Build a Powerful Personal Branding Website - Futureproof Your Career and Business | Laurie Wang | Skillshare

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Build a Powerful Personal Branding Website - Futureproof Your Career and Business

teacher avatar Laurie Wang, Digital Marketer and Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction and Welcome!


    • 2.

      Class Project Create Your Own Website


    • 3.

      Your First Impression Matters Online


    • 4.

      Make it Easy to Get In Touch With You


    • 5.

      Help Your Content Get Discovered Online


    • 6.

      Sell Your Products and Services


    • 7.

      Own Your Audience. Not On Social Media


    • 8.

      What You Need Create Your Website and Make it Live on the Internet


    • 9.

      Claim and Purchase Your Domain Name


    • 10.

      Website Builders and Hosting Choices - Which One is Best for You?


    • 11.

      The "About Me" Page


    • 12.

      The Blog/Content Page


    • 13.

      Newsletter Sign Up Page


    • 14.

      Product and Services Page


    • 15.

      Connect with Your Social Media Accounts


    • 16.

      Next Steps and Thank You!


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About This Class

Are you looking to create a website for your personal brand and business? But don't know where to start?

This course will give you the why, what, and how of creating a website from scratch for your business and personal brand, this year and beyond. The pitfalls of overcomplicating building a website, what you should include on your website, how to set up a domain, hosting, and get it all connected together. This is your getting started guide on how to build a website for your personal brand.

I look forward to seeing what you can create!

Website Builders Tutorials on Connecting Your Own Domain to Your New Website:


Bluehost (Wordpress)



Domain Name Registrar


Hosting Companies I Recommend



Meet Your Teacher

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Laurie Wang

Digital Marketer and Creator


Hi, my name is Laurie Wang. I'm a digital marketing consultant, trainer, YouTube content creator, Skillshare instructor, and public speaker living in London, United Kingdom. As you can tell I wear many hats!

Through my digital marketing & social media training company & Instagram, I help to inspire more experiences in people's lives from new perspectives, opening their eyes to the wonder and vastness of what is possible. My work has appeared in Elite Daily, Metro London, Fast Company, and Women 2.0.

