Seven Ways to Sabotage Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is an ongoing journey. It’s a cumulative process that allows you to create a perception of yourself as an industry expert within your marketplace. And it allows you to make a whole lot of money, as we have discussed in previous blogs and articles.

But just as your personal brand can be strengthened over time, it can also be weakened. So without any further ado, below are seven common mistakes that will undermine your branding efforts. Are you committing any of them?

1) Try to be “everything to everyone.” As a business owner, you can’t afford to lose your focus. If you’re working towards becoming Orlando’s premier tax attorney, you can’t publically shift your focus into anti-trust matters without weakening your brand. Focus on the core of your brand and stick to it!

2) Put up a “front.” An effective personal brand must be authentic. Don’t try to be someone that you aren’t. Consumers are smart and can spot an imposter from miles away. Be yourself!

3) Drift from message to message. Who are you, and what makes you distinct from your competition? Your answer to these questions should form the core of your personal brand. And it’s important that you stick to this message. If you’re constantly changing your marketing message and promoting different points of differentiation, your market won’t know what to believe.

4) Reach out to an overly broad target market. Are you sensing a theme here? Focus, focus, focus. It can be tempting to grow your market as your business grows, but focusing on too broad of a market requires watering down your brand, and that’s a losing proposition. It’s far better to master one specific niche and become an expert in the eyes of a specific target than it is to be “okay” at a number of things.

5) Don’t tell a story. If you want to bore people and tune them out, stick only to the facts. If you want to engage your audience, tell a story. Show them how your company is growing. Tell them how your products and services can make a real difference in their life. Give them a reason to pay attention to you!

6) Don’t follow through with your plans. Personal branding requires ongoing effort—on the part of your staff, and of yourself. Social media, for instance, requires regular attention. So does networking, pursuing media coverage, and so on. Once you’ve created a plan, don’t let it fall by the wayside. Stick with it… otherwise your efforts have been wasted.

7) Be all sales, all the time. Finally, perhaps the quickest way to turn people off is constantly selling to them. Your personal brand isn’t about sales—it’s about telling a story, sharing your personality, and letting your market glimpse your expertise and your points of differentiation. Don’t focus on sales. Focus on communicating your brand… and the sales will come!

Questions or comments? Want to learn more? Please feel free to contact me today!