Sabrina Clark is a proud Marist College alum with degrees specializing in public relations, business administration and Spanish. While at Marist, she co-founded the Marist Student Entrepreneur Network to support students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Upon graduation, she accepted a marketing position with a tech startup focused on the home improvement industry where she managed integrated marketing, sales and strategic partnership initiatives. She is excited to now be a part of the BrandYourself team and help sculpt the future of the online reputation management industry.

 

 

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs A Personal Website

 

Being an entrepreneur is tough and time consuming. When you first start out, all the responsibilities of your business fall on you. R&D, marketing, business development, partnerships, human resources, accounting – pick a thing, you’ve probably done it at some point when it comes to growing your business. All of these immediate needs make it easy to prioritize your growing company over everything else. But by getting tunnel vision and focusing only on your company’s website at the expense of your own, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

 

As an entrepreneur, you obviously know you need to provide the best product or service possible. However, creating an incredible customer experience and figuring out how to grow your business likely dominate a lot of your time and energy as well. You know you need to gain exposure to potential customers, but also cultivate relationships with existing ones. This is where having a personal website as an entrepreneur or owner of a small business comes into play.

 

If you’re a huge company like Pepsi, your brand recognition does a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to growing the business and connecting with your customers. There are also a considerable amount of resources you can put behind your efforts.

 

When you’re just one person starting out, you need every advantage you can get to connect with consumers and expand your company. Trust is essential if you want to develop long-term customer relationships.

 

If you’re trying to grow your business as an entrepreneur, a great personal website can help you reach your goals in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

 

It creates another way for potential customers to find you

 

By investing time in creating a personal website, you develop one more way for clients to find you and your business. Your personal website can passively and proactively direct leads to your company’s website, which is always a good thing.

 

While your website should be focused on you and your story as an individual, think of it as a tool to get people interested in your business venture. Even if your company isn’t featured prominently on your personal website, make it available if they’re interested. From featuring your company’s social handles, to including links back to company pages within your own blog posts, make it easy for visitors to get from your site to your company’s.

 

It humanizes your business

 

The numbers say it all, customers have to trust a business in order to engage with them and remain loyal over time. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that humanizing a business by showing the actual faces behind the company can go a long way in encouraging that trust.

Your website should be an authentic expression of who you are. And if you succeed in that, there’s no doubt that this alone will win and keep customers for your business. It can also be a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from competitors. So be true to yourself, make your mission clear, and customers will naturally look at your business as an extension of you.

 

It makes gaining press and partnerships easier

 

Once your business starts to grow, you can expect that more eyes will be on both it and you.

As people start to look you up online, what they find can have serious impacts on you and your company.

 

Think about how you feel when you look someone up online and find that they have a great personal website and strong personal brand. “Reassured” is a pretty common reaction. A clean, well-designed and informative personal website makes potential partners much more likely to do business with you because this reinforces their perception of you. A successful partnership is all about trust, so get things started on a good note.

 

Your solid online presence will also make you a more legitimate choice to be featured in a publication, which can be a huge source of growth for any small business. It helps show that you know your stuff, and that you’re approachable and engaged in your industry. Take the first step by creating a great personal website that you can be proud of.

 

It’s time to get started!

 

While these certainly aren’t the only reasons to get started working on your personal website, they are some of the most compelling that can make your life as an entrepreneur a whole lot easier. As you can see, your personal website is an extremely high-leverage way to help existing and potential customers connect with you. As an entrepreneur actively trying to grow a brand or business, this is crucial.

 

By creating your personal website you can cultivate a sense of trust in your customers and partners just by being yourself! So get started building your personal website today to help your business grow tomorrow.

 

Sabrina Clark is a proud Marist College alum with degrees specializing in public relations, business administration and Spanish. While at Marist, she co-founded the Marist Student Entrepreneur Network to support students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Upon graduation, she accepted a marketing position with a tech startup focused on the home improvement industry where she managed integrated marketing, sales and strategic partnership initiatives. She is excited to now be a part of the BrandYourself team and help sculpt the future of the online reputation management industry.

 

 

 

Should Freelancers Focus on Business Branding or Personal Branding?

