Professionalism is Dead

Post written by Matthew Egan. Follow Matthew on Twitter.

I recently ran a poll on Facebook asking my nearest and dearest social media-savvy friends about whether or not business and personal life should mix online. Conventional wisdom dictates that you keep your work and your private lives separate. But modern (especially Social Media friendly) wisdom says you that when you share who you really are, without putting on a false “professional” front, people will respond better.

My quest to eschew the traditional notion of professionalism won’t stop me from wearing pants, though that endeavor would likely generate some interesting link bait. I’m not a Senior Vice President at Microsoft. I’m a geeky kid from Los Angeles who tries to make the web a better place. I’m all I’ve got, so why not be myself?

 

I am constantly inspired by bloggers like Leo Babauta and Penelope Trunk who blatantly expose their true personality and build a community around their own confidence (or, in many cases, fears). I’m not perfect. While I do run an honest business, I make mistakes and I believe it makes me a better businessman to own those mistakes, even publicly.

The Facebook feedback I received about my “personal vs. professional” dilemma was phenomenal. Holly Hoffman, co-founder of Neovia Solutions said, “Consider your audience. Would one be annoyed by the content of the other?” She’s right. I should keep my blogging on-topic. I can maybe deviate 10% of the time, but not in a way that will put people off.

Melba Romero added, “I have a personal FB page and business FB page, but I don’t ever post personal hobby on business FB…hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking!” She is absolutely right, and that was my concern. If you decide you’re going to have a personal blog, a business blog, a blog about cooking and a blog about your comic book collection, something will get neglected. So why split it all up?

If I find I have blog topics bursting out of me that are even geekier than the standard fare that’s usually offered here on the Image Freedom blog, I may post them elsewhere. My personal blogging — thoughts on business and marketing — will remain here at Image Freedom.

Where I live. Where it belongs.

Matthew Egan is the President of San Antonio SEO consulting firm Image Freedom. When not dancing to the blues, Matthew helps web pages like yours get more traffic through content driven Search Engine Optimization.