24 Feb Why you need a website and how to get started
Surprisingly, there are still some creative professionals without a website. By the way, having a Facebook page doesn’t mean you have a website. And yes, you should have both!
So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need a website. When you’re convinced, click through to page 2 to find out how to get started putting one together.
To build your brand
One of the biggest reasons for having your own website is to help build your personal brand. In the past, branding was reserved for larger corporations, like Disney and Pixar. But nowadays, with social media lurking in every corner, personal branding should not be overlooked.
To showcase your work
Let’s face it, if you want new gigs, you’ll need to show off your stuff. While there are a number of online portfolio sites where you can post your work, having your own site comes with many benefits, such as being able to set yourself apart from the rest.
To make yourself available
It doesn’t matter what time your work day ends, your website is always available to existing customers and potential clients. Besides, people expect you to have a website. Without one, they might not even know you exist.
To establish credibility
A website can help you establish credibility within your field. It’s a place you can share your credentials, client testimonials, and blog posts or tutorials.
To keep up with the competition
Not having a website is like handing over your leads to the competition. When potential clients search the web for services you offer, wouldn’t it be nice to have your name included in the results?
It’s great for networking
Websites are great for making connections. Having a simple way for fans to keep in touch helps you grow your audience and your network.
To save time and money
Believe it or not, having your own website can actually save you time and money. That’s right! Maintaining a website doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you can learn how to do it on your own.
Note: When you use your website as a sales and marketing tool, you’ll quickly see how the return-on-investment is generally higher than other advertising options.
To gain control over the look and feel
Online portfolio sites are great, but how much of the design can you control? While there are a few that offer seemingly endless possibilities, nothing takes the place of having your own site that you can design to meet your needs. This is also great for helping to build a consistent look for your personal brand.
It’s not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great – and you should use them to their fullest extent – but not everyone uses these services. Sometimes, the only way to reach out to people online is with your own website.
There are a number of ways to get started. You can use an online website-building service like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. Or you can go with something a little more robust like WordPress, which offers two options: a hosted solution available at WordPress.com or a custom installation at WordPress.org. (See how WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different here.)
There are other options similar to WordPress, like Drupal and Joomla, which plenty of professionals swear by. Which one you choose is mostly a matter of personal preference, and what you’re trying to accomplish with your website.
See our Choose a website builder guide to selecting the right website-building tool for you. You might also find our Web design tools you can’t live without article useful.
Once you’ve chosen a hosting company that you’re happy with, you’re ready to build the website! See our guide to the perfect website layout for help with the website design and build.
So there you have it! If you don’t already have a website, you need to get one ASAP. If you do, make sure it’s up-to-date, with a fresh, responsive design – otherwise, you might as well not have one at all.