Business people already know they need a company website, but now it seems you may be missing the boat if you don’t also have a personal site.
Not only can your own site serve as a powerful asset for personal branding, but many entrepreneurs report in a new survey that it also helps them gain new business.
Eighty-four percent of website owners say they receive clear benefits from having a personal site, according to a survey out this week from personal branding platform branded.me and the .ME Registry, which operates all the .me domains. More than half of respondents (who aren’t necessarily business owners) report receiving new customers or clients, 48 percent receive new job opportunities, and 53 percent receive professional recognition.
Many say they also got job offers as a result of their online presence. Hiring managers, for instance, won’t just look at a candidate’s skills but also at their cultural fit for the organization, says Nick Macario, the CEO of Branded.me, a platform that enables people of any skill level to create a website.
“When you are designing and customizing your website, it’s going to fit your personality, and you are going to be able to include some personal interests in there as well,” says Macario. “Ultimately, that will help people decide whether you will be a cultural fit.”
Naturally, the report’s authors would benefit from more people launching their own sites--particularly if they use their services. Still, it’s hard to ignore the reported benefits.
For entrepreneurs in particular, having a personal site can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, as well as attract top-tier talent and investors. Founders can share their startup stories and opinionated blog posts, which can later get picked up by the media. They can also show visual examples of projects and companies they have been a part of, and display milestones and achievements.
While many professionals have a LinkedIn or Facebook profile, those who take the time to create personal sites have better control over their online brand. When a recruiter, potential investor or future employee searches for you on Google, they get to see the information you want them to see.
“This study proves the value of personal websites and the benefits associated,” says Macario. “A website is one the most powerful means of personal branding, yet only 4 percent of people currently have one.”