Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Google Plus. Pinterest. There are countless websites that a professional can use to share his or her credentials, network with others and share a bit of personality, too. However, there is one site that’s often overlooked: a site of your very own. Below are five of the many benefits that come with carving out your own corner of the Internet.
You: A Lesson Learned Quickly
Let’s say someone hears about you and your professional expertise, whatever it may be, through word of mouth. What’s the easiest way for this person to learn more about you? Is it to call and play phone tag, potentially wasting time if he or she finds out that your services aren’t necessarily what’s needed? Or is it to pull up your personalized website where all of your credentials, portfolio pieces and contact information are in one place? Research shows that people prefer to find information online; 63 percent of people surveyed by Webvisible/Nielsen in 2009 said that they turn to the Internet as their first source when searching for a local product or service. A potential business connection will appreciate the ability to learn about you on their terms, and this can only help your prospects of netting a new client.
Virtual Presence Equals Real-Life Credibility
A personalized website is more than a one-stop shop for information. By creating a website for yourself, you are making your services and your expertise seem more credible and established. This is especially true for creative people who want to show potential clients some of the writing, photography or graphic design that they have completed in the past. An online collection of your work will only corroborate the bullet points on your resume.
Connect With Others Quickly
A tweet unanswered. A Facebook message unseen. A LinkedIn message unnoticed. It’s easy to miss social-media correspondence from those with whom you are not officially connected. A personal website can help you avoid this problem, as potential clients will find the best way to reach you right on your site, whether you share your personal e-mail address that you check regularly, post your phone number or create a contact form that notifies you when it’s filled out by a site visitor.
Clock Out Sooner
The Internet is all about speed—people want to take in as much information as they can, as quickly as they can. As mentioned above, a personal website can help save your client’s time because they can learn about your expertise with the click of a button. What’s not mentioned is that your website will save you time, too, because it fields many of the initial questions that someone might have about your offerings. Rather than respond to phone calls or e-mails, your website can say exactly what you have to offer. You won’t have to say a thing.
Invest in Yourself
Some people may shy away from creating their own page because they fear the cost of website design. The good news is that, especially considering the plethora of benefits that a personal site will bestow upon you and your business, it’s worth the price tag. It helps you save on the cost of paper products and other supplies you’d need to keep clients up to date in other, more traditional ways. It’s also, of course, a constant piece of positive media that’s available for potential clients to peruse, rather than a quick television ad or ephemeral print ad in the local paper. There’s no denying that it can be a bit pricey, but, considering the above benefits, it’s certainly worth the investment.
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