Most professionals and business owners who use social media don’t have a grasp on branding. They didn’t go to school to learn it and it’s not their strength.

Branding is how you define yourself with the goal of being distinct from other people or companies. Your name, your picture and your content define who you are online and they make up your digital trail that people can follow if they’re interested in you. Since there are so many people online vying for attention and success, it’s become harder to build a unique and interesting brand.

It’s easy to make mistakes online because you get so wrapped up in connecting with new customers and technology, both of which are changing constantly. By taking a step back and analyzing your current strategy, you can be more effective, save time and stand out in the sea of Internet clutter. Here are the three most common branding mistakes I see companies commit:

To read the rest of this post, visit my branding column on American Express OPEN Forum.


Dan Schawbel is the founder of the Personal Branding Blog. Subscribe to his updates at