business mistakes wesley virgin

Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Building a Personal Brand

Article by Wesley Virgin.

Do you dream of building a personal brand that attracts high-paying clients? Let’s dive into the 4 common mistakes entrepreneurs make that can actually weaken your positioning and hurt your personal brand.

Mistake #1: Trying to be an expert in too many things

The first mistake a lot of coaches, consultants and other entrepreneurs make is having far too many business specializations or becoming an expert in too many things. If you want to build a powerful personal brand where you’re viewed as a true expert and can land those high-paying clients, then you need to have a focused business. 

This means you want to avoid calling yourself a half-dozen different things. For example, you shouldn’t describe yourself as a business coach, a social media strategist, an SEO expert, a realtor, and a supplement salesperson all at once. 

I see this all the time with struggling coaches and consultants. If you want to build a powerful brand, you need to get clear and focused. One of my favorite quotes by the late Steve Jobs says, “With focus and simplicity you can move mountains.”

Simplify your personal brand by becoming known as the expert who can solve one thing. When you scale your business, you can offer other things, but it’s hard to gain traction if you come out the gate trying to be everything to everyone. And as the saying goes, when you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to the one person that matters most. 

Mistake #2: Using the wrong images

Another common mistake in building a personal brand is having the wrong images on your website, social media, marketing collateral, and more. The external image component is probably the most t common mistake entrepreneurs make when it comes to personal branding.

When you have the wrong images or dated images, it can really affect your positioning and the perception of your overall personal brand. 

It’s important that you look professional or even expensive, especially if you are targeting a high-caliber market and selling high-value services. This should be reflected in your photos. 

Photography can go a lot of different directions, but it needs to be relevant to your target market. Obviously, if you are a health coach, you should probably have photos of you exercising, wearing form-fitting clothes, showing off your physique, and drinking smoothies, similar to what you would see on Instagram.

However, that does not work when you are an executive coach marketing to corporate clients. In that case, having photos where you’re showing off your body isn’t professional for your market, so it’s important to dress relative to the people you serve. 

This is where skirt suits, pant suits, or even professional dresses would look really good.  Even if you are a man who never wears a tie, having a sports coat over a nice T-shirt with some slacks or jeans looks great. 

So not only do you want to dress for your market, but you want to make sure that your clothes represent your brand. If you’re going for a high-end look, you should have nicer clothes. This could mean anything from the style of clothes you’re wearing to having things dry cleaned, ironed, and pressed, or having new shoes. All of those things are important. Remember that the camera enhances everything, so be aware of what you are bringing to your photo shoot.

Again for women if you’re marketing to corporate clients, I would encourage you to avoid very revealing clothes. Let your message and the results that you get for your clients speak louder than showing off your figure. It’s okay to wear form-fitting outfits, but avoid wearing low-cut tops or very short skirts that wouldn’t fly in a corporate setting. This will help you attract the right clients because they’ll be interested in your work and not your sexuality. 

Also, make sure that your photos are current and don’t look like something from the ‘90s. You need to be seen as someone who is relevant, current, and up-to-date with the way things are working today, which can be reflected in your personal image and clothing. 

Ever seen someone who is stuck in another era? This will affect your sales. So if you need to see a new hairstylist for a fresh haircut, or if you need to go shopping, you can always hire a personal stylist to help you become more current. For many people, this makeover can skyrocket your confidence because you can discover how to dress for success using principles such as body shape, coloring, and more. 

Another important asset when it comes to your personal brand photo is having a professional hair and makeup artist at your photoshoot. This is extremely powerful. I promise they can do a better job than 90% of the people working in hair and makeup. This artistry can help you look your very best and pull off an even more powerful photoshoot.

Once you have your photos, you will want to pool all of them into your marketing assets so your new images are reflected across your social media, landing pages, and assets. 

I can tell you from personal experience that getting the image of your personal brand right is one of the most challenging things I see people struggling with. Remember that you want to dress to impress and dress for the next-level client that you are dreaming of going after. This will level up how you look online and in all that you do. It will help you build your personal brand and it will absolutely help attract high-paying clients.

