Your personal brand is the professional image you build for yourself. It’s the persona that people assign to you and the reputation you own, based on your marketing, actions, communications and relationships.
Just like most good things, it takes time to build…
and very little to destroy.
Do something to damage your personal brand, and unfortunately, that’s the thing people are most likely to remember about you. That stain will follow you to future endeavours, including businesses you’ll build…making personal and corporate brand-building far more challenging than they should have to be.
So how can you work to build your personal brand whilst avoiding the things that will sabotage it?
You can educate yourself about common pitfalls.
And that’s what we’re about to do, right here and now.
Your Personal Brand, and how to Destroy it
Let’s get right to the point. Obviously, your goal is not to wreck your personal brand. However, if you were to have an objective like that, these are the things I would recommend doing to destroy your personal and professional reputation for years to come:
- Work without a WHY. If you thought we were going to start with something more dramatic, or more obviously detrimental, then you haven’t experienced the repercussions of being in business without a clear purpose. Name your passion. Be specific. Make sure it’s something you want more than anything…and that you expect to be passionate about for years to come. And then, with everything you do, work toward that WHY. People will notice that about you. They will develop perceptions about you, and the building of your personal brand will be set in motion.
- Make it all about you. When you’re interacting with your ideal customers (as well as influencers and potential partners) on social media, for instance, it’s important to offer relevant, helpful, selfless advice…rather than shamelessly promote yourself. Yes, you want to get your name into all the right circles; however, you’ve got to make sure there’s lots of value attached to your name—not just fluff.
- Be inconsistent. When you’re inconsistent, people learn that you can’t be trusted. Instead, you must build your brand (personal or corporate) by doing the same things over and over again. You make decisions based on unwavering values and others begin to see patterns that contribute to their perceptions of you. So name your values, vision and mission. Then stick to them, in everything you do.
- Be like all the others. Your ideal customers aren’t looking for someone who’s just like everyone else. Instead, they’re searching for that person who stands out from the crowd, and who’s different in all the right ways. Uncover what’s unique about you and then use that to build a personal brand that will attract your ideal customers.
- Use poor social media etiquette. When you’re building a personal brand, everything you say and do matters. And when you say and do those things on social media, you never know who’s going to witness it. Watch your key strokes. Remember to stay positive, take criticism as a gift and stay classy.
- Avoid in-person interactions. If you want to build a personal brand, you’ve got to get personal. That means going beyond the standard blogging and social media marketing channels and touching people’s lives in a very real way. If you allow people to experience the real you, in-person, their perceptions of you will be expedited, and your personal brand will be even more authentic and influential. So yes, you’ve got to network. And you’ve got to pick up the phone.
- Hide behind your brand. When you first established your corporate brand, you had a choice to make: A) build a corporate legacy brand that isn’t dependent on your name or B) build your personal brand alongside the corporate brand, so your name will be recognised even after the business is sold, etc. If you chose path B, but you have been putting the corporate brand forward, without working to build a name for yourself, then your personal brand will suffer.
- Break promises. It doesn’t matter what type of personal brand you’re building, if you want to destroy your reputation, along with any chance of gaining trust, then under-deliver on a consistent basis. Or, simply don’t do what you say you’re going to do. The foundation of any type of brand is trust. Without that, you’re sunk.
- Have no strategy. In order to build the personal brand that will most accurately represent the real you and your aspirations, you’ve got to have a plan. Know what your goals are, have a good grasp on your resources and your audience, and then create the brand that will best represent all facets. Without a strategy, you can’t possibility accomplish all of that.
Your personal brand will be the asset that opens doors and opportunities to make profitable connections with all the right people. Be authentic. Build a personal brand that represents what’s unique about you and that demonstrates the values that both you and your ideal customers hold dear.
Need some help with your personal brand strategy? Need some expert advice on what to do next, as well as a professional opinion about the things you’ve already done? Then we strongly suggest you schedule a 1-Hour Intensive Brand Audit with Sammy. We will talk about the three fundamentals you should be focusing on, and how you can express them through your personal brand. Just click here to learn more.