It used to be that those who invested in developing their personal brand had more professional opportunities and a leg up on the competition.
But now, having one is more of a must-have.
The reality of today’s world is that you need to develop your unique personal brand to gain traction in most aspects of your life. And, as you look to build your exposure, grow your businesses, and communicate your value, you’ve got to do so with smarts and strategy.
Here are 6 common branding blunders you’ll want to note - - and avoid:
BLUNDER #1: Being Inconsistent
One of the most devastating things you can do to hurt your brand is to be inconsistent.
Consistency is something that brands are built on, and that your audience comes to rely on. And if things are inconsistent – be it your communication style, color palette, logo variations, customer service, fonts, imagery, marketing efforts, client processes, etc. – your brand message is lost. And people don’t know what to expect from you.
Being consistent means that you own your narrative and distinguish yourself from the crowd… similarly, and all the time.
BLUNDER #2: Discomfort with Self-Promotion
I get it. It’s tough to talk about yourself and what you’re good at. Maybe you fear that you’ll come off as bragging or boastful. But remember that you offer a service… you offer value that other people want. It’s about THEM, not YOU. And, by placing your focus on the client (or your audience), it becomes easier to confidently put yourself out there. So, turn the tables, lift your chin, put your shoulders back… and share with everyone, everywhere what you have to offer!
BLUNDER #3: Lack of Authenticity
We live in a time when so many people paint a picture of their life and work on social media that isn’t accurately in-line with reality. And that inauthentic persona leads to a slippery slope that can feel fake and disingenuous to your audience.
Just as it happens when you get comfortable with that new boyfriend, eventually your true self will be exposed and you risk it all backfiring (if they feel as if they were fooled by your “show”). You can’t build a relationship with a lack of trust; and likewise, your personal brand will suffer if it isn’t authentic either.
BLUNDER #4: Focus on Quantity rather than Quality
It’s true that you’ve got to be present in order to build your tribe and show your value; but the myth is that the more frequent you make an appearance, the more traction you’ll gain.
No, no, my friends: Quality matters more than frequency. So, if you aren’t able to post as many times a day as you would want, make sure your posts are meaty, high-quality, and helpful. Or, if you can’t attend all of the workshops and networking events you had intended, make those moments count when you do. Whether it’s connecting with one really great new contact, learning a few highly valuable takeaways, or putting out a few relevant, helpful posts on social media, the good quality stuff is what will propel your growth and help you reach your goals.
BLUNDER #5: Forgetting that there’s a world beyond Social Media
It’s hard to believe it, but people still connect offline. For real.
Through networking, at social events, in meetings… Building a personal brand requires intentionality and strategy everywhere. And, while you may have placed your priorities on creating an online presence (through your website or social media platforms), your reputation follows you wherever you go. So, it’s wise to establish your presence on as many media channels you can handle, and incorporate offline strategies for achieving success as well.
BLUNDER #6: A lack of strategy
You can’t create something without knowing where you’re headed. Take time to get clear on your purpose and your goals so you can identify the right strategies to get you there. Developing your personal brand aimlessly, without thoughtful strategy, will leave your brand feeling disorganized and fragmented.
BLUNDER #7: Relying on others to generate content
Having and sharing your own voice is such an essential element of your personal brand, and the way to achieving this is through creating your own content. Be it blogs, videos, quick social posts, or showing up in a Facebook Live, your content gives people a sense of your personality, what’s important to you, and how you express your ideas. While it’s fine to share content from other bloggers and thought-leaders, you’re doing your own personal brand a disservice by investing in building someone else’s brand more than your own.
Okay, so you’re steering clear of the blunders… now it’s time to build your magnetic brand. Check out this blog post for 4 ways to make it happen!