Start saying NO to strengthen your Personal Brand

You can’t be everyone’s darling. And neither should you be!

Personal Branding is about establishing yourself as the Go-to-Expert in your field. It is about making it easy for your ideal audience to find you and think of you when they realise they have a problem and want a solution.


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Turning down opportunities outside your niche is hard.

It is hard especially when the offer sounds too good to be true but it saying yes to something you are not the expert in, you are not 110% confident to deliver value and it doesn't fit in within your niche you (have tried to) specialise in, it doesn’t only damage your brand and reputation but also trust.

And it’s this trust that makes people coming (back) to you. Or not.


Take my specialisation in Recruitment for example:

Having been 10 years in Marketing, it was a no-brainer to specialise in that space – just on the more evolved side, Digital Marketing.

I would never recruit a lawyer or accountant because I wouldn’t know what a good candidate even looks like or know how to map out a career plan for candidates so they achieve their goal.

But what I do know is specialists in these fields who are in these industries day in and day out. That’s the value I can provide – my network and my judgement about who is the best person to solve this issue.

And in the lawyer and accountant example ... it’s not me.


And yes – It does happen that clients are upset because they want a ‘one stop shop’ with me.

But because I don’t think I can add value to them in that space, I don’t even pretend and get myself into a place where I stand for nothing because I fell for everything.


The same goes with you and your Personal Brand:

Everything you do, people you associate yourself with, partners you get on board, clients you look after … it all ends up building (or destroying) your Brand.


Especially as entrepreneurs or small business owners we often make decisions because it’s financially a good thing, but being financially attractive doesn’t necessarily translate into being good for your brand.

You end up running the risk of diluting the brand that you created in the long term and even worse – you lose all credibility which makes it harder for whatever you do after.


Next time you are on the cross road between saying yes to a job/client/partner/event ..., ask yourself:

If you can’t come up with a good enough reason for doing it, then there isn’t a good enough reason to be doing it.”


Decide today to re-evaluate your activities and involvements and to start thinking about how they affect your personal brand. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you say ‘no’:


  • Is this activity helping me to reach my target market?
  • Will this project reflect well on my personal brand?
  • Will doing this mean compromising on my personal brand values?
  • What are my reasons for wanting to do this project and are these good enough reasons to say ‘yes’?


However, saying no doesn’t need to be disrespectful or awkward.

There are many power phrases that help you to get your point across not only convincingly but effectively. One of them is ‘because’.

Studies have shown that simply adding ‘because’ to your sentence when you ask for something, do or don’t do something, people are more likely to empathise with you as it justifies your behaviour but then also theirs (for example forgive you when you didn’t agree to do a certain task or asked to jump the queue).


But this will be the topic for next week!

Make sure you tune in when we talk Power Phrases – how to use them to make an impaCCCt!

Petra ZinkimpaCCCt