Most business owners think of a website as a way to promote their company to the outside world. That’s certainly true but a website can promote more than just a business. More people are using their website to promote themselves and it has been very useful. A recent study has shown the value of personal websites for business owners and employees alike. This article will discuss how a personal website can improve the way people view business owners.
For many years, the best way for a person to promote themselves was with a business card. It let people know what a professional did and the best way to contact them. Websites have been around for a while, but more people have been using personal domains (i.e. www.yourname.com). Branded.me recently did a study that found consumers and employers find personal websites very useful.
The report noted that for job seekers and those seeking business opportunities, personal websites are great way to build one’s personal brand. According to the study, about 84 percent of people reported they had ‘received benefits’ from a personal website. A little over 70 percent of the respondent says their personal websites are either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for finding new opportunities. And seven out of 10 (70%) said they believed potential employers are seeking out information about workers online before interviewing job candidates.
Though personal websites are useful, they are horribly underused by business professionals. According to Branded.me, less than one in 20 people have a personal website. With the easy-to-use content management systems like WordPress, every business professional should have a website or blog to promote their services.
“This study proves the value of personal websites and the benefits associated,” the researchers wrote in a press release. “A website is one the most powerful means of personal branding yet only 4% of people currently have one. We created branded.me to empower individuals of all generations and skill levels to take control of their personal brand and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with .ME to bring the first research of its kind to market around personal websites.”
Another interesting finding is that more that three out of five (63%) professionals believe personal websites are more valuable than personal resumes. The researchers also noted how professionals are using their personal sites. More than half (53%) say personal websites are the ‘most important’ part of their online brand.
A personal website is also a good way to start blogging. About two-thirds (65%) host a blog within their website and a nearly equal amount (62%) are using these blogs to grow their career.
There also a lot of evidence that personal sites would become more useful in the future. The Branded.me researchers found 85 percent of professionals say personal websites will be ‘more important’ over the next 5 years. And though it there are a lot of reasons business owners may have another company handle the upkeep and content creation, many people with simple WordPress sites for their personal domains handle their sites on their own. Of those surveyed by Branded.me, 75 percent are using WordPress to build/maintain their personal sites on their own. The quality is certainly better when professionals do it, but business owners shouldn’t fear that they would be unable to make changes on their own.
This research shows that business professionals should use a personal site to improve their personal brand. For a specific example, read this article on why every lawyer should have a blog.