If you haven’t given some thought to your personal brand as of late, you may want to consider how it is affecting your career. A survey showed that sales reps who use social mediaas part of their sales techniques outsell their peers by 78%, which indicates that having a brand that your customers resonate with can be important to achieving success with your company.
Branding can take many forms, from engaging social media accounts to influential blog posts to building a more approachable and transparent image of yourself. Your brand online is a direct reflection of your success in the real world and can help boost your business acumen. You’ll become more visible to your customers and have more interactions with them that can turn into closed sales transactions.
Fifteen high level executives share the worst mistake that executives make when it comes to building their personal brand. Here is what they had to say:
1. Losing Yourself In Your Role
Leaders are selected for being different, but the excitement to assimilate into a new culture can make you forget what made you stand out. Don’t take being first for being wrong. Take the best parts of your role with you, incorporate volunteerism as you build your brand to stay connected with the community you serve, and keep an external perspective. Be you in everything you do!
2. Being Passive
The biggest mistake I see executives make when it comes to their personal brand is thinking that they don’t have to proactively manage it. Everyone has a personal brand — it just may not be what you want it to be! By being intentional and proactive, executives can help shape their own reputation, as well as the impact and influence of their leadership team.
3. Losing Credibility
It can take years to build up a level of credibility that makes you an influential executive. Once you have created that level of credibility, make sure you do nothing to lose it. Remain authentic, transparent and trustworthy. Once an executive loses their credibility, there is a good chance that their brand will never recover.
4. Allowing Someone Else To Control It
If you distance yourself too far from managing your own personal brand, chances are, it will become someone other than “the real you.” Because you’ll show up differently in person than the fictitious personality that’s been built online for you, you’ll immediately lose trust in the marketplace. And when you lose trust, you risk losing everything.
5. Coming Off As Unapproachable
Executives too often “come off” as if they are untouchable and without error. In fact, some come off as extremely unapproachable because they give off as if the entire company’s success is carried on their shoulders. They use it almost as an excuse to warrant being “hard to connect to.” A positive personal brand depends on being personable, transparent and even imperfect.
6. Being Inauthentic In Your Story
Your story is the most powerful tool you have to connect with others. Executives must learn to identify their brand story and share that story in a meaningful and relevant way. When executives fail to allow themselves to be vulnerable by sharing their authentic story, their audience loses engagement. This can lead to attrition among both customers and employees alike.
7. Failing To Manage Your Reaction To Cravings
Executives are facing increased scrutiny over their behavior. Reactions that were otherwise ignored or begrudgingly accepted are now triggering adverse personnel actions. This is about harassment and also about anger, incivility, improper social media usage, and so forth. Executives need to take a closer look at these cravings so they can better respond to them. It only takes one event.
8. Being Inconsistent
Executives and leaders should strive to be authentic in both their work and personal lives. If there is a difference in either circle, it will eventually show and present the leader as untrustworthy. The higher one goes up the ladder, the bigger the impact, as well as the intertwining of personal and work lives. Strive to have good feedback in both circles and to treat everyone with respect.
9. Failing To Understand A Leader’s Visibility
Understandable leaders can’t see what everyone else does about them. Everyone is looking at a leader and sees their actions and hears their words and then bases their behavior in response. When employees hear leaders talk about ethics, they notice every action the leader takes to see if those words are real or just a wink and a nod because they have to be said, but business gets done differently. – Larry Boyer, Success Rockets LLC
10. Not Being Transparent
The worst mistake an executive can make is to not own their narrative and share their story, complete with all of its blemishes. When leaders are not transparent, and when they do not share their story, other narratives emerge, and leaders end up losing the one thing that holds their personal brand together — that is, their unique story. – Billy Williams,Archegos
11. Holding On Too Tightly
Executives can often fall into the trap of managing their brands so tightly that any personality is suffocated. Instead of being seen as compassionate, they come off as controlling. Instead of being down to earth, they show up as egotistical. Being transparent and authentic can set them apart from their peers and foster a sense of trust that goes a long way in a corporate environment. – Dominique Anders, Dominant Media/Dominique Anders Coaching
12. Lacking Clarity
Executives often struggle with marketing their brand to an audience. Whether stemming from them not knowing what their brand is or how to communicate it, the constant is often a lack of clarity. Much like a billboard, a brand needs to resonate quickly with the audience. If it is too broad or too watered down, the audience won’t understand what they are supposed to get from it, and won’t buy in. – Geoff Coon,Resume Platform, LLC
13. Losing Sight Of The Bigger Picture
Executives focus so much time on their immediate goals that they can lose sight of the bigger picture. They may forget to network or to continue making new connections along the way. But, the average shelf life of a C-level executive can be just a few years. Focusing on personal brand and their network will help to build a bridge to future opportunities. -Angela Copeland, Copeland Coaching
14. Playing It Safe
When you worry too much about being liked, people disagreeing with you, or looking good, you run the risk of being plain vanilla. A brand is what distinguishes you; what makes you unique. Be distinctive. Be authentic. Get comfortable with being challenged. When you put your stake in the ground, you will attract opportunities and critics, but at least you won’t be plain. – Brad Federman, F&H Solutions Group
15. Relying Too Heavily On Ghostwriters
Ghostwriters have their place in an executive’s toolbox and have for some time, with the rise in digital communications. However, a ghostwriter should not be used in personal and informal interactions with the public. When executives rely too heavily on ghostwriters, their voice becomes indiscernible. Executives should write more of their own content. It will help define their brand’s voice. – Jeff Shuford,Tech From Vets
We hope the information provided, guides you in the right direction. Need more assistance? If so, our team here at CANVUS Design Studio would be delighted to elevate your branding to the next level. For a complimentary brand consultation, schedule a time to speak with us today.