Personal Brand sites should include a number of key elements in order to make them a success. In this episode, we whizz through the eight top things you should include on your personal brand website.
In this episode, we’ll be covering…
- What is a big bold statement and how do you come up with one?
- What kind of images should you include on your website as a personal brand?
- Does including images of yourself on your website make you egotistical?
- How to show you’re an authority through your website
- What is a brand story and why your audience might be bored of the ‘rags to riches’ story
- Why showing your vulnerability helps you connect with your audience
- Why you need to have an opinion, even if you get some haters!
- Why you should avoid the phrase ‘sign up to my newsletter’
Time Stamps: In a rush? Get to the section you need to below!
1.11 – What is a Big Bold Statement?
3.06 – Being clear about your services
4.00 – What images should you include?
6.17 – Is content marketing important for personal brands?
9.12 – What is social proof and how should you use it on your website?
10.43 – What is a brand story?
13.00 – Why you have to have an opinion
15.02 – How to grow your email list on your personal brand website
Useful Resources and Links
Content Marketing Academy (Chris Marr is a genius. That is all.)
What To Do Next
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Episode Transcript Below
Martin: Hey guys, welcome to episode two of the Make Your Mark Online podcast. In today’s episode we’re going to be giving you eight essential elements of a personal brand website. So, this is a really interesting topic obviously because we’ve all got website or we all need websites, but far too often people actually get them wrong a lot of the times.
Lyndsay: They do, Yes, Yes.
Martin: I suppose that’s why, that’s what gave us the, especially with the website critiques that we do in our free Facebook group, we see a lot of personal brands in there and certain elements that their missing to their websites. That’s why we suggest you to do this episode.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely, and I think, people actually don’t think there’s any difference between a personal brand website and a normal service based website, but there’s actually quite a few differences between them. There’s definitely certain aspects of a personal brand website that should be there, that a lot of personal brands do miss.
Martin: Exactly, and that’s what we’re going to be going over today. So, let’s get started shall we? The first thing that a personal brand website needs is a big, bold statement. Talk to us a little bit, what’s a big, bold statement Lyndsay?
What is a Big, Bold Statement?
Lyndsay: Well, essentially a big, bold statement is a kind of a summary of what you do, what you offer, and how you can help people. It sounds really obvious when I say it, but we know from the website critiques that we’ve done and the web design that we’ve done over the past I don’t know how many years, that people often miss this. It’s something that should be quite prominent as soon as you land on a website.
Lyndsay: We always recommend that this big, bold statement should go on the first third of your homepage. So, we say above the fold. As soon as you land on a homepage you can see exactly what it is that someone does. A good example of this is actually from Pat Flynn. So he says, “Let me help you build a passive income driven online business.”
Lyndsay: That’s really clear what he’s offering.
Martin: Really obvious, isn’t it.
Lyndsay: Yes, exactly. I think it’s very, very important that all personal brands do this, because you need to tell your audience that they’re in the right place.
Martin: Yes. Isn’t it obvious though sometimes?
Lyndsay: Definitely not, definitely not obvious. If you’ve got like for example Lyndsaycambridge.com, and someone lands on my website, how is that obvious?
Lyndsay: You know, if you’ve just got your name or whatever. Plus, you can be a bit more specific. If you’re, I don’t know, a business coach, who is it that you coach?
Martin: True, specificity.
Lyndsay: Exactly. Yes, Yes. No one can say that word.
Martin: No one can say, I nailed it though.
Lyndsay: You did, I was impressed.
Martin: Mic drop. I’m not going to drop my mic, it will ruin their ears.
Lyndsay: Exactly, so Yes, think about how you can really hone it in and be very specific to your audience, definitely.
How Should You Display Your Services On Your Website?
Martin: Okay, so big, bold statement, perfect. So, in terms of your actual services then, surely that’s important as well.
I think that’s probably the next big important aspect to it, is what do you actually offer?
Lyndsay: Yes again, and I think people will be going, “Well Yes, duh.” But, we see this all the time, and especially with personal brands. They kind of say, “Okay, well this is all about me and this is all about what I do.” They kind of forget to say, “Okay, this is what I’m selling.” Because, you know, your purpose of your website is to sell your products or services.
Martin: Yes, otherwise what’s the point.
Lyndsay: Exactly, it’s to make you money, so you need to be kind of clear about what services you offer and make that very clear on your website. As soon as someone lands on your homepage you need to be directing them to these particular services. So, if you’re a personal brand that could be say coaching, and then you have that as a service quite prominently on there. Another one could be speaking. You know, those are two very different audiences and you need to make sure you’re very clear with your services and where you want those audiences to go.
What Images Should Personal Brands Use on Their Website?
Martin: Yes, definitely. Okay, so let’s move onto number three, images. Are images of yourself more important and why is that so important?
