100 Personal Branding Mistakes

Personal Branding Mistake #1: NOT HAVING A BRAND PROMISE

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  Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Believe it or not, most senior professionals don’t have a brand promise. Big opportunity lost.

A personal brand is not a portrait or a tagline (although it may include these). A brand is not a biography or a website (although it may be expressed in these). A brand is a promise you can keep… a benefit to your audience that is understandable, believable, delivers superior value and differentiates you from your peers. Whatever your current branding efforts are intending to do, they are perceived by your audience as making a promise. And if that promise is not what you want to communicate, then you’re in trouble. So consider doing research with your audience to find out what they think: what your brand really is, what people perceive of you as promising. And discover if you’re standing out in the way you want.

LEARN MORE about why Personal Branding matters.

Personal Branding Mistake #2: SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURE MISSING

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

People are 11X more likely to look at your LinkedIn profile when you post a picture. Post a good picture that supports your brand promise. 

Many people do not understand the importance of a good portrait on social media professional profiles. In a study conducted by The Ladders, an eye tracking heat map shows that recruiters spend 19% of the total time looking at your picture then your current job position and education. Not as much time is spent on your skills, specialties or older work experiences. Social media profiles are today’s first impressions. Complementing personal branding with a strong photo gives your audience a picture (both literally and physically) of who you are that goes beyond words. A recent study published in Psychological Science discovered that we draw conclusions about people based on a photo in less than a second. Not having a photo causes your audience to question why not. Leaving your audience questioning is not a good move. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #3: LACK OF FOCUS

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Listing too many skills and posting content on your social pages that have no connection to your personal brand may be confusing. Be clear about your brand promise and support it with consistent messaging. 

Social media pages are checked by recruiters 63% of the time. Having irrelevant and unnecessary content on your profile places you at a disadvantageYour profile should focus on content that compliments and supports your brand promise. Include only relevant information that supports your brand story. Make sure your profiles have clear information and imagery that presents you in a favorable light. Consistency is important with personal branding. While it’s perfectly fine to adapt content to a specific platform, one cannot assume that your audience will only be looking at LinkedIn. Keeping your content consistent and focused delivers a strong message to your audience.

LEARN MORE about why Personal Branding matters.

Personal Branding Mistake #4: YOU'VE BECOME A LITTLE LAZY

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

As January fades away so does your New Year’s resolution to post. Don’t give up on your personal branding goals! Keep posting and keep engaging your network. 

If you have become a little lazy and figure that you can take a few weeks off from posting and engaging on social media, then you are sadly mistaken. Just because your profile is strong doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work regularly on maintaining its strength. Posting content about relevant information to support your brand story ensures your audience’s continued engagement. Remember to use visuals to spice things up as they are processed 60,000 faster by the brain than text. Be proactive to sustain and grow your brand’s relationship with your social media audience. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #11: YOU'RE NOT ENGAGING YOUR STRENGTHS

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Identifying and engaging your strengths is key to your brand promise, and your brand promise is key to your success. Have you considered an executive coach as a first step?

Many people struggle with the identification of their biggest strengths. It’s not easy to determine what makes you different and better than your peers. Without knowing your personal strengths you cannot develop a strong brand promise. It takes a high degree of introspection and honesty to arrive at your strengths. Many professionals need an executive coach to help. One of the biggest benefits of a coach is to provide you with unbiased advice that enables your success. The perspectives they provide and the alternatives they discuss are designed to help you reach your goals. Engaging with an executive coach is a commitment but well worth it. 

LEARN MORE about why Personal Branding matters.

Personal Branding Mistake #13: BRANDING MEANS GETTING YOUR NAME OUT THERE

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Your personal brand is not just about getting your name out there. It’s about controlling and attaching a brand promise to your name.

Getting your name out is key to personal branding success. However, your name alone means nothing if not clearly attached to your brand promise. What is the point of having professionals know your name if they don’t recognize your value? Get in the habit of attaching your name to your brand promise to win meaningful recognition from your network. Think about the relationship with Nike and “Just Do It” - it's been that way for years with a value in the billions.

