This month we are relaunching joshuascott.com. After almost five years with the current site, it was time for a change. To be honest, five years was entirely too long. But what they say is true: It’s harder to work on your own marketing than someone else’s.
Along the way, we’ve learned some things about the personal brand space that are shaping how we approach this website and the brands we are currently working with. The market has evolved, we’re smarter and we’ve tested more.
The personal brand space is just getting started. Some have embraced it and many more are beginning to give it some serious thought. Five years ago, when I launched out into the business world on my own, I couldn’t articulate it as well as I can now. I just knew that “people buy from people.” I wanted to leverage my relationships, build trust and become an educator in the industry. That’s why I began building joshuascott.com.
I wrote about creating content for a personal brand earlier this year in an article called, “You, Inc.” You can check it out here. In this article, “ME.COM,” we’ll be discussing some of the intentional strategies behind how we built my new site.
1. Clarify the Message
By far, the biggest problem I see with personal brands is unclear messaging. To be fair, most of the time it’s because we’re not even entirely sure what we do. I’ve been there. It can definitely take some time for the “Call to Action” to settle in. Here’s my personal advice: Do your best to create clarity from the start, but please, please don’t stop moving. Clarity is huge, but movement is more important. Don’t stop this process because it isn’t “perfect.” The further down the road you go, the more the journey comes into focus.
“What You Do” and “How You Can Help” needs to be instantly clear when guests land on your site. The main tool that will help you accomplish this is your tagline. I use, “Marketing with Confidence.” It’s at the top of my site and reinforced throughout the copy. Doctors landing here should have a sense of ease, relief and confidence in what I’m doing.
The whole goal is to make it easy for people to work with you.
2. The Client is the Hero
I remember the first version of my site. I had no photography. No video. No copy. Nothing. So I had a friend build a really cool light board out of plywood and vintage bulbs. It was painted black and we hung it in my garage. We set up a quick lighting kit and took some photos. Done. We launched a site with that and few GoPro images I had taken at consultations and speaking events.
In the beginning, we scraped together what we had to build a site. Now, the process is more intentional. One of the shifts we’ve made is moving away from me as the all-knowing guru and focusing on the client as the hero. I’m just a guide. I am simply assisting my clients on their journey, offering advice along the way. It’s clear to me that they are the hero of this story. It’s their journey. It’s their conflict. It’s their BIG dream. They have simply given me the privilege of being a part of it.
So you’ll notice that much of the photography through the new site is me interacting with clients. I’ve also included video client stories. Everything is consultative and affirming. It communicates, “We can get there together.” This concept was so important that I wrote the main video on the home page about it. I call it, “The Good Guys.” Watch how it puts the client at the center of the story.
3. How You Can Help
Let’s move on to “How You Can Help.” Most personal brands don’t just do one thing and that’s okay. However, I recommend fitting everything into three choices. There’s a ton of psychology behind why three options are optimal when presented to consumers (read Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational), but overall it clarifies the process of working with you.
Are you a speaker? A podcast host? Do you offer consulting? An online course? Are you promoting your mastermind group? Do you have a resource you’re selling? Figure out how to narrow it down to three directions. They can be based on actions (how can someone work with you) or they can be centered around who you are (speaker, consultant, etc.).
I funnel my audience into three actions based on what I do: (1) customized marketing plans; (2) long-term strategy and consulting; (3) group practice marketing. Then I added a quick clarifier to help people make the decision. Customized marketing plans are, “Perfect for single-doctor practices.” Long-term strategy and consulting is, “Perfect for multiple locations and/or large marketing budgets.” Group practice marketing is, “Perfect for five+ practices and DSOs.” Those options hit my main three audiences and make the choice super clear.
4. Create a Lead Magnet
“Lead Magnet” is the technical term in the industry today, but it’s a just a complimentary resource that you can offer to anyone visiting your site. It’s a hospitable gesture and a way to be generous to your guests. In exchange they give you their name and email address.
I wrote an ebook called, “7 Ways to Save Money in Your Marketing Budget.” I can confidently say that I can save a practice at least $1,500 if they put the principles in this book to work. My hope is that it saves more like $20,000 — $40,000. That’s a pretty good deal for just stoping by my site and giving me your email address. Plus it creates a low risk, first step that helps us develop trust.
Before they sign up for the ebook, I let them know that they’re also subscribing to my monthly newsletter. I promise to never sell their email or spam them and if they want to unsubscribe at any point, just let me know.
Easy. Just be transparent with your intentions when it comes to personal information.
5. Content Aggregation
Last, we want to make it easy for people to find all our information and resources. Most personal brands create regular content (podcast, articles, shows, photography, etc) that gets published all over the internet. Create a hub to bring all your resources together along with links and options to subscribe.
I divide mine up into two categories: articles and videos. I write a monthly article and display the last three topics. I also produce regular video content that we split into three categories: The 8E8 Show, #CurrentSituation vlogs and “other” content.
Finally, it goes without saying, but make it easy for people to contact you. Include an email form that’s simple and easy. Maybe even a way to text. Every now and then I get a complaint about not having a phone number on my site, but I don’t think it’s necessary anymore. Just be responsive and reply that day to emails and as fast as you can to text.
If you’re thinking about the idea of launching a personal brand website, hopefully this has been helpful. It’s certainly not the only way to build a site and our approach will continue to evolve, but it’s a solid direction. If you haven’t already, check out joshuascott.com and take a look at the new digs. Leave me a message or hit me up on social media to let me know what you think.