Should Freelancers Focus on Business Branding or Personal Branding?

When doing business as yourself, it can be hard to know where lines need to be drawn between your personal life and your business.

For most, it can be impossible. Part of how you built your notoriety up to begin with probably started with word of mouth and personal recommendations. As you grow and choose to expand, do you continue to keep pace with putting your personal self out on the social media line or do you make a plan to transition to the collective and camouflaging “we” of doing business.

The short answer is that it just depends. Let’s look at a few guiding factors.

Personality and Uniqueness

Dr. Seuss said, “There is no one youer than you.”

In the freelancing world, your personality, voice, and uniqueness are the things that will make you stand out. A lot of people like to do your type of business with a familiar face.

They want to know the person taking their family photos or designing a logo. They want the the warmth of a personal relationship and the personal recommendation from a friend. So in this case, building on your personality is a dynamite plan of action for freelancers. A great way of using personalised branding is using something like US Imprints Koozies. They’re basically personalised drinks holders, but you can personalise them with your company logo or slogan. They’re eye catching and I can almost guarantee no one with a similar business to you is using them as a form of marketing. Make them personal and unique, and everyone will want to know who you and your business are. When you have a business, you’ll want to make sure that you can build and grow it. There are many ways that this can be done, not just through personalised drink holders. For example, there are marketing companies out there that can help you with this, so if this is something of interest to you then you could check out The Top Class Agency here to help you with this form of marketing.

As a business owner, you are also permitted to push the envelope when it comes to your digital presence. You get to interact with people online as a living, breathing person, and not the collective “we” of a larger business.

What Does Your Client Prefer

When beginning a business plan, it’s always advisable to take a really long look at your target audience. Who does your target audience prefer to do business with?

Are they formal? Would they prefer the careful marketing of a well-oiled business? Do they prefer working directly with a person and hearing a familiar voice on the phone every time they call? While this may not be your sole marker for making the decision on how to brand, analyzing your clientele effectively will never steer you wrong.

As you further get to know those you are working for, you can fine tune your branding approach and grow your social platforms to cast a wider net.

Selling Yourself (Short)

Another factor when deciding how to brand is whether or not you can sell yourself and your services appropriately.

Can you strike deals that are worth your time and effort without apologizing or flinching? The answer to this question will determine whether you should keep it personal or go the business route.

You don’t want to make the mistake of building up your likability only to let that be a disadvantage when it comes to closing a deal.

If you feel like your business will be more lucrative with a business brand, then think through the sacrifices you are making by moving it in that direction.

What Does the Future Hold?

Will you always be a one-man show? If yes, then a personal brand is your yellow brick road. If you intend to grow and build a thriving business then it’s probably best to head out the gate with that type of branding.

It would be difficult to become a household name and go through the painful and uncertain process of rebranding once your endeavor exceeds your solitary abilities. You can still start out with a unique approach and use word-of-mouth to drum up business.

Those initial successes will be residuals from your personal branding up to this point, but have a strategy for reaching clients while maintaining a warm persona.

Freelancing businesses are often one person’s pursuit that involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. The decisions surrounding branding are critical as you begin to get clients and want to expand your reach.

Deciding whether to keep with a personal branding style or break out into a business model depends a lot on what your goal is. Either way, you have to take a look at what your online reputation is doing for you right now.

Analyzing your target clientele and who they prefer to do business with is a great first step. Then you can dream about your goals. Do you want to run your photography business as a one man show where clients always do business directly with you? Or would you rather grow the reach and employee base of your company by hiring and turning it into more of a small business?

Ultimately, understanding your clients and what kind of business you want to represent are the most important questions to answer when deciding how you should market your freelance business.


Sabrina ClarkSabrina Clark is a proud Marist College alum with degrees specializing in public relations, business administration and Spanish. While at Marist, she co-founded the Marist Student Entrepreneur Network to support students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Upon graduation, she accepted a marketing position with a tech startup focused on the home improvement industry where she managed integrated marketing, sales and strategic partnership initiatives. She is excited to now be a part of the BrandYourself team and help sculpt the future of the online reputation management industry.