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Brand YOU: How to successfully market yourself

Personal-BrandingImage of smiling young woman from Shutterstock.

Have you given any thought to your personal brand lately? Hopefully you’ve come to understand that managing your personal brand is important, especially if you are looking for work. Writer Liz Da Ponte helps you figure out how to sell your best self.

One of the easiest ways to maintain your own Brand is with a personal website. I know what many of you are thinking: what do I know about setting up a website?!

Luckily, there are many options out there for anyone (regardless of technical abilities) to get their own site up and running.

Defining your voice

Before you start looking at tools and options to create your site, you have to spend the time to decide what your voice will be. What is the site going to say about you? What impression do you want it to make to visitors? (Think about the message it will convey to recruiters or hiring managers.)

Websites aren’t just for folks who have portfolios of work such as photographers or designers. Non-photographers can use a website as an extension of their resume.

Everyone knows that a resume tends to be a (boring) listing of qualifications and professional experiences. There isn’t much space on a resume to share what makes you the awesome person that you are.

On a website you can provide a more robust picture of who you are. You can share what you’ve learned through your volunteering experiences. Or discuss the lessons you took away from your recent trip backpacking through Europe.

The more comprehensive a picture of yourself you can present, the better.

Free options

With your voice decided on, you can begin investigating the options for having your own space. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, or don’t have the time or technical skill set to set up a site, you can go the free route. A few of the more well-known players are Wix, Tumblr and Branded.me.

Wix

Wix is a DIY website building platform. The service has been around a long time, mostly because its drag-and-drop approach to website creation is very easy. Within minutes of creating an account, you can have a page live on the Web.

Wix is a really simple way to get started with your site. However, it should be noted that the simplicity comes with some drawbacks. The main one being a Wix website often lacks key SEO features such as good URL structure, strong browser titles and good image naming convention.

If you’re creating your site on Wix, you’ll have to keep in mind that your pages may not rank well via search. You can check out the Wix blog for tips on how to optimize your site for SEO.

Tumblr

A lot of people think of Tumblr as a repository for GIFs. And while it’s true that many people use Tumblr as a search engine for animated images, there’s a large group who use it as their personal blog or website.

Tumblr is a great option because there are thousands of layouts to choose from. The sign-up process is easy and once you’ve picked a username, you can have your own space live on the ‘Net in a few short minutes.

Luckily, there are many options out there for anyone (regardless of technical abilities) to get their own site up and running.

One great advantage to Tumblr is its community of users. By tagging your posts (or pages) you can quickly find other users who post similar content to yours. This is a quick way to grow a community and get your name out there.

Like Wix, Tumblr also has its drawbacks. The main one being that it is really considered a micro-blogging service. Most posts are visual in nature or contain only brief snippets of text. If you’re looking at creating longer posts, you may not get the traction on Tumblr than you would be if you were posting visual content.

Branded.me

Branded.me is a relatively new player in the “build your own website” space and it calls itself the “Next Generation Professional Network.” Similar to Tumblr, it’s part website, part social network.

Unlike Tumblr though, Branded.me really focuses on putting your bio, skills and experience front and centre. The layouts are really sleek and you can easily create a timeline of your work history, provide examples of your skills and include quotes such as testimonials or recommendations.

Branded.me also helps grow your network by helping you meet with local people who share the same interests as you.

As with Wix, Branded.me’s ease comes at the expense of good SEO practices. For example, Branded.me sites are one-pager’s with sections and scrolling options.

While this is visually appealing, you lose out on the ability to have a unique URL for each page, which can hurt your SEO. Good image naming convention is also lacking on the Branded.me sites I’ve reviewed.

One thing to note is that Branded.me is working on growing their service. Earlier this year, they rolled out blogging on the platform and social features, like the ability to follow and private message other users.

Bonus Tip

If you do decide to go the free route, I’d highly recommend investing in buying your own domain to use for your website. A domain will run you anywhere from $9 to $15 a year so it’s probably the most affordable branding investment you can make.

A personalized domain is a much more professional approach to your website. A website visitor is more likely to remember yourname.com instead of yourname.tumblr.com.


Check back soon as part 2 of this post will look at setting up a site with paid options.

Do you have any tips or tools that help you market yourself? We’d like to hear from you! Leave a comment in the section below.




This post first appeared on Marketing & Creative Jobs In Canada, please read the originial post: here

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