The BIG no-nos for personal branding

Working without paying attention to your personal branding is folly. It’s critical for freelancers to put effort into personal branding, but it’s also important for those in the corporate sphere. You will be judged on your actions. You may as well invest time in curating those actions so others can interpret them in the best light. Here are some common mistakes people make when developing their personal branding – both online and in person.


Lack personal integrity

Integrity is a combination of authenticity, consistency and keeping your word. You will be judged to be lacking in integrity if you do not meet deadlines or are unreliable. It’s also about your personal conduct toward those around you. If you grease up to higher ups and bosses, but treat service workers poorly, for example, you communicate a lack of empathy and insincerity. Is that how you want to be seen? Act consistently across the board and people will notice.


Lack focus

There are some benefits to being across a number of topics, but if you are too much of a generalist, it can muddy the personal branding waters. When you ask someone to sum up what you are skilled at, or known for, you should aim to receive fairly consistent answers. Just as Apple holds strong in the niche of electronics, you should be known as a go-to person in your specific field. Use your generalist skills to support this single driver niche.


Single voice promotion

If you use your communication channels to push your voice and your content 100% of the time, customers will begin to view your efforts as blatant self-promotion. Even if you are trying to present useful authentic content, don’t be afraid to share the good work of others. Consider what is useful and relevant to your target market and give it to them. It communicates confidence in your own brand as you are strong enough to share without diminishing your own light.


Overhype, oversell, overpromise

There are a number of ways this can happen to someone focusing on their personal branding. It can be as simple as overblown descriptors like ‘leading expert’ or ‘world’s number one’. If these claims are not backed up with evidence you risk being interpreted as a fake or untrustworthy. Show your audience how good your services are and back them up with client testimonials.


This also follows on to your content. Clickbait headlines or copy that promises to deliver certain content but doesn’t live up to the promises quickly dissolve trust and this is often irreversible. Don’t chase cheap clicks or likes. Generate excellent content and then create the headlines. Offer high quality work and the leads will follow.


If you’d like help defining your personal brand get in touch with Visual Caffeine to find out more about how our expertise could help you.

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