While corporate branding benefits from the strength of an established company name, in personal branding, your selling point is literally your self. Many people think that translates as, “I can do anything I want. It’s not like there’s an HR Department to report to!” Unfortunately, this is a damaging misconception which could not be further from the truth. You must learn to avoid these three personal branding mistakes if you want to be successful in your niche.
1. Stop Ignoring the Rule of Thirds
The “Rule of Thirds” is a simple concept. It states that if you want to maximize your impact, you should divide your social media output into thirds like so:
- One third of your output = posts about yourself (and your brand). Example: a link to a blog post or a press release. This should be content created by you.
- One third of your output = posts that are related to what you do, but which were not created by you. Example: a link to an interesting, relevant article on someone else’s (reliable and trustworthy) website.
- One third of your output = posts that show your personality, the human component. Example: answering a question from a comment on your blog, or reposting something you thought was interesting.
If you disregard the rule of thirds and churn out monotonous content that all serves the same function or comes from the same source, your audience is going to tune out fast.
2. Stop Resisting Technology
It’s 2014: you need to have a website. Phone numbers, street addresses, and email addresses are great and necessary things — but they simply aren’t enough. They’re the bare minimum, and the bare minimum isn’t going to make you succeed.
In fact, even websites themselves are starting to become the bare minimum: in addition to having a website, you need to be optimized for mobile users, too. A recent study conducted by Hibu uncovered that American small businesses which aren’t optimized for mobile devices miss out on a whopping $60,000 per year, and statistics show that as many as a quarter of all web searches come from mobile devices.
3. Stop Resting on Your Laurels
We get it: you’re busy. You’ve got meals to cook, errands to run, chores to complete, and ten thousand other entries on your ever-expanding “to-do” list. But if you neglect your personal branding efforts forever, you will start to see a noticeable decline in your traffic. (And considering how short the internet’s collective attention span is, that decline will come sooner rather than later.) An inactive account is a suspicious account. Is the business still in business? Are the owners still in the area? Are they still alive? Have the products been discontinued?
Yes, life gets in the way sometimes; but you absolutely need to make the time to keep your personal brand relevant. If you can’t commit to a daily update, check in and offer new content at least once a week. If you know you’re about to be especially swamped, spend some time assembling and scheduling out content to carry you through the busy period.
If you would like to find out more about personal branding for your niche market, I invite you to contact me. I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years. Email me at email@example.com.