Over the years I’ve spent working as a personal branding consultant, I have seen plenty of mistakes made. The reality is that mistakes are inevitable—what is important, as a business owner, is that you learn from your mistakes and that you do not repeat them. That said, there are several personal branding mistakes that I have seen pop up time and time again. I am going to cover three of the most common mistakes below—take a moment and ask yourself if you are making any of them.
1) Inconsistency. This is perhaps the most common personal branding mistake that business owners make. The temptation is to alter your message and change your approach on a regular basis, in order to attract the prospects you are most interested in at the time. Unfortunately, over the long run, that approach leads to a weak personal brand. Once you have identified the personal brand you are seeking to create, stick to it.
2) Failure to evolve. If you are hoping to engage your audience and create interest in your brand, it is important that you tell a story. Too many business owners construct a personal brand, but fail to let it grow. Tell a story. Share experiences with your audience. Give your market a living, breathing, personal brand that they can connect to.
3) Failure to establish expertise. For a business owner, establishing expertise should be the most important part of any branding campaign. If you are a tax accountant, your brand should position you as a leading expert in your field—the go-to accountant for clients who need to work with the best. Whether it is modesty or insecurity, I have found that many business owners are hesitant to brand themselves as an expert. This is a huge mistake—positioning yourself as an expert allows you to charge higher rates, attract more business, and lock out the competition.
Take a few moments to evaluate your personal branding efforts—are you making any of these mistakes? If so, now is the opportunity to take corrective action and get back to building a dynamic and powerful personal brand. Contact me if you have any further questions!
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors who consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media, and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at their Web site. Jack and Nick have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets.
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