While your personal brand is essential to being a marketable job seeker, there’s a fine line of creating a name for yourself and becoming too self-promotional.
When promoting your brand on different social media platforms, it’s tempting to want to share content only about your life and career. Although it’s important to promote what you’re doing to advance your career, it’s also important to share content from the people in your network.
If your personal brand is taking off, it’s easy to become absorbed by it. From the positive feedback from your followers, to the heartwarming compliments, some personal brands allow this feedback to consume their entire branding strategy. It’s not that positive feedback is a bad thing, but some people will choose to turn it into “look at how awesome I am!”
If you’re concerned about your ego taking over your brand, here are six signs your personal branding strategy has turned into personal bragging:
1. Your brand says “me, me, me!” When building your personal brand, it can be easy to fall into the trap of too much self-promotion. The purpose of your personal brand is to create an identity for yourself to help you stand out amongst job seekers. However, when you use your brand as a way to talk about “me, myself, and I,” people in your network will begin to wonder what your ultimate goals are for your brand.
2. You don’t help others. One of the benefits of building your personal brand is the network you create. But when you don’t take the time to offer advice or help people in your network, you will begin to lose those relationships you spent time to develop. If someone asks for advice or your opinion, take the time to offer your help. You’ll never know when you’ll need their advice down the road.
3. You don’t share the content of others. It’s important not to fall into the habit of only promoting your personal content. Make sure you are researching the latest trends and sharing content created by the organizations and people you follow. Content sharing is crucial to building your brand, so make sure you are sharing articles and advice of others within your network.
4. Your brand says you’re the “best.” No matter how experienced you are or your level of expertise, there will always be competition. By saying you’re the best in the industry, you are creating extremely high expectations for yourself and your brand. It will also cause some people to question your credibility. It’s good to be proud of your accomplishments, however don’t let these achievements make you appear as overly-confident.
5. You don’t own up to mistakes. Every once in awhile, people make mistakes. Whether it’s incorrectly naming a source or providing false information, these types of mistakes happen. When you overlook the mistakes you make and you simply brush it aside, your brand will lose credibility. Don’t be afraid to correct yourself and apologize for the confusion.
6. You brag, a lot. Sure, it’s great to hear about your success, but eventually people will stop caring. No one wants to hear about your salary or the five promotions you received because of how “awesome” you are. Your network wants to be supportive of your accomplishments, but they don’t want to be blasted with them 24/7. They’ll begin to think you’re full of yourself.
So if you find your brand becoming more self-promotional than you had planned, it’s not too late to turn it around. Find the balance between sharing your content and promoting the content of other professionals in your network. You can also show generosity by offering your help to those who ask. When you spend more time listening to your network, you’ll begin to see your brand grow more than ever before.
How can you tell if someone’s brand is too self-promotional?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.