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Personal Branding Don'ts

Do you know what it is to be a personal brand? It’s more than just having a fancy logo or memorable name. Being a brand has more to do with the feeling that your unique personality, product or service evokes in people who think about or see your brand being advertised.

To become a brand is to have favourably moved the hearts or minds of the public towards the version of yourself that you have made public through your actions, brand message or portrayed values. However, once you’ve become a brand, know that, more than ever, the public will constantly have its eyes on you. Let’s put this fact into perspective.

Becoming a brand means that your persona is now a bankable item, can be vauled and as such generates money for you and your investors/ collaborators.

Personal Brands like athletes, actors , CEOs and even influencers have come under scrutiny time and time again because of the misalignment of their brand to a behavior or action that is not perceived to be part of their brand, or even worse not part of lawful human activity. Granted, if your image is that of a “bad boy/ girl” and you are known for crossing the boundaries of the law and decorum, then don’t let me stop you. Be as bad as you need to be.

But for those of us who still tether on the side of acceptability, it can be devastating when you don’t take every measure to protect your brand image. While it may take you weeks, months or years to create a respectable brand for yourself, it takes only a single second or single incident for all your hard work to come crashing down around you. Want to avoid this happening to your brand? Then here are 5 things you should not do when you finally become one.

DON’T Live Differently from Your Created Brand Image

When you become a brand, life is no longer ‘business as usual’. You are no longer living for yourself. Instead, you fall captive to the expectations of the individuals and companies who support you both financially and emotionally. Therefore, it is better to create a brand that already closely aligns with your values and is genuine to the type of lifestyle you can be comfortable with, whether or not you are in the spotlight. Otherwise, you risk breaking the trust of all those who support you and risk damaging not only your reputation but the reputation of other institutions that have liaised themselves with your brand.

DON’T Indulge in Drugs or Excessive Alcohol

To say that unprescribed drugs or drinking too much alcohol impair our judgment, is putting it very lightly. These two substances not only interfere with our concentration and memories but can also cause individuals to act out violently or behave recklessly. Therefore, unless your brand is directly involved with the advertising of alcohol or drug companies, you nor your company should be seen indulging frequently and excessively in it. Doing this portrays you as someone reckless and risky to work with as such substances are well known to interfere with your normal bodily functions. Consume alcohol only at social affairs and in small to moderate quantities, and stay away from drugs altogether, unless prescribed by a doctor.

DON’T Lose Control of Your Emotions

People are not always easy to deal with and may lose their tempers and manners when dealing with you—but you shouldn’t! As a brand, it is important to stay diplomatic at all times, regardless of how unfairly you believe you’ve been treated. Remember, there is more than one way to deal with an uncomfortable situation. So as much as possible, choose the avenue that will least hurt your brand’s image. This is also why you should ensure you have a strong support system around you when in the public eye that can better help you to navigate such situations when they arise.

DON’T Get on the Wrong Side of the Law

This, of course, goes without saying. However, when you become a brand, you need to be even more careful about your interactions with the law. Getting into even minor offences such as a traffic violation or trespassing on property has the potential to hurt your brand’s reputation far more than it would an ordinary citizen.

People often hold brands to a higher standard and will therefore judge your actions more harshly because of this.


There is a popular saying : “To whom much is given, much is expected”

Oftentimes, becoming a brand requires a complete change of mindset and daily behaviour. When you become a brand, you become a model for others to design themselves after; you become an entity that others want to partner and grow with, and you become someone whom people look upon with respect and hope. As a brand, you can no longer allow yourself to be controlled by emotions but instead must live above the norm to continue holding the respect of your followers and fans.

If you get on the wrong side of this, all hope is not lost, repairing your brand is possible with the right PR strategies that can convey your regret for the infringement, demonstrate your regret , and consquently your attempts to resolve the situation, and the lesson learned from the infraction.

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