Personal Branding 101: Three Easy Ways to Destroy Your Personal Brand

Most of time on this blog, we focus on the process of building a powerful personal brand. Today, we’re going to take the opposite approach and highlight three things to avoid while developing your brand.

These three elements are toxic to your brand… so avoid them at all costs!

Lack of Focus. You can’t be everything to everyone. Your personal brand should be focused around a few key qualities—your engineering skills, your sense of humor, or your years of experience, for instance. You can’t be a brilliant chef, political commentator, comedian and financial guru all at once. (Or at least, you can’t expect your market to recognize you for it!) Overdoing it will dilute your brand, and you won’t stand for anything. Decide what qualities are most important, and focus your personal brand around them. And remember to stay true to yourself while doing so.

Negativity. Regardless of the type of brand you are trying to build, negativity is poisonous. Potential clients don’t want to work with an individual that is overly negative, and referral sources don’t want to refer their clients to a negative individual. Don’t get on Twitter or Facebook and complain about a client or a competitor that mistreated you. When you’re on the phone with a client, don’t spend time complaining—not even about last night’s TV show, the local sports team, or anything else. You want to appear positive and welcoming at all times. Negativity will kill your brand quickly—so don’t let it take over!

Dishonesty. First and foremost, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t claim to know more than you do. Don’t pass other people’s work off as your own. The real danger with dishonesty, from a branding standpoint, is that it makes it impossible for your audience to trust you. If you’re known as a business that promises clients the world and then can’t deliver, you’re going to find it very hard to attract customers. When you’re branding, don’t embellish and don’t lie. Sooner or later, dishonesty will come back to haunt you in a very big way.

Keep these three elements far, far away from the personal brand you are building. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with me today!