Unfortunately, many professionals hurt and undermine their personal brands without even realizing it. There are some key on-line and offline habits that I am regularly raising with my personal branding clients to help create awareness, and to diminish the impact.

  1. Not using social media. Social media is a critical way to build your brand, keep you visible and top of mind, and demonstrate both your expertise and commitment to your company. Being savvy to social media is a way to stay on top of news and information, grow your network and represent your company’s brand. It’s a credibility booster.
  2. Keep social media in-check. So many of us want to build our brands through social media so that we can become online influencers, network and increase our visibility. This can result in overcommitting and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves to live up to expectations that we set for ourselves.For example: Blogging is a wonderful way to create community. It is also a sizeable commitment to continue feeding. Sign up for only what you can handle and do really well. Don’t overcommit. And ensure that whatever you choose, that it is linked to your reason for action.
  3. Be too self-promotional. There is a fine dance between being confident and tooting your own horn. If you are a serial self-promoter either online or in conversation, you will lose your audience. Your stakeholders will tune you out live and in person, and you may see a drop in engagement in your social media efforts.
  4. Belief that personal branding is only about looking for a new job. This is not true. Being visible and engaging, and networking online and offline is important at any time. We need to steward our personal brands every day to learn, stay engaged and remain relevant.
  5. Ignore traditional communications methods. A good old-fashion conversation, coffee hour or telephone call are still proven methods for engaging others and building your personal brand. Even if your colleague says that her preferred method of communication is instant message, professionals at all levels in a company still welcome a strong, intellectual and meaningful conversation.

Staying on top of these choices will help you avoid intentionally or unintentionally undermining your personal brand.