Lyndsay: Yes I think, well it’s incredibly important for personal brands, and I know that a lot of people do find this quite scary. They don’t like to put images of themselves on their website. It’s really important that you do because if you’re a personal brand, people aren’t just buying your product or service, they’re actually investing in you. They’re wanting to trust you, and they need you to be able to actually see you to trust you.
Martin: Okay, so is it not a little bit egotistical though to put ourselves on our website and make it all big and bold around us?
Lyndsay: I think that’s the biggest roadblock we hit with people isn’t it, they do feel a little bit shy and they feel like they’re being egotistical when they put their images on their website. But, it’s kind of expected. People are used to it and I don’t think anyone would judge you for having a picture of yourself on your website. They need to be able to actually see you in order to trust you, so I don’t think there’s a problem with it at all. I think that’s more peoples own shyness or reluctance to put their own pictures on their website, rather than …
Martin: I think you’re right, because I mean when we’re meeting people in face-to-face meetings, like business networking, it’s so much easier to build up a connection with them because we’ve seen them face-to-face.
Lyndsay: Exactly, Yes.
Martin: I suppose online we don’t always meet people face-to-face, and it’s nice to actually see what they look like so that I know that if we ever did speak I know who they are. I know that weird personality quirks and, do you know what I mean? It’s just one of those things, isn’t it.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely, definitely. I’m not saying have every part of your website with a picture of your face on it, but it certainly is important for personal brands. Again, I would say that the first thing that someone when they land on your homepage should see is an image of you. There’s different kinds of images that you can do. Obviously the normal head shot photo, or you can have an action shot. So, if you work normally in a café with your laptop, then have that action shot picture and have it on your website. But, there’s lot of different things that you can do.
Martin: Yes, it’s a nice easy way to build up some trust, isn’t it?
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely.
Why Content Marketing is Important for Personal Brands?
Martin: I think that leads us on nicely to the next point, which is content. So, how can you build up a little bit more trust to wave your content efforts on your website, what’s that about?
Lyndsay: Yes, I think again for personal brands, content is to important. Because again, people are buying from you, they want to trust you, you need to be an authority. The best way to do that is producing content that proves to people that you know what you’re talking about. You know, having content on your website is important. Don’t hide your content away on a block page, which can only be accessed in the footer or whatever of your website. Actually make your website very interactive with your content.
Lyndsay: So, every personal brand website that we build, we ensure that they’re content whatever that might be, it might be blog posts, it might be your podcast episodes, are actually pulled through to the homepage so people can click directly on your most recent content and go through to that. It’s very important I think that personal brand websites are quite content focused.
Martin: Yes, good point.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely.
Martin: But, I think as well it’s not just about having a lot of people think, when they think content or blog they think oh news, like just news, I’ve got to keep my latest news updated, that’s another job. But, we’re not actually talking about that, are we?
Lyndsay: No, no. We don’t kind of recommend we do the latest news blog post, or add-
Martin: Yes, we’ve been nominated for an award.
Lyndsay: Yay, no one cares.
Lyndsay: No, I think the main thing with content marketing, and we could spend about a million hours talking about content marketing and what to do, but you know it’s about educating your readers. It’s also about answering questions that they might have about your products and services. Try and think about, okay, well what would by audience kind of object to? What would make them think I actually, I’m not sure about investing in this guy, and actually answer those questions.
Lyndsay: In our our Jammy Digital website we have, “Why are you so expensive?” Another one is, “Why are you so cheap?” “How long will it take to build a website?” You know, those kind of questions that people genuinely have.
Martin: But, nobody else answers.
Martin: That’s what’s great. We do, we can’t take the credit for this, this wasn’t our idea. We actually got this information from a book They Ask, You Answer, which is by Marcus Sheridan.
Lyndsay: The guru himself.
Martin: Yes. We wouldn’t know about Marcus without Chris Mar, so big shout out to him, because he helped us really hone our craft when it comes to content. Definitely if you want to see how they do it, then check out those resources there. We will leave links in the notes, in the show notes section as well.
Lyndsay: Yes, absolutely. Because it’s absolutely changed our business and we help our clients now with it don’t we as well.
How to Use Social Proof on Your Website
Martin: Definitely. Yes. Great stuff, so Yes, content obviously helps with building trust and educating. Another great way to build trust is with social proof, which is our next point. This is number five, social proof. What is social proof?
Lyndsay: Yes, it’s a bit of a strange phrase actually, social proof.
Martin: Yes, confusing.
Lyndsay: It’s essentially about proving to your audience that you know your stuff and you can be trustworthy. The best way of proving that to your audience is not by saying it yourself but getting other people to say it about you. Lots of examples with social proof would be testimonials, you’ve got reviews, case studies. Even things like, “Join 5000 of your peers on our mailing list.” That’s kind of social proof. It’s saying 5000 other people just like you have joined us, so you should, too.
