Personal Branding is becoming an absolute must have for anyone looking to advance in their career or position themselves as a business leader in the industry. Many experts have shared their tips and tricks on how we establish credible brands; but few have led us through their lessons learnt. It is said that one of the best ways to get ahead is by learning from the mistakes of others, so here is list of some of mistakes people make as they seek to establish their personal brands.
1. Being Self-UNaware
Statistics indicate that 95% of people believe they are self-aware, but the real number is between 12% to 15%. Self-unawareness is the extent to which one is yet to figure out their why, where, who or what. The where defines the vision to the end goal, the why aligns with the purpose one has for their life, the who speaks to the audience one would like to speak to and the what defines the content one would like to speak about.
When these W’s are not clearly defined from the onset, then there is a high likelihood of brand future misalignment / disaster.
Answering these questions is equivalent to building the foundation of your personal brand; and the stronger your foundation, the more stable the brand will be. Personal Branding takes more than just showing up online and posting content, having a solid plan that is guided by your vision easily establishes it for the long run and to its ideal customer audience.
Improving your self-awareness is as simple as getting to understand what people think about you; a process that can be achieved by simply taking the 360Reach Personal Branding Survey.
2. Being inconsistently consistent
Consistency is the answer to success in life. A quote by John Maxwell says, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
To fail in personal branding is as unassuming as making your new year’s resolutions only to abandon ship by the second month. Consistent effort ensures the best results in everything in life, be it school, work, gym, business and so on.
Those who start with so much intensity and later dip to no activity, usually end up with little to no results while those who take up small actions towards their goals look back to a very different person over the same period.
When it comes to personal branding, the small actions that yield great results over time include sharing valuable content socially, engaging with community-based activities, taking up high visibility projects in the workplace and so on. So don’t be inconsistently consistent, be consistently consistent.
3. Seeking quantity over quality
It is easy to get discouraged when the engagements in your online posts / shares do not yield as highly as the thought leaders in your industry, to this I say…. Be Your Own Cheerleader.
We all want to have a huge following of people behind us, but this is not going to be the case, especially at the onset. However, this does not mean that the little engagement you get with your content is not valuable to those who seek after it.
Appreciate that the small numbers of impressions on your posts, can easily to equated to being in a room full of people of similar magnitude listening in on your conversation. The likes / reactions can be likened to the few captivated members who will acknowledge your content with emotional sighs, visible claps, cheers, and nodes while the comments sections likened to the one or two people who will raise their hand to ask a question in the auditorium.
And just like in any other audience out there, there will always be a few silent followers who may be intrigued by your content but will never raise their hand or show any reaction. So, embrace these silent followers who learn from afar. The number of people in your network is just a metric. If you have the right people in your network, the impact you are making is much more than you realize.
4. Reluctance to network with the online community
Social media is one big networking platform, and this means, to build your brand, you MUST build your networks.
Can you imagine going to a networking cocktail and sitting by the sidelines, watching as the party is happening? No talking to others, no interacting, no nothing! How boring would that be? And guess what, chances are the other party goers will refer to at you as that strange guy who came to the party and never spoke to anyone!
So, if you are not willing to be labelled the ‘wierdo lurking by the corner’ at a real networking event, why then would you just lurk in the shadows while in the online world? Get into people posts and comment, ask questions, offer valuable insights etc. – there is got to be something of value you can offer; so, share it and grow your network.
5. Battling the haters
Occasionally, you will bump into people who will want to rattle your efforts; do not allow this negativity to discourage your resolve to grow and share your learnings with others. Taking a hard stance and reacting negatively is just as damaging to your personal brand as doing nothing. Should such a scenario arise, understand that it is okay to have a difference in opinion with others and that each of the different opinions shared are just as valid as your own opinions.
It is important to remember that as your brand grows, you will have some audiences looking up to you and others despising what you do, how you manage your reactions is what matters. And should you genuinely make a mistake, acknowledge the error made, apologize for the mistake, and allow the audience to express their concerns. Afterall, to err is human and we are all human.
Don’t allow yourself to make the mistakes others have made while building their personal brands. Mistakes if not well managed can lead to regrets later in life that would otherwise have been avoided.
Learn from others and #standout4growth.
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