sign up for your email list to easily keep in touch. These all need to be obvious on your website, so make sure that your CTAs (call to actions) stand out by choosing a contrasting color and action words. It’s amazing how some sites don’t make these obvious, and as a result, your reader loses interest. As an exercise, check out websites for sale to see if you can pinpoint where the CTAs are on each page, and where contact details are so that the reader can easily get in touch. It’s an eye-opener.
When you’re writing a new blog post, encourage your readers to leave a comment, then take some time to engage with your audience in the comments section.
The more connecting you are able to do, the more likely your customers will be to remember you and your brand. You want to build a community of loyal readers or customers who will support you in your journey.
Follow these steps to start creating a brilliant website for your brand. Your personal brand will likely evolve as time goes by, as will your website, so don’t be afraid to test things out.
And if you need advice from a pro, Michelle Ngome offers coaching to help you develop and define your personal brand.
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog offers practical marketing advice for entrepreneurs and online store owners. Check out the latest news on Twitter @myecommercetips.