You’ve gone down the checklist. You’ve created a branding statement. You actively network and frequently trade business cards. You tweet and keep your LinkedIn up to date. Yet, despite your efforts, something’s not working. If you aren’t seeing any signs of success from your personal branding plan, you may be making one of these mistakes. Here, reassess your brand’s standing and see how you can take it to the next level.
1. You’re talking the wrong talk
A recent article on The Savvy Intern unearthed some reasons why your personal branding plan isn’t paying off. Author Chris Westfall cites a reliance on social media platforms and lack of forward-thinking. More importantly, he stresses that too much energy goes into proving our importance and accomplishments rather than doing great things and creating a vision for the future. As Westfall puts it, “Personal branding is about your potential.”
Westfall’s point is valid. A brand that is too focused on past accomplishments won’t get you anywhere. A brand that is entirely based online is ineffective. Branding also needs to be through personal connections, networking, your work ethics, and through your actions. However, there is something to say about having a strong online presence across many different platforms. While you should definitely devote some time to branding your potential, do not neglect your commitment to maintaining a brand on all fronts – social media included.
2. You’re not staying updated
Contrary to Westfall’s advice, The Muse argues that not keeping up with your online presence could be detracting from your brand. Social media, blogs, and personal websites that have been pushed aside, forgotten, or even neglected look dated and don’t give a good impression for your brand. If a lack of time is what’s keeping you from engaging online, aim for quality over quantity. The Muse recommends staying updated at least once a week, but deems daily as “the gold standard.”
Staying updated and engaged is not just for your online presence. Make sure that you are also up to date with the happenings with your field. Be active in your field’s community, whether that be through networking, attending conferences, or speaking and presenting.
3. You don’t have a website
Your personal branding plan may not be working if you still don’t have your own website, says both Forbes and The Muse. Maybe you haven’t put a lot of energy into a digital presence. Maybe you’ve focused entirely on social media platforms. Whatever your reason may be, creating a personal website will yield a lot of power to your brand’s image.
Creating a website with a URL of your full name can first benefit your brand because it directs potential clients, networking connections, and customers to the right place. People are looking online, so make sure you present your brand to your best ability. A personal website will give your brand great visibility on search engine results. Plus, it lets you tell the story of your brand and biography, share a portfolio or work samples, and blog about brand-related updates in your own way.
Still don’t have a website? Try the award-winning Squarespace. You don’t have to know code to create a professional-looking, one-of-a-kind website customized to showcase your brand in your own name. Squarespace is mobile-friendly and was just this year nominated for a Webby Award for design, services, and mobility. Plus, it costs less than your Netflix account and comes with great support!
What do you think of these tips for your personal branding plan? Have any of your own secrets to success? Share them and leave a comment below!