So while the benefits of each type of online profile should be well-covered ground, I was asked this past weekend if you could use the two types together.
The answer is yes. I do this today and I wrote about it here.
What I haven’t written about is how you would use each as part of a comprehensive long-term strategy. Until now.
PERSONAL BRAND LANDING PAGES
To me a personal brand landing page is:
“Any single page website that allows for limited customization, but does not allow for multiple pages and does not have a blogging component”.
It’s the last point that is most important. The ability to blog and express your opinions online cannot be understated. If you’re asking why keep reading I’ll highlight those reasons below.
There are three main benefits to a personal brand landing page.
- Get online quickly
Depending upon your diligence, you can have a personal brand landing page up in less than 1/2 hour, with little to no technical skills required.
- Community Interaction
On the About.me platform, in addition to having a place to point people online there is also a community aspect to consider. For example, you can interact with others on the platform by giving out compliments, liking their pages, etc.
- Marketing / Sales Pages
Since these platforms are built using a single page, it’s easy to think of them as a sales or marketing page. As a sales page, they exist on the web for you to highlight your skills and expertise. As a marketing page, you can use them as a billboard to drive traffic to a specific location.
Like a billboard, these pages are mostly static. They just exist on the web and require little maintenance. If you don’t capture interest with your page, just like a billboard, people will drive right on by.
You see, without a blog or some other component to draw you or others back, you’ll struggle to maintain interest or worse forget you set one up.
Even with this remote possibility, I believe the single biggest challenge these types of websites face is that you, as the creator, don’t really own them. If the founders decide to close up shop, your site is done. Your content will be gone just like what happened to eOLIO and branded.me.
It’s like building a house on rented property. If the landlord decides to sell the property or not to renew your lease, your house is gone and there’s nothing you can do about it.
These sites are great as a short-term strategy. Use them just like a billboard.
Their purpose is to capture the attention of people as they drive by. They provide just enough information about you to generate interest and hopefully drive traffic somewhere else such as to your LinkedIn page.
In my case, I use my personal brand landing pages to create interest and drive traffic for my podcast.
PERSONAL BRAND WEBSITES
A personal brand website is:
“A website that can be highly customized, allows for the creation of multiple pages and includes a blogging component”.
If you’re going to be online and you want to be found, you need to have a blog. Blogging allows for multiple benefits that you cannot get from the personal brand landing pages.
Here are three benefits to owning a personal brand website.
- Establish Thought Leadership / Authority
The biggest benefit of a personal brand website is the ability to express and grow your thought leadership on a topic or issue.
If you post enough insightful content, people will find your blog, comment on your blog, and share your content with others. Over time, it is highly possible for you to become known as an authority on a specific topic or area of interest.
- Intellectual Property
Unlike personal brand landing pages, when you have a personal brand website, you OWN the content. You own the online real estate. What you post online is your intellectual property.
As long as pay your annual hosting fee (think property tax) to a reputable company like Bluehost, you won’t have to worry about your landlord selling the land under the house.
This is not usually something people think about when they first start out online but it is one of the potential benefits of having a personal brand website. There are numerous ways in which monetization can be achieved on your website.
I’m not going to cover any of them with this post but for now, know that it is possible to monetize your personal brand website which is not something you can do with a personal brand landing page.
These sites can be a little technical and usually take longer to get up and running. However, it is possible to go from zero to your first post in less than five minutes as you can see from this video HERE.
Choices, choices, choices. Every personal brand website is built on what is a called a content management system and there are a lot of them out there. Here’s a sampling of the potential options:
WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Tumbler, Weebly, web.com, Go Daddy, etc.
The list goes on. The good thing is that all of these platforms are getting more and more user-friendly with every update.
Finally, all of these website builders come with a learning curve. In some cases, the curve can be like a hockey stick, for other platforms, like WordPress, it’s much more gradual.
Personal brand website sites are great for your long-term strategy. Much more than a billboard, these sites are where you express your opinion, develop your authority and thought leadership.
You control the content and by default control what others find when they search for you online.
While the technical concern is very real, there are numerous resources available on online to help you get started and smooth out the learning curve.
I created the CareerBranding.Academy for just this purpose.
My preference and what I recommend to all of my clients is to start a personal brand website. Owning your own real estate online is becoming more and more important.
Why? Before they closed up shop, in a survey of over 15K people co-conducted by branded.me and the .me registry, it found 63% believe a website is more important than a resume. Having a website shows your ability to learn something new and provides you with a method to demonstrate your skills and expertise in a very real way, not in a bullet point kind of way.
The survey also found that 85% of those surveyed believe that a personal website will become more important in the next 5 years.
My personal belief is that if you don’t have a website in the next 5 years, you will be left behind. In a recruiter’s mind, you won’t exist because you simply won't be found.
The reality is that both of these types of platforms serve a purpose. But when used in a very strategic manner such as in combination like a hub and spoke system, they can pack a very powerful personal SEO punch.
Bottom line. Whichever direction you decide to go, make your decision and Just Start.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts? Personal brand landing pages or personal brand websites? Tweet my your answer @RyanRhoten