4 Personal Branding Mistakes

black woman brand photoshoot laptop personal branding mistakes

So you launched your personal brand a few weeks, months or even years back. The problem is, you’ve been making a ton of mistakes along your journey. You have to do so much more than simply “show up” on social. Before we hop into 4 things you absolutely need to avoid, let’s make sure we cover what personal branding is and is not.

What is the difference between a business brand and personal brand?

A personal brand, in a nutshell, is an entity driven by an individual person. It’s literally personal, and is usually a bit more transparent in the way things are shared. Morning routines, personal wins, family struggles and everyday life tips are usually core pieces of most personal brand puzzles.

A business may be under the umbrella of a personal brand, but ultimately, the individual is the face, heart and soul. If you are a mommy blogger, yoga influencer or public speaker, you probably fall under this hub.

A business brand, on the other hand, is ultimately separate from your name. My business, although having my last name involved in the name, is not sold off my personality and personal story alone.

Business brands can live, whether the Founder and CEO is the face or not. Think of some of your favorite personal brands. If you take the name and face away, could the brand live on? Probably not. 

So what are you doing wrong in your personal brand? Here are just a few of the mistakes I’ve seen.

Ignoring Brand Strategy

You may not have a brand with a business attached, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to research your target audience and plan for the impact you want to create. You still have to determine your brand tone, mission, values, essence, ideal audience and much more. Not having strategy during your brand building process will disconnect you from your audience, instead of bringing you closer. It will walk you further and further away from the big picture of your brand.

You would hate to be the infamous personal brand with hundreds of thousands of online followers not being able to sell or get engagement from a small percentage of the group.  Knowing not only who you’re speaking to, but the why and how will set you miles apart from your counterparts who are solely relying on their fun-loving personality. No strategy, just vibes.

No Unique Storytelling

People are attracted to what’s familiar to them. You’re typing up generic fashion tips and DIY blogs, but completely ignoring your journey. BIG mistake. You have to take time and determine what makes you unique. How you got from point A to point B is a great place to start. Now, notice I said unique, and not sensational. A window into the everyday life of a celebrity is just as impactful coming from a blue collar worker. 

Your personal brand is based on your unique experience. Did you get a full scholarship to college and drop out? Are you finishing up a PhD program while running a business? Do you have a “nontraditional” family setup? Share it! Figure out what you’ll tell people when they ask you how you came to become the person you are today.

I suggest writing down every single thing about your life and journey to current day is a great place to start. Nothing is too big or too small. Pick out the parts that would be most beneficial, relatable and even just plain fun, to your audience. Craft a compelling story from there.

You’re Not Consistent

A big part of brand building is trust. If you’re inconsistent with your content, or brand presence, you’re not giving your audience a reason to stick around. They’ll dip…and fast.

Many times as a personal brand, you’re considered the digital bestie in much of your audience’s head. They are excited to see what you’re up to each week, and interested in your hobbies on the weekend. In a nutshell, they become emotionally invested.

Not being consistent in things like your voice or tone is an aspect as well. Determine if you are laid-back and super casual. Like sandals and socks casual. Not your thing? Maybe you’re super classy and inspirational. Or is tough love your thing. Determine how you want to show up authentically. We don’t do fake ish over here.

I’d suggest trying different options, like a weekly series that recaps what you’ve been up to in your life, daily updates on the kiddos or pets, and keeping a brand checklist to make sure you are always aligned with the wants and needs of your audience.

This is also a hack to ensure that you remain top of mind, accountable and aligned with your brand values.

No Personal Website

Not having an online presence outside of social media is hurting your brand more than you think. Especially as a personal brand. You are super recognizable, by name and face. In order to grow your authority as a public figure, you must have digital real estate.

The benefits of having a website go beyond having a pretty place to put your photos and blog posts, but highlighting your best media features, reviews and individual story.

The problem with simply relying on social media to grow your audience is that there isn’t a way to filter the photos and posts that are housed on platforms like Instagram. Much of the life shelf for that content is 24-48 hours on the feed. Sure, you can utilize highlights and stories, but even those are hard to navigate after a year or two.

Having a website that is built with strategy in mind and is flooded with good design decisions can make you more accessible and relatable to your audience. And don’t get me started on an email list!

A website is the perfect way to funnel your audience to an individual place where you can nurture and educate them further, without the distraction of ads and competitors.

Will you steer clear of these mistakes?

If you’re attempting to find a way to build your personal brand into an undeniable presence that folks come flocking to, you have to show up and know for certain who your people are. You can’t do that without planning, placing and preparing your brand for success.

If you need a bit more help in the branding department, visit my resources page for some content that will aid you in crafting an unforgettable experience for your client! It’ll help you cover the basics, and you can always check out future posts for some quick wins!

4 personal branding mistakes

Well Hey There!

I'm Sydney Hart, a brand strategist, designer and copywriter working with Black creatives so you can re-inrtoduce yourself while building credibility. I help you attract dream collaborations and clients with a show-stopping brand and website.