How You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Personal Brand (And How to Stop Doing It)

how to brand yourself

Here is how to brand yourself with a customized digital communications strategy. These tips can help you avoid self-sabotage while elevating your reputation. Build brand awareness like a pro and stop damaging public perceptions.

“How to brand yourself” is one of the most popular online searches for entrepreneurs and executives. It shows much gumption and initiative, but the one-sided research doesn’t paint a complete picture. You must know how to brand yourself without sabotaging all your efforts. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

People mess up with their personal brands all the time. They spend thousands of dollars trying to attract an audience’s attention, only to say or do the wrong things while folks are watching.

“It makes no sense to invest in branding when you don’t know how to maintain it.”

A tailored digital communications strategy is a step in the right direction.

Knowing how to brand yourself and learning ways to avoid messy situations is crucial. It can take years to build a name for yourself but only moments to ruin your reputation. Most markets are fickle, and consumers have high expectations for their favorite businesses. Are you sure you’re up to snuff?

This article will ensure that your personal brand has a fighting chance. It will also help prevent you from doing something counterproductive without realizing it. Branding isn’t supposed to be easy. If it were, everyone would do it. Your market is saturated enough, so discover how to brand yourself and stand out like a pro.

 

Table of Contents

The Importance of Your Personal Brand

Personal Branding Benefits (If You Do It Right)

10 Ways to Brand Yourself with an Excellent Reputation

#1. Don’t Overshare

#2. Stop Being a Troll

#3. Call the Grammar Police

#4. Be Careful in Conversation

#5. Know Your Niche

#6. Shield the Skin You’re In

#7. Don’t Be a Copycat

#8. No Begging Allowed

#9. Get Off Your Soapbox

#10. Keep It Consistent

Developing a Digital Communications Strategy for Your Personal Brand

How to Heal a Troubled Brand

Conclusion

 

The Importance of Your Personal Brand

Don’t know how to brand yourself because you don’t think it’s important? Think again. Your personal brand helps send a definitive message to your target audience. It can help clear any confusion about who you are, what you do, or why you do it. Branding yourself is one of the wisest things you can do as an entrepreneur or executive.

Every business has a story to tell, and its leadership always claims to be unique. While that’s likely true, your offerings are no less remarkable than theirs.

“Learning how to brand yourself means pulling out all the talents and characteristics that make you extraordinary.”

Brand managers can help differentiate your company while running interference for things that could compromise your reputation.

Personal or executive branding benefits your company and financial future in multiple ways. A solid digital marketing strategy can help establish your business as an industry authority. It can also ensure consistent messaging, prevent public disasters, improve brand awareness, and increase profitability. However, you can’t self-sabotage, even by accident.

Personal Branding Benefits (If You Do It Right)

Learning how to brand yourself means enjoying countless competitive advantages. First, you can turn your most fervent passions into a full-fledged business. Personal branding also provides cost-effective advertising for your company and makes you an industry expert. Here are some other benefits to consider:

 

  • Establish Credibility
  • Build Relationships
  • Grow Your Network
  • Start Conversations
  • Ensure Compliance
  • Inspire Change
  • Lead the Industry
  • Control the Narrative
  • Troubleshoot Issues
  • Prevent Mishaps
  • Mentor Others
  • Increase Traffic
  • Motivate Staff
  • Highlight Talent

 

Your reputation is a primary piece of the personal branding puzzle. You can’t cut corners and expect a good fit.

“Put yourself out there but prove there is a likeable person behind your brand.”

Demonstrate your personality while showing people they can trust you. Learning how to brand yourself is relatively straightforward after that.

10 Ways to Brand Yourself with an Excellent Reputation

You don’t know how to brand yourself until you know how NOT to brand yourself. An effective marketing campaign and digital communications strategy will only get you so far. Build a brand with excellent logos, merchandise, and photo shoots, but watch consumers reject you because of specific habits. It can happen to the best of us.

Here is how to brand yourself without looking foolish in pursuit of fame and fortune:

#1. Don’t Overshare

You don’t have to tell your target audience every minute detail about your life or career path to earn their respect. Only share the most compelling facts about your personal brand so they can make quick and efficient decisions. They’ll likely appreciate your gentle, intuitive approach to self-promotion.

Leave something to the mystery so consumers, investors, and stakeholders will explore your portfolio. Most won’t search for additional information on web pages, blogs, or vlogs if you share everything at once. Create a trail of facts, figures, and incentives to keep them interested.

#2. Stop Being a Troll

Did you know that the average consumer doesn’t respond well to constant criticisms of other companies? They expect you to focus on what makes your brand outstanding, not what makes another business less attractive. Not only does it insult their intelligence, but it makes you look like a jerk.

Don’t be a troll or attack brands relentlessly. Let your excellent goods and services speak for themselves without trashing your competitors. Their shortcomings will eventually become evident when compared to your brand anyway.

#3. Call the Grammar Police

One of the most counterproductive things you can do to your personal brand is ignore spelling and grammar. People will pay attention to that and likely attribute the mistakes to a lack of experience or knowledge. That’s the last thing you want when trying to protect your reputation or boost your business.

Hire professional writers, proofreaders, and editors to ensure proper grammar and syntax. You can jot down your ideas and then have the experts craft a compelling message. Don’t post on social media without checking for mistakes, or your audience will do it for you. That’s not a good thing.

