I am BIG on personal branding. Not only do I think that a personal brand is just as important as a business brand, I genuinely believe it’s more powerful. When you develop a strong presence as an expert and a leader in your field, people will WANT to work with you, instead of you chasing around leads like a mad chook that has gotten out of the pen. People are slowly starting to catch on with personal branding, but unfortunately a lot of them are doing it wrong – and it’s costing them. Here’s 8 things you DON’T want to do when you are branding yourself!
1. They talk about themselves.
People don’t care about you, they care about themselves. You must be the solution to their problems..
This is easily the biggest reason why people fail with personal branding. They think that they need to create an online presence that tells customers about why they’re great, to show them that they are the right choice.But people don’t care about that.
Imagine if you were at a networking event and someone came up and said ‘Hey, I’m awesome, you should work with me’. Would you want to talk to that person let alone pay them money? Of course not. You’d think they were a selfish, ignorant pest. Well – posting stuff about how great you are on social media is literally the exact same thing. Aside from the fact that it makes you seem annoying and arrogant, it doesn’t add any value.
And that’s the solution… add value! Identify exactly what your dream client wants, and then put out content that is TOTALLY focused on answering their questions. That’s how you get them to listen, and show that you’re the solution to their problems.
2. They have no defined audience
If you try to get everyone, you’ll get no one. Rather than trying to please everyone and be a jack-of-all-trades, you should focus on a specific service for a specific person when you do personal branding. Be really good at what you do, and become a specialist in that area. Think about a GP vs a brain surgeon. One does ‘everything’ and doesn’t get paid nearly as much as the surgeon, who’s really good at one thing.
For example, if I said ‘I do marketing’ it wouldn’t be very exciting. It’s general, it’s open-ended, it doesn’t really solve my problem and I don’t even know what it means. But if I said “I help real estate agents explode their personal branding and get more clients with social media marketing” that’s much more specific.
When you have that niche, you’ll be able to put out content and have a message that resonates with your dream client. So define exactly what you do, and define exactly who you do it for. You’ll make more money, you’ll have more engaged clients and you’ll become an expert in your field.
3. They focus on the wrong things (and they’re a perfectionist)
I see far too many people spending forever on tiny things like the shadow on their logo, or the footer on their website, or having a panic attack about a typo in a blog article. Remember what I said in point number one?
People don’t care about you, they care about themselves!
Focus on add value and solving problems, not how tan you look in your profile picture. And stop worrying about tiny errors or typos in your content. There’s probably a typo in here somewhere but the content is good, so it doesn’t matter. With personal branding you are 100x better off if you’re putting out regular content with a few spelling mistakes than being invisible. Focus on getting out their first – worry about the tiny details later. Also – you ever noticed the people who point out typos, don’t even have any of their own content? Hmm…
As Mark Zuckerberg says: ‘Done is better than perfect’
4. They don’t own their traffic
Let’s say you’ve grasped the concept of adding value and you share things that your target audience might like. This is definitely a step in the right direction and is a great way to start building trust and relationships. The problem is, due to the way social media works, only a small percentage of your fans will actually see it, and even the ones that do see it are now off in cyberspace.
When you create your own content, you are not only able to control the conversation, you are able to point the viewer towards your business. For example if they came to your website for a blog article (like this), you might have a pop up for an eBook, which puts them into your marketing funnel. Or they might click around and end up contacting you. Or if you created a video, you can send a Facebook ad to people who viewed it with retargeting. You can do all sorts of stuff when you own your traffic and your content – so leverage it!
I see some people promote other people’s content! Why would you pay your money to send them so someone else’s business!? Moving on…
5. No sales funnel.
I don’t blame people for not having this setup because it is technically difficult to do. However, this will make all the difference in your business. A sales funnel allows you to nurture leads on autopilot, and direct them towards your business without you having to touch a thing. Once this is set up, your only job is to put out valuable content and push them to the top of your funnel with an attractive lead magnet. Once they’re in, they’re in, and you can turn valuable content into high ticket sales. If you want to know more about this, send me an email here!
6. Inconsistent branding
If you want to be unique, you need to be recognisable and consistent. I see a lot of people using different templates every time they share something, or just being generally confusing.
Every brand should be consistent. You need to define your brand, what it looks like, what it stands for, and how people will perceive it. This includes your style, your logo, your fonts, your colours, your style of content… the list goes on. The key is to make your brand easily recognisable and distinctly ‘you’.
For example one of my clients has a very modern brand, and her primary colour is turquoise. This colour is unique and it’s also all over her profile, so when you see something in your feed, you know it’s her (if you’ve seen it before).
7. Scared of criticism
I have two things to say here:
- You can’t (and shouldn’t) please everyone
- Internet trolls are fundamentally unavoidable
Stand up for what you believe in and be consistent with your brand. Being ‘safe’ or ‘normal’ is boring and you won’t get any attention that way. As long as you are adding value, being perceived as an expert and a useful person in your niche’s industry, you will build your business. There will ALWAYS be trolls on the internet, I don’t have a single client who hasn’t copped it at some point.
But I can tell you this – it’s only when they were getting attention and growing their business. The only way to avoid it is to be invisible, and that’s the WORST thing you can do. People get jealous, they get annoyed, they’re bored… the list goes on. Just ignore it and keep adding value.
8. Going for quantity over quality.
When it comes to content marketing and being an authority figure, quality is much more important than quantity. You need to show your dream clients that you’re the the expert to solve their problems. Rather than putting together 5 blog articles, put 5x the effort into one blog article.
Now obviously if you can do both and pump out lots of quality content that’s great. What you don’t want to do, is throw a bunch of quick, low-quality things together just for the sake of being ‘active’. It won’t get engagement, it won’t resonate, you’ll look like an amateur, and you’ll basically just waste your time.
Make your content valuable, practical, and engaging.