Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Your Personal Branding Strategy is Failing You - And How to Fix it in 20 Minutes!

How many times have you driven down the road depending solely on your GPS only to make a wrong turn. You’re immediately warned by the voice on the system that she is recalculating and that you need to go in a different direction.  

If your goal is to take your personal brand global, there are some things you should and shouldn’t be doing.   

You already know how important it is to build your brand equity.  But can you tell whether you’re doing a good job and taking the opportunity to strengthen your personal brand?  

So, what if you could gauge whether you should be going right, left, or making a complete U-Turn?

Building your brand equity is serious business and as you know, each time you interact with the outside world you have the opportunity to strengthen your personal brand. Of course, the reverse is also true—every interaction also presents an opportunity to undermine the brand you have worked so hard to build.

Below are five common mistakes and how they can be easily fixed in 20 minutes or less.

1. Not claiming your personal domain name.

Usually, I’m not one to “sweat the small stuff”.  This is the easiest error to fix, and far and away the most important.  Whether or not you actually set up a personal website now is irrelevant – you simply must lock down the domain! The $8 you pay each year to keep it in your possession will be well worth it. 

Your 20-minute fix: Search GoDaddy.com or similar domain search sites and lock down your domain.

2. Your brand lacks consistency. You finally have your blog and Twitter account up and running, but after a week of being consistent with creating content, you become too busy and eventually forget about your social media strategy. This is a huge flaw in personal brands because people forget about the key to a strong brand is consistency. Even if it’s a weekly or bi-weekly blog post or one tweet a day, never let your followers feel like you disappeared.

Your 20-minute fix: Create content in advance so that when life happens (and it will) you have content ready to post.

3. You lack credibility.  Is your claim to fame your expertise in advertising or leadership development? Then make sure everything about your brand reflects your profession. Your followers will expect you to talk about the latest news and advice about your industry. If you aren’t displaying your passion throughout your brand, no one will believe your expertise.

Your 20-minute fix: Repost content from other experts in your field of expertise and add in your two cents! This method doesn’t take as long as creating new content but by borrowing from someone else’s credibility - you can still add to your own.

4. You don’t provide something unique. The purpose of building your personal brand is to market what makes you a unique from others in your profession or field of expertise. It’s important to find something which sets you apart from the other people in your field. If your brand is blending in with the rest of the professionals in your field, then it’s not strong enough.  So if marketing is your field of expertise but you also have a strong passion for horses, you may want to factor that unique interest into your brand.

Your 20-minute fix:  Be sure to center your brand on something that makes you unique and try to connect with people of similar interests.

5. There is a lack of trust in your brand

The Selly Sell Selly Pitch. I love this term from Chris Brogan, when he is about to talk about a product or service he is pushing or an affiliate link. He used “Selly selly selling coming right up” recently to warn me of a sales pitch in the next paragraph of his email, and invited me to read no further if I had no interest, or to even delete the email.  What worked here? Trust. When you trust a personal brand, you will always forgive a sales pitch thrown in – a small percentage of the time!

Your 20-minute fix:  A sure way to not come across as selly sell in your email marketing, social media and social networking, is to borrow from the Pareto Principle of 80/20 – provide quality, help, assistance and conversation 80% of the time, sell only 20% of the time.

What are your personal branding fails?


  1. Thanks Nikki- a lot can be accomplished in 20min!

  2. You are most welcome!

  3. thanks for this bit of advice!

  4. This information was so helpful. I will most definitely used this information as I revamp my blog site (Urbansource.blogspot.com)

  5. Very helpful and eye opening information. QUESTION: When working on your person brand, how many hours a day should be invested in it? Making sure to jot become overwhelmed in the process?

    1. Hey Michelle! Thanks for reading. First, I would suggest you come up with a social media/personal branding strategy. Then assess how much time you feel is reasonable to implementing it. I spend a lot of time on SM/Branding because it is a significant piece to growing my business. But if you want to nail me down to a time - I would say anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes is adequate for most people.

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