Keeping personal and professional domain names separate on the web begins and ends with domain registration. When web addresses for both private and public websites are too similar, then private and public communication may inadvertently cross. When using the web and social media, private web addresses must be kept separate from public web addresses in order to maintain the business owner’s professional image.
Separate domains for both professional and personal websites are essential. If a person’s name is too similar to the business name, then clients who look for an online business might be led to private photos of children or other family members. Registering separate and distinctive domain names will ensure that clients are not shown materials that aren’t relevant to the business product or service.
Many business owners blog for both business and private audiences. These bloggers must be absolutely sure that their professional and personal blog addresses are completely different. For example, if WordPress hosts both blogs, the web addresses must be different enough that clients will not find the business owner’s personal blog. While clients welcome valuable content about services and products, they probably do not want to know about the business owner’s private interests.
Owners must maintain boundaries when using social media. Facebook provides a valuable medium for delivering promotions and information to clients, but clients do not need to see the most recent YouTube video posted by the business owner. When business owners take the time to create distinctive social media domains or to differentiate between social media for private and occupational use, then they will protect their reputation while maintaining their freedom of expression.
Registering unique domain names is crucial. Having “yourname.com” as a professional website and “yourname.net” as a personal website could lead many business contacts to a private website when they should be visiting a business website. Therefore, the web address of the business site should be significantly different from the address of the private site. Also, users should ensure that inactive business web addresses do not redirect traffic inadvertently to a personal page.
Some people use different social media outlets for clients and for business. For instance, some people establish a Facebook domain for their private contacts and confine business contacts to Twitter. Or, people may handle private business on Facebook and use LinkedIn for professional updates. Whatever a business owner chooses, using completely distinct services will ensure that private and public contacts do not cross paths.
Business owners should use Facebook with special care. Distinct private and occupational domains are crucial to both freedom and professionalism. Business owners should establish a private domain for their friends and a separate page for their business. Also, if clients inadvertently try to friend a business owner’s private site, the owner should redirect the client to “like” the occupational site.
Today’s interconnected world blurs the line between private communication and communication related to work. This means that website owners have to pay particular attention to domain registration. A misunderstanding because of crossed private and occupational communication could mean the loss of both valuable sales dollars and profitable clients.