Women in Business Radio: How NOT to Mess Up Your Personal Branding

Women in Business Radio

Last month, I attended a really brilliant social media seminar and I met the lovely Sian Murphy, owner and broadcaster at Women in Business Radio. I was thrilled when Sian asked me to be a guest on the show.

As co-founder and Lead BPM Mentor at The Branding Initiative, Sian invited me to speak about how not to mess up your personal branding.  So many people get it wrong with such simple things such as using silly gimmicky profile pictures on their social media accounts.  It actually doesn’t take much thought at all but somehow most people get it wrong.

What I wanted to do on the show was add value by explaining why people make these common errors and advising what they can do to easily rectify it.

“We’re going live right now! My special guest today is KellyAnn Schiavo and we’re talking about branding. I think branding is one of the most misunderstood and complex issues when it comes to your business, marketing, customer focus – the whole enchilada really and that’s why I’m so pleased to welcome KellyAnn to the show.  Not only is she the Co-founder of the Branding Initiative, but she’s also an Ambassador for Women In Business – so we really are knocking down all of the coconuts on this week’s show”

I arrived, slightly nervously, at Channel Radio in Kent where Sian broadcasts for WIBR and was instantly made to feel comfortable and welcome.  After Sian had briefed on the run of show, I entered the studio to don the headphones and take the mic!  How difficult is it to speak into a huge radio mic?! Seriously hard! I wanted to keep to turning around and apparently sitting still isn’t one of my strengths as I was told a few times to “speak straight on, into the mic….thaaaat’s it…”.

The theme of the interview was personal branding and what NOT to do.  Having started my own personal branding, and the foundation on which The Branding Initiative is built, I was well equipped to provide some insight.

Here are my top 3 tips on what NOT to do when starting out on your personal branding quest:

01 | Be YOU!

A lot of people have this great idea about branding themselves and start throwing images around social media like confetti! Don’t do that! The profile picture on your social media has to represent the real you.  It has to show people who you are and give them an insight into your life in one image.

You can achieve this by not wearing sunglasses, hats, clown wigs and the like.  It doesn’t have to be a professionally shot photo, my own is a selfie, taken with my iPhone as I was rushing out the door to a friend’s BBQ!  What’s good about it are the eyes, looking directly at the camera and engaging with the audience. There is also a smile -lets face it, nobody wants to engage with someone who looks like they’ve got a season ticket to the Samaritans.

Your picture needs to be clear, not too much back ground noise and clearly shows YOU, your face and your smile.  Use that same picture across ALL of you social media sites and don’t change it.  People will connect to you via that picture, if you keep changing it, your audience won’t build rapport.

The same goes for the bio.  Be consistent and have all of your social media say the same thing!

02 | Network WITHIN your niché

Personal Branding is as important offline as it is on. What you are doing by having a personal brand is sending out an image.  The image is of you, your values, your capabilities and your vision.  Your audience will, eventually, connect to you because of this.

It is really important when networking to think about your tribe.  Think about the people you want to connect with, work with, who you want to buy from you.  Then, go find them and hang out with them – build relationships and grow those relationships.

If you’re business is in the health food industry, you might not want to be networking with people who sell fast food!

03 | Nobody likes a cheat!

It sounds like a cliche when we say, just be YOU and be authentic but it’s true.  You have no need to create a fake social media existence. If you want to post photos of the Weetabix you ate for breakfast, go ahead! Nobody eats eggs benedict seven days a week, neatly placed next to a pink flamingo, miniature cactus and a gold enamelled mug depicting how you need to step into your power.  That looks pretty but its not real.  Show your ‘normal’ routine.  The most important thing about a personal brand is the PERSON.  That’s YOU. So be who are you don’t try to fake it until you make it because the chances are, you wont.  People are nosey, blunt but true – they want to see WHO you are and not what you claim to be.

Bear in mind though that authenticity will never be a 100% reflection of the real you – I mean, I do sit around in my joggers with no make up on and my hair tied back but is that the image I want the world to know me for? Probably not.  Therefore my social media profiles reflect the ‘working’ me, or the ‘family’ me.  However, what you see is true to who am, what I do and what I believe in.

Your personal brand has to reflect WHO you are and WHAT you stand for – no gimmicks, no bull&%t!  People want to see you happy and achieving.  They want to see you enjoying your lifestyle – they don’t want to see staged photo’s from an Instagram feed or an endless stream of quotes.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up but make sure that what you’re posting is a reflection of what you a) do and b) are marketing.

I seriously had the best time at Women in Business Radio and couldn’t believe that the hour passed so quickly! Apparently I was such a natural that Sian asked me back on and to be a feature blogger on Women In Business Radio.  I am just so grateful for the connection and the people I am meeting as all these things are filling my days with the stuff that I absolutely LOVE to do!

You can listen to a recording of the show here (click on the grey button and navigate for equally insightful shows on WIBR).

If you would like to know more about Sian Murphy you can visit here Facebook Page here

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