Mistake #3: Having the wrong message

Another common mistake entrepreneurs make  when building a personal brand is having the wrong message. Your messaging matters and 90% of struggling coaches and consultants I meet are struggling not because their offer isn’t good or they can’t solve people’s problems, but because they fail to effectively communicate their value in the marketplace. 

This is one of the areas in which I work very intensively with my clients in my coaching programs. When you have your marketing messaging dialed in, you will attract the best clients. Take it from me, an expert in high-end client attraction and sales. By getting this right, I have helped countless clients land high five- and even six-figure deals!

Trust and rapport can be created through social media. In fact, when your marketing messaging is dialed in and you have the right systems in place, it takes care of 80% of the sales conversation. 

When you look the part and when you have the right message, your sales conversation is really an alignment piece. Do you like each other? Do you want to work together? Then close the deal!

When it comes to your message, you want to make sure that you are speaking to your ideal client’s pains and desires. This begins with fully understanding who your ideal client is. Most people get this part wrong. 

Many people come to me saying they know who their ideal client is and yet, when we start working together, they don’t really know who it is. They might be going after the wrong kind of client, and when I find out their genius and their background, I show them how to reposition who they are in the marketplace so that they can go after next-level clients and close high five- and six-figure deals. 

Or sometimes, they stay within the same market but don’t fully understand how to articulate the ideal client’s pains and desires, so we work on the messaging not only to concisely articulate those but also to powerfully present their solution. 

Most of the time people get very long-winded with their words although they need to say their message in as few words as possible. There’s a real art and science to that. Because your messaging directly affects how you are positioned or perceived online, your personal brand, and your ability to have a pipeline full of high-paying clients, you need to get it right. 

The best words should magnetize your perfect client to you and repel anyone who is not a fit because you don’t want to waste your time with looky-loos who just want free advice without any intention of buying. You want to attract the very best people who see your value, don’t have time to waste, want results right now, and are eager to enroll.

This means you have to be very intentional with your words because the wrong words could attract the wrong people. The best way to master your messaging is to work with a messaging expert like myself who understands strategy and can help you put the right words in place.

Mistake #4: Using the wrong colors or fonts

The final common mistake that can weaken your positioning, affect how you’re perceived online, and negatively affect your personal brand is having the wrong brand colors or fonts. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing colors that they love but aren’t necessarily the colors that are right for their market and for the solution that they provide. 

You need to understand the psychology of color and what is going to resonate with your ideal client related to the services that you provide. These are often not your favorite colors or not ones that you wear on a regular basis, and that’s okay. This isn’t about you; it’s about magnetizing the right client. 

Fonts are a huge piece that a lot of people miss the mark on. For example, if you’re marketing to corporate clients, you should stay away from whimsical fonts because they don’t create trust. 

Remember, corporate clients are used to clean and professional fonts, so you will want to stick with those that are more familiar to your clients. This is where a brand expert who really understands the psychology of color and font can assist you in honing your personal brand from a visual standpoint.

If you can avoid these common mistakes that coaches and consultants make and focus on picking a lane, you can gain traction and create expert authority around the very problems that you solve. If you can get really current with your hairstyle, your clothing, and your overall image, you can project the right image to your ideal clients. If you can use the right messaging that magnetizes your ideal client with colors and fonts that create trust, you can build a powerful personal brand that attracts high-paying clients.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips that would help you in building a personal brand and help you avoid common mistakes entrepreneurs make.

About the Author:
Wesley Virgin is a Houston-based businessman, investor, and serial entrepreneur whose many experiences have shaped him into the man he is today. From his time in the military to his brief stint as a computer technician, Wesley Virgin developed a hunger and a mindset for success that he used to sell eBooks and media products before founding his company WV Media. You can buy books by Wesley Virgin on Amazon.

Also Read: Scaling the Reputation Economy: An Interview With Wesley Virgin