Lyndsay: There’s lots of ways of incorporating this into your website, but I think it’s very important, again, to have this on your homepage.
Martin: Yes, it kind of shows, it builds the trust, but it also says, “Other people have been in your situation too, and this is how they’ve benefited.”
Lyndsay: Yes, exactly, exactly. I think that we’ve seen a lot of websites actually forget this. I think we’ve done some critiques recently where personal brands have been featured on the BBC and The Guardian, and we’ve only found that out when we’ve gone done like a deep dive into their website. We’re like, “Why isn’t this on your homepage?” Now, I’m not saying that you have to have the whole article on your homepage, but just a logo of you know these kind of corporations that you’ve worked with.
Martin: Can have a big impact.
Think About Your Brand Story
Lyndsay: Exactly, exactly. So, have a think about how you can incorporate that into your website, but make it prominent.
Martin: Yes, Yes, great idea. Okay, so number six, have a brand story. What’s a brand story? Sounds like one of those like kind of fluffy marketing things that we talk here about.
Lyndsay: Yes, I mean I can understand why someone would think that, definitely. Again, I think this is one of those things where we could spend 10 hours talking about it. But, essentially, people want to know why is you do what you do. What is it that drives you. What is it that made you get started with whatever it is that you’re doing, and how has your product or service helped you?
Lyndsay: I’m talking about, so we do see a lot of these brand stories that start with, “I started on my mums couch and then I worked my way up and now I’m a millionaire.”
Martin: Yes, exactly, “I had four dollars in my bank account and I was broke and out on the street.” Yes, don’t do that. It’s been done to death.
Lyndsay: No, don’t do that, it has been done to death. It’s very much like ’90s marketing.
Martin: Exactly, and nobody believes it anyway, so.
Lyndsay: No, no. I think the thing is with a brand story you have to make it believable, and you have to make it realistic, Yes. I think stating that you had four dollars in your bank account and now you’re a millionaire, people are just board with it. Just be honest.
Martin: Exactly, we’re all, we’ve been on our own journey’s, haven’t we. We’ve all got two different places based on the decisions that we made in the past. You’re saying it’s about actually displaying that kind of story on our website.
Lyndsay: Exactly. I mean, with us, we started out because we actually started a business, we got a website. The website as totally rubbish, we invested loads of money, and it was crap. That’s actually how we started, and then we started looking into webdesign and SEO, didn’t we?
Martin: Yes, exactly.
Lyndsay: There’s no magic at the end, we’re not millionaires now, but we work from home with our cats and we love it. You know, it just has to be kind of realistic and normal, and you don’t have to go kind of overboard with it. But, people do like to know these things.
Martin: They do.
Lyndsay: They do find it interesting.
Martin: It’s about being vulnerable as well to a certain extent, because that does literally just allow people to say, “Oh, they’re not just trying to sell me something, they’re actually being honest about it.” It cuts out a lot of that friction that you might have if you’re trying to sell your products and services.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely.
Martin: Okay, so we’re talking about putting that maybe on the about page?
Lyndsay: Yes, I mean we always say don’t talk about yourself too much on the about page, but certainly reserve a section for your story, definitely.
Why Personal Brands Should have an Opinion
Martin: Yes, no good idea, okay. That leads us on nicely to the next point, which is to have an opinion. Have something that you can stand behind.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely. I think this kind of scares people, because we don’t want to offend anyone do we when we’re in business. When we don’t want to offend people, sometimes we end up sitting on the fence and we end up being a little bit boring. We’ve all done it. You know, there’s times where I’ve thought, “Oh, I don’t really want to say what I think, because you know, it might polarize things.” But, as a personal brand, you need to have an opinion. It sets you out from your competitors and it also helps strengthen your following.
Lyndsay: Now, if you put other the people off, that’s fine, because hopefully they’re not your target market so why would it bother you anyway? So, with us, I mean we’ve had some instances because we don’t, we say we refuse to wear a suit and we refuse to meet the clients face-to-face. Now, that’s actually annoyed quite a few people because they’ve said, “Well, that’s not how I work.” We’ve gone, “Well.”
Martin: We want you to come to us.
Lyndsay: Yes, exactly. But, they’re not our target audience, so it doesn’t matter to us that they’re offended by that, because they’re not people that we would work with. And them, you know, on their point of view, we wouldn’t be a good fit for them anyway.
Martin: No, they want an agency that will just be yes men and turn up in suits and wine and dine them. That’s not what we-
Lyndsay: We’re not good at wining and dining.
Lyndsay: Not unless you just want pizza.
Martin: Yes, or a kebab.