LEARN MORE about why Personal Branding matters.

Personal Branding Mistake #39: SO YOU HAVE STAGE FRIGHT?

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

You should always be looking for opportunities to discuss, speak and publish what you know best. Answer questions about what you do, step up when you’re invited to speak publicly and don’t fear the spotlight.

It’s time to get active. The best time to post and do outreach on LinkedIn is Tuesdays through Thursdays around noon or between 5pm and 6pm. Your LinkedIn profile is also 5X more likely to be viewed if you join and are active in discussion groups. Hiring managers are looking at your profile during those high traffic times to get a feel for who you are and why you are different and better than your peers. They also look at your social media profile to find out if you fit in the company culture. Showcasing your skills and brand personality provides your audience with a sense of who you are. Don’t be afraid to promote your brand, your next opportunity is just around the corner. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #55: YOU FORGOT TO SHOW AND TELL

Are you telling but not showing? Consider using LinkedIn Showcase pages. A Showcase page can be an effective tool for presenting your product as well as your personal brand.

Every minute 684,478 pieces of content are shared on social media, so post interesting and relevant content in unique ways to build brand awareness. Consider LinkedIn showcase pages as an extension of your company page to shine a spotlight on your brand. Use this feature to drive traffic and attention to content that you’re proud of. 61% of LinkedIn users use the platform as their primary professional networking site. Make it more effective with showcase pages.

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Personal Branding Mistake #56: YOU’RE HEARING CRICKETS

If you’ve been actively posting without success, it’s time to try something new. Switch up your branding strategy by changing content, posting time, or group involvement.

The same old song only gets attention for so long. The most common reason to unlike a social media page is uninteresting posts, so change it up and make it interesting with new stories, visuals, videos, etc. When you post is important as well. The best time to post on Twitter is Mondays-Thursdays between 9am-3pm. TrackMaven analyzed over 1.7 million tweets and found that the best time of day for a retweet is after hours, between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm EST. Friday is the worst day to post on LinkedIn. Create, share and post relevant content during prime time to get the attention your brand deserves.

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Personal Branding Mistake #57: DON'T BE SO COLD

If a connection comments on your post be sure to respond! The point of posting is outreach. If you’re not responding you’re not communicating your personal brand story.

Engaging with your audience is the key to creating and maintaining meaningful connections. By responding to a comment, answering an InMail or simply liking a post, you are positioning your brand as responsive. Questions have proven to drive more engagement than statements. Posing a question or responding to one will benefit your brand. Emails with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%, so think about including social sharing buttons on your social platforms to drive engagement. Take the time to get ahead of competition and interact with your audience!

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Personal Branding Mistake #58: DON'T BE A BULLY

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Poor behavior on social media means a poor perception of your personal brand. Don’t be rude, play nice.

Your online reputation is critical to building your brand. Using inappropriate language, making rude comments or posting opinions on highly sensitive topics can hurt your brand. 35% of recruiters have rejected a candidate because of online slander. 26% of employers react negatively to overly religious posts and 18% react negatively to political posts. Keep your online presence professional and appropriate. Your brand will thank you for it.

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Personal Branding Mistake #59: YOU'RE HOGGING THE FEED

Sharing content is always encouraged. Drowning the feed in posts is not. Try to find the happy medium. If you get the sense you’re over posting chances are your intuition is right. 

While regular posting is helpful to building your brand, drowning your audience in content is not. 59% feel that over sharing on social media sites is a huge no-no. 53% of social media visitors say they dislike those who share information that they consider private. LinkedIn recommends 5 posts per week. Consider creating a posting schedule to help monitor your activity. HootSuite is a great way to distribute and monitor your posts.

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Personal Branding Mistake #60: BE MORE VISIBLE

Want people to know you’re checking them out on LinkedIn? Make sure to change your visibility settings so people can see who you are and what you’re about when you view their profile.

