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Are You Undermining Yourself? Five Ways Business Owners Unintentionally Weaken Their Brand

Personal branding is fun, profitable… and challenging. Unlike many business processes, it is never “done.” A brand is a living entity, capable of shifting and changing every single day. This presents a challenge in that, no matter how committed and dedicated you are to building a strong personal brand, it is easy to undermine the work that you’ve done and actually weaken your personal brand. Below are five ways that this happens:

1) Lack of confidence. You don’t have to be a “know it all.” But as you work on building a brand as a CelebrityExpert® within your market, it’s important that you build your own confidence. Think about it for a moment—let’s say you’re a business owner visiting a CPA for the first time. That CPA is known as the leading expert in his market. Would you expect him to speak and act with confidence? Of course you would—and a lack of confidence in his area of expertise would cause you concern. Again, I’m not suggesting that you should become a “know it all”—only that you have confidence in your abilities. You’ve worked hard to become who you are… you should be confident!

2) Not “living up” to their brand in person. This is a tough one, and it’s all-important. Whether you are branding yourself through social media, TV/radio, by writing a book, or any other channel… it’s important that you live up to your brand in person. The best way to do that is simply to create a brand that is an accurate representation of you and your personality. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t, and you’ll never have to worry about “living up” to the perception that you create.

3) Poor business cards and other visual materials. This one is simple—if you expect to be viewed as a CelebrityExpert®, your business card and other visuals like brochures, books, and your website must look the part. Don’t “go cheap”—you’ll pay for it down the road!

4) Using old marketing materials that conflict with the current brand. As a business owner, you hate wasting resources. That’s a good thing. But that mentality often leads people to continue using old marketing materials rather than throwing them out. (For instance, many business owners continue to use old business cards even though they have an updated logo.) It’s important that everything a customer or potential customer sees represents your brand—so bite the bullet and toss out any outdated materials.

5) Inconsistency. In order to create a strong brand identity, it’s important that you broadcast a consistent message day after day. Think about politics for a moment—an effective campaign hits the same message over and over and over. (Think Obama in ’08. How many times did you hear “hope” and “change”? How about “yes we can!” In 2012, Romney is doing his absolute best to focus like a laser on the weak economy.) Does your message stay consistent?

Questions? Comments? Would you like to learn more? As always, please feel free to contact me or any of our agents at the agency!

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