3 biggest Mistakes you need to avoid when building your Personal Brand

1st October ... - can you believe it's only 91 days to go until the end of 2018?

The first 9 months have been a whirlwind for me and I'm sure it was the same for you!

One of the biggest issues why we don't get to where we want to be is busy-ness over productivity.

We get caught up in the doing because it gives us the (wrong) sense of accomplishment and is only when we reflect and take a step back that we realise we didn't get anywhere.

Good news?
The year is not over yet and it's usually the last quarter when big things happen. 

To get the most of those next 91 days, I want to recap the 5 biggest mistakes that I've made myself and now have seen not only my clients but also so many other professionals make so you can skip them and can focus on doing what actually counts!

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Mistake #1:

Start time for investing in their Personal Brand & the reason to do so.

I get it. Everyone is busy and things that don't get us immediate ROI or seem to be too daunting to get off the ground to start with are usually parked on the bench. Over and over and over again.
Until we realise that we now all of a sudden need to catch up on it.

Building a Personal Brand means building connections that turn into relationships that form your reputation. 

Guess what?
It's certainly not an overnight effort and takes consistent actions. However, the 3 most common reasons why people want to invest in growing their reputation and Brand in the market are:

1.) Aim to step into a more senior role (inside or outside their organisation)

2.) Recent promotion into a senior role and realisation that they need a strong network to make those big things happen

3.) Realisation that it's time for a change.
 - may it be to get another role because of being bored or realising that they haven't grown the last few years but were comfortable so they didn't act and now feel the urge to do something quickly
- wanting to step into another industry
- committed to leave their corporate gig to go solo or to
- completely revamp their life because of causes (most often beyond their control like redundancy, divorce, burn out ...) that forces them to act.

These reasons might be the catalyst to act but it shouldn't be the reason because there is a certain outcome associated with it that puts people under stress and often makes them anxious.

We already know that acting out of fear is usually just pushing us into the next save zone, to something we already know; not really to where we can grow and live to our fullest potential.

Impactful change requires strengths and if you can't make decisions and act out of power and confidence, you will never ever see those opportunities

What to do instead:
Whilst you may start from scratch, the best time is to start now. Not tomorrow, not next week or year - it is literally now. Think of it like a bank account - the more you put in and the earlier you start, the more you have to draw from when you need it.

Enjoy the process and don't get hung up on a certain outcome as this often just gives you the feeling of resentment when it doesn't go that way.

Instead, more and bigger opportunities can be the outcome if you let things come to you by putting out the right energy and with that, actions.

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Mistake #2:

No clear positioning.

Often what happens when people realise they have slept the last few years and haven't invested in their network, their reputation and their Personal Brand, they feel the sense of urgency and just start 'spamming'.

Content without Context = SPAM

What does that mean?
It means that they all of a sudden start to get active, posting something on LinkedIn (worst of all, just sharing an article that's not related to what they actually are associated with and without any commentary.

So what does that do?

And then people complain that 'Social Media is just a waste of time, it doesn't do anything for me.'

Well- here is the thing:
You need to make it work for you and simply spray and pray doesn't do the trick ... ever!

First of all, having a clear positioning, a unique point of difference and a defined purpose is the key to stand out.

All the marketing efforts - from CV to LinkedIn to website and everything in between - can look super smick and polished. But if the Branding hasn't been done (or done right), it's all waste fo time, money and energy. This is what burns people out and dis-encourages them to continue their efforts.

What do do instead:
Create your own value first - Communicate it confidently and clearly - Commercialise your point of difference.

Get a clear understanding of your strengths, of your interests and why people turn to you for now (which will help you define the value you bring which you can then hone on and commercialise).

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Mistake #3:

No active network and relationship building.

The richest and most successful people in the world are looking for building relationships and a network. The rest is looking for jobs.

Especially the more senior you get, the more it is your network that get you to your next career opportunity. 

Not investing enough time in building and maintaining relationships and a network that you can 

It's not who you know but who knows you.

Building a network means you tap not only into your direct contacts but also into their network and the more opportunities you get exposed to, the more choice you have which puts you in a position of power and ease.

Just to get it straight:
I don't mean to exploit your network because that's not what relationships are about and those people will eventually resent you because they feel taken advantage of.

I mean giving, giving, giving and then taking.
The more you focus on the good things you what you can do for others (which you can control and that puts you at ease) and the less you focus on things you want others to do for you (which you can't control as it's their actions ultimately), the more you will get back.

What do do instead:
Building a network and with that relationships and trust 
(which is where business and career opportunities develop and happen)
takes time and effort.

For me, I found the combination of online with selected offline activities works a treat and and I will let you in a secret that catapults your efforts big times:

In the second you speak in front of 20, 50 or 100+ people, you are known by those (without necessarily you knowing all of them).

Important is that you always invite them to connect with you after the events to stay in touch and it's your responsibility to foster this relationship and take it further, eg with a coffee catch up or a more formal meeting etc in NEAR future
(not when you need something from them).

Another advantage to connect online is that it is easier to stay in touch and by you contributing on Social Media through posts and articles etc, it's your name that pops up in their feed and that keeps you top of mind.

This is ultimately how people remember you and think of you for whatever it may be.

This is also where the power of referral comes in. Your 1st connection may not need what you have to offer but the chances are high that they know (eventually) someone who do.

And then you want to be the one who gets mentioned when they get asked for a recommendation for your area of expertise.


If you want to learn how to

define your unique position, get clear on your message and become an effective connector, check out our new

impaCCCt Academy

Petra Zink

Petra Zink is a Coach, Speaker and Educator on all things Career & Personal Development, High Performance and Innovation.

She works with Companies and their Leaders to bring Entrepreneurship in-house and build intrapreneurial High Performance Cultures.

Petra helps Companies to initiate Change, innovate and make an impact - on their Terms.

Petra also works with Senior Professionals in a 1:1 Coaching Program to accelerate their Personal Brand Development. Click here for more information