So, should you build your personal portfolio or instead invest time in social media profiles?
This is a common question I get from photographers just starting out, and the answer is somewhat simple.
You probably can no longer build a successful business without some sort of social media presence. But you would be taking too many risks to only “set camp” there, without building your own website.
Social media companies can always get sold or shut down (acquisitions, natural life cycles, new competitors etc.), so you don’t really “own” your profiles there.
As opposed to social media profiles, a website is an asset you can control, that you have copyright over.
A good metaphor is to consider real estate: it’s like buying vs. renting.
Social media sites are excellent marketing hubs, and they’ll always be there to drive businesses forward in one shape or another. But building your strong personal website should be the core of your focus.
So the simple answer is: personal portfolio *AND* social media profiles.
It’s obviously important to leverage all the social media tools you have (by placing profile links and sharing buttons on your site). Use them as much as you want, just don’t rely solely on them, it’s more important to build your own online presence.