I also set up my digital marketing consultancy training and helping small businesses grow online after a successful career at Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest digital advertising agency in the world. Previously, I have worked with b... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction and Welcome!: Imagine this before you ever had that first meeting with someone, let's say for an interview or for a client pitch, or perhaps just to have a coffee meeting. I guarantee you the other person have already Gucci on the Internet, google stalking method to call it. But how are you represented online? Or you actually the first result that show up underneath her name. Now this is the reason why having a personal brand website and so important in this year and beyond. Because ultimately you can control the narratives and what's told about your story and also how you won't be represented to everyone else online before they even had a chance to meet you in person. In this course, I'm going to break down the various ways that you can use your website to build a powerful personal brand for yourself online. And also the different pages that you need to make sure you're telling your story in the right way. And I will also provide suggestions on different website builders and how you can connect everything together, the different moving pieces of having your website live on the internet. I will also share with you all the mistakes that I made along the way every since I made my first ever website back in 2014. Hi there. I'm Lori way. I build my personal brand into a business over the last decade. I want to share some of my best tips and tricks on how you can leverage the same to build your personal brand using your first personal website. Come onto the course, I look forward to helping you along your journey of building your personal brand website. You can create a powerful future-proof career and business cc in the course. 2. Class Project Create Your Own Website: In this class project, I recommend using the multiple page layout dimension in this course, Let's say you are about pages, your contact me page, maybe even a product and services page, if that's what you do currently in your business. Or maybe it's a career page where he talked about your current portfolios. Let's say what you've done for clients so far at this point. But whatever it is, use the multiple page layout to create a page and a website that tells your story and able to tell your narratives online to find out more about different pages I talked about make sure to watch all the lessons in this course. And I look forward to seeing what you can create. 3. Your First Impression Matters Online: Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to actually create the website in the first place. I wanted to just talk about a few things. The why having a personal branding website is so powerful, especially this year and beyond. Number one, is that first impression really matters, especially when it comes to virtually online. How do you want to be represented and what's your narrative? Now before you have any first meetings, Let's say interviewee or perhaps a client pitch meeting, or maybe even just a coffee meeting in person. I guarantee that the other side have already Googled you on the Internet. And that's not a bad thing at all because at the end of the day, we all want to be prepared before our very first meeting with someone. Now imagine the first result that come across underneath your name, let's say on Google is actually your website. How powerful is that you're able to control the narrative around your brand on how you want to be represented virtually to someone before they even haven't met you yet. I think that itself is one of the reasons why I created a website back in 2014, even though the first version of my website really wasn't very something that I'm proud about. But the same time, It's a place where I got started and actually learn from it over time. But ultimately, I want to make sure that I control and narratives on how I wanted to be represented as a person and my reputation behind why do, in terms of my freelancing and consulting business as well. Also compared to the old days when you would have, let's say a business card where your handout at potential networking meetings. Now you can make sure that you are represented in the right way on your online business card, which is basically your website. But actually you can go into so much more depth because someone can just find you, let's say by searching your name and then knowing a lot more about you before they even had that first meeting. 4. Make it Easy to Get In Touch With You: Number two is that you only help someone get in touch with you. What I mean by that is imagine a scenario where let's say an old contact of yours or an industry contact or the old client, once a refer your services and products to someone else. Now if they're doing this by word of mouth, What's the easiest way to actually recommend you? Essentially, they'll point to your website. Let's say in this case, just go to Laurie and you find out more about Laurie doesn't washy does, and also how to get in touch with her. So that itself is a really great reason to have a website, to actually have someone to be able to refer you. All of your current referrals can just pass on your existing website, which has all the information and how to get in touch with you, like say, your contact form, your email addresses, and also your multiple social media platforms. She's GB on them as well. And it just makes it really easy. And that way you'll be able to see a lot of more new leads by referral and word of mouth coming through that way as well. But especially if you set your website up the right way, you'll be able to see a lot more leads and inquiries coming through on your website organically anyway, just because other individuals are finding you about your services and products online. And the internet is actually a very powerful thing, is that when you do put out there, you will actually find that there are others. Will find you through different venues, through different keywords in different channels to ultimately come across your brands and also come across to your services and products as well. 5. Help Your Content Get Discovered Online: Number three is that your website actually makes you a better writer, a content creator, and the communicator. Now this is your corner of the Internet where anyone can finds you and help you amplify your messages and your missions and also your passions still, my husband assignment, for example, is a personal development coach and also an author. He actually wrote a blog post about how the phi, people around you in your circle can really create, make, or break your success in life. Now this article actually got picked up by law, different press and also found on Google's top five results underneath those keywords. Now, when that did happen, the article just blew up. What happens