“Professional personal” is no oxymoron — not when it comes to your personal website, at least.
If your economic value is a function of your reputation within your field or the broader marketplace for ideals, your personal website needs to be something more: a hybrid “professional personal” website that showcases your expertise.
Along with your high-visibility social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, your professional personal website is your best chance to make a winning first impression with potential clients, employees, collaborators, media contacts…the list goes on. You can’t afford to phone it in.
It’s easy enough not to. Begin by incorporating these six elements into your professional personal website.
1. A Stunning Headshot
It’s certainly possible to take a great professional headshot on your own. If you’d prefer to achieve high-grade results on the cheap, review these guidelines from HubSpot. Otherwise, consider spending the dough for an actual professional headshot; your employer might reimburse the cost if you make a compelling case.
2. A Thorough, Positive “About” Page
Use your website’s “About” page as a detailed but not laborious introduction of your professional self. By its end, anyone reading about you for the first time should know who you are, what you do, what you’re good at, and why you should be trusted with their business. This professional website is a great guide.
3. Real-World Examples of Your Thought Leadership
These could include published articles or studies, speaking engagements, media appearances, and the like. Really, anything that shows off your professional authority and expertise is fair game. Organize your examples chronologically and use multimedia elements, if possible.
4. Original Content Created by You (Or Someone Authorized to Write For You)
Published articles offsite are great, but the masses want thought leadership in the here and now. Keep your website’s blog lively, publishing at least one new in-depth piece each week. Use a ghostwriter if this pace doesn’t work with your schedule.
5. High-Quality Candid Photos
In this context, your candid photos must be professional and workplace-appropriate. But that doesn’t mean they can’t show off your lighter side. Team-building events and company “giveback” days are gold mines for this sort of content.
6. Professional Videos and Multimedia That Position You As a Subject Matter Expert
Not a professional videographer? Not a problem. It’s more important that your audience sees your expertise in action than that every little element of your thought leadership videos is just so. Start with subjects you feel comfortable expounding upon at length and split longer talks into bite-sized episodes.
Today, The Professional Is Personal
We live in a world of blurred lines. Which means, like it or not, that the professional today is also personal, and vice versa.
If that’s not an argument for rolling out a hybrid “professional personal” website that includes these elements and others like them, what is?
Look, your professional personal website needn’t be your only toehold on the web outside plug-and-play social media platforms. But perhaps it’s in your best interest to remain anonymous in contexts that you’d prefer to remain unprofessional. You wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.