A brief reminder of personal branding mistakes to avoid.

1. Not thinking about what your personal branding goals should be

Are you trying to get promoted or promote something you created? Are you trying to get into an exclusive club, prestigious organization or just a good company to work for?

2. Not tracking your personal branding goals regularly to see if you’re making progress

Your goals should be quantifiable, or at least, aspects of them should be. Only when numbers are involved can you definitively know if you’ve moved forward or backward since the last time you checked.

3. Tracking your personal branding goals regularly to see if you’re making progress, but misunderstanding what that tracking data means, leading you to make poor decisions

Always get a second opinion. At best, they’ll open your eyes. At worst, they’ll confirm what you already thought.

4. Not having even a basic personal branding strategy when you start out

What’s the best way to reach your goals? How have similar people reached similar goals? Which of their success paths seem most achievable in your situation?

5. Not having even a basic personal branding strategy a few years after you start out

You’ve been winging it until now? Better late than never. If you had good intuition, it might be easier to make a few adjustments than start from scratch.

6. Having a poor personal branding strategy even a few years after you start out

Still haven’t achieved your goals yet? Taking longer than you thought? Get a second opinion about your strategy, and go back to point 4)

7. Building a personal brand that requires too much work to maintain (by yourself)

So you’re a “respond to every email/tweet/poke” person? That won’t scale if your work gets popular, which is usually what you want.

8. Making a sex tape (or anything else that can tarnish you later)

It used to be that you couldn’t take back (e)mail. Now it’s tough to take back almost anything you do, especially if it’s posted online. Be very mindful of privacy settings, and if you’re going to let your hair down, you have yet another reason to do it with people you trust.

9. Not making a sex tape, if that’s what works in your industry

More than one star/starlet has surfed this wave to fame and fortune, but there’s a very fine line between success and failure in this case.

10. Paying reputation management companies to clean up your Google results

Unless you have a particularly tough situation – like the same name as a serial killer – just use this list of over 200 reputation management resources, most of which are free. You’ll also learn more about how to avoid getting into trouble in the future.

11. Not registering your own domain name, regardless of industry

Have you seen How To Get Your Own Domain Name? Just do it!

12. Not blogging on your own domain

Here are 10 reasons why you can’t miss this one.

13. Not guest blogging on other domains, especially those of respected industry players and organizations

A great way to quickly get a lot of exposure and make some influential industry connections. Just a great, win-win idea.

14. Not keeping active social profiles on the major social networks

Your audience isn’t only people in your industry, it’s also their friends and contacts.

15. Not keeping active social profiles on the social networks that matter most to your industry/profession

Be where you most want your audience to find you.


Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.