Forbes recently published an interesting article by Rebecca Webber on the "6 Things That Could Be Hurting Your Personal Brand." Webber scratched the surface about what you can do to avoid or rebound from these mistakes, but didn't take it quite far enough from my perspective. Today we'll look at these six personal branding mistakes and what you can do about them.
Webber's first mistake was in not clarifying what you want to be known or hired for. She recommends deciding what you want to be. To take that a step further, I recommend (and can demonstrate the act of) putting together a personal branding statement.
2. Not Sharing the Right Things
The next mistake comes from over-promoting or under-promoting yourself in social media updates, in addition to being careless in what you post. This is good advice on what not to post. Here's some advice on how to craft a personal branding social media strategy, one update at a time.
3. You're Showcasing the Past, Not Previewing the Future
Mistake number three is the one that bugs me the most. Does your resume and Linked profile document your past linearly or does it highlight the person you want to be in your career? Pull out the experiences relevant to where you want to bring your career so that people can get an idea for who you are in broad brush strokes.
4. You Don't Have a Website
Ok I lied. This is the personal branding mistake that irks me more than anything else. You don't have your own website. You'd never build on rented land, would you? Then don't build your personal brand on a social media platform alone, or worse, not at all. You can literally have your own website, hosted on your own domain, in a beautiful, mobile-friendly template, in less than 10 minutes for about the same as what you pay for Netflix each month.
5. You Don't Meet People IRL
I can't say I disagree with this one either. It's a mistake to only build relationships online. You've got to get out there and meet people, shake hands, and have the conversations that build relationships over time. My best tip is to identify one organization in your direct industry (e.g., MnSearch is the local association for search marketing professionals) and one in your broader industry (e.g., The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association serves all digital marketing professionals) and then commit to attending at least one event for each organization per month. You'll meet a lot of great people and start to look forward to your twice-per-month geek-out nights with industry colleagues.
6. Your Profiles Are Out-of-Date
Lastly, it's a mistake to let you blog, website, and social media profiles get stale. Take fifteen minutes per month to go through your online profiles and make updates depending on your newest updates, accomplishments, and thoughts.
What are some of the bigger personal branding mistakes you've seen people make? What advice do you have for people based on these mistakes that you've seen? I'm curious to hear your thoughts and read through your opinions in the comments.