Nearly all emerging brands fall into the same trap.

Understandably so. Unless you’re a serial entrepreneur, it’s natural to feel hesitant about any new venture and especially tentative about a personal brand.

There are warning signs…

Your words and actions scream, “Please like me! I’m on the verge of giving up, and I just started!”

The word “please” is everywhere, even if you spell it differently. Consider how these examples position your brand in the eyes of your prospective clients and investors:

  • You over-explain yourself. Instead, edit your stories with a critical eye. Your audience doesn’t need 500 words on your “About” page.

  • You under-explain your value proposition. Instead, spell out what’s in it for them, and do it consistently on every page of your website and across all social media profiles.

  • Your bio photos are worthy of the caption, “Will work for food.” Instead, project a successful image, and don’t choose all your website and social-media platform stock images from the same staged sitting.

  • Your call to action is missing, or simply states how much you’d “love it” if the reader subscribed, liked, or followed you. Instead, give them a strong reason to click, and reward them for doing so.

The single biggest trap

It’s desperation, pure and simple. What’s the solution?

The good news is there are many ways to drop the unintended desperation from your website, social media, and email messages.

For every word, image, and action you take to build your brand, ask:

“How would an already successful person introduce themself?”

Now, make it personal.

Flip the examples above to apply your own unique voice to each element:

  • How would your bio read if you just won the lottery, but still wanted to serve people because you enjoyed your work?

  • What kind of bio photo would you post after you’ve made your first million?

  • What kind of cold-call email would you send?

  • How would you reply to inquiries?

Answer honestly, and you’ll discover the true you to present to the world.

The whole truth

Understand that potential clients and readers will run away from desperation. Confidence not only precedes action, it inspires it.

Confidence is the chicken, and action is the egg.

Is it misleading to act confident before you feel it? Well, is being scared the true you?

If you believe your voice, talent, heart, and experience will help people, it’s false to hide. The true you has valuable gifts and insights to share.

Don’t let your fear sabotage your brand through false humility and desperation.

[This post first appeared at Entrepreneur Magazine]

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