Do I Need a Personal Brand Website?

December 28, 2023

beth laguardia cmo headshot

Written by
Beth LaGuardia

owned media laptop screen with website

Creating a personal brand website is a foundational building block needed to establish Authority. In this post, we will explore the benefits of creating a personal brand website, including what elements should be included to build trust and credibility. We will also consider the rationale and best practices around owning both a personal brand website and a company website.

The Benefits of a Personal Brand Website

As an Authority, you are positioning yourself as a teacher with something to teach as opposed to an operator with something to sell. You need a central hub, a platform you own, where you can bring your audiences to build your teaching relationship with them. This needs to be a place where you have control of the experience and is free of any sales-feeling approach.

Own the Connection with Your Growing Audience

Initially, it makes sense to meet and attract audiences on rented media, for example on social platforms like LinkedIn, because that is where people gather. But in order to “own” your growing audience, a goal will be to drive them to your owned media platforms, such as your website.

Here, you can invite them to engage with and join your community. The benefit of hosting your own information hub is that you can control the audience experience and you now own the relationship directly.

Grow Trust and Credibility

This is, above all, the place to quickly and decisively establish your brand and create credibility and trust with your audience. The first stop is to purchase a domain, preferably in your name. If the name you want to be known by is taken and if your name is common, you may need to get creative. Often the addition of a middle initial or name can help you carve out a distinct brand for yourself that avoids audience confusion.

Imagine that you have a meeting with a potential client or partner who you have never met. Most people Google their name and many also look at their LinkedIn profile to clues about trust and credibility. You want to stand out with a site that tells people exactly what you are about and presents you to new audiences in the best possible manner.

If you do not have a brand strategy documented as of yet, you will want to do this before moving forward with your website or you’ll likely need to spend more time and money on revisions because you’ll be figuring this all out with your web design team.

Visuals and Authority

You will likely also want to drive media and event organizers to this site, where you’ll be able to share images and assets that build trust and credibility for you as a speaker and Authority. Unlike your corporate site that has to do the main heavy lifting to reach people in the market to buy your solutions, your personal brand website can dive more completely into you as the brand.

Pictures (and video content) are worth a thousand words. If you’re looking to attract event organizers, then be sure to intentionally place Images of you on a keynote stage holding the attention of your audience. Add a speaker’s reel with video content if you can, or create a kit that showcases the topics you speak on and invites interested parties to book you for a speaking engagement.

If you seek earned media placements to spread your message and earn credibility, place the icons of highlighted media where you have been placed, sample clips or quotes, and a media kit with topics you can be called as a resource to offer perspective on.

Showcase Your Expertise

Creating a teaching-based site, or a knowledge hub, means you want to prominently share your “why” and core content that showcases your expertise and key messages. You may want to include a blog and contain other branded programming content here.

You definitely want to highlight calls to action for your audience, particularly those aimed at learning opportunities – such as courses, webinars, workshops, events, and podcasts. If you have one (or more), this is also a place to highlight your current or upcoming books with links for purchase.

It should be said, where possible, you want to keep people on your domain. Some Authorities offer interactive assessments to provide free value to visitors on a topic. This, of course, also allows you to gain information about them to personalize follow ups as appropriate.

This will also be a place to highlight brand associations through partners and clients who have had a positive experience with you. Whether that is in the form of testimonials, case studies, and interview series, or other creative formats, is for you to decide.

Personal brand websites vary based on subjective views for the desired design experience as well as the goals of the Authority and their brand identity.

Here are a few examples of strong websites for Advantage Media and Forbes Books Authorities:

Personal Brand Website vs. Company Website

A common concern is whether both a personal brand website and a corporate website are needed, and if so, how to connect them to ensure they are additive to one’s goals? Most of the time although not always, our recommendation will be to leverage both.

The personal brand website provides another gateway ultimately to your corporate site, and it allows you to have a platform that is focused on teaching not selling. You can elegantly connect to the corporate site within your personal site and vice versa from your corporate site to your personal brand website.

Each serves a distinct purpose and, frankly, gives you more “real estate” in search. Each site will have a distinct focus for search engine optimization and probably a good bit of overlap. Frankly, I would prefer to see my site next to another one of my sites, than offer more space to a competitor any day.

Still, if you have questions about this, talk to your strategy team. They will help guide you on the best approach for your individual situation.

Final Considerations for Your Personal Brand Website

If you’re starting with a brand strategy in place, you should allow about 12 weeks for site strategy, design, and development – and then you will be off and running!

Your development team should set you up with clear success metrics and analytics reporting, and you can expect to update the site weekly if not daily with fresh content, then refresh the site when strategies evolve or at least annually in some manner to keep the experience fresh and modern.

Finally, don’t neglect search engine optimization goals for your content and technical build and make sure the site is optimized for mobile experience. Seek advice from audiences you trust who match your ideal audience profile. Sometimes we cannot see things from others’ eyes, and they matter most. Have a communication plan for launching the site to garner maximum attention and engagement right away.

Enjoy the journey!

beth laguardia cmo headshot

Beth LaGuardia

Chief Marketing Officer

Beth LaGuardia Cooper provides leadership direction grounded in a nurturing culture that strikes a balance of performance, efficiency, and innovation. Key tenets of her marketing ...

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