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5 things to avoid doing with your personal brand

One mistake with your personal branding strategy can turn people away indefinitely.

Your branding can make or break your business reputation online, so it’s important to be thoughtful and strategic about how you develop and maintain your personal brand.

Oberlo has shortlisted key statistics that demonstrate the importance of good personal branding.

One that caught our eye is the necessity of authenticity; 88 per cent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. 

Your audience might be set against your brand if they feel that you’re being insincere or that you’re withholding important information from them.

Being inconsistent with your content or your products and services can also lead your audiences to question your trustworthiness and credibility as a brand. This is seen in another important statistic that Oberlo reported; more than 68 per cent of businesses state that brand consistency contributes to revenue growth of 10 per cent or more. 

It can be difficult to recover from a reputation-damaging branding mistake, which is why it’s important to identify the pitfalls you need to avoid as you continue building your personal brand. Ensuring that you stay in the right direction with your personal branding strategy can help you improve and nurture your lead-generating and conversion efforts.

5 mistakes to avoid doing with your personal brand

We’ve shortlisted five pitfalls that you must avoid as you continue developing your personal brand.

1. Forgetting your story

Your business journey should be a focal point in your branding, and it’s a story that should be central to your values, key messages and marketing initiatives. Forgetting or neglecting your story for your branding can make your initiatives seem vague, generic or impersonal — everything that today’s consumer hates.

As humans, we’re drawn to compelling stories (whether they’re written or visual), and harnessing the power of storytelling can be a great advantage for your personal brand. 

There are ways to create a good story in branding and marketing:

  • Identify your key messages – Develop key messages that you can constantly refer to so that you can establish overarching themes as well as topics that build on each other.
  • Know what content medium to use – You can choose between blogs, videos, podcasts, social media posts — or a combination of any of these mediums. You need to know what content medium your audience prefers so that you can engage them effectively with your story.
  • Take inspiration from your life – Drawing inspiration from your personal experiences and using that to build your brand can help you create unique, genuine content that can spark connections with your audience.
  • Use believable conflicts – Identify your audience’s pain points and make sure to incorporate them into the content you create, especially when you’re developing product-driven stories.Keep it simple – You can lose your audience’s attention if your story is overcomplicated or too technical. Stick to your chosen topic or theme and build on that.

2. Being “preachy” about your message

Content can seem condescending or patronising if it’s not reviewed for its tone and clarity before posting. This is a common challenge when sharing industry-specific content and an expert is trying to convince their audience why they need to know about this topic, or why they need to follow their advice.

As a thought leader, it’s important to share your expertise and knowledge, but this needs to be balanced with an openness to hear other people’s thoughts and opinions. Being too adamant or too pushy about having the solutions to your audience’s problems can alienate them from you. 

If you get a comment or an email that explains why they disagree with one of your posts, step back and don’t reply immediately. Take the time to calm down so that you can get back to the exchange with a rational and thoughtful response.

Remember, everything you post on the Internet stays there forever! So always put your best (and true) face forward when you’re posting content or replies online.

3. Focusing too much on your credentials

You’re eager to show why you’re a thought leader in your industry, which is great. But you can’t do that by slapping your resume on every post you create. 

Prove your credibility with actions. Share your knowledge about different topics, and actively engage your audience by answering their questions and responding to their opinions. 

There are also other ways you can establish your credibility without coming off as arrogant:

  • Focus on the future – Your past does not define you or how credible you are. Investing in your future endeavours and long-term goals shows that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.
  • Commit to demonstrating your credibility – The best way to show your credibility is by committing to serving others (i.e. your target customers) with your industry skills and knowledge.  
  • Speak in the language of creation – Instead of talking about your achievements and accolades (which can be categorised under the language of description), focus on how you can apply your knowledge and skills in uplifting and empowering your target customers, which can be considered the language of creation. 

4. Hiding your fun or witty side

Of course, it’s important to be professional in your interactions with peers, customers and prospects. But when it comes to building a personal brand, don’t be afraid to show your more humorous and silly side. This makes you more approachable and personable to your audiences, which can encourage them to interact with you and your business. 

According to two Standford professors, leaders with a good sense of humour can build strong, positive work cultures, unleash more creativity and negotiate better. Like with anything, leaders with a good sense of humour can achieve a good balance between taking their work seriously and bringing humour to the workplace.

5. Posting content just for the sake of it

There’s a lot of pressure in creating tons of content today, given that businesses recognise the importance of being active online on different digital platforms. This can lead some brands to start posting quick content pieces just to populate their digital channels, resulting in “fluff” pieces that are not substantial or relevant to the audience. 

A better way of creating high-quality content in a higher quantity is to repurpose your existing content. This allows you to extend the lifespan of your content pieces and get the most use out of them. 

There are different ways you can repurpose your content. You can write new blog posts based on existing blogs or podcast episodes, or even create visual graphics to promote your blogs. Publishing a guest post on reputable digital publications can also expand your visibility and audience reach.

Doing this also enables you to cover different content mediums, which can expand your audience base.

Now that you know what to avoid in personal branding, let us help you find the opportunities to boost your personal brand in the right direction.

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