DISCLAIMER: This personal branding post was written in partnership for the DIGITAL ME campaign with Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), all opinions expressed are 100% my own!
When I first began blogging, I started like many others on the platform blogspot.com, within a few months, I knew how important it was going to be for my personal branding to have my own presence. My friends at CIRA have been working hard to educate young Canadians through a campaign called Digitial Me on why it’s so important to have a .CA website! 5 years ago, I had no idea how important that digital presence would be, and even more so why making my presence as a Canadian be known would mean so much to me!
My first blog address was a .com, honestly for no other reason other than I didn’t know any different. As I maneuvered through that web space and began meeting other Canadian business women I began to see all these .CA websites popping up. I had no idea that a Canadian web address was a thing, why wouldn’t it though? After all, aren’t we all proud to be Canadian?
Initially, when I began my leather business, even that was housed on a platform outside of my own website, I was giving that site my traffic and relying on their internal SEO programs to drive traffic to my business. Figuring out how I could have my site, tied into my blog on my own site meant that I have complete control of my personal branding and my success! After all, this is my income, my livelihood, I want to know that I’ve done everything I can to market myself, my business and my brand.
By having my shop on my site meant that I could build up even more credibility with my customers. I went from 20 purchases in a year on an outside platform to 400+ a year with 4 retailers carrying my products on my own website. For a passive business, that’s not terrible!
Throughout the last several years we’ve seen Instagram and Facebook truly blow up! Every time you think you know what you’re doing, the algorithm changes. These algorithms are next to impossible to figure out which as an influencer or small business can be frustrating, to say the least! I’ve had months where I’ve grown my following by next to nothing on Facebook and Instagram and others where I’ve grown hundreds.
On top of all the changes, in the last few months, we’ve seen the platforms crash, sometimes for hours or as of most recently almost a full working day! Earlier in the year, we also witnessed several influencers who put all their eggs into the IG basket, lose their entire IG accounts, thousands of followers and endless hours of hard work all gone because of a bug in the system allowing people to hack accounts. Do you know what I’ll never lose? The email list for subscribers that I grow myself!
Now, do you want to truly want to invest all your time in to building a presence in just one singular platform that you don’t own and have no control over?
In a world where we are all learning and growing each day, we need to be able to share our voice and the things that matter to us. However, within these platforms, they have the ability to filter the things that we post! Since everyone has an opinion, your posts can be flagged and removed by the platforms with no notice to you.
Breastfeeding photos have been deemed as nudity and I’ve even had friends being questioned simply because of their last name and their ethnicity. This doesn’t sound like the place I want all my hard work going into!
So why do we invest all this time in these platforms which are ultimately not in our control? When I began this journey of blogging, I knew that I never wanted to put all my eggs in one basket. Growing slowly month by month, and some platforms being more successful than others.
I believe a more well-rounded presence online will ultimately be part of my success; which it is, however owning my own space with my own voice means that I never experience any downtime at the hand of something I cannot control!
With the rise of social media influencers who have built their following through social media only, it’s now more than ever important to have your own online presence. But why? Why should you have an online presence?
Personal branding is about more than just an online resume, it is a way to define who you are and what you believe in the world. The Digital Me campaign by CIRA seeks to remind us of the importance of owning our brand, the personal domain, and our personal website.
First impressions matter and if you’ve ever googled yourself, you might wonder sometimes why certain images or websites turn up before others. A personal domain allows you to share more than just your resume, you can brand yourself with your personality, values, thoughts, and dreams. I want my personal brand to be something that my girls will be proud of, so when they see my digital footprint, they too will strive for that same excellence in their digital footprint!
When I first began blogging, I had no idea the number of things I would learn. 5 years later, I can proudly say that I have taught myself everything from photography, graphic design and so on! Having my own space has allowed me to explore my digital skills in your own online sandbox.
Furthermore, my website means that I always have stability; as long as I can find an internet connection, I will always have relevance and be able to share with my readers. Building newsletters letter list, and working on all the platforms including my website ensures that my influencer career can’t be controlled by any one company. It gives me longevity to be able to provide for my family!
Now the big question… Why should I choose .CA over an alternative?
Did you know that in order to have a .CA website you must have a Canadian address? There is an entire team dedicated to ensuring that those operating under .CA actually have a Canadian address! This is how I know that there has never been a better time to be Canadian. Canada’s role on the global stage and prestige in the world has never been higher. The world loves and embraces Canadian values. So why not let the world know that you are proud to be Canadian by building your personal branding?
How do I start to develop my Canadian personal branding?
Start building your personal brand by asking, what do I want the world to see/know about me? You don’t need to get a complicated website, remember we all start somewhere and building from the ground up is half the fun! To me honestly, this is the most important part, Get in touch with your “why”… why do you present yourself the way you do? Why do you do what you do? When you know and understand the reasons why
Now I’m not saying don’t be on social media as social media is one way that I leverage my personal branding. Anytime I publish something new, it is shared across all channels. It’s my online resume, I share it with everyone! Some of my best work has come from writing this blog. I’ve grown as a writer both in my emotional appeal and within the technical aspects.
Just blog weekly or daily; whatever works for you and remember to keep posting your awards and/or accomplishments. Your domain truly is the place to share all those things that make you proud! Interested in learning more about why having a personal brand matters, how you can get started building your own personal brand and why now is that perfect time to be Canadian online? Check out the Digital Me E-book for some amazing ideas and tips on how to grow your Canadian personal brand!
Photography by Kristy Powers Photography