on the back of that? Lots of different leads and interesting contacts, news outlets who got in touch with him just because of what he put out there on his blog posts. The moral of the story here is that you never know who's reading a line and you'd be surprised them on the opportunities that will bring you if you're actually using this as an outlet for your creativity, for your passions and for your mission. Now in my scenario, I'm not as strong writer by any means, but I'm working on that one. So we're always a forever students right? Now, what I've done is actually I enjoy making videos like this one, for example. And I can actually embed my videos onto my website and also leveraging the benefit of having my blog being listed as when the search engine results on my website. So there's some SEO search engine optimization benefit on the back of that as well. But in the meantime, I want to mention that even if you're not a writer, it's okay. You can actually use your existing content. Other formats, Let's say a podcast, which is an audio or an a YouTube video, and embed them into your website as a separate blog posts. And using the keywords that you used for your YouTube video, for example. And that way to pick up the additional search traffic that's coming through other search engines as well. 6. Sell Your Products and Services: Now number four is that you can actually leverage your website to grow your personal brand business model and also products behind it. By having a website, you can actually then offer create offers on the back of that for several different levels of access for your audience to have you with them. So obviously you're only one person, and at the end of the day you can only split your time in so many different ways. And having this personal branding model can really help to amplify your messages. At the same time, is that by having a website, you can actually leverage it to sell your products behind your personal brand. I think that's also another really powerful reason of having a one-stop place where everyone can find your free content, your pay content, and everything else that you have to offer. 7. Own Your Audience. Not On Social Media: The number five, the last but not least, is that social media, unfortunately is not forever. But your website is actually, if you're this day, some people actually very happy to just use social media to keep in touch with their audiences and with others. However, in the very unlikely event that let's say social media platforms are down. Let's say Instagram is down, which happens very frequently by the way, is that you want to make sure you have another place online where others can connect with you and then you can continue that method of communication without relying on a social media platform. So think of it this way, is that your website is your asset to stay connected with your audiences online no matter what happens. And I'll get to the email newsletters later. But I wanted to just mention that your website is a great place to attract those audiences who come across your website and then ultimately become a subscriber to your email list, who will then hear more from you on an intimate level in their inboxes going forward. And that's another great way to make sure that you only your audiences, rather than actually having a social media ownership of it, which can mean that it can go any day when it goes down. And that means that you can't access that audience anymore. 8. What You Need Create Your Website and Make it Live on the Internet: Okay, so let me now break down, how do you actually create your website? The house? Number one is that you want to make sure to find a domain name. Ideally, I believe the best way to do this is through your personal name. So in my case is Laurie And luckily I was able to buy this quite a few years ago when it's all columns were still available back then. Now it doesn't mean that you had to go for However, I do believe that if you can not be the best place to start, if not, there's also a dot code which I believe is also very useful, And all of those work really well. The key thing is that you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to find your name and your website. Therefore, there's no hyphens or dashes required. Actually think those would make things harder for someone to find you. And if in doubt, you can always go for your business brands, which can be something that you're working under. So not everyone uses their personal name as their personal brand. If you have a business brand name, you can use that as or dotnet, et cetera as well. Generally, just remember that if someone was to type your domain name inside the URL with that actually make it easy for them to type it out and finds you. Or alternatively just Google your name, for example, or your business brand name. Number two. This is where I really believe you can learn from my mistakes, is that make sure you find a hosting company that's really reliable. I personally have suffered a lot by going for the wrong hosting company in the beginning. And my website was actually down all the time. And that's one of the reasons why when you switch hosting companies, make sure you find the right one for the long-term because when you do switch them as well, It's also another headache and it takes forever to switch. And you have some downtime between the switching, which makes it again, very unaccessible of content for your audiences who might be looking for them. Now if you're going to ask for my choice and my preferences, then I think dream hosts and also bluehost are both really good. And I'll link them all in the comments below. And once you've done that, just make sure to link up your domain name and your hosting company to make sure now your website, it actually is live and actually on the Internet. It's very exciting. Number three is that you want to give you a website, a nice design. I recommend looking for Squarespace, WIX, or WordPress. These are my three top choices. Now if you're new to the building websites space and you're new to the technical side, period, like myself, when I first got started, I recommend start using Squarespace or Wix because they're both drag-and-drop website builders. That makes it really easy to have your website live within the day. Now if you've been more tightly cold, perhaps you know a little bit about coding, let's say HTML or CSS, that I think WordPress, the self hosted WordPress website is really good for that because it just offers you more option for versatility, for customization and personalization. So again, it's depending on how much you're looking for in terms of the customization side. But I found that I've got more tiny coal and more confident in building my own websites, I started using the self-hosted Wordpress words. Also done is I've taken the beginners course in CSS and HTML. I recommend that highly because trust me, if I can do this and I'm definitely not very technical alcohol, you can definitely do this. Css