The biggest personal branding mistakes and how to fix them.
You don’t want to make any personal branding mistakes, but how do you know what you may be doing wrong? The anxiety of doing it wrong affects many aspiring coaches and service pros.
How do you create a personal brand?
Where do you start? (I have a checklist if you’re in this stage (link)
What does personal branding mean?
Do I have to become an “influencer” ?? (cue the sigh of dread)
Being a personal brand is different than a traditional brand in that you, as the owner, are the face of the company. People want to know and feel connected to you as you will be the one providing the service (or at least heading the team). They are buying into YOUR way of thinking, and they are only going to do so if they feel like they can trust you.
But, there isn’t a cut-and-dry answer to how to show up as a personal brand.
Like other aspects of business, some things will work for others but won’t work for you, and vice versa.
Trust is critical, but there are ways you may be sabotaging that trust before you can even get started.
Here are the biggest trust-breaking personal branding mistakes to avoid.
Personal Branding Mistake #1 – Your messaging is vague
Building trust through your online presence and content is vital. But how do you do that? You get in their head with your content and offers, and you let them know how you can help THEM, not someone somewhat similar to them.
So, you need to honestly know your ideal client, learn their ins and outs, and know what drives them. What their desires and fears are. For example, being vague about “I help moms get in better shape” isn’t enough.
You need to know that you help Sandra. She’s a mom of 2 kids under 7. She is building her business on the side because she wants to be there with her kids and let them know that moms can be successful too. Her work is making an impact, and it’s essential. She has limited hours to give to herself after kids and business are taken care of, so working out is a low priority. It nags her mind that she isn’t as healthy as she would like. She struggles to put herself first and doesn’t know how to balance it all, so fitness is the first thing to get moved off the to-do list.
If you show up talking to Sandra, your client will tune into your content more readily. It’s going to hit her where she is, and she will stop and listen, and she will start to build trust in you.
But this only works if you know her well enough to speak to her exact needs. Show up where she is today.
If you make vague content, “I help moms workout, ” Sandra will move right past, instantly dismissing you.
If you make content saying “5 strategies to put prioritize movement in your day when balancing kids and your business”, then Sandra will stop in her tracks and start paying attention.
How can you get clarity on your ideal client?
Personal Branding Mistake #2- Too many differing offers
This tip is one that I am likely to get a lot of flack on, and that’s okay. This tip is for the “multi-passionate” folks— those who want to be a coach, pilates instructor, and hairstylist all at the same time.
Offering too many different services is hurting the growth of your business.
As you start your business, your goal is to position yourself as the right person for one category. People won’t know what to think of you if you pick multiple types. When people can’t put your into a category, they will forget you altogether.
If your services can’t fit under one larger umbrella, you will confuse (and lose) people. This is not to say that you can’t offer multiple services. But make sure the services fit under that same umbrella.
You can offer one type of service to multiple different types of people
Or you can provide numerous types of services to a kind of person.
But I would not mix in more than that as you are starting.
Grow one type of service or serve one kind of client to start.
When you grow one service or clientele first, it will keep your marketing and messaging aligned.
Once you’ve built that path successfully, you have a name for yourself; you are a known personal brand, then you can branch off.
As an example, let’s look at Jessica Alba. She is a movie star who leveraged her brand to launch a diaper company.
She positioned herself as a lovable girl next door, movie star first. We fell in love, and then she leveraged her brand to bring attention to her diapers. If she had tried to do both simultaneously, everyone would have gotten confused. Are you a movie star or a diaper company? If she hadn’t established herself as a movie star and built that trust in her personality and values, her diaper company would have had a much harder start.
In short, begin simply and focus on one service or one customer. Once you’re established, you can do more!
Personal Branding Mistake #3- Content about you vs them
Many think you have to be a celebrity. Influencers on Instagram help spread that notion, but it isn’t true.
Influencers are selling a lifestyle. They .make content about themselves and hope to make money off the backend of that lifestyle.
As a personal brand, make content about the client and their needs 90% of the time and talk about yourself 10%. When you talk about yourself, always frame it through the lens of how it affects your customer.
This way, it’s all about them. Your customer will appreciate how you are always there for them, and that 10% that is about you will help build the relationship. You don’t have to share your entire life, and just enough that people feel like they know you enough to trust you.
You don’t need a million followers, and you need people who trust you as the expert. People trust those who help them first. Once they know you will help them, they then want to like you, and that is where the personal content comes in.
Personal Branding Mistake #4- Creating content for where you are, not where they are
The third major mistake I see coaches making is creating content that is interesting to you but is why past where your client is. The only people you’ll be attracting with this strategy are others at the same level as you.
People want to hire you because you are going to lead them. But they don’t want to feel confused or less than. So, create content that meets them where they are at and content that helps guide them along the path to success.
This content will seem super basic, but it’s supposed to be. You are the expert, but your client is not. They will appreciate you showing where they are at.
Now that you know these three epic personal branding mistakes, here is how you flip them around to benefit you (and your clients).
1- Get in tune with your ideal client and know their desires and fears.
The more specific you are about your niche, the easier this is. Knowing your client is a foundational aspect of building your brand successfully.
2. Keep your content about your client and their needs.
90% about them and 10% about you. The 10% about you should be stories about your journey, how you’ve provided transformations for others, and bits about your life that they can relate to.
3. Show up where they are at in their journey.
Content that starts their understanding at 10 steps past where they are ready will only overwhelm them. They will feel inadequate, and they won’t be back. So keep it simple, and you’ll build clients for life.
When you are ready to really define your personal brand so that you can confidently show up and attract your dream clients, I’m ready to lead you there! You can work with me as your branding coach 1:1 here, or learn more about my group program From the Brand Up here