The Branding Mistakes That Cost My Reputation

After getting laid off from my job, I decided that I wanted to become an influencer. Cliche, I know. But, I was determined. I figured this was my way out, this was my way to success. Little did I know that this was actually my way to failure. I failed miserably.

On my way to failure, I made a lot of assumptions & mistakes.

Here are a few assumptions that led to the demise of my brand:

  1. Assuming that all I had to do was post cute pictures and be consistent
  2. Assuming that having a lot of followers would make brands want to work with me
  3. I thought that the biggest problem I was facing was: that I didn’t take professional pictures (I cringe)

After working in marketing & branding for about a 3years now, I know exactly what went wrong.

Lack of brand purpose

If you cannot answer these few questions about your brand, your brand might be headed to the ditches:

  • Why are you on social media?
  • Who do you intend to serve?
  • What problems do they have?
  • How do you plan to help them go from point A to B?
  • What do you want your audience to know you for?
  • What do you intend to achieve in the next 3-6months?

Having a brand purpose gives you an aim to move towards. Additionally, it reduces a lot of inconsistencies in your process.

Lack of brand consistency

Initially, I would go to Canva and pick a template I thought was cute and use it as is. I had no sense of branding AT ALL. If you are like me, here are a few questions that will help:

  • What do you want your brand to make people feel?
  • What colors go with those emotions? 
  • How can you communicate to reach your target audience effectively? (Brand voice)
  • How do you want to be perceived? (Design etc)

Caring too much about “How I feel”

When I started my “influencer” journey, the focus was all on me. I never asked, ‘what does the audience want to see from me?’ How does this piece of content help them better their lives? At the time, it didn’t occur to me that I had to think about an audience. My focus was always on: this is what I need to do to get these numbers. That was a huge branding mistake.

‘How I feel’ was a branding mistake I made.

DIYing everything in my brand

Another big branding mistake I made was DIYing everything about my brand. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about growing an audience. Now that I have a mentor, I understand that it would have taken me years to grow a brand with that mindset.

My biggest lesson is that you need a coach to help guide you. You need someone to help you out. Most of the time, you have to pay some money for that.

Having an unclear brand strategy 

Of course, I didn’t have a brand strategy. I thought social media was easy. I mean, everyone is on it. 

But, for the kind of goals I wanted and desired to achieve, I needed a strategy. A brand strategy typically helps you get to your destination faster. The reason is that it gives you clarity and reduces inefficiencies.

I focused on the brand & not the people

This is evident by the number of hours I spent on Canva instead of Instagram engaging with real people. 

I wanted the beautiful colors, the beautiful graphics, etc. And believe it or not, it took months to settle on the type of graphics I wanted. My focus was on what colors I wanted and not the colors that would make the brand stand out and be attractive to my audience.

Conclusion

Don’t just start. Invest your time in understanding what you’re getting into. When I understood what is required to become an influencer and how long it would take, I decided to find a job first. That meant that I didn’t have to lie about my life.