If you want to stand out in today's busy online world, your website should be a home for your personal brand. Thought leaders are individuals with something of value to share with the world, and that means you need to be great at communicating what you know. When we look to connect with a leader, more often than not, we look to their website. We want to quickly identify what they’ve done to earn that title and then decide whether we should continue learning from them.
To be one of the most influential people in your niche you need to have a few things on your website. The internet is a vast place and it can be tricky to succeed online unless you have certain things in place. In this blog, we will list nine things thought leaders need to have in order to stay relevant online.
- Choose a domain name.
Did you know that if you want to be taken seriously as a thought leader, you need a domain name? A domain name is a critical piece of any online presence. It’s the first step to making your business or yourself as an individual a recognizable entity in cyberspace. A carefully chosen domain name that embodies your vision and/or identity allows you to connect with the right audiences, encouraging them to stay involved with your site.
- Establish a brand identity.
Gone are the days when a website’s header was all you needed for branding. Nowadays, if it isn’t prominent and clear on every page of your website, it just might not be enough. A successful website needs to be driven by a strong brand whether it is your personal name or a brand name you have created. Your brand name needs to be clear and literally, within the company’s grasp, which means don’t hide it in a confusing navigation menu or bury it as an underlined hidden text link at the bottom of the page.
- Have a professional photo of yourself on your website.
No matter what your website is about, you are a constant part of it. Your website is built around you and your services. But, how many of us actually have a photo featured on our homepage? Websites with photos of real people are more trusted than those without them. This is a scientific fact. Installing a photo of yourself on your website will make visitors feel more connected to your brand, and it’s also used for SEO purposes by Google. Whether it is your personal blog or your professional portfolio, the first impression is extremely essential.
- Video content is essential to your website.
Video marketing has become extremely powerful and popular. What was once just used for direct sales has now turned into a great way to build awareness and thought leadership. Videos are also more preferred by the audience when compared to the written content on how-to guides. No matter what type of content you’re writing, odds are, that content will benefit from video. It could be a post on your blog, or guest posts on other blogs in your field. With video promoting a sense of authenticity and credibility, it will make you stand out from the crowd. It can also increase engagement and help boost search engine results.
- List your contact information.
As a thought leader, what better place to house your contact info than on your very own website? Whether it’s your business card, your email address, or your direct line, we all need somewhere for people to reach us—and it needs to be accessible. This is important because if your site has ever linked out to another source, you have provided the opportunity for a visitor to follow-up with your contact information.
- Create a tagline that best describes you.
Nothing screams thought leadership like an awesome tagline to go along with your website. Why? Because a tagline is one of the most important elements of any website. This is because these are the few words that sum up a thought leader’s values and vision on the homepage. And not only that, if done right, they also give you a chance to showcase your integrity, brand, research and true voice.
- Make sure that you have a biography.
If you want to trust your business to a company, wouldn’t you like to know more about the team? That is why it is so important to include a biography on your website. Many people believe that what they do for living is not important. However, this is one of the most important aspects of your website. It's important to not only succinctly explain your background, but also to include your contact information along with links to your social media accounts and speaking page.
- Testimonials can make a difference.
Testimonials in the form of quotes or reviews are one of the most powerful ways to build your credibility. They serve as a kind of social proof that strengthens your case. There are a few ways to get testimonials that you can include on your website. You can ask for them from past employers and clients, or you can ask for reviews from others in your industry. If you have a testimonial page on your site, just the fact that you are willing to highlight what others have to say about your products or services. is a big plus for those who are interested in your content or services.
- Establish a blog on your website.
Thought leaders should have a blog. Simple right? So why aren't you blogging? Creating and publishing content on a regular basis is vital for an effective marketing strategy. Not only can you provide the latest information on your subject, but you can also establish yourself as an expert in your industry. And the more interesting and valuable content you publish, the more visitors are going to come and see what you are all about.