How NOT to Build Your Executive Personal Brand

by Meg Guiseppi on February 5, 2010

William Arruda, a branding pioneer who created the Reach Personal Branding program through which I defined my own brand and help my clients do the same, has created a fantastic video on what branding is all about.

Watch his dynamic presentation, but here’s an encapsulation of his 10 personal brand-building “don’ts”:

1. Don’t be fake – be genuine.

Branding is not about creating an image for the outside world. Branding is based in authenticity. Know who you are and build your brand from that.

2. Don’t be wishy-washy – take a stand.

Strong brands are not all things to all people. Strong brands are willing to take a stand and that helps them stand out.

3. Don’t act before thinking.

Don’t just blast as many messages out there as possible. Have a plan. Know what you want to do before getting your brand communications plan out there.

4. Don’t go for quantity over quality. 

Don’t focus on creating as much content as you can for your blog. Make sure you use the right resources and build something of quality, otherwise you detract from your brand.

5. Avoid the quest for fame – choose to become selectively famous.

Focus your messages on just those people who need to know you. Your brand is about targeting a specific audience and designing your value proposition messaging to resonate with just them.

6. Don’t run out of steam – slow and stead wins the race.

Don’t jump from one social network to another, starting with LinkedIn then getting bored and leaving it behind for Facebook, then Twitter, then something else. You need a slow, steady, methodical, and consistent approach to build your brand.

7. Don’t forget real world relationships.

Personal branding is not just a web 2.0 activity. Balance the real and virtual worlds. Take real world activities and translate them into virtual activities.

8. Don’t go it alone – bring in the right resources.

Career coaches, resume writers, etc. will help you build your brand in the best possible way. Get the best people behind you so that what you produce is of high quality, and you have other people and their perspectives helping your build your brand.

9. Don’t make it all about you.

Branding is about giving value to your network. It’s building credibility by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others.

10. Don’t forget to measure as you’re building your brand.

Is it helping you reach your goals? Is it getting you to the next step? Are the right people getting to know you? Monitor and measure your brand to be sure it’s working for you.

You’ll find more specifics on building your brand in my Executive Personal Branding Worksheet: 10 Steps to an Authentic, Magnetic Personal Brand.

Related posts:

What Personal Branding is NOT

My Interview with William Arruda

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi February 6, 2010 at 7:05 am

Hi Chris,

Thanks for commenting and sharing your video. Everyone should take 2 minutes to watch it.

Chris is, of course, one of the leading voices in the social media branding sphere. Anyone interested in learning how to authentically brand themselves will gain much by following his example.

Chris’s approach is closely aligned with William’s.

Chris’s slow rise to overnight fame echoes William’s #6 here – “Don’t run out of steam – slow and stead wins the race.”

In your video, Chris said that once he started talking about other people and helping people, things started taking off for him, affirming William’s 9th point, “Don’t make it all about you. Branding is about giving value to your network. It’s building credibility by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others.”


2 Chris Yates February 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Those are some great points on how NOT to do it but what about how to DO IT? I had a chance to do a video interview with Chris Brogan the best selling author of Trust Agents.
Here is the blog and short 2 minute clip on how Social Media helped Chris Brogan create his personal Brand.

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