Personal branding has become an essential tool for individuals. If you want people to listen to you, to read what you’ve written, to follow you in social media, and so on, then you’re going to have to create a strong personal brand.
Your personal brand is not just about you, however. On the contrary, it is more about how people perceive you – basically, your personal brand is your reputation.
This is why it’s important that you protect your reputation at all costs. This is why, even though you try to be as real as you can, you still need to take note of what you say and do in public. A serious error in judgment can become the downfall of your personal brand.
Get your reputation back on track
If you lost control in public, can you bounce back from it? Can a personal brand come back from a public confrontation? How do you do it?
Yes, it is possible to come back from a public confrontation. Here are steps in rebuilding your brand’s reputation:
1. Don’t ignore the issue
Even though you wish the problem could simply disappear without you addressing it, most of the time, that isn’t going to happen. Ignoring the issue is the worst thing you can do, because this can result in the problem spiraling out of control. The world can contribute to what happened, and a simple mistake could become a huge dilemma once everyone butts in without you saying something.
2. Own up to your mistake
If you make a mistake, it’s best to own up to it. Don’t make excuses for your behavior – only children can get away with that. Be sincere – don’t treat the problem lightly. People would be more willing to forgive you if you’re honest and upfront with them.
3. Stay positive
If you were involved in a public confrontation with someone else, and the other person is saying bad things about you, don’t stoop down to their level. It would only hurt your personal brand more if you started mudslinging as well. Stay positive and be on your best behavior. Show how your brand is addressing the problem or mistake by updating your social media accounts regularly. This will make people sympathize and even start defending you.
If you engage in bad brand speak, then people are going to be left with a bad taste in their mouths, and it would be harder for them to see you in a good light. So be the mature one and let your brand speak for itself without having to point the finger on someone else.
4. Empower your brand advocates
If you have built a pretty strong personal brand, then you probably have a community of advocates waiting to defend you. So empower these advocates – engage them and inform them about what’s happening. Let them speak for your brand. The more positive conversation they generate about you, the better.
5. Stay on track
Though the public confrontation may have given you trouble, remember to stay on track. Continue to build relationships with people, engage your audience, and interact with your followers so you can have a strong personal brand that withstands whatever problems it encounters. Build a community around your brand who will go the extra mile for you, who would defend you to the world. The stronger your personal brand and reputation, the more that you can come back from mistakes and public confrontations easily.
It’s not good for your personal brand to engage in a bad public confrontation, because it can severely affect your reputation. This is why it’s important that you protect that reputation at all costs, and avoid losing control. But if you do lose control, don’t view it as the end of the world. You can still come back and regain your good reputation – just remember these five tips.
It takes time to come back
Though your brand may suffer for a while, simply stay on track and people will start forgetting what happened. Or if they don’t forget, at least they have forgiven and the problem doesn’t seem as big anymore as time passes.
So yes, you can come back from a public confrontation better and stronger. If you’ve built a strong personal brand, it can definitely withstand a lot of things. Learn from your mistakes, and try to avoid doing it again at all costs. People may forgive you once, but twice is another matter. If it happens again, they can recall the events before, and they may not be willing to let you off lightly this time.
Remember, when it comes to personal branding, reputation very much matters.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.