Personal Branding: When Your Brand Goes Off Course

In an ideal world, each of our personal brands would consistently grow as time passes. In reality, it’s easy to lose track of our branding efforts, or even to see them grow in an undesired direction. This can happen as a result of simply being busy—let’s face it, none of us have time to get everything done every single day. It can also be a result of choosing poor branding strategy that you later come to regret. In any case, today we’re going to discuss strategies for refocusing or rejuvenating your personal brand. If you’ve been neglecting your branding efforts, pay attention!

1) Take stock of your brand. What does your brand stand for? How active have you been in terms of broadcasting it? Are you happy with your brand? Are you exposing your brand to a wide enough audience? The main goal here is to determine your course of action—do you need to redefine your brand, or do you simply need to get it out there more effectively?

2) If your brand has been damaged, begin by addressing the damage. Has your personal brand taken a hit? Whether it’s online complaints about you or your business or negative PR as a result of a failed initiative or poor performance, ignoring the criticism is rarely a wise course of action. Instead take responsibility for your mistakes, take the appropriate corrective actions, and move on. If you don’t address negativity, it will continue to hang over your head and will threaten your future branding efforts.

3) Refocus. It’s not uncommon to see a personal brand drift off course. Keeping a brand focused requires conscious effort, and many people slip up from time to time. The most common problem is drifting from being an expert in your field towards being a “jack of all trades.” As you know, you can’t be everything to everyone. Focus your branding on what you do best, not simply on whatever comes to mind.

4) Look for lost opportunities. Once you’ve gotten your brand refocused to your satisfaction, it’s time to make sure that you are taking every opportunity to get your brand out there. Is your website up to date and consistent with your brand? Are you including links to your blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account in your email signature? When your office answers the phone, are they cheerful, helpful, and pleasant? Are your invoices and other communications with clients branded with your logo and your colors? Each of these instances represent a valuable opportunity to expose your target market to your brand—make sure you’re taking advantage of them.

Branding is an ongoing effort. This is good news for anybody who has ever let their brand get away from them—because it means that it is never too late to get back on track. So be honest and evaluate your efforts… and if you know you aren’t doing as well as you should be, commit to getting back on top of your personal brand starting today!