and HTML sounds a little bit complicated for what they are, but really they're just very simple coding languages to help you make your website even more personalized, the way that you want to you as well. 9. Claim and Purchase Your Domain Name: Hi guys. This is a very quick lesson here about domain names. And I recommend if you're going to buy your own to use a website like named I use these guys for a very long time. I think they're fantastic, but their customer service and also their overall dashboard, it's very clean. And especially when we're looking to link up your domain name with your own website builder. It just makes your life so much easier. If you want to check it out. The link is in the description of the course below. And over here, if you want to search for a domain name, whether or not it's available to centrally typing into this box here and search for it. And they will tell you all the different options of the domain name endings, let's And what's currently available and what's not. 10. Website Builders and Hosting Choices - Which One is Best for You?: Hi guys. In this lesson, I want to talk more in depth about the different type of website builders that you can choose from. Back in my day when I first started, I definitely didn't have all these amazing options which I wish I had. Now, however, now is a great time where you have all the tools at your fingertips. It just so mad about choosing one that feels right for you. I'll show you the options and you can make a decision from there. So starting off with here we have the Bluehost option. The reason why I list out Bluehost, but not directly is because is actually a self-hosted option and you need to find a hosting company that can do that for you. I think Bluehost is a fantastic option here for WordPress. The reason for that is they made it so easy for you. From the get-go. On this page, on the right-hand side, you see how they have the option of doing a website builder with WordPress straightaway from the start. You can go ahead and start building by clicking that button there. Lead you to a page where it has different subscriptions that you can choose from for your pricing plan. Now, I personally think just starting off with a two pound 18 per month, which is probably in dollars, depending on where you are, the moments, It'll show those individual countries specific prices. But for something like this very basic plant is enough to get started. As you go on to grow your business, you can always eventually switch to a more pro plant or even the online store. It's done in life. But you can have looked through the different features and what's included to see what's right for you. Let's say currently you're selling online products. That may be the pro option is a much better one for you because it includes things like, for example, accepting online payments and WooCommerce, also unlimited online store products and ten plus pricing and packaging templates as well. Now, to go ahead to the next step, you can just choose your pricing plans. So let's say I go for this basic option here. And what's gonna happen is that Bluehost is now asking you for two options. One is that you can create a new domain by buying it directly from Bluehost and having a host of here and also linked to your WordPress website. Or the other option is to use a domain that you own already. So typing domain name here and Bluehost will then take you step-by-step through the process. I'll setting up your domain with your new WordPress website. Let's say you chose when the options here, they want to show you the next step which essentially choosing a design or theme that as far as you on creating that personal website. So lots of different ways that you can choose from, let's say can go flip flop category or portfolio category, or maybe just look at all the different designs available and see what's right for you. Here I want to show you what the inside of your WordPress will look like when you first log in. Now this will be your dashboard of your WordPress website. And actually on the left-hand side, you can go ahead and start creating pages, for example, on your website, let's say the about me page, or maybe things like the products and services page or contact me page. These are the places where you can create the pages on your website to start showcasing your stories. And also how people can actually get in touch with you not to create new pieces of content, let's say a blog posts. You can go to the post section. Over here. You can start creating your new blog posts right away and get it live on the internet. So overall, I suggest having a play around with this dashboard here to get yourself familiar with how you can manage your WordPress website going forward. And if you ever want to change the layout of your website, you can go to the appearance section and choose a different theme for your website there. But I always recommend back of your website first before you make any changes. In case I, you can't go back to your old version and then you're left with having to fix your new version as well. Now moving onto Squarespace as the next option, I think Squarespace has some fantastic modern designs that you can choose from. As you can see the layout here. For personal website, I think something like the Pizarro, he looks great. Or maybe things like for really simple minimalist one, Bergen looks fantastic here as well. I also like for podcasts or YouTuber, the papilloma looks fantastic here, or Collette looks good here as well. For someone who's, let's say a nutritionist or a personal chef. And again, you can see how they use different layouts and different designs here for different purposes. It doesn't mean that they're all set in terms of what they do, but you can actually tweak them to make it right for you. And I've seen many versions of Squarespace websites in a very creative way of using different templates here, at the end of the day is about being creative with how you want to design your narrative online and choose one that feels right to your aesthetics as well. Now the good thing both Squarespace is that they offer a domain name for free in the first year of Asana to their plan. That means that you can claim a domain names straight within Squarespace. Link it to your website on the design there. However, if you also have existing domain name as well, I'll link to a tutorial how you can follow it step-by-step. Setting your existing domain name with a Squarespace design. All these tutorials you can find within the description of the course. And you can then take a step-by-step process depending on which website builder you're choosing from, and to follow the step-by-step from there to get your domain name setup. Now looking at Wix as the other option, again, width of really updated the overall layout and design of their templates. And I think some of these look fantastic considered for that you can literally click, drag and drop to get them created. Things like landing pages, actually