Personal branding can be tricky business. It’s much easier to remain objective when you’re branding a business. You are, after all, branding something separate to you (i.e. a product or service). Branding yourself is a whole other ball game. Of course you’re going to be influenced by your own thoughts and feelings about yourself. This can make it challenging to gain perspective. And a lack of perspective means you’re more likely to make mistakes. Check out these three all too common personal branding mistakes and make sure you’re not falling into the same trap.
1. Who are you anyway?
People love a good inspirational story. And in the world of personal branding, not giving your audience some background is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Who are you? Where did you come from? What have you been through and how did get to where you are now?
Don’t bog your audience down in insignificant detail (TLDR; that’s a personal branding mistake in itself) but do provide them with relatable aspects of your story. This will position you as an expert in your field and strengthen your personal brand so that your followers feel confident that you will deliver on what you promise.
2. You’re getting caught up in your own pain points
If you’re trying to help people through an issue they’re facing, it can help to share with them that you’ve been through something similar. The personal branding mistake occurs, however, when you share your challenges without also showing how you’ve overcome them.
Sure, it’s great to be vulnerable. To show how we’re all in this together and no one has it all figured out. But you aren’t going to get people across the line if they don’t believe you’ll be able to help them overcome their challenges. And if you consistently appear to be stuck in your own pain points, you’re going to lose your audience’s trust. If you are going to share them, always show how you have personally overcome your challenges. Make sure you reflect on the message you’re trying to convey before sharing anything with your followers.
3. You’re not visible enough
For people to establish a meaningful connection with you (a person who they likely have never and will never meet in person), they need to see you. It may seem painfully obvious that being invisible is a mistake for a personal brand but it’s one that is all too common.
Don’t hide behind the polished and airbrushed finish of your branding. Get in front of the camera on your social channels and candidly speak to your followers. Don’t be afraid to be a little unpolished. People will connect more with you if they feel you’re just like them. If you show up with unbrushed hair or without a script from time to time.
It’s also important to ensure you have plenty of photos of yourself on your website and as part of your overall branding strategy. Consider getting a professional photo shoot with you in a number of outfits, in various locations and while sitting/standing in numerous positions.