The Disadvantages of Personal Branding
Personal branding is a solid way for professionals who operate a business under their own name to create an image for themselves. But personal branding doesn’t come without its drawbacks, including limitations on expansion, consequences related to poor management of your brand, the cost of upkeep efforts and running the risk of alienating some customers.
When a professional undergoes a branding campaign, it establishes her as an expert in her field. If and when an individual wants to expand services, personal branding can get in the way. For example, a designer who wants to add logo work and video marketing to his portfolio of skills may have a hard time introducing the new services. That's because previous branding has already established him as an expert in web design. Clients may turn away from additional services since they perceive the individual as the best in web design, not logo artistry or video marketing.
Personal branding comes with risks when it’s self-managed. If you are a professional, your personal branding is the flavor of your company. It's the perception of what people think of you in your industry and local community -- and you can take control somewhat with your personal branding efforts. But if you “season” it badly with poor management and inconsistencies, your brand will suffer negative consequences. Inappropriate social media management, a lackluster website, bad email etiquette and inconsistent marketing collateral can lead to an undesirable brand in the marketplace.
Branding takes a lot of time and energy, whether you are a large corporation or just one person. That means you must allocate money to the upkeep of your personal branding campaign, including efforts related to your website, business cards, graphic design and advertising. And personal branding is a "round-the-clock" effort – if you fail at being consistent and up-to-date, your brand can suffer negative consequences. According to Distility Branding, budget branding efforts can cost thousands of dollars, even with cheap labor and do-it-yourself tasks.
Let’s say a professional does an excellent job at branding himself using all the best tools while creating the most consistent content across all platforms with persistent, stellar advertising to match. While these efforts may bring him many clients, he is also presented with the risk of alienating others who may perceive him as too expensive. The downside to creating the so-called “perfect” personal branding campaign is the potential of altering the perception of how much your services cost, even if your prices remain the same or cost less than your competitors.