Overcoming the key challenges in personal branding

I am sure most of us started this New Year with a list of resolutions – whether on paper or inside our heads. I want to believe that at least some of you included strengthening my personal brand into the list. The first month of the New Year is coming to an end, and you see lots of room for improvement regarding this resolution?

Don’t worry, you still have 11 months of the year left.

To make the start more manageable for you, in this blog post, I will share some of the common challenges people face and ways to overcome them.

The time to work on your personal brand is NOW, so help yourself with the tips below, and in case these are not enough – I’m here for you.

Challenge #1. Unclear positioning

Do you consider yourself great in Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, and Finance? You might be good, but if your headlines on social media say that you are an expert in all these fields, you might confuse your audience. You know what they say – a jack of all trades is a master of none!

How to deal with it?

How to deal with it? First, you need to narrow down the list of the areas of your interest and focus on them. By making it clear to yourself, you will also look perspicuous and, therefore, credible to others.

So, how should I choose the areas of expertise that I want to include in my headlines if I am great and can benefit from many of them? Think about your vision. If you had 10 new leads you got from your personal branding efforts online, what kind of value would they expect from you?

If this question doesn’t help or if it’s not relevant to what you do, here is another one. If you had 50k followers on LinkedIn (or any other platform), what would you want them to follow you for? Is it sales tips, insights on new marketing campaigns, or anything else?

Challenge #2. Going “all channels possible”

Quality over quantity. This general rule should be applied when choosing the most critical channels for strengthening your personal brand. In the beginning, you might want to be everywhere, and all the platforms will seem relevant, but will you be able to deliver quality content on all of them? (Particularly in the cases when content has to be unique and can’t be simply reposted). You might feel like you absolutely must have profiles on as many platforms as possible, especially when you believe there is a risk somebody will take your name handle.

How to deal with it?

How to deal with it? Think from the perspective of your target audience. What platforms does it mainly use? Where could you possibly get to know it personally? Don’t limit yourself to social media only. Channels might also include speaking at conferences, radio shows, or establishing direct contact with your target audience. Therefore, start small. Once you become great on one platform and it doesn’t take much time for you to build content there, proceed with the next. If you believe that certain content can be relevant to different platforms, find the best ways to customize it efficiently and quickly.

Challenge #3. Creating content about everything

That’s a mistake closely related to the Challenge #1. If the positioning is unclear, it is easy to get lost in the world of content, too. I bet you must have seen people on LinkedIn (and other platforms) posting about things from A to Z and not limiting their content to their actual field of expertise. What’s wrong with it? Well, nobody can be an expert in everything, and if you try to position yourself as one, you might lose your credibility in the eyes of your target audience.

How to deal with it?

How to deal with it? It doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just one very narrow field, but instead, choose 3-4 topics that are related to one another. For example, if you are in the area of Tax, you might choose content that’s related not only to Tax, but also Finance and Accounting as well as legal changes in the field. Another example – let’s say you are in HR working for a corporation. You may want to strengthen your personal brand as a manager and sharing updates about your experience, but you might also want to look into some great case studies from other countries, sharing tips on managing employees, or talking about issues in the field of organizational behavior.

Challenge #4. Inconsistency

You might be an expert in what you do. You might have a very clear idea of how you want to position yourself. You might even have some great content ideas, but at the same time, you will not have a plan on how often and what exact topics you will be engaging in. Being inconsistent, you might lose the opportunity to benefit from your actions. Once you start sharing insights on specific issues, your target audience will expect to see them regularly.

How to deal with it?

How to deal with it? Planning is key. You don’t need to have a precise timeline on when you will do what with regards to building your personal brand. However, you should at least tell yourself how many times per week (or month) you will share content, engage with the content of others, participate in a conference, or make a video on the topic you excel at.

Challenge #5. Having no goal and no KPIs

It might feel great to receive feedback from the audience that engages with your content, or you might unexpectedly get a new job offer or a new lead. But how will you know whether your actions have been effective? The answer is – you won’t unless you raise individual objectives in the beginning and align them with relevant and easy-to-measure KPIs.

How to deal with it?

How to deal with it? Raise a goal and divide it into objectives. Your general goal might be to become known in the field you see yourself as an expert. That’s great, but it’s also tough to measure, so try to break it down. What indicators will tell you that you’ve become known? Let’s say one of them will be a 100% increase in your following on a relevant social media platform. Another might be related to a certain amount of inquiries you will receive. Also, an invite to speak at a well-known conference will also mean you’ve become known in the field. Therefore, think of what’s important to you and try to set KPIs (at least, some very generic ones).

Challenge #6. Impatience

Building a strong personal brand isn’t something that happens overnight. Thus, even though you might feel anxious to see the results, you should always remember that great things take time.

How to deal with it?

There is no magic recipe. The only way to deal with it is to tell yourself this is a long journey ahead.

So, what’s the conclusion? Start NOW and start SMALL. Don’t jump into grand actions just yet – instead, understand what you want to position yourself as, where do you want to do it, and how.

I know it all might sound simple in writing and challenging to implement, but hey, we’ve all been there. All journeys begin somewhere, and I can tell you a little secret: it gets easier and more fun once you stop wondering and start doing.

P.S. Knowing what to focus on might also help, so check out this article to learn more.

Interested in consulting, training or an employee engagement on social media program?

Let’s talk: hello@personacognita.com