As more professionals begin to accept the importance of maintaining a personal brand, the definition of personal brand becomes more muddled. As a result, many pros think they’re helping their brand, when they are actually hurting it. Some are too focused on social media. Others neglect their brand once they land a job.
Who knows? You might be guilty of one of these mistakes too. Here are five things you think are building your brand, but are actually mistakes.
1. You are on too many social media platforms.
Many people assume they need to have accounts on every new social media platform if they want to have a stand-out brand. While it’s good to be on a few different platforms, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. For a strong brand, you need to have a solid presence on the platforms you use. If you can’t maintain your profile on a site, you should think twice about using it. If you think you’re on too many platforms, take a step back and decide which ones are most valuable. The same goes for if you have your own website–make sure it’s always up to date.
2. You have a professional account and a personal account.
Often, when people realize their social media accounts are not as personal as they first assumed, they will create a second account to use for professional reasons. While this makes sense in theory, it may not be the best option for a successful brand. If others see you have two (a private and a public account), they can assume you have something to hide in the private account. Your motives will be questioned. One way or another, social media is never fully private. Skip the duplicate accounts and stick to one professional account. Your posts do not have to be entirely focused on your career; you can post fun things too. Find a balance. Just be mindful of your language and avoid content that makes you look bad.
3. You think your brand is only about social media.
Even though the first two mistakes on this list were about social media, it’s important to remember there is more to your brand than just that. There are many other aspects to consider when shaping your personal brand. For example, your resume and cover letter, the way you look, your hard and soft skills, and your accomplishments at work all factor into your brand. Put as much effort into these other areas as you put into your online image. Every detail is important.
4. You only think about your brand when you’re looking for a new job.
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is neglecting their brand once they’ve landed a job. Throughout your career there are lots of instances where you brand will affect your success, not just in the job search. A well-tended personal brand can help you land a promotion, get a raise, put you on the radar of awesome clients, and more. It’s really important to be constantly grooming your brand so you can score all of the benefits.
5. You think branding is the same as bragging.
A final problem many professionals encounter is they think that personal branding is the same as bragging. This is not true. Building a reputation for yourself does not have to be obnoxious. While your personal brand does involve self-promotion, there is a fine line between sharing your accomplishments and bragging. How you communicate is what makes the difference. Use your best skills and accomplishments to benefit others, and your self-promotion will not come across badly at all.
As you continue to work on your personal brand, make sure you aren’t making these mistakes. It’s really easy to adjust the way you use social media and pay more attention to your brand as a whole. If you can avoid these mistakes, your brand will benefit you for the rest of your career.