You know that one of my favorite topics is personal branding, and how it is imperative that you have a strong one. Building a personal brand takes time, effort, and consistency. It is an ongoing process that requires nurturing. But all of your work can be destroyed relatively quickly and easily by making these mistakes.
Offensive presence on social media. It should go without saying that you should not post anything that is racist, sexist, or bigoted. But still, many people do. The influence and ubiquity of social media make this a risky practice. Consider the case of Justine Sacco, who had only 170 followers on Twitter when she sent an offensive Tweet as she boarded an international flight. By the time she landed, 11 hours later, she was the top trending hashtag worldwide. This tweet cost her both her job and her reputation.
Attitude, as in a bad one. You can have great skills, impeccable credentials, and be a sought-after subject matter expert, but if you have a bad attitude, no one is going to want to work with you. Do you send terse emails? Complain about work on Facebook? Neglect to make eye contact when speaking with people? All of these indicate you have a poor attitude. Attitude is everything.
Inconsistency. To craft a strong brand, you must be consistent and have a long-term strategy. If you Tweet sporadically, or only post an update to your blog every other month, no one will take you seriously or follow you. You will be viewed as a reactive, short-term thinker.
Failure to build offline. Creating an online presence is great. It’s crucial to your brand and your success. But you still have to show up in real life; otherwise, you are merely an Internet persona. Attend conferences. Volunteer to present at company events. Engage with your network and offer them your assistance.
So please, think before you post, present a good attitude, be consistent in communicating with your network, and get out from behind your computer!