Martin: Well, it’s true. It’s a great way for you to say, to connect with people you actually want to connect with, and repel the people you don’t want to work with. It’s quite a simple way for you to do it. You can do that just by saying, “I don’t wear suits, and if you do that’s fine, but I hate wearing suits.” You know what I mean, it’s just one of those things.
Lyndsay: Yes, exactly. Exactly, Yes, Yes. It’s a good way of, as Martin said, strengthening your followers and repelling those that you don’t really care about anyway.
Martin: No, exactly. So, once we’ve got the people to our website. We’ve got all this amazing traffic and we’ve got a brand story and we’ve got an opinion, what do we need to do then?
Building an Email List Through Your Website
Lyndsay: Well, we always say to personal brands it’s so important, it’s actually important to every business but particularly personal brands that they build an email list. Now, a lot of people come back to us and say, “Well, I’ve got a Facebook group, or you know, I’ve got a really great Twitter following, I’m really great on Linkedin. Why do I need an email list, I’m fine.” The reason being is an email list is in your control. You decide how you communicate with your subscribers, as long as they’re within GDPR rules.
Martin: Oh, god, she said it. Two episodes in and she’s mentioned GDPR. Boo.
Lyndsay: As long as it’s in those rules, but with social media you’re at the whim of Mark Zuckerberg or whoever, and they may change their rules. You might find that you’re not hitting as many of your followers as you were the day before. With your email list it’s completely yours, and it’s your way of communicating with your followers whenever you want, with whatever offer you want, too. You don’t have to boost your post or anything like that to your email subscribers. So, it’s very, very important that you put an effort into building that list.
Martin: Because, it is important in general for all businesses to have a pipeline. A list of potential customers, or people you’ve worked with in the past, and having an email list and actually focusing on building an email list is a great way for you to have some level of control. I mean, we go on websites all the time and you never go on them again. You click on for whatever reason and then you click back and you never really go back to it again. But, if you’re giving something away for instance, or you’ve got like a special offer and you want to get people on your email list, then again, that’s a great thing to do to keep people to come back to your website.
Lyndsay: Yup, exactly, exactly. There’s a good point that you’ve actually touched on there, is that you should give away something for, in exchange for an email. We have a hatred of the words … Martin knows I’m going to say this, that’s why he’s laughing. We have a hatred of the words, “Subscribe to my newsletter.” This is me having an opinion right now, like I said in number seven.
Martin: I can’t wait, I mean subscribe, I’ve never heard that before, let’s join this newsletter and subscribe to see all the gloriousness.
Lyndsay: It’s just Yes, it’s just not appealing enough to get people onto your email list.
Martin: No, but we’ve all done it.
Lyndsay: Yes, we have.
Martin: We even started, well we’re seeing this on this website, maybe we should have it, too. So, it’s understandable and we’re not poking fun but it is something you definitely want to fix.
Lyndsay: Yes, definitely, definitely. It’s much better to give something away in exchange. It might be a video, it might be an email series where you walk through a course with your email subscribers.
Martin: Yes, or a website buyers guide, like what we’ve got on our website.
Lyndsay: Exactly, yes, a website good plug.
Martin: A bit of a push there.
Lyndsay: A website buyers guide, exactly, Yes. So, you need to do that on your website, and don’t forget to actually do that through your content marketing as well. We drop a normally a call to action in the middle of a blog post just to say, “We’ve got this website buyers guide, it might be interesting to you, but pop your email in here.” That’s in the middle of a blog post, so don’t forget to do it not just on your homepage and other pages but also through your content as well.
Martin: Yes, makes a lot of sense. Okay, sounds like a great list. I mean, now we have eight essential elements of a personal brand website, and it doesn’t actually matter whether or not you’re building the website yourself or you’re paying a webdesign agency. Just by making sure that you include these essential elements, you’re going to be onto a real winner, really. Just by including these elements and making sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, like what we discussed, and you’re doing it the right way like what we’ve been through in the episodes. So Yes, you should be able to generate more customers and more traffic to your website.
Martin: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you’d like more advice on anything to do with webdesign or even SEO or content marketing, then please join our free Facebook group at jammydigital.com/facebook. As we mentioned in the previous episode, we are at the minute doing free website critiques. Every Wednesday we will spend an hour on a video call and we’ll review your websites live.
Martin: Usually we review six within that hour, and then if we decide to go on longer, which-
Lyndsay: We generally do.
Martin: … has been known to happen.
Martin: Yup, we love the sound of our own voice. So, by all means drop your name in the Facebook feed and we will happily review that for you, no problems at all. Another thing we really, really would love you to do, is please subscribe to this podcast episode and leave us a review based on what you think about the episode as well. It really helps us reach out ideal customers, and we’d be very, very grateful for it. So, that’s it, we’ll see you next time on Make Your Mark Online.