10 Personal Branding Mistakes to Avoid
What is your Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is what you want to be known for. Think of it as how others would describe you if you weren’t in the room. You have two options when it comes to personal branding, you can manage your brand & how you want to be known or you can choose not to engage in managing your personal brand and let others decide what it is for you.
There are common mistakes that people make, which hurts me to see and so I have pulled together some of the mistakes I see and an action you can take to avoid this going forward.
1 . Thinking you Don’t Need to Manage your Personal Brand.
Wherever you are in life, working for a company, going it alone, thinking about writing a book, being an influencer, launching a course or a podcast, how others perceive you will impact your success and so, understanding that there are ways that you can help others see the best version of your personal brand will play to your advantage long term.
Think about your future and what you would like to achieve and how managing your personal brand could help you achieve these goals.
2. Thinking you Can ‘Turn it On’ Quickly
Managing your personal brand is a long-term strategy to achieve long term life and business goals. Not thinking about it for months or years, and then just because you have a promotion you want or to launch something new you think you can suddenly ‘turn it on’ . Then expect people to see you in a certain way, doesn’t work. It could in fact do the opposite for you as you may come across fake / try hard / or playing a game as people will see what you are at.
You need to think long-term, really think about why you are investing the time to manage your brand:
Do you want to grow your business and be seen as an authority or expert in your field?
Do you want to secure a promotion in work or land a job in a particular company?
Do you want to launch a book / a podcast / a course and are looking to attract people to purchase from you?
Do you want to become a paid influencer in a certain field?
Play the long-game, you will build a stronger personal brand & one that is authentic. Figure out your end goal of what you want to build your personal brand for, this will help guide what you do to achieve that goal. It will also make you more intentional in your efforts.
3. Thinking you Need to Fake It!
Trying to create a fake persona of who you think people want to see…this will move you away from your purpose and value, what you are about and what you ultimately want from life. You will be living a lie and similarly portraying this to others. It can take time and thinking to get comfortable with your true self, having the confidence to put yourself out there as YOU.
Be ok with not being for everybody, by putting the authentic version of yourself into the world you will be much more likely to attract your true tribe, those people who get you and will want to work with you.
4. Hiding Behind your Brand
If you are building a personal brand you need to share ‘YOU’ the person behind the brand. People want to buy from people. If you are selling a service, it is a good idea to use your face as your brand on your various digital platforms. For products – your logo is perfect.
Update your digital platforms with a quality logo or quality image of yourself. For recognition it is a good idea to sue the same quality image across all touchpoints.
5. Poor Quality Imagery
Building on hiding behind your brand, if you are going to put yourself out there as the face of your brand, you do need to use quality imagery that represents how you want your brand to be perceived.
Invest in getting quality imagery that will represent your brand. What you put out there is what you will attract.
6. Holding Back or Not Sharing your ‘Story’
Being afraid to share with your audience who you are and why you do what you do. Opening up to your audience and sharing your story will welcome people in. We all have a story, a reason why we do what we do and sharing this in a compelling way with your audience will benefit your brand.
Share your why, tell people your story & build trust.
7. Not Being Clear on Who you are Talking To
In every situation, you should have a good idea of who you are trying to communicate to, whether this is a group of stakeholders in a company or your target audience. You do need to slightly tailor your message based on who you are talking to.
Share your why, tell people your story & build trust.
8. Not Being Able to Differentiate Between Copying and Taking Inspiration
It is perfectly acceptable to take inspiration from the wider world to guide your content creation and what you are putting out into the world, but you need to do just that, be inspired. You then need to layer on what is your point of view, what can you add / build / contest around a topic to make it worthwhile talking about.
The next 3 pieces of content you read in your field, ask yourself the following questions to get into the habit of using and developing YOUR voice.
Do I agree or disagree with what this person has said?
Do I think there is something they have missed and could add to this?
How could I spin this idea to make it 110% relevant for my niche audience?
Are their practical tips that would make this idea more actionable for my audience?
Can I find 3 examples of brands doing this well to take inspiration from? (or similarly brands NOT doing it well)
9. Not Delivering Value for your Audience
Do you only communicate with people when you want something? You need something from them or you want them to buy something from you? When was the last time you took time out of your day to create something of value to share with your audience or stakeholders for their benefit? By creating and giving genuine value to your audience you will build your brand in a favourable manner.
Commit to creating value for your audience – what can you do this month that others will benefit from?
10. Not being Consistent in your Efforts
This is the most crucial to deliver authenticity. There is nothing worse than a person who is overly eager one day and sitting back nonchalant the next. You do want a consistent delivery of what you are about.
Create a plan for your personal brand, what do you want to be known for, how are you going to add value to your audience, make a plan as to how and when you show up.
Be realistic about what you can do to ensure you can be consistent in your efforts.
Once you have set your personal brand goals, I recommend breaking your actions down into 30, 60, 90 day goals to keep you motivated. Celebrate your milestones along the journey and remember this is a long game.
With CONSISTENCY, PASSION & PURPOSE you will build your personal brand.