Letting it go stale: Taking your brand for granted
Never assume that you personal brand is done. Your personal brand can easily grow stale. Keep your brand fresh by continuing to grow and serve your target market. Yes, it’s possible to stay on brand and grow your brand at the same time! Don’t ever take your brand for granted.
Being inconsistent is a brand killer. People like to know what to expect; it gives them comfort and solidifies that they can count on you. You need to be consistent in your marketing materials, in how you dress, with what you say, and with how you behave. You need to maintain a brand identity and follow it steadily. Consistency is key so that people know what to expect from you and can trust what you stand for.
Speaking before thinking
With branding, there’s a certain irony: Your words alone can’t build your brand; you need actions to back them up. But your words can most definitely undermine or damage your brand all by themselves. Be thoughtful in how you phrase your answers, and notice the impact your words have.
Exhibiting bad behaviour
Every time you’re in public (whether at a professional event or at the supermarket), you represent your personal brand. Don’t ever fool yourself into believing that how you behave matters only in the workplace. Be careful how you behave, even when you think no one is watching you.
Unresponsiveness reflects badly on your brand. It’s especially dreadful in a business setting because your lack of response tells your clients that you don’t respect them. Your behaviour quickly becomes a known (negative) part of your brand: “That Tim, he never returns his calls.”
Your personal brand is built around serving your target market. Ignoring them and not responding to their needs, will make them not to recommend you to others. You may do excellent work, but if the customer doesn't get your full attention, your business will develop a reputation as one that doesn't care about the customer. To keep your brand sharp, respond!
Having an unprofessional online image
You’ll work hard to establish yourself as a solid professional. You dress the part, you put in extra hours, you produce stellar work, and then you blow it with your picture on Facebook behind a table lined with empty bottles of vodka (looking like you just drank every drop of it).
You can blow off steam and have fun but think before you start sharing things with world. Monitor your online images and posts, knowing that employers/recruiters are watching. You don’t want to work hard to build your reputation and have it ruined with a single picture/post.
Don’t tell the truth
You may think telling a few white lies won’t do any harm, but you are very wrong! How would you feel if you invested time or money into something that you were lied about? Would you trust them? Would you want to deal with them again? Once one lie is discovered, a reputation can be formed and spread quickly. If you've lied to enhance your brand and it’s discovered, individuals will quickly lose trust in you and depending on the lie, your brand may never recover. Honesty is the best policy!!