10 Ways to Destroy Your Personal Brand

10 Ways to Destroy Your Personal Brand

Social media turned personal branding into a 24/7/365 challenge. And there is a huge crowd out there who is ready to destroy you in one moment. Party and fun are what we see in the social media of almost everyone, but these also can ruin the whole digital reputation of your personal brand.

Personal Branding is based on the four main points: Strategy, Consistency, Practicality, Creativity. All of them are equally important and help you to create your unique image in Social Media. It takes a lot of time and efforts to start and maintain your Personal Brand. But even a small feebleness of any of these pillars could easily ruin your “crystal palace” just in a blink of an eye.

So what exactly you can do to set a sentence to death for your Personal Brand?

1. You don’t take it seriously – poor strategy

What happens when the employee doesn’t come to work on time? Just because yesterday they had a fun night. Or has forgotten about this duty, because, let’s say, that video game was much more interesting? Imagine if someone didn’t come to the meeting just because, well, they weren’t in the right mood? These excuse even sounds funny.

But how many times you haven’t posted anything in social media just because you “have nothing to post”?

Your personal brand is your job. Your spare time is your spare time, but don’t let it affect your online presence. Your brand is what distinguishes you from your competitors, helping to form a lasting impression in the mind of your social media audience.  Most people are more interested in following other people than they are in following specific companies, you and I think the same way. Therefore, building an audience for your personal brand can actually help increase exposure for your company. We always suggest building a personal brand to promote a corporate brand.

2. You haven’t defined well your values poor strategy

Before even start to build your personal brand you need to consider very carefully which values you will bring to people. This is alpha and omega of every personal branding and without it your brand will be dead even before it will be born.

So think well why you want people to follow you, what you can give them and what they could be interested in. Which unique experience do you have and can share? These questions are complex, but once you will find the clear answer your brand will have a chance to live. Your personal brand should not be an inauthentic persona. Branding is about purposefully and strategically showcasing your authentic self to your audience and your customers. Your personal brand should be a true reflection of your skills, passions, values, and beliefs.

Let’s make a clear example of good strategy: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama has built a personal brand based on a number of principles, including education, health, and support for feminist causes and racial discrimination. She’s a strong and independent woman that acts and behaves naturally wherever she goes—it’s clear her charisma helped her.

Lesson: She knows the message she wants to transfer to people and she knows here unique expertise.

3. You have lied poor consistency

Ok, you know well your values and how you can help others. But do you follow these by yourself?

To make people believe you and follow your personal brand you need to match your words and actions perfectly. And once you will make something out of your role model, followers will abandon you.

One has posted “happy family” photos, and then was mentioned in friend’s Stories in the club dancing drunk? Dead.

Stand for your business and values, fight when you need to and do what you have just spoken about.

4. You don’t know your audience poor strategy

Can you portrait your followers? The one, who is interested in your story, who needs your experience and want to learn from you? The one who is ready to buy your product?

What do they love, what are they interested in, what is their job? And most important – what are they expected from you, why do they even follow you?

If your answer – yes, my congratulations, your brand is still alive and will prosper!

If not – go and study. You need to know the life of your audience, so you can speak with them in their language and get their attention.

5. You have forgotten your audience poor consistency

Your brand id already works well? You have active followers, they follow your values and believe you? That’s great! Go on! Try new!

Be as creative as you can, but remember about people who watch you. They are expecting from you a certain model and you need to keep it.

Are you a provocative artist? Do something crazy. Fight with others and party hard, eat kittens and smoke bamboo. Are you a reliable business person? Then be serious. Wear your suits, play golf and forget about any other drinks, but whiskey. President Trump is teaching us some good lessons: he has been called brash, bombastic and ridiculous by his fellow Republicans and the media, but he has been called all of these things consistently. From the sweeping, provocative statements to his willingness to alienate entire populations to his instantly recognizable (and mimic-able) speaking style, we get what we expect.  Trump is a master of this important concept of branding – consistency. Strong brands deliver on their promise with everything they do.

The crowd will never accept scandals around “trustful one” and boringness from “the rock star”.

And don’t forget to post everything on LinkedIn and Instagram (Weibo, if you live in China).

6. You have let other people’s opinion affect you poor practicality 

This is another side of the previous idea.

You need to consider what people are waiting for you, but in the end, only you should decide what to do. Once you’ve got scared about other people’s opinion your brand could be considered dead. Don’t try to play with the audience, they feel it. If you think that yellow perfectly match green, then wear these no matter what others say.

The crowd is a wild animal. Don’t let it tear you into pieces.

From Gary V:

Hey. It’s me, Gary.

I know you don’t like me.

You think I’m brash, too busy for anyone, and loud.

I know you think I’m loaded with charisma and just got really good at selling stuff.

And I get it. If I were you, I would think those things too.

But that’s all on me. It’s on me to change your perception of me. It’s on me to create more narratives and more content for you to see what I am actually like.

7. You don’t listen to experts poor practicality 

If you have started your Personal Brand, you are already an expert in your field. But then it comes to something out of your expertise, you need to listen to others and trust them. Don’t try to control every single piece of what is going on.

You are good in web-developing – great! But let the professional photographer make your perfect headshot. You know how to run the whole process of company legalization – wow! Now hire a social media manager to run your accounts on different platforms.

8. You have let your temperament free poor practicality

Once you have become a Personal Brand, you have to learn how to smile in any situation. Keep your face and be polite to people. At least, don’t let your anger obscure your mind. Play this game with all dignity you have and use emotions as a shield, not as a weapon.

9. You have become mediocre poor creativity

Maybe before it was was OK for an entrepreneur to be mediocre.  No one but you and your clients knew your work was average, and many of your clients didn’t care. But nowadays you really need to stand out in this huge world of social media. Every time you write a blog, produce a video, appear in a podcast, you reveal something about yourself, your talent and your business. Add something from your self, something new. At least those yellow and green.

10. You have abandoned your account just for a moment poor consistency

Social Media doesn’t forgive any absence. The flow of information will flood your morning post this afternoon and no one will remember it. To be alive, to keep your Personal Brand alive you need to be active and in touch every single moment.

You need to engage with your community, send fresh photos and videos, create. Remember, that spending the night for a nice date, interesting video game or new series without posting anything, is killing your brand.

Building and maintaining your personal brand is a big project, which demands a lot of work, research, and creativity. To make your brand stable and strong, you need to take care of it as about a small child, growing it step by step. And at every stage, you will find a lot of difficulties.

But we in AICY-Create believe, that it worth it. All your efforts will bring you huge profit if you will start now and will keep in mind all the risks we have described above.

Hero photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you want to keep destroying your personal brand, go ahead. If you want to improve it, learn here the 10 things you must stop doing!
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LorenzoBrizzo
Brizzo is an expert on Chinese Social Media and Personal Branding. He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing. https://www.aicy-create.com/blog/
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One comment

  1. Hi Lorenzo,

    Thanks so much for including our infographic. I really enjoyed your article and found it incredibly informative. Personal branding is as important as ever and you highlighted great points to make sure that it is not destroyed!

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