shopping stores, options as well. So here they have a marketing agency, one, for example, here is a creative CV where you can create just as a page on the Internet to showcase all your products, your portfolios, and also how they contact you as well. I wanted to mention goes is another great contender here, goes as a great option because again, it offers them fantastic layouts and designs. And also the other great thing about this is that they're created with the creators in mind. That means that you can link up to things like Patreon and you can also have paid members and your website and knowing exactly what kind of content these pain members resonating with and then creating more relevant content for them as well. Have looked through ghosts and see what you think they're about the different designs. And again, as with all the other ones, I will link for each, every single website builder on how to link up your domain name with that website builders specifically on the step-by-step tutorial in the description of this course. And depending on which website builder you choose from, you can then go with each specific tutorial to get your website life. 11. The "About Me" Page: Okay, so now let's say you have your hosting board, you have your domain ball, you link the two things up, and now you have your website live on the Internet. You'll also have your Wix, Squarespace or WordPress, etc, being installed on this site. And you now have a specific template that's ready to go. What did you know? Well, now I need to think about how do you actually make sure the right content goes on the website. You have the right narrative and representation of your brand when someone first come across it. Number one is, I really believe in having these pages on your website. You're about pages, your e-mail newsletter, sign-up page if you have one, your services and products page, if you have offerings as well. Lastly, but not least is your contact me form. Very important here. Now, all the pages on your website, I believe that the About page or about me page, whichever one you want to call it on your website is probably one of the most important and frequently visited pages in all personal brands websites. The reason for that is because ultimately, personal brands are all about your personal stories. And people believe in reading about the stories behind you to get to know you better. And what better pages to create than the about me page where you can tell all your stories and then very unique way, uh, why you became who he became now and y's are doing what you're doing and your passions and your mission. 12. The Blog/Content Page: Now one thing I also want to mention is that you definitely want to have a block section on your website if you haven't already. I like I mentioned earlier is that it's much better to have regular content going out to your audiences. There are two reasons for this. One for that is you actually now have all the answers we can then counseling to you into what you have to share behind your missions, your products, your services, what you do, et cetera, showcasing your expertise. But the other good thing about this is that you're also letting your website being refreshed and updated all the time, which actually has a little SEO. Search engine optimization is a mouthful. I know, which can help you to actually get more visibility over time on your website as well. And also ranking higher against those other ones in your industry. It may not be actually updating their websites regularly. Like I said earlier, that it could either be a written format and the blog posts. And if you're not a writer, which by the way, I'm not as well. You can actually just embed your content, which is, let's say your podcast or your videos onto that page. And just make sure that you're using the right keywords in your block titles and also the text within the blog as well to describe what you have on the video. I think that itself is really useful because when you have multimedia on your webpages, especially your blog, that will actually help you be picked up even further by search engines. 13. Newsletter Sign Up Page: And the third page I mentioned was the newsletter page. You got. She'd be the website header on your website. So you've go to my website, you see that I have a Laurie sign up area on the very header, top two for someone to actually subscribe, It's my newsletters. And having that is so powerful because over 80% of your website visitors actually don't stay around forever. They might never come back. When you want to do is actually collect them in a specific audience if they want to subscribe to opt-in for more information and useful content, then you can actually send all your regular content via your e-mail list to get a more of an intimate relationship with your audience and ultimately building that loyal fan base. 14. Product and Services Page: And if you're a service provider or perhaps the cell product on e-commerce, definitely recommend having a page where you link up your various products, either as your services or perhaps your offers, your, your packages, or it could be all your e-commerce products behind your brand. So several YouTubers, I do this really well. They actually had merchandise on their personal brand websites where you can actually buy the mugs, the T-shirts, etc, behind their brands. And I think that's a great way to do it. Or if you have an e-commerce brand and ready as a business owner, you can also link up to those as well. 15. Connect with Your Social Media Accounts: Last but not least, of course, because your website is a great place for someone to get in touch with you and connect with you further. Make sure they link up all your other social media platforms as well on the website. So they can actually finds you on other platforms that they're using as well. 16. Next Steps and Thank You!: I hope you found the course helpful in putting your thinking hat on the importance of having a personal brand website in today and beyond. That could be whether you're currently looking to build your career or perhaps grow your freelance business, or maybe you have services and products you want to offer to people. Remember that people love following other people. Your personal stories and your journey will resonate with others online. By sharing your content regularly with others in your space, you'll be able to build a community of people who love your mission and also what you do. And this is how you build new opportunities for yourself. It can be a new job offers. It could be speaking opportunities, or perhaps more product sales, more clients, more partnerships and collaborations. Ultimately, I communist see what you can create. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me via direct messages on Instagram at IM Lori way. Or alternatively, you can always reach out to me by e-mail at Laurie Laurie I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, have a great day and see you in the next course.