Personal branding can be difficult. But, no matter your job or industry, you must learn how to build a personal brand and market yourself online. I’ve spent years building my brand and helping some of the largest organizations in the world build theirs too.
When the pandemic hit, my brand was the only thing that saved my business. Seriously! My company, like other businesses, took a hard hit. Consulting opportunities dropped off.
But, because of my brand, other opportunities popped up. Suddenly, companies asked me to write white papers and case studies.
I was like, “Say what?” Nobody’s paid me to write before …
Hell yes! “Okay, it will cost you $5000 for me to write that.”
Guess what? They said, “YES!”
Boom, I was back in business. You see, because of my brand, my previous clients trusted me. Sure, the pay was less than a full consulting project, but I was making money and paying the bills.
Plus, I continued to add value and maintain relationships.
Once everything started to settle down, my consulting picked back up. And I have new services with a writing portfolio … more ways to make money.
For those of you who work for a company and not for yourself, you need a brand too. Let’s get real for a bit.
Who gets promoted first, the person that works the hardest? Or the person that has a brand and knows the right people?
You know the answer.
Who gets hired? The person applying through Indeed.com or the known entity with a brand and an inside referral to the hiring manager?
You know this answer too.
Now, let’s get started. It’s time for you to build your brand and market yourself. So, here are the 18 mistakes you want to avoid when building your personal brand.
Personal Branding Mistakes
1. Not Knowing “YOU” Before Building Your Brand
Before you build your brand, make sure you know who you are and what you represent. When you build your brand, you need to be your authentic self. Nobody trusts a faker.
2. Not Setting Specific Goals For Establishing Your Brand
You’re creating a personal brand and marketing yourself to accomplish goals. Write down at least three goals and a timeline. New job? Higher salary? More clients? Becoming a paid speaker? Goals, my friend … goals!
3. Building Your Brand Around Someone Else’s Idea Of You
Speaking of authenticity, don’t build your brand around what your parents, friends, or colleagues think of you. Be YOU! With all your craziness, weird little quirks, and everything else that makes you unique.
4. Thinking You Don’t Need A Personal Brand
Like it or not, you ARE a brand. If I asked your boss or client about you … what they honestly think and say about you … that’s your brand. Are you managing it?
5. Not Putting Together A Plan To Manage Your Personal Brand
Speaking of managing your personal brand, do you have a plan? Have you thought through the steps of creating, building, and maintaining your brand? Well, you should.
6. Thinking Building A Brand Is Quick And Easy
You see, planning and managing your brand takes time. And that’s okay. The time you put into building your brand will pay off. More clients. Higher salary. Better job. More opportunities.
7. Not Defining A Target Audience
You need a clearly defined target audience, not a general one. Your audience should be able to help you achieve your goals. Either directly or indirectly.
8. Not Understanding Your Target Audience
You need to understand everything about your target audience—their wants, needs, and desires. The more you know about them, the better chance you have to connect with them.
9. Not Sharing Your Thoughts And Opinions
You’ll build your brand and market yourself by posting content. But, no matter what content you post, always share your thoughts and opinions. Sharing someone else’s article is great but won’t build your brand. Being a thought leader is the best way to market yourself.
10. Posting But Not Engaging With Your Target Audience
When you start posting content, you need to engage with your audience. Have conversations. Agree or disagree. Add value. Build relationships by engaging with them.
11. Thinking You Need A Large Audience For Your Brand To Work
You don’t need a large audience. You see, you have a specific and targeted audience. You engage with your audience. You have personal relationships with them. Your audience helps you with your goals because you provide them value in return. The size of the ship doesn’t matter in this case.
12. Being Afraid To Stand Out From The Crowd
You know the saying, “same shit, different day?” That’s how I feel 99% of the time I’m scrolling through social media.
So-called “experts” are posting the same old crap. Everything looks the same. Not you. You’re not afraid to stand out from the crowd. You’re unique. You’re YOU.
13. Worrying About What Others Think
Stop worrying about what “others” think. You’re not building your brand for the “others.” You’re marketing yourself to a specific group of people. Your “tribe” to borrow from Seth Godin. Haters are gonna hate. Don’t worry. Your tribe’s got your back.
14. Not Having A Personal Website
You need a personal website. Even if you work for a company and not for yourself. Build a website using a DIY website builder like Weebly or a WordPress website using BlueHost.
15. Not Telling YOUR Story
You have a story. You have 100s of stories. Incorporate your stories into your content. You’re building YOUR brand. Your stories are a significant part of your brand. The good, bad, and ugly can make great stories, connect with your audience, and add value.
16. Not Laughing At Yourself When You Make A Mistake
You’ve made mistakes. You’re going to make more mistakes. Laugh it off! I make them all the time. Don’t be afraid to share those mistakes too. Make them a part of your story. Have a good laugh with your target audience. Ask them to share their mistakes with you. Connect and engage.
17. Spreading Yourself Too Thin Across Too Many Platforms
I 100000000% spread myself too thin before. I was trying to manage every possible social media platform, email marketing, blogging, YouTube, etc. I read all the experts that said you need to be on anything and everything.
The problem is … they have employees, freelancers, and teams to help them. I burned myself out! I took a little break and refocused. Pick 2-3 platforms where your audience hangs out. Build your brand and market yourself there.
18. Not Building An Email List, NOW … Like Today!
Yo! You NEED an email list. Today. You don’t own Facebook. You can be kicked off Twitter. Google can change its algorithm. But if you have an email list … it’s yours. Nobody can take your list away. People that join your email list opted-in to hear from you.
Build your website. Create a lead magnet using Cava. Build a landing page to capture emails. Create an account on ConvertKit for email marketing. Build your list today.
Whoa! That’s some good stuff. I have no doubt that after reading this post, you’re well-equipped to start building your brand.
Take care, and have an excellent rest of your day.