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8 Steps to Ensure Success With Your New Website

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8 Steps to Ensure Success With Your New Website

The most important part of any new website is that it accomplishes its goal, and there are certain things anyone can do to make that happen. Simply follow these 8 steps to ensure success with your new website!

1. Craft a mission statement.

Think of your website’s mission statement as the backstory to a fictional character. Even though you might not explicitly tell readers the character’s backstory, it guides and influences everything that character does.

Your mission statement will guide and influence every decision you make with your new website. You don’t necessarily need to share your mission statement with viewers – though you certainly can – but you need to know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Without a mission statement, every decision you make for your new website becomes scattered. Viewers will pick up on that, and might not stick around because of it.

As an example, Lifehack’s public mission statement is:

“Lifehack is your source for tips to help improve all aspects of your life… This site is dedicated to lifehacks, which is a phrase that describes any advice, resource, tip or trick that will help you get things done more efficiently and effectively.”

This is their guiding clause. Everything the company does and everything an editor publishes is done in response to this statement. A mission statement helps everyone involved fulfill a common goal, and is necessary to success with your new website.

2. Research your competitors’ choices.

This will come into play a lot when designing your new website. Take a look at a handful of other websites that are generally doing the same thing(s) as you.

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What are they doing that you like, or that you dislike? What can you learn from them, or do better?

If you don’t know your industry well, you need to do some research there. But you definitely need to learn from others in your same space.

Most brands do what they do because they’ve learned it’s a good way to do things. I promise you they each made plenty of mistakes along the way.

Doing this research – seeing what you can copy and what you can improve upon – will give your new website a jumpstart. It will keep you from making some of the same mistakes others have, and it will help you better understand how your new website can be successful.

3. Choose the right website builder.

There are plenty of places that help you build websites, but they’re not all meant for the same thing. Some builders specify in e-commerce, some in blogging, and some in photography and design, among others.

The most popular website builders seem to be WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. They each work wonderfully for millions of people, but one of them might or might not be right for your specific needs.

If you don’t have much website building experience, it will be good for you to look at who the best website builders are for your situation. Whatever your goal is, having the right framework to build upon is critical to ensuring success with your new website.

4. Pick an easy domain name.

When choosing a domain name (your website URL), practicality will almost always beats creativity. If you can meld the two, you’re doing great, but it’s a risky attempt.

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The reason being practical is better than being creative is search engine optimization (SEO). When someone searches Google to find an answer or a product, Google’s goal is to provide that person with the most relevant results.

If someone searches for, say, “running shoes,” a website like NewRunningShoes.com stands a better chance of being found than a website like SpeedyKicks.com. The first is naturally more relevant.

Can you win with creativity? Sure. But it usually takes more work and more money than if you’re practical. Keep in mind, your domain name is essentially your brand. It’s okay to spend a lot of time coming up with a good name. In fact, that would probably be best.

There are always exceptions to this “rule,” but you should generally make it easier for people to find you. Be simple, be relevant, and you’ll stand a much better chance of finding success with your new website.

5. Create your logo.

In truth, creating a logo is one of the more important steps to success with your new website. Name one reputable brand that doesn’t have a logo…

Creating a logo gives you a certain level of clout and legitimacy that’s needed to succeed. If you’re not sure what your logo should be, try answering these questions:

  • What have others in your space done? You don’t have to copy what others are doing, but you can use their decisions to help you make your own.
  • What do you want people to think when they see your logo? And how can you design something to create that impression?
  • How easy will your design be to understand, now and down the road? You want to make sure that your logo will always send a clear message.

Now that you have a better idea of what your logo should be, you have two options. You can start your logo yourself, or you can look into having a professional designer create one for you.

6. Make it easy to share and subscribe.

Traffic is the currency of the internet, and you need a lot of it to ensure success with your new website.

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Two things that help immensely are making your website easier for viewers to share with others, and making it easier for viewers to subscribe to your new website.

Social sharing buttons, email subscribe forms, and prompts or call-to-actions around nearly every corner are needed to get your website more traffic. Fortunately, there are a handful of tools you can use to do this well.

SumoMe and GetSiteControl are both popular choices that come with a suite of widgets like social sharing buttons, subscribe form pop-outs, and many other customizable features to help you drive traffic to your website.

Pick one, pick both, pick something else entirely, but you need as much help as you can get because you need as much traffic as you can get.

7. Update your website regularly.

You should be adding new items, posts, and updates to your website as often as you can without sacrificing quality. That could be anything from one new blog post a week to 100 new items every day! Just do what you can.

Updating and adding content to your new website does several things. It provides something to share with your email subscribers and social media followers, which can bring you more traffic.

In most cases, updating and adding to your website creates new web pages, which creates more opportunities for people to find your website.

Regular updates like these also send signals to Google and other search engines that you’re being active. This generally prompts them to send you more traffic.

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Basically, updating your website regularly should bring you more traffic, which is necessary to ensure success with your new website.

8. Get people talking about you.

You’ve done all the right things to get your website setup, and to get those initial visitors. But in order to grow, you have to get the word out to more people. The best way to spread the word is to get people talking.

Reviews are generally the easiest way to get people talking about you, because, well, you’re directly asking them to. Just prompt your customers to leave you a review on Google+, Facebook, or whichever platform is most applicable.

You can also offer incentives to customers or users who get their friends on board, such as free or discounted products. And then social sharing and email subscribers (covered in point 6) are great for spreading the word, too.

If you haven’t read it yet, the book Contagious by Jonah Berger is a must. He breaks down how and why people share things in a way that’s easy for anyone to understand. Of course, understanding why people do things is an important step to getting them to do the things you need.

Now that you have these steps to ensure success with your new website, the only thing left for you to do is put them into practice! Follow these steps, and one day soon you’ll be recounting the story of how you built a successful website. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Kenneth Burke

Director of Marketing

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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