Stop Denying It – You Know you Need a Website
Of the many things that lawyers, accountants, engineers, teachers and many others in professions tell themselves, the stark untruth that they don't need to build a personal platform is among the most destructive.
Although platform is not code for website, a starting point for any platform builder is a website.
Having started Tips for Lawyers what I realised is that there is a large amount of misinformation about platform building, much of it spread by employers to their employees.
Here is the reality – you need to find your own voice, your own passion, your own style.
I'm not here advocating for you to quit your 9 to 5 (there's plenty of people telling you to do that already).
What I'm saying is that your platform is a chance to improve your professional reach as well as reclaim some of the passion for your career that you might have lost.
Let's take a look at a few reasons why you need to start your OWN website today.
1. It's Really Fun
If nothing else, having your own website to play with, write on, publish and share is really, really fun.
You get to learn new skills, connect with new people, and regain a sense of momentum in your professional and personal life.
It's great way to do something other than watch entire series of TV shows over and over again.
And, as you'll see, it's simultaneously great for your professional career.
2. Your Employer's Website Isn't Enough
Guess what – the fact that you work for a brand, firm or organisation that already has a website is not going to help you.
In particular it's not going to help you if:
- you change vocation
- your lose your job
- you decide to move on
- you become a stay at home parent
- there is a personal disaster, whether financial or otherwise.
No, I'm sorry to say that you need a personal hub. A place where you can find your passion, express your thoughts, and develop your arguments without (mostly) the interference of policies, frustrating wordsmiths, archaic layouts and politic driven nonsense.
3. Your Own Voice = Your Own Passion
One of the most common complaints from professionals is that they have lost their voice in amongst the noise of their career.
Lawyers who, during university, were going to change the world with their passion, articulation and intelligence end up drudging through their days shuffling documents and watching the clock.
Engineers who dreamed of building great and wonderful machines, bridges and technology find themselves stuck between managing union members and climbing the corporate ladder.
Teachers who thought they could directly inspire and encourage children get trapped in a system of rules and regulations that trod on creativity and train children for industry, not inspiration.
Your own website gives you a vessel to reclaim this passion.
4. Websites Allow you Authenticity
No matter where you work or what you do, you need to be developing your influence.
How's your vocation going with that so far? Are you building your personal influence, or just building the influence of your employer's brand?
Do you have your own voice, or just the voice of your boss?
Does your name, your character, your phrasing and your communication style come through, or it everything you create so sanitised that it doesn't resemble you by the time it goes out the door.
Influence requires authenticity. If what gets ascribed to you is not really you, it leaves a foul taste in your mouth that other people can see a mile away.
5. Your Website Gives you Freedom of Expression
Connected with authenticity, one of the common complaints among professions is the shackled nature of work. You need to do things a particular way, in a particular style, and presented for a particular look. Some things cannot be said out loud, and other things must be said.
Assuming you don't hold views that will get you fired or directly contradict what you've said in your workplace (which is a morals issue for another day) what your own site gives you is the ability to control your message and your methods.
In short – it allows you, to be you.
6. Entry Cost is Low
Building your own website is easier now then it ever has been. The process is so basic that practically anyone who wants to try can get it done.
You can have a professional, responsive and beautiful website for minimal cost in a matter of hours.
7. Your Personal Portfolio
Over time, and various employers, you are going to build up a bank of projects, articles, publications and information that you have produced.
Where can people see how awesome you are? Nowhere?
Sure, LinkedIn offers some ability to display that kind of thing, but what if they change their mind? You need something that you can control.
8. Internet Space is Filling Up (sort of)
Even now it's pretty hard to secure an appropriate domain name.
Imagine what it's going to be like in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years?
If you're not acting now to protect your future real estate, then you're going to miss out.
9. Websites Let you Think Forwards
Just because you might not think you have a need for a website now, what about down the track?
Professionals are great at thinking backwards and finding problems and solutions to previous issues – but it's time to think towards the future.
The internet is here to stay. Social Media is here to stay.
If you aren't consciously working on your platform and securing your personal space in the modern world, you'll be left behind soon enough
10. Expand your Reach and Take Control
Having your own website allows you to rapidly expand your reach beyond what your firm might give you the voice to do.
In the developing connection economy, the prizes will go to the people who are adept at making connections, developing relationships and influencing others (ethically).
Is that you? Or are you stuck in your office each day doing paper work.
Hopefully I've Convinced You
With any luck at least a few of these have you compelled.
You're probably wondering at this point: how do I do it?
Well don't worry – I've got you covered. Sign up to my newsletter and let's find out just how far down this rabbit hole you want to go 🙂