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Typical Personal Branding Mistakes in 2021, That Will Make You Look Like a Fool Instead of a Pro

Are you using Linkedin? If you are working on your personal brand or do business networking, then chances that LinkedIn is one of your key channels to share content and get into professional discussions.

There are many different types of people on Linkedin. Silent ones, those who can’t keep their smart-ass comments to themselves, the ones who proudly share every micro-achievement on any possible occasion, and those who only comment “nice article”, or “congratulations, well done”.

But there is another kind, a very amusing one, the self-proclaimed thought leader who like to decorate their profiles with Forbes and Entrepreneur logos, listing 10 occupations that include speaker, CEO, motivator, and similar.

Filled with frustration and trying a bit too hard, these people typically radiate strange vibes. Trying to be always positive, constructive, and look super-productive, their smile is a bit off, their content is just weird, and they give an impression that half of their day is spent with building their online personal brand.

This article is about 7 common personal branding mistakes or overkills that make you look cringe-worthy instead of building your authority

Updating all social media channels daily

It is true that giving regular signals and sharing updates about your work is a great way to showcase your capabilities but do not overdo it.

78% of personal brand audit respondents think that people who are too active on social media are not occupied with actual work, and it gives an impression that the person has nothing else to do.

Market research results show that posting more than 2 times a week is counterproductive for personal brands in the professional segment.

Me, me me – just talking without joining the conversation

We have all witnessed this. Some people never join the conversation, other than trying to prove their opinion. Most of the content they share on social media is about them, their greatness, their achievements, and their goals. Nothing useful for her or his followers.

To over 80% of personal brand audit respondents, this kind of online behavior is highly irritating.

Great content is informative, useful, and created with the purpose for others to benefit from it. Sharing content with this philosophy goes a long way, and will quickly establish the perception of a “useful” person.

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Humble bragging

Successful people don’t brag. Not even in a humble way. No need to hide your wealth or success, but posting about your importance, finances, status or cars will make you look ridiculous. Bragging and humble-bragging are popular among teenagers and young adults when they get too caught up in their first successes.

The same behavior in a professional environment will make your followers wonder if you just started to have your first success in your career?

Show off the results you did for your clients or partners, your contributions to causes you care for, and other constructive achievements.

Sharing every little success

It’s great to appreciate success but there is no need to share every micro-achievement, as that will seriously undermine the value of your personal brand.

This style of communication is typical to new entrepreneurs who want to “document” their journey and gives off vibes that the person is just starting out. Sharing bits and pieces of projects in progress can backfire if for any reason it won’t end well. People will think like “oh, he must have screwed up on this”, and that is certainly not a message that you want to convey.

It is a great approach to document your work and progress, but be patient and only share information about your work when your project is completed. That will signal “yes, this person can get things done” – which is a significantly better message to deliver.

Senior professionals are more likely to share the end results only because they know that there can be many unexpected turns and twists in any project.

Save yourself from embarrassment and communicate your work like a pro. Your perceived personal brand value will skyrocket.

Trying hard to impress all the time

This one is classic, very typical among semi-experienced people who want to make their name online. They want to show their best side to everyone, they want to be the smartest and most knowledgeable in every situation – and on top of that, they are also want to have the moral upper hand. This already sounds too much.

There is nothing wrong with trying to make the best contributions to the online community it is a great practice to grow your personal brand.

But trying to impress everyone shouts neediness instantly. People with confidence and self-worth do not care to impress others with words. Successful and confident people will not care too much about the opinion of others, especially if in a social media or forum context.

Over 85% of respondents who participated in personal brands audits shared that they do pick up on this as a negative trait.

man in black vest sitting on black office rolling chair
Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Acting as a celebrity or authority before earning a status

Fake it till you make it is real. We are all a bit guilty of it, but some limits are straight stupid to cross.

One time a lady reached out to our investment company, asking if we would be interested in funding her “online course” product. We sent her our investment evaluation form that contains 5 very simple questions that we would ask anyway.

Shockingly, she replied that she does not have time to fill out our form, but we can book an appointment with her Calendly link. It was truly shocking. Checking out her Linkedin and other social media profiles, our perception of her personal brand just got worse.

All her cover pictures and posts were decorated with Forbes logos, Entrepreneur logos, TED talk logos – you get the idea. As expected, she was never featured on any of these reputable platforms, ever. She was sharing extremely poorly written content about business, success, and marketing – filled with radical feminism, BLM, abortion, and other ideologies that do not belong to a professional context.

When we thought that it cannot get any worse, she contacted us again, telling us that “she thought everyone knows her already on social”. She had a couple of thousands of followers on Facebook, around two thousand on Linkedin, and a few hundred on other social media platforms.

The whole thing was ridiculous and she managed to destroy all her credibility. Even if she were not faking, her attitude was unacceptable.

This short story is just an example of how ridiculous one can become when things don’t add up. Do not try to be more than what you are. Earn your status, as it cannot be faked.

Trying to sell something all the time

Another Linkedin classic. Some people want to sell all the time. They will send your PDF brochures, remind you that your website needs improvement, or your search engine optimization is poor, or want to get you on a call to take your money with some product or service that you could not care less about.

This is probably one of the worst personal brand killers on the list. Unwanted sales pitches are very annoying, nobody likes to get them. People trying to sell all the time will be seen as spammers, nobody will listen to them, and no one will engage with their content.

Bringing it further, social media profiles and pages with low engagement rates are going to be seen as spam by the social media algorithms and will not be recommended to potential good-fit followers. Advertising is going to be more expensive due to the inflated cost per click, while engagement rates will remain minimal.

This is not the worst-case scenario. A couple of years back, a retired hotel manager wrote a book about the hospitality industry and hotel management. The book itself looked ridiculously poorly made, but the “marketing” the author started made it even worse.

He used to spam group discussions and left his Amazon book link as comments on random posts, later he started to spam other people’s inboxes asking what is their excuse to not buy his book? In a few weeks, he started to become ignored, and in another few weeks, he removed his profile entirely to start a new one.

Do not make sales and reckless selling a part of your personal brand. Make your goods, products, and services easily available but do not spam others because it will make you look desperate, needy, and just simply ridiculous.

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  1. Pingback: How to build your personal brand? A simple guide for professionals and entrepreneurs for successful personal branding. | Brand Auditor

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