By Christina M. Nguyen
In our last blog, we discussed an important building block in finding your dream job – developing your personal brand. One way to develop that brand is to build your own website, which we at Find My Marketer recommend that every marketer do – or at least try their hand at it. Here are five reasons why it makes sense:
If you have the time to take this on, this could be an interesting, enriching project with a lasting payoff. Most hosting providers make it easy to secure a domain for relatively cheap and then help you step-by-step in terms of building out your site using a CMS such as Wordpress, which is technically free. Wordpress has several “themes” (templates) you can customize to your needs without needing to know any coding. If you want more advanced themes, most of the good ones are less than $70 for a year. Wordpress also offers free plugins for everything from SEO to analytics to form/lead capture. (To get started, we recommend a simple hosting provider such as Bluehost, which provides easy access to Wordpress to publish your website.)
Most personal websites today can be published by a layperson, without needing any coding knowledge. That said, personal websites still involve understanding a lot of technology – everything from secure socket layers (SSLs) to meta data to SEO best practices. And whether you’re coding it entirely yourself or just pitching in the content from a Wordpress template, having evidence out there that you can master the publishing and optimize your site is a great indicator of technological skill.
Familiarity with content management systems such as Wordpress also helps as many smaller and midsize companies use Wordpress as their CMS.
While your LinkedIn bio and your resume can offer others some insight into what you believe, there’s no better place to highlight your point of view than on your website. Most content management platforms such as Wordpress have out-of-the-box functionality for blogs, embedding videos and many even have templates for photo galleries, where you can further showcase your style. What you have to say is a different matter, but remember developing content about the way you see the world is part of your personal narrative and developing a brand that is recognized in the marketplace.
Even if your main goal is a job at another organization, building your own website is an affordable way to build the foundation to start your own side hustle, whether it’s doing contract work on nights and weekends, or generally offer your services in the marketplace while you’re looking. Because it showcases your ability to write website copy and present information, it’s a great way to demonstrate your skills and potentially win contracts. You also might find that your side hustle eventually becomes the way you want to work as well.
From a SEO standpoint alone, a good website requires attention to small details. And if you think about everything from image selection to the error-free text to creating a favicon on the site, those little details matter in terms of presentation. A good website will highlight your attention to those details and knowledge of best practices, which will impress any potential employer.
Many marketers hesitate to create their own websites. Some aren’t confident in their abilities to develop their own, and despite years of working in marketing, still feel like websites are akin to foreign languages. Others might hesitate to put their “brand” out in the market feeling they have not much to say or add. But whatever your hesitation, we at Find My Marketer want to push you take the leap. For one, it’s a great learning experience and even if you don’t plan on working on a website at a new employer, it’s worth understanding the building blocks of website design and development. Second, it’s an inexpensive way to stand out among the hundreds or thousands of potential other applicants who you might be up against in the job pool. And, as stated above, the benefits will far outweigh any costs on your end.
You never know which company needs your talents the most, but it could be right here at Find My Marketer. Create an account and get access to apply to thousands of jobs today!