#4. Be Careful in Conversation

What you say aloud is just as important as what you write on social media and other platforms. Conversation skills are crucial components of developing and maintaining your personal brand. Few want to play guessing games or get offended when interacting with you. Be clear but be courteous.

Avoid bringing up controversial topics, and mind how you respond when others do. Understand that the words you speak can be directly tied to your personal brand, even if you’re discussing something unrelated. Share encouraging sentiments only and save the negative comments for your private life.

#5. Know Your Niche

People naturally assume you know about your particular topic as someone with a personal brand. They don’t expect you to stumble on words, become confused, or dole out inaccurate information. Establish relevance and become an authority in your industry by acting like one. Prove you’re worthy of being “known” for something.

Study your specific niche and determine what the competitors are and aren’t doing. Collect data from targeted metrics to perform an analysis. Then implement new strategies to demonstrate experience and expertise. This also helps you stay ahead of the curve and become a state-of-the-art brand.

#6. Shield the Skin You’re In

Of course, you’re a beautiful person. You’re also photogenic and in the public spotlight many days. However, overexposure can present some nasty consequences. Show too much skin, dress inappropriately for your industry, or wear conflicting logos for an instant demotion.

Be comfortable in your skin, but don’t leverage your looks for more attention. It could make you appear desperate, vapid, or unauthentic. Knowing how to brand yourself means highlighting the subtle, non-physical qualities that make you unique.

#7. Don’t Be a Copycat

Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. In fact, copying other people’s work can land you in hot water. Some companies will investigate your business plan, revealing valuable trade secrets or preventing you from developing the company. Many competitors view imitation as a threat, not a compliment.

Develop a tailored approach to your market with exclusive logos, special promotions, and professionally branded materials. You can also create a digital communications strategy to streamline productivity without conflicts of interest.

#8. No Begging Allowed

Stop pleading for people to engage with you or your company. It can make you or your business appear to be struggling for legitimacy. Begging also tells consumers you can’t get people to take you seriously, so they likely won’t consider your brand among the best.

Meanwhile, don’t be so “sales-y” that consumers feel pressured to try your goods or services. Let them independently size up your brand through precise information and compelling statistics. Cyberstalking is one of the quickest ways to ruin your personal brand’s reputation and get rejected as spam.

#9. Get Off Your Soapbox

Your personal brand is an opportunity to share crucial information about yourself and your business. It is not a chance to push extreme views or change the world. You can transform an industry from the inside without ostracizing yourself as an outrageous outcast.

Learn how to brand yourself as a progressive thinker but eliminate negative feedback. Use accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion to communicate openness, not prejudice. Or work with a reputation management team to spread your message while respecting social norms.

#10. Keep It Consistent

Implement the nine techniques in this list consistently for the best results. You shouldn’t be on you’re a-game one week and then off the rails another. Consumers, investors, and hopeful customers want to see the same things each time they approach your business. This is rule #1 in the book of how to brand yourself.

A digital communications strategy can help you create and schedule social media posts, podcasts, and other online content. Use it to preview, edit, and analyze before involving the public.

TIP: Discuss your options to troubleshoot aspects of your personal brand that aren’t contributing to a positive outcome.

Developing a Digital Communications Strategy for Your Personal Brand

“Learning how to brand yourself is incomplete until you develop a digital communications strategy.”

This puzzle piece is essential because it provides cohesion and gives more control over your brand’s ecosystem. Here are the five Ds to getting started:

  • Determine which social media platforms are best for brand awareness.
  • Decide how and when you want to approach your target audience.
  • Demonstrate your intuitive understanding of relevant content.
  • Drop the bad habits holding back your personal brand.
  • Deliver quality posts and accurate information across all platforms.

These techniques should help prevent damage to your personal brand’s reputation. They could also help elevate your authority and keep your company’s name in the minds of consumers and competitors.

How to Heal a Troubled Brand

Didn’t discover how to brand yourself correctly until it was too late? Is your company’s reputation damaged because of it? Fortunately, there is a way to save face and recover your audience’s good graces.

  1. Get a Reputation Manager – Hire a personal or executive branding agency to handle the nitty-gritty details and rewrite public perception.
  2. Use a Digital Communications Strategy – Create an interactive and informative environment around your personal brand and its claims.
  3. Collect Data for Analysis – Study consumer and competitor behaviors to learn preferences and shift your focus accordingly.

A personal brand in turmoil doesn’t have to stay that way. Expert branding firms can remove the stain from the fabric of your business, revealing your true purpose and positive input.

Conclusion

Do you know how to brand yourself without self-sabotaging? Anyone can tell you how to build a personal brand, but not everyone knows how to prevent public disasters. Accidents can happen, but the little things make the most significant difference.

Use pro tips to avoid mishaps and elevate your business to new heights. Consumers don’t expect perfection; they want authenticity, transparency, and consistency. Many also enjoy watching your personal brand develop into an industry authority. Make it possible using a digital communications strategy with your name written all over it.

About Claire
Marketing Agency, Strategic Communications, claire bahn group, claire bahn
Claire Bahn is a personal brand strategist and the CEO and Co-Founder of Claire Bahn Group. She has been helping high achieving entrepreneurs, investors, founders, and executives create their best personal brand for over 10 years. She helps entrepreneurs leverage their personal brand to develop the authority, influence, and trust they need to exceed their business goals.
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