Make your online presence more visible by actively searching for connections and checking out their profiles. Social networking sites were created for users to see and be seen. Use the publish post and activity feature on LinkedIn to allow your audience to view your activity. 75.7% of LinkedIn users have found the “Who Viewed Your Profile” feature to be the most helpful. Make yourself more visible by using industry specific keywords in your profile. Adding keywords helps your audience find you.

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Personal Branding Mistake #61: NOT WEEDING OUT YOUR NETWORK

Keep expanding your network, but make sure it’s the right kind of network! Don’t simply establish new connections – weed out the weak and remove any unwanted connections.

The number of your connections matters only if they are relevant to your brand. While LinkedIn recommends you invite connections that you know and trust, having a network strictly made up of your closest contacts may not be enough. Most optimized LinkedIn users have between 500-999 first degree connections. Don’t make connections and build your network just for size, but do search for connections that positively impact your brand.  

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Personal Branding Mistake #62: BE MORE SNEAKY

If you’re looking into jobs or prospective clients and you don’t want either to know that you’re looking for them, make sure to switch your visibility settings to anonymous. This allows you to look at other profiles without being seen – very sneaky!

LinkedIn includes the anonymous feature for a reason. Recruiters are able to check out prospects prior to contacting them without blowing their cover. Recruiters use InMail as the primary way to contact passive candidates so make sure you regularly check InMail. Just like recruiters, if you’re checking out prospects and companies make yourself anonymous so they don’t see you coming.

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Personal Branding Mistake #63: YOU DON'T CONGRATULATE YOUR CONNECTIONS

LinkedIn notifies you when a connection lists a new job. Use proper social media manners, don’t forget to congratulate your connections and wish them the best with new endeavors.

There are many ways to engage with your audience. Congratulating connections on their accomplishments is one of them. And when you do send congrats by all means avoid generic messages. Make it personal to best support your personal brand. While LinkedIn does pre-populate message fields, take the time to personalize your message. Your connections are one of your brand’s strongest assets so make sure to recognize their updates and milestones. Don’t connect and forget.

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Personal Branding Mistake #64: THE BIGGER THE BETTER

Did you know that if you upgrade to premium LinkedIn your profile picture gets 30% larger? Greater visibility can mean more business for you and your personal brand. 

Visuals are key to maintaining a strong brand presence. The vast majority of online users are visual learners processing visuals 6,000 times faster than text. Upgrading your LinkedIn subscription increases your visibility and visitor engagement. Background and other imagery also add to engagement. So use visuals to compliment text throughout your brand profile.

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Personal Branding Mistake #65: NO LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

If you’re using InMail, focus on commonalities and try to sell a meeting or call, not your service or product. Don’t bombard LinkedIn members, ease into it and let them get to know you and your personal brand first.

InMail is an extremely effective tool for communicating and forming new connections. InMail messages have an 85% better open rate over regular email. InMail should be highly personalized and not viewed as a broadcast messaging tool. Overselling your brand and offer turns people off with this tool. Keep content personal, showcase your personality and find commonalities to discuss. Don’t overwhelm your connections with InMail, be thoughtful about both the message and the recipient.

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Personal Branding Mistake #66: GETTING SUCKED INTO THE VIRTUAL VOID

Use your social pages to connect, but try to do business in person. Go belly to belly with your network to increase the depth of your connections. Whether it’s coffee, lunch or drinks, be sure to put a face to your brand.

Connecting with fellow professionals via LinkedIn is one thing but forming meaningful relationships with your connections is another. Meeting with connections in person adds a lot to your relationship. LinkedIn members who connect outside the platform tend to be more successful than members who operate exclusively online. Take the lead to create long lasting relationships with your connections. Invite them to interesting events, coffee, lunch or drinks. Your brand will thank you for it.

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Personal Branding Mistake #67: GET GROUNDED

You want to communicate your personal brand on a spectrum of social sites but make sure you’re doing it consistently! Pick a home platform like LinkedIn for content development then turn your other pages into social media mirrors.

Each social media platform offers different ways to connect. Develop you brand on LinkedIn and mirror that content on your other social outlets. A survey conducted with 900 social media users identified consistency as one of the most important factors that determines whether people continue to follow a person or brand on social media.

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