If done right, personal branding can leverage your authenticity and credibility to differentiate you from other people who do the same type of work. If done wrong, personal branding will make you exhausted from pretending to be someone you are not. Consumers are highly aware of brand authenticity: 88% of them support brands which are authentic. This means that any fake brands will most likely be rejected or ignored. Investing time and energy in building an authentic brand pays off: if you build your brand around your talents in an honest and consistent way, you can attract attention in any environment. This task, however, is challenging, and often leads to costly mistakes such as (Part II):
Mistake 6: Poor social media skills. Social media are a powerful branding tool, if used in the right way. There is a fine line between overpromoting and underpromoting your accomplishments. Each approach can alienate your audience. You need to find the right balance. Remember that any post you share should align with your branding strategy. The key message of your posts should be consistent: all of them should help you establish your position as a skilled professional whose expertise is of great value to potential customers or employers.
Mistake 7: A mismatch between your personal and professional brands. For many people, their personal brands do not align with their professional brands. If you put forth one thing on your professional account, you cannot contradict it with a completely opposite message on your personal account. Although this seems obvious, a lot of people make this mistake. You need to be aware that in many cases the CEO or the executive team are synonymous with the brand. To strengthen your brand, make sure to remain consistent across different online brand touchpoints.
Mistake 8: Underestimating the time commitment. Building a personal brand is a challenging process which requires a lot of effort and time. The success of a brand depends on a number of factors such as networking, writing texts, collaboration with others and engaging on social media. It takes time to build a solid and competitive brand. The time you need to spend on building your brand varies by industry, the recognition of your name and your position. The invested time, however, will pay off in the end: the stronger your brand, the more value it will generate.
Mistake 9: Too much focus on your past career. Your branding strategy should focus on where you want to go, not where you have already been. Highlight the projects and experiences that you would like to repeat. If you would like to provide marketing consultations for e-commerce firms, talk about your successful marketing campaigns. Reflect your professional interests in your mission statement on your website or in your posts on social media. The more you highlight them, the more likely you will get interesting offers.
Mistake 10: Brand confusion. If the person you present online does not match your offline image, or if there is not clarity and consistency in your brand communications, you can easily confuse your audience. There should not be a mismatch between your actions and personal brand that you have built. Avoid sending mixed messages to your audience. Your branding messages should be clear, concise, strategic and confidently articulating your value. Clarity helps establish a connection, which leads to better engagement and tangible benefits.