Your personal brand is a hard-won commodity and in business it is your most valuable asset. But what happens when that brand is damaged in some way?
Whether it’s through your own actions or those of others, a damaged personal brand can hold you back from new opportunities, clients, deals and prospects.
By far the best strategy for protecting your personal brand is to build a strong reputation that will help you weather any negative feedback others may have of you or maybe even an unintentional mistake.
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But if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to repair your personal brand, these steps will help to get things back on track.
Stand in your power
This is particularly relevant in those situations where your brand has been damaged through no fault of your own. Don’t back down, don’t hide. Don’t let negative feedback stand in your way. Believe in yourself, your knowledge and your hard-won experience. See yourself truly as an expert and be prepared to tell people that’s what you are.
Don’t be afraid to share your challenges
Being vulnerable in business and sharing your challenges can be intensely brave yet powerful. Good relationships are essential to having a strong personal brand and the strongest relationships are made when there is an emotional connection. This emotional connection can only be built with honesty, where people are brave enough to share their stories of failure and success.
This type of honesty can help you rebuild your brand as people can see and connect with your humanity. However, this needs to be done in a highly authentic manner. Any hint of arrogance and this will backfire.
Be of service
A great way to repair your personal brand, particularly if it’s from negative word of mouth, is to share your expertise with the aim of helping others. This act like none other helps to build incredible trust and goodwill as it comes across as being purely for other people.
We all have experiences that others might learn from in some way. It is these experiences and your learnings you should focus on sharing.
Keep building your brand
A set back is no excuse to shy away from the spotlight and put the brakes on building your brand. Like I said earlier, the best defence is a good offence and a strong brand will better help you to weather any damage it may experience throughout your career.
While a big part of your personal brand is delivering upon your promises, there are a number of tactics you can use to enhance your reputation, including the media, blogging, social media as well as old-fashioned networking and building relationships. What you deliver through these channels is your thought leadership and expertise.
Continually investing in your personal brand will ensure you stand out from your competition. It is through elevating yourself above others in your industry that will make people clamour to work with you. When managed well, your personal brand is an asset that can make all the difference to your business.
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step-by-step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field.