When it comes to personal branding, we have all faced the challenge of the hater or, as I like to call them, vultures. Is ignoring these vultures a best practice? What would you do?
Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social
The other day I was out doing some yard work when I noticed that a bunch of vultures was swirling around my area. I found it pretty disconcerting. Vultures are opportunistic birds that specifically target anything they perceive to be weak.
I then realized that my existential bird crisis reminded me of how I felt when I had received a scathing review on a class I taught a few years back. Everyone else loved it, but this one person apparently thought I looked like easy pickings.
Now, understand I take zero issues with constructive criticism. I think it’s incredibly important. That was not what was offered. I confided this situation to a colleague who gave me this insight “There are always going to be people out there looking to tear you down.” I needed to realize that I couldn’t let one person’s opinion knock me off my game or make me think I should change my personal brand of doing things.
So what helped me? Let me share three tips on what to do when faced with personal attacks when you are putting yourself out there, and please share with me in the comments what your approach has been.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
Tip #1 – Don’t become a yo-yo when it comes to your branding.
The knee-jerk reaction after someone has attacked your personal branding is to consider making changes. STOP! That just isn’t possible. Making constant changes to your branding makes you seem indecisive and non-trustworthy. You cannot and will not make everyone happy. Your personal branding should be based on your true self. Focus on consistently delivering this, and your authenticity will connect you with the right people and propel your goals.
Tip #2 – Don’t chase numbers!
Followers, likes, shares, the list goes on. Many people get caught up in analytics or numbers and lose their focus. Willing to try or do just about anything to get those numbers up. In my experience, a handful of quality connections or followers, if you will, are worth much more than thousands of lurkers or dead accounts.
Focus on creating quality content that will attract quality connections and grow—you guessed it—a quality network that is sustainable and beneficial.
Tip#3 – Managing your emotions when an attack happens
To this day, the main reason people struggle with presenting their personal brand is the fear of being attacked, whether it’s simply a public congratulations to a colleague or a social media post. Added to that, the growing trend of cancel culture makes you feel like every little thing should be reviewed by a hundred proofreaders and at least ten legal departments. But we can’t let that stop us.
Surround yourself with a circle of friends who will provide you with encouragement and feedback. When the attack happens, they can be a trusted resource to help you with either a pat on the back or gentle criticism if you happen to drop the ball. Either way, having a trusted circle will help you manage your emotions and expectations.
When it comes to personal branding, it should be just that, personal. Constructive criticism is essential but does not cross the line into a personal attack. Ignore the vultures and instead stay focused, authentic and let your personal brand shine!
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