12 Effective Fixes for Common Personal Branding Mistakes

Personal Branding
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What’s one thing I’m probably getting wrong with my personal brand and how do I fix it?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Keep Your Personal Search Reputation in Check

“Have you Googled yourself? You should have control of at least the top 10 assets when you do, and they should all paint you in a positive light. If that’s not true, build them up further and interlink them a bit until that is true. After you’ve done this, pop over to BrandYourself and monitor to make sure these searches stay that way using their free trial.”

Corey NorthcuttNorthcutt Inbound Marketing

2. Check if You Have too Much Marketing and Not Enough Entertainment

“The biggest mistake people make in building their personal brand is trying to fill everything with helpful, actionable information and not creating enough mindless entertainment. In this world, value is measured by filling time. Often a viewer’s brain is so full of info, they just want to sit back and watch and not have to learn anything else.”

Carter ThomasBluecloud Solutions 

3. Don’t Overpolish Yourself

“Over-editing our own statements and using formal professional photos on Facebook will definitely make you look serious and legitimate, but if you’re not taking the raw nature of social platforms and other platforms used for personal branding into account, you’re missing the mark. Strike a balance between poise and being a real human with flaws. It’s hilarious that we must be reminded of this.”

Sharam Fouladgar-MercerAirPR

4. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin on Social Media

“It’s almost impossible to be active on every social media platform. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, find your most effective three platforms and put all of your efforts into those. As your brand grows, you can hire someone to manage your social media and introduce additional platforms. Focus on the areas where you are receiving the most attention and engagement.”

Jonathan LongSexy Smile Kit

5. Complement Your Personal Brand to Your Professional Brand

“If you’re managing a personal and a professional brand, the two messages must complement each other. Who you are as a business must correspond to who you are as an individual. Make sure your messages are consistent with your mission and vision, both professionally and personally. Stay away from conflicting messages that show your personal brand in a different light from your professional brand.”

Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

6. Get a Personal Website

“Each person should have an up-to-date personal website or LinkedIn profile. These are the first results that come up in Google search, and you want to control what is written there. It’s incredibly simple to create a website through Squarespace or Wix. LinkedIn is even easier to sign up and get started.”

Adelyn ZhouTOPBOTS 

7. Get a Better Headshot

“The most basic thing people get wrong about their personal brand is having a low-quality profile picture or inconsistent images. Having the same high-quality image across all your different social media profiles sends a consistent message about your personal brand.”

Tim ChavesZipBooks

8. Ditch the Stock Photography

“If you want to connect with your reader, an employer or a company, your blog needs to give a feel for who you are. Personalize it. Do a photo shoot or come up with a cool avatar that you can animate. Make sure your blog offers different engagement styles that highlight your personality so visitors see it as more than just words on a page.”

Dan GoldenBFO (Be Found Online)

9. Have a Clear Bio

“Your personal brand is a business, and a business usually has a tagline associated with it that describes what it does. However, so many personal brands are often lacking this vital component. Are you an author, speaker and CEO? Are you a scientist, chef or outer space enthusiast? Whatever it is, put it under your name to constantly remind people what you’re all about!”

Beth DoaneMain & Rose

10. Be Authentic

“Be 100 percent congruent with who you are. Share all dimensions of yourself and stand for what you truly believe. Even if people don’t agree with you, you’ll be admired for your courage and your authenticity. As for those who push back against you, these are people who don’t belong in your tribe, anyway. Against common belief, polarizing is good. Trying to change to please everyone will make you inauthentic.”

Ajit NawalkhaMindvalley

11. There’s a Lack of Outreach

“My biography is known to anyone willing to listen and interested in learning about how I overcame certain obstacles. I’ve had better ROI from revealing myself (warts and all) in an honest Q&A or by participating on Quora. A lot of entrepreneurs should embrace their own story so that it fits with whatever project they’re working on. I’ve seen entrepreneurs like Oprah do it. It really works!”

Cody McLainSupportNinja

12. Know Who Your Audience Is

“Your personal brand is about what you can provide to others, not about why you’re the greatest person in the world. The people who stand out demonstrate proficiency in their space without a lot of self-aggrandizing, instead focusing on tangible benefits they have provided their audience. Put yourself in their shoes and remove anything that doesn’t resonate. Remember to be personable and human!”

Jeff JahnDynamiX