Whether you run a business, are a freelancer, or just building a reputable name for yourself, you have to carefully and consistently manage your personal brand. This list of don’ts was inspired by a series of situations I have encountered recently:
- Don’t be shy. I was teaching a business seminar and I was very surprised to learn how many entrepreneurs are afraid of picking up the phone and calling customers, potential customers, and other businesses that could help build their business. If you do not feel comfortable calling people, talking to the media, and being the face of your business, you should consider hiring someone who is not shy or, better yet, a public relations professional to represent your brand.
- Don’t be a spammer. Leaving spam on blogs, twitter, or by sending junk mail will only anger potential customers. You have to contribute value to conversations via social media to build a good reputation. Brand building is all about building trust.
- Don’t try to sell your product or service to every person. Find and focus on a target market. I have people trying to sell me stuff on twitter every day and I do not even fit their target market. They just want to scream their name out to anyone who will listen and that is no way to build credibility.
- Don’t put your logo and business name on your car if you do not respect other drivers on the road. The other day a vehicle covered with a real estate agent’s logo, phone number, and picture swerved three lanes and cut me off so he would not miss his exit. I will not be calling him to buy a home!
- Don’t put a huge picture of yourself on your car like the real estate agent in the previous point It looks ridiculous. Instead, have a well-designed, custom sticker or magnet with your logo and website made for your car.
Everything you do reflects positively or negatively on your brand. Consider how you are currently representing your brand and examine areas that you could make improvements.
How are you building your brand? What tools are you using? Do you have any branding dos and don’ts to share?