I was recently asked why people should have their own website? The context was in job search and the comment was against having a website. The reason given was because “we post our work experience on company sites for which we are applying”. And “having a website seems redundant”. I understand the pain. I wish the application process were simpler and less time consuming.
My belief is the most valuable real estate available to us on the internet is the real estate we own. Why? Because we control all the content on our website. It’s more professional to give your web address than a social profile. And it shows you are serious about your image.
First, consider the power of a personal brand. We need to build our own tribe/community. We should not be dependent on other sites/platforms to maintain that relationship. Many people only use a specific social media platform such as Linkedin. But social media sites should be “outposts”. When we have people follow us on other platforms, we should bring people back to our own site. It’s on our own site where we can get our followers into our sales funnel.
Sometimes the name we want on a social platform is not available. So either we create a variation or use something different on each platform. How challenging is it to tell people the variations of our usernames to find us? It confuses the people. And how can they know they are following the right person? By having our own website, we can link to our social profiles. That makes it much easier to find us, verify and follow us on any platform.
Tenant or Landlord
For career advancement purposes, all employees should have their own website. One must consider that the company we work for could close shop, get sold, or fire us. We need a place that we live on the internet that is our own. If we use our website for more than a portfolio, such as a blog or share a passion we have, there should be a section for a resume, an audio demo, production demo. Other pages include reference letters, awards, and achievements.
Social media sites are where we are tenants. We could get kicked out, for any reason. Facebook has locked me out of my radio persona profile (facebook.com/bozprofit). Their reasoning is that I have not provided government issued ID for my real identity. And that is despite the fact I gave ample evidence (and linked to) to my real identity. So if you only use social media, what happens if you get kicked out? How will your audience, your community, or a potential employer find you? Yes, you can often create a new account. And then go through the troubling pains to reconnect. To my point, followers could visit your own website to know what that new account is and follow from there.
In conversation, we can’t always mention every platform we are on. And some may not use the platform we prefer. It’s much easier to send people to one place where they can follow us on all the platforms they are on (that we are also on). Telling people our website is connected to all social platforms is easier than saying: “Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, SnapChat, Linkedin, WhatsApp, Youtube, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Flickr.” If we have our own website, we’re the landlord and it’s easy. And we should always link back to our website from our social media profiles.
Getting Found or Hired
Regardless of what industry we are in, it should make sense why we should have our own personal website. It’s more professional to give to a hiring manger than a social profile. They can get a sense of our style, our voice. And if we have an introductory video, they can see what kind of personality we have. Then, by visiting links to the social platforms they can verify our social authority.
We should make it as easy as possible for our community to follow and engage with us. And we should make it as easy as possible for a hiring manager to learn about us to determine if they think we are a good fit. Having our own website allows us to control the content. It also makes it easier for family, friends and fans to follow us, and for potential employers to get to know us.
This is my personal website. Do you have your own website? Tell me what it is in the comments. If not, why not? If you are considering making one, my company Bosworth Media, can help you establish your own professional presence.