Humans crave balance in all of its forms, yet when it comes to personal branding, we’re often functioning at extremes. Take our online personas, for one. There’s a tendency to make our personal pages too personal or use professional platforms that lean too heavily on finding a new job rather than showcasing your talents.
It begs the question: If you don’t have the time or resources to leverage your creativity and build a custom website, how can you truly convey a more complete picture of your multihyphenate talents?
Let’s get creative – here’s a few ways that anyone from designers to writers can benefit from investing in their online portfolios, with a focus on the benefits of personal website builders (and where Polywork can help).
Emphasizing simplicity over complexity
The double-edged sword of being a polymath is that you likely have more talents to highlight than space to contain it in a typical social media profile. That leads to a long-winded profile or summary that neither covers all of the bases or really gets to the heart of your talents.
“I’m not saying that people should close the door prematurely, but instead of trying to do things you might not be able to do, look back at your personal history: What are the things where you’ve had your successes? What are the things that interested you? And then say: Well how could I get better at that?”
When we asked Dr. John Meyer, a professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Western University, about the concept of personal growth and its impact on the polymath community earlier this year, this is what he had to say:
Armed with the mindset that one can change, an individual now must make it happen. “I think there’s limits to it, of course,” Meyer says. He cautions one to be realistic. “I don’t believe that anybody has the opportunity to do anything that they want to do, but I really do believe that we all have something that we can do.”
Identify your strengths and interests, he added. “I’m not saying that people should close the door prematurely, but instead of trying to do things you might not be able to do, look back at your personal history: What are the things where you’ve had your successes? What are the things that interested you? And then say: Well how could I get better at that?”
Here’s a couple ways to approach this from a personal website point of view:
- Think about your “headline”. If you had to summarize your passions, take the old school journalism route — what would be the inverted pyramid (most important to least important) attributes you’d like to highlight?
- Hone your personal branding statement, which distills a highlight reel of your work and passions into something succinct, to give people a sense of who you are without having to tell your entire story.
- Leverage technology. With the help of automation or AI, you can cut down into a simple headline and summary of your passions or skills.
How to: Use Headline and About Me blocks in Polywork
Here’s how you can leverage Polywork's personal website builder to create a simply summary of your personal and professional talents, using our bio and headline blocks:
- Go to your profile
- Navigate to your Editor (left side of the screen)
- Select the Bio or Headline block
- Click Generate
- Edit your bio (optional)
- Click Save
If given the chance, most creatives will tinker into oblivion
We all want options until we get what we’ve asked for, which leads to a level of analysis paralysis and a quick eject button. This is no more real than on a personal website — adjustments to typefaces to color schemes to keep up with design trends is understandable, but often time-consuming due to the hundreds of combinations out there.
As brand and visual design expert Sarah Dewlin has noted, a visual identity is there to reinforce your point of difference or what you want to be known for.
“You can't be known for everything. So you almost have to sit with yourself and do a little hierarchy study of what's the number one most important thing that you want to be known for? What’s the key takeaway that makes your work different? Let's say as a writer, you want to be known for being funny. So maybe on your site you feature one huge hilarious line of copy as the first thing that someone sees when they get to the page. Or maybe it's an illustration of someone laughing or smiling so you're connecting people with humor. Whereas if you’re more of a journalist, your site should probably be more buttoned up or maybe it takes cues from how a newspaper is laid out.”
Thankfully, there’s platforms whose sole purpose is to stay on top of trends for you, giving you some flexibility without an endless array of options that leaves you tinkering without ever finishing what you started. More on that below.
Feeling like you need a new creative look? In Polywork, you can quickly adjust the layout, color, and type of your personal website without breaking the format of your content.
Here’s how it works:
In editor mode, you can choose from a number of different layouts that you can preview and apply seamlessly to your page.
- In your editor, select Layout in the upper portion of the screen
- Click on any of the templates and see how they show in the layout preview on the right portion of the screen
- Select Apply to see the changes on your page
- Click on the Visit Site button to see your page with the newly applied layout
Showing off all of your personal and professional successes is challenging
There’s no easy way to highlight everything you do. But, having a way to centralize your greatest hits in one place is critical. That way, you can make sure your wins can be front and center for any potential side projects or collaborations that could come your way.
"By sharing the specific steps you’re taking towards a professional goal as you’re doing it, you can build your status as an expert in your field, grow trust among peers and customers, and develop a community that is excited to continue following your journey.”
When we previously made the case for posting all of your wins online, we honed in thought leadership, noting that one of the best ways to build thought leadership in your industry is to not only share what you’ve accomplished but how you did it.
“This is one of the central ideas behind the “Building in Public” movement: By sharing the specific steps you’re taking towards a professional goal as you’re doing it, you can build your status as an expert in your field, grow trust among peers and customers, and develop a community that is excited to continue following your journey,” according to our past post.
How to: Create Portfolio Collections in Polywork
In Polywork, Portfolio Collections exists to help you best showcase yourself through better organizing the content you’re posting on your page. This allows other users to more easily discover your personal and professional highlights. Here's how it works.
Creating Portfolio collections:
- Select Portfolio Collections block in your editor
- Click Add
- Type in your title and description
- Click Save
You can add a post to your collection by following the steps below:
- Select the Portfolio block in your editor
- Click Post
- Create your post and click Add to Collection in the upper left corner of the post editor
- Select the collection
- Click Done
- Click Post
It’s time to get noticed
There’s probably a reason you’re investing more in elevating your creative portfolio — you could be looking for a new side hustle or want to take the next step in your career. No matter the case, all of the hard work you’ve put in shouldn’t go to waste.
Our writer Erin Greenawald outlines a few low-lift ways to do so in a recent post, including getting some updates out there in your social profiles and making sure your personal brand SEO is on point.
And, now that you have a personal website that more closely aligns with your multihyphenate self, give your growing audience that land there an easy way to reach out and/or collaborate.
How to: Leverage Polywork's Contact Me block
Polywork’s Contact Me section signals to others how you would like to be contacted within the platform. Here’s how to use it:
- In your editor, select the Contact Me block
- Select the categories you are interested in
- Make sure you have the slider in the “on” position for receiving requests
- Click Save
How it works: If you are open to mentoring or speaking engagements, for instance, you can select that category in your preferences. Polywork does not allow other users to contact you for anything outside of your preferences.
Final thoughts: Be seen and be seen
Putting time into your personal website is akin to investing in yourself, but by no means should it be a time-consuming endeavor with little-to-no gratification at the end of the process.
Use our tips above for your existing site and/or showcase yourself through Polywork’s personal website builder to get some more return on your investment.
Here’s some further resources to help you get started:
- A personal branding guide for freelancers
- How to build thought leadership for your personal brand
- Go private or stay public? Pros and cons for your personal website
Time to get creative and show off everything you do and are – get started here.