Fix the Fundamentals Before Personal Branding

Personal branding, done right, can deliver powerful results in visibility and differentiation.  But, if you have fundamental weaknesses in your skill set or experience, amplifying your message could hinder rather than help you.

An old maxim goes: Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.  Why?  Because good advertising will get a lot of people to try the bad product, and the negative word of mouth that ensues will hasten the product’s demise.

For instance, getting your name out in public as an expert before you have a thoughtful and value-added platform can give you a reputation as an “expert” to avoid.  Or making claims in your resume or LinkedIn profile for which you have little or no evidence will damage your credibility.

It’s fine to have a stretch goal for personal branding, but you must be willing to take steps to reach that goal not only through communication but through improving on your strengths, expertise and experience.  Consider further education, professional development, gaining experience through volunteering and coaching.

Song Woo, a career management expert and CEO of Lighthouse Management Group, recently wrote, “…if you want to continue to advance in your career, you need to continue to evolve.  That means you must add new skills, improve weaknesses, or just plain increase your knowledge base…you just can’t stand pat and think you can just get ahead.”

What improvement steps are you willing to take to reach your goal?


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