Whether you're at university, looking for a job, working for someone else or freelancing – you undoubtedly need an online presence to succeed.
But being on Behance or Cargo Collective alone might not give you the right level of exposure. This is where your own website becomes essential. It's a chance to show prospective clients and employers just how good you are, and it'll widen the net far more than just being on the odd network.
If you've not yet launched your own site, then you're going to appreciate what we have planned on Creative Boom. We've teamed up with Squarespace to put together a range of helpful advice on creating a website.
From building a beautiful portfolio to ensuring people are finding you online and making enquiries, we're going to spend the next four weeks helping you to establish a successful web presence.
Even better, Squarespace is offering a discount to all Creative Boom readers. Just use the CREATIVEBOOM code when you sign up and you'll get 10% off. But first, let's look at 10 reasons why you'll benefit from having a website.
1. It gives you credibility
By making the extra effort to have your own website, you're basically showing the world you mean business. You're not just relying on social media or one of these helpful networks; you're actually lifting yourself onto a higher playing field, and that only adds to your credibility.
Employers always love people who apply themselves and show creativity; while clients want the reassurance that you're professional and know what you're doing. A website will tick all those boxes and give you that compelling edge.
2. It can help you attract more people
On a network you're likely to be lost amongst a sea of competition, hidden away and difficult to find. But if you have your own website, you're likely to benefit from SEO and be found for various short and long-tail keywords. You can work hard to boost your placement in the search engines, and appear higher than anyone else on your patch. Squarespace has great SEO, so you can compete with the best of them.
3. It's an opportunity to show off your skills
A lot of people won't bother to launch a website, mainly because they don't know how. Squarespace makes it easy to get started — they have beautifully designed starter layouts, super helpful training videos and 24/7 customer support who can answer any questions you may have along the way. By taking the time to create your own site, you're showing off your intelligence and creativity. Even just writing your own copy demonstrates talent.
4. It gives you full control
Who knows where social media is going. Or even whether your favourite portfolio network will last the distance. Your own website is guaranteed. It's there as long as you need it. And, as you go along, you can keep updating it. You can stay in control of your own online presence.
5. It sets you apart
Not everyone has a website. But this is only good news for you. You'll immediately stand out. There's less competition. You've got a golden opportunity to shine and attract prospective employers or clients that others might miss out on.
6. It demonstrates your passion
Could there be anything more attractive than someone who is passionate? Passion is infectious. Having a website shows an eagerness to get ahead, learn and grow. It's a chance to stand out when others might shy away.
7. It forces you to learn new skills
Ok, so you've launched your website. But how do you draft the right copy that converts? Ensure your basic SEO is sorted so you're found? Or carry out some marketing to get more people to your site? All these things will pop up along the way, forcing you to learn new skills. A website pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to step up.
8. It's a way to show personality
Consider yourself the product, and the website your shop window. What do you want people to see when they find you? How do you want them to interact with your content? What first impression do you want to give? Business has always been about people, so take the chance to show some personality and allow visitors to warm to you. That's whether you write copy that hints at the real you, or share appealing photographs of yourself and where you work.
9. It becomes a hub of activity
Your website isn't just static; it's a platform that you can constantly update. And by blogging, adding new content and linking up all your social networks, you'll be helping to boost your website's ranking in the search engines. What's more, by keeping it fresh – you'll be showing people that you're active, engaged and current.
10. It grows with you
You might only need a simple portfolio site now, but what if you want to sell things online later? A website with something like Squarespace offers many different paths, so you can change it when you need to. It's something that will always be there. And the longer you're online, the better – you'll only be building credibility with search engines like Google, and increasing your chances of being found by those who matter for many years to come.
Are you convinced? Want to start building your own website? Remember to use the CREATIVEBOOM code on Squarespace, and you'll get a 10% discount.
Main image courtesy of Adobe Stock