If you’ve already grabbed a domain name and set up an email account for it, your next step is to go create a simple personal branding page. This can be done in many ways, but how about we just cover the best ways?
If you’ve never heard the term before, a personal branding page is a one-page website that gives people a snapshot of who you are, what you do, and what you’re about. It may also be referred to as a personal landing page. For this purposes of this post, we’ll refer to it as a personal branding page. Think of it as a digital business card of sorts– only way better! Simply put, a personal branding page is a web page that showcases your personal brand.
This is part of the Becoming A Social Media Rockstar Series. Be sure to catch the rest of the posts here.
Elements of a personal branding page
Simplicity is key. This is not the place to tell your life story. Leave that for your auto-biography. A personal branding page should efficiently, clearly, and succinctly communicate the essential pieces of what you want people to know about you.
Your real name should be the most prominent piece of text on the page. Not your obscure username, not your Twitter handle, and not the Jedi name you gave to yourself using an iPhone app because you thought it was cool. This is your personal branding page, not a new way to MySpace.
A picture of you should be prominent somewhere one the page. Whether it’s the background image or a photo accompanying your name– as long as people can make the connection that this is you. People relate to faces, not text. So grab a smart phone, snap a picture, Instagram it for some flavor, and stick it up there. And again, it’s not MySpace so please don’t do the whole “I’m holding the camera above my head and looking away because it makes me look mysterious,” nonsense. That’s so two-thousand and late! (If you don’t get the Fergy reference, just ignore that last sentence.)
A brief paragraph (or three) should give people everything they need to know about you as a person and as a professional. Take some time to craft this paragraph, but don’t spend 7 hours sweating over using an exorbitant amount of illustrious words. Make it light, to the point, and not too serious.
Free solutions for a personal branding page
There are a couple great web services out there that can make setting up a personal branding page a cinche. Namely, about.me and flavors.me. Both of those sites primary function is to allow you to set up a personal branding page with the very bare-bone basics. On top of that, they’re both free! They do have premium level features that you can upgrade to, but if you’re just starting out, free works just fine.
Personally I prefer about.me. It’s easier to use, has a more robust feature set, and is more socially connectable. The free version is very versatile and attractive. Flavors.me doesn’t quite have the creative friendliness that I was looking for, but can still serve as a viable option.
Another idea that John Saddington has discussed is using a social media profile as your branding page. Google+ in particular allows for an exceptionally well designed and versatile social profile. If you want more of a social media professional branding page, this would definitely be the way to go. If this seems like a good option to you, you may want to read “12 Steps To Making Your Google+ Profile Awesome”.
The following suggestions will require you to already have web-hosting– that’s the “not-so-free” bit. If you already have a hosting provider and know enough about web design to set up a site, then you may want to go with a custom built branding page. It allows for more control, higher customization, and is just plain cooler if you can swing it.
John Saddington has given away a few of the branding pages he’s built over the years. You can check out the first three here. He also has a lot of good things to say about personal branding pages. You should listen to his advice.
I actually use Genesis Theme as for my self-hosted personal branding page. I’ve created a child theme specifically for this purpose. You can see what it looks like here.
Definitely not free options
You could also search places like ThemeForest.net for premium themes to use. Just go there and type “landing page” into the search bar and you’ll get dozens of customizable templates to choose from. Be careful though to get something that is easy to use and not too complicated.
Remember, simplicity is key! Even better yet, save yourself some time and potential headache and just hire an awesome web designer like me to build a personal branding page for you! This option, however, not so cheap, but could definitely be worth it if you’re looking to profit from your online presence.
So how about it? Do you have a personal branding page? If so, show it off in the comments below!