At last, I have my own website in my own name!
Sure, I’ve been onLinkedIn & Facebook for years & belatedly joined Twitter just a few months ago. I’ve contributed to others’ sites, setup a private ‘blog’ for sharing with family and even set up a site for one of my businesses. But, I’ve not had one in my own name, for my personal brand. Some may be surprised, considering I’ve lived and breathed tech (IT) since high school in 1979. My excuse is that I’ve been ‘too busy’. Whatever the reason and although I probably should have started long ago, it’s certainly not too late to start now.
So why and why now?
Back in February, I escaped the din of working (with clients) in the City of London to learn, reflect and pursue various personal and business projects – not least to acquaint myself with my new youngest daughter and to oversee an extension to the house.
One of the very many things I learned over those 9 months is the absolute importance of getting one’s name and what it stands for, out there; out there on to web, into the Blogosphere and across the social media. It’s not for everybody of course but if you’re a free agent, running a small business or even if you’re an employee then you’re increasingly going to have to promote your own brand to stand out from the crowd and succeed at what you do.
Your site defines your brand, whilst the social networks are great for promoting it
While joining and engaging in relevant social networks is important, there is no substitute for owning and running your own home base, your HQ. It allows you to define your personal brand in your own way and to your own rules. Bring it to life with a blog. Add jumping off points to your profiles on social networks, and of course to your business sites. Integrate your social networks further by looping back from each of them to your home base.
Your own site is the single most powerful way to define your brand. Other peoples sites on the other hand including the big social networks provide a great way to promote your brand effectively, if done right – but ultimately they’re not under your control.
I’m personally not concerned about promoting my own brand for it’s own sake but I do think it makes sense to have a personal website that ties together your own personal and business interests and that’s what I’ll be using this site for.
Working for yourself & building online businesses
One of my enduring interests is in working for yourself and being in business on your own account. In fact I’ve been doing just that since 2001. Over the last 9 months I’ve learned a huge amount about how free agency as I call it, lifestyle design, online businesses and digital marketing are developing – and it’s very exciting. So much so that I intend to start a new venture around these themes (and how they inter-relate) shortly.
Coincidentally, several of the amazing people I have discovered and have been following over the past six months are offering some their seminal products at a 90% discount with $5 of the proceeds going to Chris Guillebeau’s Charity:Water Ethiopia project. For 72 hours only (Monday 29 Nov at 10:00 am EST to Thursday 2 Dec at 10:00 am EST / 15:00 pm GMT), over 20 authors and experts on working for yourself and building online businesses have come together to offer one incredible package of 23 books, guides and courses for just $97. When sold separately, these products retail for $1,052. (Disclosure: the link below is an affiliate link)