Getting Real With Career Women About Their Personal Sites

Getting Real With Career Women About Their Personal Sites
by Kit Warchol
September 15, 2016
WEEK 3 / PERSONALIZING + REFINING
This article is part five of our Digital You Month, a collaboration with Squarespace.
We can talk all day about why your personal brand matters online, but that would be annoying. So we asked a few friends—real women, making money and running businesses through their personal sites—to talk about their own digital strategies.

THE CREATIVE

Tell us the best part of what you do for a living.
Being a freelance artist/designer has really allowed me to choose projects that I enjoy. The freedom to work with clients that love my work because of my aesthetic is the most rewarding gift I could get as an artist. It really motivates me to do more, which is great becuase the more work you do, the better work you do.
How long have you been in your industry, and do you work for a company or for yourself? 
 I started working for myself about 3 years ago.
Why did you decide to create a personal site?
Having a platform to showcase my work (and get more work from it) was the most attractive idea to me as an artist just starting out. It was a no-brainer for me.
How have you found work or jobs through your site? 
Yes, although it's a slow process. I have found you really have to be on top of updates and promoting yourself, which is one of the hardest things for me to do. A site really doesn’t do you any good if there’s no traffic, so I have to make myself share it. 
What's your best advice for another woman trying to build her personal brand and online presence?
Know what you want out of it because you will be investing a lot time and energy into it. Keep it simple. You can always build up from simple.
And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What's next for your career? 
 I’m inspired by different things every day—it’s kind of like discovering a new color sometimes. I guess I look forward to learning/seeing more of myself.

That being said, I love not knowing where my career will take me—the journey along the way is far too much fun. 
Pro Tip: Visit Megan's site here | Snag a similar Squarespace template here

THE in-between

Tell us the best part of what you do for a living.
The relationships I'm able to build with my clients, no matter if they're located in my state or across the world. Women who are struggling with what to do next in their careers tend to feel a lot of self-doubt and confusion and are overwhelmed with all of their ideas. I love being able to work step-by-step to help them rediscover their core genius and build an authentic story they can share with their network and employers.
How long have you been in your industry, and do you work for a company or for yourself?
I launched my own business less than one year ago but I've been working in recruitment and career development for much longer. Operating as a solopreneur has its challenges, but it's truly the most amazing feeling being able to do what I'm best at every day on my terms.
Why did you decide to create a personal site?
I'm an online-based service business, so having an online presence was absolutely vital to my success. When I was going through a career change several years ago I also bought the URL for my name (kimwensel.com) and built a Squarespace site that focused on the different areas of expertise I possessed. I listed the site on my resume and LinkedIn for a bit more personal view into my capabilities and passions.
How have you found work or jobs through your site?
 Almost every client I work with first contacts me through my website!
What's your best advice for another woman trying to build her personal brand and online presence?
You're in charge of how you want to be known. So often I see women getting caught up in trying to figure out how they can show employers or clients what they're capable of when really it's all about what you focus on—the words you use and examples you share.
And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What's next for your career?
I'm so excited to share my knowledge and serve clients in new and different ways in the next year. My number one priority will remain working with my 1:1 clients, but I know there are so many women who are looking for support and information and can't quite afford personalized coaching and strategy right now. So my goal is to launch an e-course within the next six months and continue generating as much free, accessible content as I'm able.
Pro Tip: Visit Kim's website here | Snag this template for your own site here

THE corporate 

Tell us the best part of what you do for a living.
I get to meet new and interesting people all the time and to take their voices to places they’ve never been before. Australia to North Dakota, Iceland to New Jersey, Venezuela to Los Angeles. It's like constantly traveling for work—except I do it all from my cozy home office or weird film sets.
How long have you been in your industry, and do you work for a company or for yourself?
I actually started by studying Speech and Language Pathology, so I thought I was going down a different path. I have been in "The Industry" since 2014—still very new to the game—but have already learned so much thanks to my clients and my mentor. And I just finally took the plunge to give up my "day job" and work for myself.
Why did you decide to create a personal site?
I wanted a place where people could find me by accident or on purpose. A showroom of sorts that explains what I do and how to reach me.
How have you found work or jobs through your site?
Sometimes I get emails from prospective clients saying that they heard about me from a fellow actor friend of theirs. I then direct them to my website so they can get a better sense of what I can do for them. I have links to my site on all of my social media outlets. I hear a lot of, “So I saw your website. Can you help me with…?”
What's your best advice for another woman trying to build her personal brand and online presence?
Make it simple and to the point, but express a certain amount of personality—it’s refreshing to see a human element to things. Don’t feel obligated to be on every ounce of social media, pick the ones you know and respect. Having another pair of eyes look at your site or any posts before putting it all out there doesn’t hurt either, you know, like your best friend who happens to be an English Lit major.
And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What's next for your career?
I wake up looking forward to helping people feel comfortable in their own skin and in their own voice, whether it's an actor who has to sound like they are from the other side of the world, an executive that needs to project louder in the board room, or a social worker that wants others to hear what they are saying, not how they are saying it. Next up is to keep climbing!
Pro Tip: Visit Jamison's website here | Snag this template for your own site here

So What's Next?

So glad you asked. We'll be back next Thursday with our best tips for using your new site while networking or job searching. And we've got a present for you, too. 
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This article is part of our Digital You Month. Don't forget to use our special code CONTESSA to get 10% off your Squarespace site. 
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