4 Common Personal Branding Mistakes

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Earlier this week I gave a brief presentation about Personal Branding to a networking group I run. I had a great reaction from the group, so why not publish it online!

More specifically, I spoke about 4 Common Mistakes People Make with Their Personal Branding.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are many things we could all be doing a little better every day.

But I believe these 4 Mistakes to be the root of most of the others.

Get these squared away and you'll be on the right foot to move forward.

So let's jump right in!

4 Common Personal Branding Mistakes


1. Originality

Ask yourself who are you?

Before you do too much soul searching, I already know the answer, and it's yours for free.

You are an expert in being exactly who you are.

No one does what you do, the way you do it.
No one can tell a story the way you do.

In fact, you could take everything I'm saying right now and repeat it back to me in an hour and it'll be totally different.

Because you and I aren't the same.
Our experiences aren't the same
Our triumphs and our pains aren't the same

There is a profound magic that exists because we are different.

Lean into that magic.


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2. Character

I know everyone here knows the importance of having good character - at least I hope so... If not, check yourself!

But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.

When I say "Character" I’m talking about the character you decide to play every morning when you wake up.

What does your character wear?
What kind of language do they use?
Who do they hang out with?

There's a gap between the character that you already are naturally and the character your audience expects you to be.

It's your job to close that gap in a way that doesn't compromise who you are, your values or alienate your audience.

Who has watched someone change who they are completely to impress someone else?

Have you watched them stumble over their words trying to sound smart?
Trying to sound different?
Trying to fit in?

We all do this to some degree.

And it's because we want people to like us.
Put away your humble card, because it's true.

We crave validation and acceptance.

The hard truth is this... All of us here are playing all-in in a business environment

There is a very REAL fear that not being liked means not doing business, not making money, and ultimately losing passion/purpose.

But we need to be careful, we can't go around faking it.
In 2017, everyone has their own personal bullshit radar - and they're soooo finely tuned.

We can detect fake a mile off.

Play your own character. Play it damn well.


3. Being too broad

We've all been in the position at the end of the month and we're trying to stretch that last amount of money until next week, next pay, next client

Asking ourselves the hard questions like: should I have 3 coffees today or 4?

Look, I'm willing to bet that everyone would enjoy a few more leads, a few more sales, and little bit more cash in the bank each month

When we're fresh out of work we tend to point fingers at the market for not buying, our social media manager for not finding leads, our sales teams for not closing clients,  etc

It's crap.

Most of the time this can be traced back to being too broad with your target market.

The basic principle is this: if you can't tell me EXACTLY who your ideal client is - then your ideal client can't tell me why they need to work you.

Sounds simple, but it's not necessarily easy.

How are you supposed to know the buying habits, the mindset, the needs/wants of your client, if you don't even know who they are?!

If you're selling shoes, "people with feet" IS NOT your target market.

There are soooo many ways you can dive into defining your niche and we'll be covering them in more depth in future posts, but a neat trick if you're stuck (from Tim at Win More Clients) is to define who ISN'T your ideal client.


4. Hiding

Okay, so by now you've obviously given your Personal Brand a bit of thought.

You really like the sound of being the thought leader in your industry and boosting your profile.

New leads and clients sounds like a good time right?!

Personally, I like my 4 coffees a day, thank you very much

You're excited - you're going to be the next Elon Musk, the next Oprah!


Who knows about it?
Who have you told about you?
Where are you putting your content and your story?

There's no point being the Oprah of your own living room...

You want to be in everyone's living rooms!!

It all circles back to fear.

People get scared right before they do something really big.

And that fear can be immobilising...

If you're looking for a push, I want to leave you with a quote that has inspired me ever since I heard it in the movie Coach Carter in 2005.

By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most
frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.

It’s not just in some of us;
in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Hot tip!

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