Personal branding takes a lot of work. It’s a conscious effort and requires continual maintenance. Professionals know that a well-crafted brand can pay off in a big way. However, many of us may be sabotaging our efforts without even knowing it. Chad Brooks of Business News Daily writes on the many mistakes we all-too-often make when it comes to personal branding in his post, 7 Ways You're Tarnishing Your Personal Brand. Here are some of the personal branding mistakes you should avoid and what to do instead.
Being inconsistent or unprofessional
One of Brooks’ mistakes is common and all-too-often overlooked: your brand is inconsistent. Even if your LinkedIn profile is maxed out on recommendations, loaded with connections, and paints a glowing picture of you, a Twitter account that does not match that caliber detracts from all the hard work you’ve put in. Keeping your presence professional across the board on all online profiles, accounts, and web sites establishes your credibility and more importantly your brand. Dig deep to clean out old pictures, posts, and comments that don’t reflect your brand and start adding content that does. Check out our post on branding online for more advice.
Using low quality photos
A personal brand is about defining and expressing an image you want others to know you by. An essential visual to that image is a photograph – it instantly makes your website, blog, or social media presence more personable. Don’t ever use photos with another person cut off, selfies, or blurry images – those don’t convey your brand. Instead, invest in some professional head shots that convey your personality and leave a memorable impression. These will also take your personal website to the next level.
Too much bragging
Brooks argues that there is a fine line between promotion and bragging when it comes to personal branding. However, the mistake here is excessive discussion of achievements and accomplishments. Mentioning them is fine, though mix-up your dialogue with relevant and interesting articles, happenings, and nods to others in the field. Knowing when self-promotion goes too far is tricky, so check out Personal Branding Blog’s article on it for more advice.
Lack of in-person interaction
Do not underestimate the value of a face-to-face connection. These hold the potential to build longer professional relationships than online interactions. Brooks suggests attending networking events, which hold untold potential for business connections. Additionally, meeting others in person can better demonstrate your authenticity.
You’re not creating content
Creating content will not just get you more visibility online, but it will also build an audience and your credibility. So why aren’t more people doing it? Creating content was even named one of top personal branding strategies of 2014 by The Guardian! Whether you’re posting videos on your own personal website or writing on your blog, create content to match your brand to avoid this all-too-common personal branding mistake. And if you’re short on time, remember to keep the focus on quality over quantity. Make posts thoughtful and engaging to stay relevant.
A lack of website
There is more than one way to create a first impression, and because the world is increasingly digital, many will search for you online before you ever meet face to face. Having your own website takes the power of your brand into your own hands. With a website in your own name, you’ll ensure anyone looking for you will see the best you have to offer. With Squarespace, you can create an aesthetically pleasing launching pad for your brand. Don’t make the personal branding mistake of relying on the inflexible and indistinguishable platforms of social media to promote your brand.