by Laurie Clarke

Five things that will damage your personal brand

Jun 24, 2019

In these heady days of social media influencers and famous Youtube vloggers, personal brand building is becoming a more important facet of modern life. However, for employees, it’s important to bear in mind that your company also has a brand, and that these are sometimes at risk of being in conflict.

Particularly for C-suite level executives, it’s vital to consider whether you are doing what’s best for not only your own brand but for your company too. Here are some ways you could be negatively impacting on your personal brand and how those impacts can end up being carried back to your business too.

1. Social media conduct: inflammatory content

One of the most public arenas that your behaviour will be on display is on social media networks, particularly on sites generally geared towards a form of media that favours a broadcast approach such as Twitter or Instagram.

At the most basic level, this should be nothing that causes offence. Whether to share some sensitive information – for example, your stance on social or political issues – can be done on a case by case basis, and in line with what you and your company are comfortable with. Repeatedly sharing content relating to contentious issues could risk alienating some of your audience, but at the same time, people respond well to brands that take a side on certain issues, leading to a rise in value-led branding strategies.

2. Inconsistency

Muddled messages and a confused persona can be very damaging for your brand, so it is important to maintain a consistent front across all of your different social media channels. This also has to stretch into your behaviour in person too: having a unified persona across your online existence can be rapidly undermined by inconsistent behaviour at a networking event or business meeting.

Consistency covers tone and style as well as content.

3. Self promotion

Shamelessly self-promoting or arrogant behaviour can be detrimental to your personal brand. This kind of behaviour feels phony and inauthentic, and will most certainly turn people off.

4. Lack of professionalism

The sense of a lack of professionalism could be vastly damaging to both your own and your company’s brand. Behaviour deemed as unprofessional could take many different forms but broad principles tends to rule out overindulgence of alcohol, lewd or inappropriate remarks or being offensive.

Remember, rumours can quickly spread so unprofessional behaviour in a certain, low-stakes arena might be quickly fed back to more important people.

5. Lack of direction

Think about who you aim to target with your personal branding. Attempting to be all things to all people can be a surefire way to lose credibility. Decide on a niche and stick to it, and use it to find relevant content and create relevant networks on platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.