The most common excuse we hear professionals use to justify not building a personal brand is TIME. I get it, when you’re managing teams or running a business, personal branding feels like one more chore, especially considering that doing it well means doing it daily.
Just remember, though….
…And she’s slaying, so…let’s take a page out of her book and work smarter, not harder. In personal branding, that can mean hiring an outsourced personal brand or social media team to help you build equity in your personal brand. As an owner of a personal brand agency and personal brand education company, I’m all for hiring help, but there are 5 key mistakes we see people make that cause outsourcing to backfire.
1. Not setting goals for your personal branding efforts.
Whether you want to sell more products and services, attract more speaking engagements, grow your audience, or build a team, you should document specific goals for your personal brand initiatives. That means they are measurable, and they have timelines. Of course, a personal brand strategist can help you root these in reality– let’s face it, gaining 23,000 new followers in a month if you’re starting with 100 is not likely going to happen—but you should understand WHY you’re building this brand so you can assess the team’s performance.
2. Not hiring the right personal branding team.
We see a ton of folks jump over to Fiverr or Upwork and hire a “social media manager” or a social media intern to run their personal brand without first assessing what key players they actually need or setting clear expectations and goals for the position. After three months of posting, they find that they grow frustrated when they don’t see an increase in their following or engagement on their page.
Do this instead:
When hiring a personal branding team ensure it is composed of the following skills (maybe it’s a few people, maybe you find a magical unicorn that does all three, either way, get these three bases covered):
- Strategic Oversight: This person should understand and help shape your personal brand goals. They should be aware of your annual, quarterly, and monthly goals and ensure that all content produced is adding momentum to meeting those goals.
- A really, really great copywriter: Even on visual platforms like Instagram, long-form captions drive engagement on posting. Captions give context to the content you share and can help your voice and message reach millions of people. As such, the second team member we always match with a personal branding client is a really great copywriter. They translate your personal brand strategy into a relatable voice and personality, and when done well, the copy they produce guides, graphic designers, in creating powerful visuals to capture your audience’s attention.
- A graphic designer: Like any brand, you’ll want your personal brand to have a consistent look, so people start to form a brand association when they see your content in the feed. Fortunately, tools like Canva are making compelling visual content easier and easier to create.
3. Not allowing enough time for your voice to transfer.
I think most people hesitate to outsource their personal brand because they don’t think that anyone can effectively recreate their voice. This is an understandable concern; the best personal brands are those that are most authentic. However, with the right guidance and systems, you can absolutely find someone who can mimic your voice and scale it beyond what your current capacity is—in some cases, you may even be surprised that they are better at “voicing” you than you are yourself! However, this takes a bit of time. Expect about a month for someone to understand how you would say things, and make sure you give them plenty of constructive feedback throughout this process.
4. Not documenting brand standards.
Like a corporate brand, if you don’t properly document your brand standards, which include your colors, values, mission, vision, voice, and tone, it’s going to be hard to scale it. You should pay particular attention to outlining your values, as these dictate the content that makes your brand feel relatable and personable. For instance, “freedom” is a value of mine. Because of this, I ensure my team creates content around my travels, the dynamics of our virtual team, and financial tactics I learn to help me live a location-independent lifestyle. Maybe a big value of yours is “kindness.” Outlining this can generate great content ideas like posting random acts of kindness you see in the world or in your company. When done repetitively, people start to sense what you value, and they’ll connect with you more easily because we often associate with individuals who share similar values.
5. Not providing proper input.
Your personal branding/social media team are NOT mind readers. They don’t know that one of your team members went out of their way to help a client this week, that your daughter had a big dance recital, or that you are taking a vacation—AKA all stuff that when posted correctly will make for great personal brand content. So many times, we see folks hire a team and expect them to create a content calendar out of thin air, then wonder why the content isn’t resonating. The more you provide input to your personal branding team, the more effective they will become at taking that input and spinning it into social media gold. Text them or email them with updates and ideas as they come to you. I like to send voice notes—they allow me to quickly send ideas for my team to capture.
Don’t let time stand in the way of you building your personal brand. It is one of the best long-term things you can do for your company and yourself professionally.
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What challenges have you experienced building a personal brand? What questions do you have? Let us know in the comment section below…
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