Does Your Personal Brand Suck?

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I often wonder if my personal brand sucks.

What are the signs? How would I know? Would someone tell me? Would people just let me think that I’m cool and mock me behind my back?

There are no easy ways to figure out if your personal brand is in the toilet, but here are some signs.

  1. You reply to people on Twitter and no one responds back. Shoot, this happens to me sometimes. I’ve learned that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so when I’m not getting anywhere with someone, I ignore that person. If they need me, they know where to find me.
  2. You post really awesome stuff on Facebook and it’s met with crickets. Maybe that stuff isn’t as awesome as you think. I learned the hard way that not everyone likes it when I obsessively share posts from Cute Overload. Apparently there is such a thing as too many puppy posts. Who knew?
  3. Calls go unreturned. This happens for one of two reasons: your  brand sucks or your voicemail messages aren’t clear. Or both. Whether your brand sucks or not, know that not everyone likes to talk on the phone. Text is your best friend.
  4. People keep telling you that they never got your email messages and/or your messages went to the spam folder. The clearest sign that your brand is in disarray? The dreaded “spam” lie. If you hear this, you know you’re in trouble.
  5. You’re pushing out great content — in conversations, on LinkedIN groups, on various social networks — and it doesn’t get picked up. Your brand might not suck, but it’s not relevant. Instead of pushing out so much of your own stuff, try sharing similar ideas from other people. Then you look like a giver, not a douche bag.

I’m pretty sure that personal brands ebb & flow. Someone who is “hot” on Monday will often be branded as a “loser” by Friday. (I know this from personal experience.)

I still believe that the people with the best personal brands are the ones who are focused on something greater than a brand. Do good work. Be proud of what you accomplished. Be generous and humble. And trust that no one is laughing behind your back. Although if I hear something about you, I promise to tell you. You do the same for me, okay?


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