Personal branding is fun, profitableâ€¦ and challenging. Unlike many business processes, it is never â€œdone.â€ A brand is a living entity, capable of shifting and changing every single day. This presents a challenge in that, no matter how committed and dedicated you are to building a strong personal brand, it is easy to undermine the work that youâ€™ve done and actually weaken your personal brand. Below are five ways that this happens:
1) Lack of confidence. You donâ€™t have to be a â€œknow it all.â€ But as you work on building a brand as a CelebrityExpertÂ® within your market, itâ€™s important that you build your own confidence. Think about it for a momentâ€”letâ€™s say youâ€™re a business owner visiting a CPA for the first time. That CPA is known as the leading expert in his market. Would you expect him to speak and act with confidence? Of course you wouldâ€”and a lack of confidence in his area of expertise would cause you concern. Again, Iâ€™m not suggesting that you should become a â€œknow it allâ€â€”only that you have confidence in your abilities. Youâ€™ve worked hard to become who you areâ€¦ you should be confident!
2) Not â€œliving upâ€ to their brand in person. This is a tough one, and itâ€™s all-important. Whether you are branding yourself through social media, TV/radio, by writing a book, or any other channelâ€¦ itâ€™s important that you live up to your brand in person. The best way to do that is simply to create a brand that is an accurate representation of you and your personality. Donâ€™t try to be something that you arenâ€™t, and youâ€™ll never have to worry about â€œliving upâ€ to the perception that you create.
3) Poor business cards and other visual materials. This one is simpleâ€”if you expect to be viewed as a CelebrityExpertÂ®, your business card and other visuals like brochures, books, and your website must look the part. Donâ€™t â€œgo cheapâ€â€”youâ€™ll pay for it down the road!
4) Using old marketing materials that conflict with the current brand. As a business owner, you hate wasting resources. Thatâ€™s a good thing. But that mentality often leads people to continue using old marketing materials rather than throwing them out. (For instance, many business owners continue to use old business cards even though they have an updated logo.) Itâ€™s important that everything a customer or potential customer sees represents your brandâ€”so bite the bullet and toss out any outdated materials.
5) Inconsistency. In order to create a strong brand identity, itâ€™s important that you broadcast a consistent message day after day. Think about politics for a momentâ€”an effective campaign hits the same message over and over and over. (Think Obama in â€™08. How many times did you hear â€œhopeâ€ and â€œchangeâ€? How about â€œyes we can!â€ In 2012, Romney is doing his absolute best to focus like a laser on the weak economy.) Does your message stay consistent?
Questions? Comments? Would you like to learn more? As always, please feel free to contact me or any of our agents at the agency!