Are you a self-proclaimed social media guru? Do you consider yourself a people person? If so, you’re about to learn some important lessons about personal brand management.
You’ve probably been told to avoid clichés as much as possible throughout your job, writing, and social media, right? Although most people can relate to the majority of clichés that exist in society, ideally, they’re also something you want to avoid.
When it comes to personal brand management, you should avoid using clichés at all costs. Regardless of how clever they make you sound, a cliché can be perceived in the wrong way. Your personal brand is meant to be original and personal — not something you can find everywhere across the Internet. If you’re concerned you’ve used a cliché to brand yourself, here are four words and phrases to remove from your strategy:
1. Calling yourself a ninja, guru, or queen
As mentioned earlier, if you call yourself a guru or geek of any skill to help emphasize your experience, change your title now. Many people who see this could assume you think very highly of yourself, especially if you don’t have the experience to back it up. On the other hand, a person or employer could be extremely confused by your self-proclaimed “Content Ninja” title and have no idea what you’re talking about.
If you want to illustrate how experienced you are throughout your brand, display it through your actions. People who search for you will be able to make an inference about your experience through your online activity. So if you want people to know you are experienced in social media, illustrate it through your conversations and networking skills — not by calling yourself a ninja or guru.
2. Overselling your expertise
When it comes to personal branding, there’s a fine line between selling yourself and overselling yourself. There are some people out there who feel the need to blast their networks with every single one of their accomplishments. While it’s great to share your successes with your networks, don’t oversell yourself to the point where it appears as bragging.
Ideally, you want to find a balance of promoting your skills and experience throughout your brand. To successfully do this, you want to make sure you can support your accomplishments with projects or success stories. If you continuously talk about your success without having something to show for, your network could question your credibility or simply become annoyed with your personal brand.
3. Recognizing yourself as a “people person.”
Personal brand management isn’t just about being outgoing and trying to get your name out there. Much of personal branding is focused on building relationships with the people in your network and expanding your digital footprint through creating and sharing content. If you try branding yourself as a “people person,” your followers may laugh or question why this statement is even necessary. If you want to express your friendliness or your passion for networking, show your ability to connect with people in a meaningful way and people will see you are indeed a “people person.”
4. Using the word “junkie” to describe your passions
Yes, we get it. You love coffee and reading the news. However, isn’t there a much more creative way to describe your passions and interests? When branding yourself, it’s important to share unique qualities about yourself, however, the term “junkie” probably isn’t the most unique way. If you’re passionate about something, support it with your branding strategy. Through the content you promote with your personal brand, people will see your passions without you having to label them.
If you find yourself using some of these clichés to brand yourself, you now have the opportunity to build a more creative and original brand. Spend time brainstorming the traits, qualities, and skills that truly set yourself apart from the people in your network. Once you discover what makes you unique, it will be much easier to create an original personal brand.
What clichés have you noticed people use in their personal brands?
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.