Entrepreneurs are supposed to be the face of their respective companies, but these seven costly mistakes can interfere with that role.
Every company has a brand -- an image, a reputation, and a persona that defines that company's character and reputation. What most people don't realize is that you can also establish and build a personal brand -- an image, a reputation, and a persona that defines your own professional character and reputation.
When working together, a strong corporate brand and a strong entrepreneurial personal brand can work wonders for attracting new business, but too many mistakes can compromise the entire operation. Be sure to avoid these seven personal branding mistakes as you build a reputation for yourself:
1. Neglecting to use personal branding altogether. The first mistake is by far the most egregious and damaging, but hopefully if you're reading this, you've already avoided it. A personal brand is almost necessary for an entrepreneur in today's world.
2. Not establishing a consistent persona. Just like a corporate brand, a personal brand has to be consistent to be effective. Know who you are, what you're good at, and what your goals are.
3. Being fake. Even though you can craft and customize different attributes of yourself in a public context, it's a good idea to remain sincere and true to yourself. People want to deal with other people--not with fictional characters.
4. Never guest blogging. Guest blogging is your greatest tool to success. Start out small by writing for other local establishments and niche blogs in your industry, then scale up to more authoritative and visible publishers.
5. Not getting social. Social media is how most personal brands build their empires. Get involved on as many platforms as possible, and don't neglect local networking events!
6. Skipping out on local opportunities. There are tons of opportunities to build a reputation for yourself in your own city. Get involved at conferences and speaking events.
7. Forgetting about your followers. Respond and commune with your followers regularly; build actual relationships with them.
If you can avoid these personal branding mistakes, you'll have a far greater chance at making a lasting impression with your personal brand. Work together with your corporate brand for the best possible results.