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10 personal branding mistakes that are easy to fix www.omthreesixty.com.au
Your personal branding is essential for engaging and effective leadership, no matter if you’re an executive, an entrepreneur, or someone who is aspiring to leadership. It’s about taking a strategic approach to your career, business and life. It’s about differentiating and positioning yourself to lead with influence and impact. Here are ten common personal branding mistakes and easy solutions for how to avoid them.
JUMPING IN WITHOUT A PLAN 1 Business leaders are unlikely to reach organisational objectives without a strategic plan in place. The same applies to your career and lifestyle goals. Map out your values and what you stand for, determine what makes you different in your chosen field, identify your goals and put a plan in place to achieve them. Your personal branding plan is what keeps you on track.
NOT THINKING ABOUT YOUR STAKEHOLDERS 2 When it comes to authentic and engaging leadership, part of personal branding or the ‘brand of you’ is how you serve and create value for others. Identify the stakeholders and audiences which matter most to you. Map out each group’s needs and how you can help. Determine how and when you will engage and communicate with each group in order to meet their needs.
Authenticity is crucial to building trust. MAKING CLAIMS WITHOUT EVIDENCE 3 It’s important not to stretch the truth and to have concrete evidence for every claim you make. When it comes to personal branding, the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’ probably isn’t the best advice.
There are many ways to stand out and differentiate yourself. Take time to reflect on possibilities and be creative. NOT BEING CREATIVE WITH POSSIBILITIES 4 There are tried and tested ways available to you that are important, particularly if your goal is position yourself as a thought leader. Consider what else you can do to reach new networks, or to provide solutions to new audiences.
Ambiguity about your values and what makes you different will likely result in a ‘me too’ approach. This could prevent you from standing out. BEING VAGUE ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT 5 Clarity and precision in how you present and communicate is key to differentiating yourself, as well as to connecting with others and engaging in deeper relationships.
NOT PARTICIPATING Just showing up may not be enough. Get involved, contribute in forums and discussions, participate and share relevant and engaging information. Ask relevant questions to elicit responses, listen and take feedback on board. 6
It can be hard to talk about yourself because it can feel self-congratulatory. This can lead to undercommunicating your accomplishments and expertise. USING HYPE LANGUAGE 7 The other side of this is taking the language too far and describing your knowledge and experience with colourful adjectives to hype it up. This can be detracting – let the facts speak for themselves. It’s possible to resonate with your target audiences without overcommunicating.
INCONSISTENT PRESENTATION 8 It’s likely your personal brand is across any number of online and offline channels, whether it’s social media channels, your personal and your company’s websites, annual reports, brochures and so on. Each channel has different audiences, different purposes and probably different styles of communication ranging from formal to informal. With clearly articulated values and positioning objectives, create a consistent personal branding presence across all channels which reflects you while aligning the language to the audience and channel.
Over-communicating can be just as disadvantageous to your personal branding as under-communicating is. CHOOSING QUANTITY OVER QUALITY 9 Share relevant and insightful content regularly and in a measured way. Adding to the proverbial ‘noise’ may create a barrier between you and your audiences. Quality sets you apart and connects others to your insight, particularly when distributed at regular intervals.
TAKING A ‘SET AND FORGET’ APPROACH 10 Setting up a plan and letting it tick over by itself is unlikely to deliver the results you want. Consistent and regular monitoring of how you are tracking against your objectives will enable you to make changes to your approach if you need to. Circumstances change regularly and it’s important to adapt your plan to those changes. Also remember to update your profiles as you gain experience and skills in order to keep them current.
Contact us to discuss how you can engage and build deeper relationships with the audiences which matter to you through personal branding. To get regular and meaningful content, subscribe to the OM Blog at www.omthreesixty.com.au