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Four ways you are screwing up your personal branding

Everything you say and do impacts your personal brand.

I should know, I’ve screwed up many times with things I’ve said.

Email – You are either not using your out of office auto responder at all or when you do, it says something like this one that I received last week; “Tim is out of the office on PTO until January 6th. If this matter is urgent, please contact susie@company.com (technical) or bill@company.com (Management) for assistance. Otherwise, I’ll respond to your message when I return.” Ugh, really? This made me throw up a little in my mouth. He refers to himself in the third person and tells us he is out of the office on paid time off? Want to screw up your branding? Have HR get involved in any customer facing communication.

Consider your auto responder a touch point in your personal and company marketing plan. It doesn’t matter if you have a 50 person customer service team or it’s just you, your auto responder is a fantastic opportunity to create enthusiasm for your brand.

Use the eye brow test for any customer facing correspondence. If eye brows go up, print that shit. If eye brows go down, back to the drawing board. Use your auto responder when you need to focus for a few hours. I use mine every day. Email me any morning at craigmorantz@gmail.com

The LinkedIn invitation – Each week you are most likely sending at minimum one LinkedIn invitation, but most are sending 5 -10. LinkedIn is a fantastic place to build a strong network. But, if you are sending this; “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” You are screwing up your personal branding. Take 30 seconds and make it personal, especially if you do not know the person. “I love building things, like companies,  not Ikea furniture. I see we have 5 mutual connections. There might be an opportunity to learn from each other.” or tell them about yourself; “I am an expert when it comes to b to b marketing and want to connect here to see if there is a way we could help each other.”

Finally, after the connection is accepted send a more detailed note. I am amazed that 90% of people who send me an invite to connect never contact me after I accept. Personal branding fail.

Voice Mail – It’s true, voice mail is slowly dying, but it’s still an important communication tool that provides an easy way to build your personal and company brand. What if your voice mail greeting was one where people told their friends; “dude, you need to call this number and listen to her voice mail, brilliant!

One of my customer service employees would create a new voice mail everyday with a quote that had resonated with her. Sounds basic, but it had impact. How many voice mails are left each day at your company? Let’s say you only get 50. That’s 50 touch point opportunities. Don’t forget all the voice mails you leave people each day, your brand is built with each message you leave someone.

Meeting Invites – There is nothing worse than receiving the “Meet with Craig” meeting notice. The one that then shows up in my calendar as “Meet with Craig”, I AM CRAIG!! What about “Craig and Andrew plan world domination” or “Craig and Andrew make each other laugh” and in the meeting notice it suggests each of us has to show up with a joke to start the meeting? Or, how about when you are meeting with a new client “Andrew visits to understand more about Acme Inc.”. Much more on meeting notices here.

In life, one of the hardest things to do is to let go of things we can’t control. Luckily, conversely, one of the easiest thing to do is have impact on the things we can control. Take advantage of your email auto responders, LinkedIn invites, voice mail greetings / messages and meeting invites. You choose whether to have impact on your personal brand, don’t screw it up.