7 Common Tendencies That Kill Your Personal Brand

Gun in foot

As a society, we’re obsessed with brands. Nike, Apple, Coca Cola, Google – we’re drawn to them like football players to HS cheerleaders.

And in the social media world, we’re even more obsessed. We’re constantly hearing conversations focused on brands, telling us how to build one, how to leverage one, and whose brand is bigger and more influential. But even with all the talk, most of us still have a hard time understanding how not to shoot our brand (and ourselves) in the foot on a daily basis. We forget that people are watching and publicly strangle our brand while we’re supposed to be building it.

Whether you think you’re a personal branding pro or you’re just learning the ropes, here are seven ways people kill their personal brand every day. 

Lisa Barone is the Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media. She’s also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

1. Procrastinating

2. Being Crotchety In Public

If you haven't gotten the memo, being negative to earn attention is so three years ago. People want to do business with Likeable Laura, not Sketchy Sam. We want to engage with people who have positive things to say about the brands they love and constructive things to say about the brands they don't love today.

If you're using your Facebook account to yell at people, your Twitter account to throw things and your blog to be an unfounded-bully, you're killing your credibility with nastiness. Criticism is good, but use your words wisely and don't make the bad stuff all you're putting out there. Too much negativity and people start to wonder what's wrong with you not the person/brand you're criticising.

3. Being Inconsistent/Unfocused

4. Embellishing

While it may sound like a good idea to embellish your skills and qualifications when talking with people, your brand won't recover when you're found out. If someone in your network hires you after hearing about your social media savvy or your standout search engine optimization skills only to discover you don't have those skills?

Well, that's going to be something your brand won't recover from. Don't lie about your qualifications or what you're capable of doing. The truth always comes out. We'll still love you if you admit you can't do it all. We won't love if you promise you can and then drop the ball.

5. Bad Time Management

If you're on Twitter lamenting about how you can't finish client work, how you having to pull an all-nigh ter to get on track or how conferences have put you totally behind, you're not giving off the best impression to people who want to hire you.

After all, if you can't keep track of your own work and time, why would they trust you with one of their projects? While we all love to use social media to complain and procrastinate, do it too much and people still start to wonder if you're someone they can trust.

6. Mimicking Someone Else's Brand

It's tempting. It's tempting to mimic a personal branding tactic you see working for someone else in the hopes that it will also work for you. However, by doing so you essentially blow a hole through your own personal brand by adopting tactics that are not authentic.

You can't build your personal brand while pretending to be someone else. It just doesn't work. People can tell when you're being you or when you're being your best impression of someone else. To create a successful personal brand, you want to find yourself.

7. Reading This Blog Post

I already told you that your brand isn't going to make itself while you sit around and ponder your thoughts. So why are you still here? Get building.

Those are some ways I'm constantly seeing people kill their personal brands. What kills it for you?

Now you know what not to do, find out what you should do:

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