06/16/2015 06:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2016

Personal Branding Mistakes to Avoid Like The Plague


Personal branding done right can create incredible opportunities. Read Alice Ko's inspiring story, How to blog Your Way to Your Dream Job on Skillcrush.

Understanding what does and does not work as it pertains to branding is important, especially with the shift that technology has in redefining what it means to build a personal brand. Branding is more than just creating or sharing valuable content. In putting all of our focus on "sounding good" through our social media shares, we forget the importance of actually connecting genuinely and allowing others to understand who we truly are!

Lacking Authenticity

One of the greatest fails in personal branding is being fake! Part of building a strong personal brand is building an authentic connection with your audience. We tend to forget, as we work with the internet, that a connection is a two way street. Would your audience be able to recognize you if they met you in person, or would they walk right past you?

Alice Ko's story is a great example of how authenticity can pay off. Although the blog created an opportunity for her beyond the blog, during her coffee date with the CEO of Wantering, her authenticity was tested, and of course she passed with flying colors, allowing her to branch out to other startups.

Diving in Without a Strategic Plan

You should have a brand strategy in place before pursuing anything related to personal branding. Jumping in blind will create chaos, not only leaving you without a clear understanding of your goals and in turn direction, but your audience will be left confused.

Your brand message/vision should be clear and consistent throughout. It allows you to target, share, and connect effectively, creating results.

Making it About You

No, it's not about you!

Although difficult to understand, after all, the goal is to create a strong personal brand.

It is not about you.

Focusing on yourself will only serve to turn your audience off.

As backwards as it may sound, personal branding, should be about providing solutions for your target audience.

Be generous, and remember that knowing, and understanding what you have to offer is an important part of building a powerful brand.


Inconsistency is a sign of disorganization.

Although you may not be aware of it, your audience notices, and begins to check out. You cannot sell a professional image by being inconsistent with your audience.

Build trust by staying organized. There are an abundance of tools that will help to simplify and to help you save time, while building a powerful brand.

Building a strong personal brand, will take time, and will be ongoing. Continue to improve and grow your reach, using the process as you achieve your goals. Update your strategy to match your success, and keep these mistakes in mind, in order to keep avoiding them like the plague.

4 Bloggers That Have Nailed Personal Branding:

We love to celebrate bloggers (Check out our list of Bloggers every new blogger should follow) especially those that are kicking ass by doing everything right, allowing us to learn from those who have mastered applying all of the right ingredients to create an unbelievable combination. These bloggers have mastered Personal Branding, we celebrate them and encourage you to continue learning from the best.

Alice Ko @kokostiletto

Dana Fox @thewonderforest

Giada Centofanti @Giada100

Regina Anaejionu @byReginaTV

Nancy is the founder of Afro-Chic Mompreneur, where she inspires Female Entrepreneurs and encourages the support of female owned businesses by sharing their stories. She also helps female Entrepreneurs launch and manage their businesses. Her clients include Leisl Schrader or Remix Design and Kajal London of Kajallondon.

Follow her on Twitter @Chicmompreneur