The Facebook Conundrum: Personal Profile vs. Personal Brand Page

What happens when your Facebook personal profile uses your name and you launch a personal brand based on your name years later?

Facebook Conundrum

I have been using Facebook for more than 10 years and it’s been quite a ride. Over the years, I’ve gone from loving Facebook to hating Facebook, to feeling pretty neutral about it. And over time, I’ve changed the way I use the platform.

Originally, I joined because my college friends were using it and it was a way to communicate, share photos, and stay in touch. It was only for fun. Then, after attending a business conference where I learned all about how I should be using Facebook for business, to build my network, sell my services, and grow my business.

Slowly, my time on Facebook shifted to primarily business use because the majority of the people I was connecting with were other business owners I met at conferences and events. The unfortunate side effect was that while Facebook was a fantastic platform for my business, focusing on my business pretty much alienated many of my friends from high school and college.

Eventually, I felt Facebook fatigue.

I didn’t want to spend my days hawking services on Facebook. I was tired of the spam and pushy sales messages that were taking over my feed, and Facebook was ceasing to be fun. So I took a break and regrouped. I came back to Facebook with an intention to put joy first, to make my time on the platform about investing in real relationships, and to share what’s going on in my business periodically instead of every day — and this approach felt much better.

Then, when I launched jenniferbourn.com, I faced a conundrum:

  • Jenniferbourn.com is a platform to develop my personal brand.
  • My personal brand is who I am — all of who I am personally and professionally.
  • I already had a personal profile where my personal brand had been living.
  • Did I really need a Facebook page? Organic reach for pages is basically nonexistent so I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest time and effort in building up a Facebook page.
  • If I did create a page for my personal brand, what would the URL be? I was already using /jenniferbourn for my personal profile.

See what I mean about a conundrum?

How I manage Facebook Today

I have my personal profile that is slowly becoming more and more personal and less and less about business. My personal profile is all about personal relationships, staying in touch with family and friends, and finding out about events and concerts by bands and venues I like.

I am trying to put the joy back into connecting with friends, family, and colleagues on the platform, so every time I log in, I trim my friends a little bit based on what is showing up in my news feed and what I do and don’t want to see in terms of content:

  • Sometimes that means unfriending people
  • Sometimes that means muting someone for 30 days to see how it affects my news feed
  • Sometimes that means unfollowing someone so they don’t clog my newsfeed, but I can check in on them periodically.

In terms of Facebook pages, I currently have three tied to my own businesses and websites and one that I manage for the Sacramento WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Sacramento.

Bourn Creative Facebook Page

The Bourn Creative Page is my oldest page and to be honest, I don’t manage it well. I’ve gone in spurts of posting often, I’ve gone months without posting anything, and I’ve posted sporadically. None of my actions on the platform have seemed to affect my business and very few people ever see anything I do there, so it continues to exist because it’s expected and I need a professional presence for the brand on the platform, but it isn’t a primary destination.

I’ll be slowly phasing this page out over time.

Inspired Imperfection Facebook Page

The Inspired Imperfection Page is the page for my personal blog; my fun side project where I blog about recipes, family adventures and places we visit, and my efforts in trying to live a healthier life. I’m not investing in paid ads or boosting posts for this brand yet because right now I want to keep it my fun, no-pressure site.

This page is purely an experiment and because this brand is my “fun brand,” I’m not sure yet if it will stick.

Jennifer Bourn Facebook Page

With the launch of jenniferbourn.com and the creation of Profitable Project Plan, my client management and business training program for web designers and developers, I wanted to try my hand at Facebook ads. And, if you want to run Facebook ads, you have to have a Facebook page to tie the ads to, which meant I needed a Facebook page for my personal brand.

But what to call it and what URL to use? Almost all of my social profiles are /jenniferbourn…

The only profile I have that is different is Instagram because I was a very late Instagram adopter.

So this left me with a dilemma.

My personal Facebook profile = facebook.com/jenniferbourn, but if I have to have a page for that brand, shouldn’t the page have that URL?

I decided that changing my personal profile URL to free up /jenniferbourn for my personal brand page was the smart move and researched how to make the switch. I was paranoid that if I changed my personal profile URL, somehow I’d lose the ability to have my own name on the platform. I was afraid /jenniferbourn would disappear into a vanity URL abyss, not be available for my page, and someone else would snag it.

Then one night I decided to just give it a go and hope for the best. I changed my personal profile URL to facebook.com/iamjenniferbourn, which then freed up facebook.com/jenniferbourn for my new personal brand page.

Hallelujah!

The URL facebook.com/jenniferbourn is now the official URL for my personal brand Facebook page which is tied to the ads I run to promote Profitable Project Plan, my live video training Client Captivation, and anything else I will do in the future.

The Personal And Professional Blend

I am who I am.

I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a blogger, a business owner, a speaker, a consultant, a teacher, a writer, a course creator, a graphic designer, a web designer, a content creator, a strategist, a mentor, a concert-goer, an adventurer, a cook, a crafter, a lover of books, a waffle aficionado, a player of board games, a collector of Legos, and many other things.

My personal life and professional life aren’t separated, they’re blended together.

This means my personal profile and my personal brand business page will have both personal and professional content, but that content will be shared in a way that respects my network and audience. I don’t want to spam those who connect with me personally with too much business content, and I want to make sure those who connect with me professionally find value in what I share. So…

  • My personal profile will be mostly personal photos, thoughts, and content, with a little business sprinkled in.
  • My professional page will be mostly professional articles, videos, tools, and resources with glimpses of my personal life mixed in.

It sounds simple, but getting to this point was anything but, and I’m happy to now have a foundation to support all of my efforts moving forward in a way that makes sense and respects those I am connected with.

Hope to see you on Facebook!