15 Ways to Identify and Fix Branding Mistakes


What’s one thing I’m probably getting wrong with my personal brand, and how can I fix it?

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Not Having a Website

“Many personal brands rely too much on platforms that are outside of their control, such as Facebook and YouTube. What happens if they change their algorithm or demonetize your channel? While those platforms are great for promoting your personal brand, you need to have a funnel that migrates your target market over to your website so you can have a more direct relationship with your customers.”

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

2. Using an Old Profile Picture

“It amazes me when I’m researching someone and see an old photo that doesn’t represent them and who they are. Not everyone likes having their picture taken, but a solid, current photo will do wonders when it comes to people taking you seriously and knowing you’re on your game.”

Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution

3. Not Updating Your Website

“Oftentimes, I see clients and colleagues with personal websites that were last updated years ago. Make sure your site (or your LinkedIn, if you don’t have one) is current. It’s a quick and easy fix that you can control, and it makes you look professional.”

Adrien Schmidt, Bouquet.ai

4. Being Inauthentic

“You can’t be everything to everyone when building a personal brand. To be memorable and build a following, who you are on the inside should match what people see on the outside — not a version of who you think will be most marketable. While your authentic self may not appeal to everyone, those to whom it does appeal will be engaged and genuine in their interest.”

Lindsey Groepper, BLASTmedia

5. Using an Alias

“I can’t believe the number of people who don’t add their real, full name to their Instagram profile. So many people are seeing your content and forgetting who that username belongs to and are far more likely to unfollow you. Just add your real name. You can always create an alter ego profile for following embarrassing accounts.”

Ryan D Matzner, Fueled

6. Not Using Video

“Start utilizing video in your personal brand to give viewers a feel for who you actually are, and then throw in a bit about your organization. People want to know that you’re an actual human being and what makes you tick. Share a bit about why you decided to get into your business in the first place, and a few details about how things have grown over the years.”

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

7. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

“It’s easy to want to be on every social media outlet there is, but no one can keep up with that. Your presence will lag, and you’ll risk not appealing to your consumers. Know which outlets best suit you and your brand, and put your focus there.”

Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

8. Not Generating Your Own Content

“Businesses are blogging and creating video content, and you should be doing the same with your personal brand. So start blogging on your personal website or writing articles on LinkedIn and Medium. You can also create video content easily with your smartphone — give some good business advice, or tell a story. Creating your own content will present you as a thought leader in your industry.”

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. Using Only One Social Media Platform

“Not everyone you want to connect with will be active on the same social media platform as you. So you need to be on more than one platform. If you only have a LinkedIn account, you’re missing out on being able to connect with people who aren’t on LinkedIn, so consider creating another account on Twitter or Instagram to broaden your reach.”

Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Not Making Engagement a Two-Way Process

“Social media is great for getting news and following updates from others, but the ones who master it best are not just putting information out there; they’re engaging with their followers as well. A perfect example of this is Gary Vaynerchuk. His growth and brand are 100% reliant on his audience members, who love and respect him because of his user engagement and personal content.”

 Zac Johnson, Blogger

11. Not Telling Your Story

“Personal branding, as the phrase suggests, should be personal. Not using it to tell your story is a big branding mistake. It should always be real and relatable. It’s crucial that the people following you get to know you. Own your narrative, be unique and be distinctive. Regardless of the stage of life you’re in, you still have a story to tell. Learn to narrate it.”

Rahul Varshneya, Arkenea

12. Lacking Consistency

“One of the largest personal branding mistakes that I see so many entrepreneurs make is not being consistent across all channels. Your bios, photos and language need to be consistent to ensure that you’re building a cohesive personal brand. Use the same colors, fonts, images and tone in all of your personal branding.”

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, FemFounder

13. Thinking You Don’t Need a Brand

“If you’re in a position at your company that’s more behind-the-scenes or you’re a recent graduate without a ton of work experience, you might think you don’t need to develop a personal brand at all, but you’re wrong. Developing a personal brand will help you make connections and further your career. So if you think a personal brand isn’t necessary for someone in your position, think again.”

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

14. Not Listening to Your Consumers

“If you find yourself only reading the first few comments and responses you receive and never looking past them, make a U-turn. Go back and read all of them sooner, rather than later. Listening to what your audience is saying all of the time allows you to measure what you’re truly giving them, and that is of value. Retaining and gaining followers relies on giving them content that they deem valuable.”

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

15. Not Being Specific Enough

“Marketing to a niche just isn’t effective anymore since the internet has made it far too easy and saturated. Instead of simply looking for one broad niche to center your brand around, try finding an even more specific niche inside of that niche. For example, instead of focusing your brand around general fitness, try focusing on specific forms of exercise like calisthenics or plyometrics.”

Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy


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