It didn’t come as a surprise when a VP of one of the fastest-growing companies asked, “Lisa, can I really talk about and promote my new thriller as an author, on LinkedIn, considering I am the head of security and fraud at my company? Another retired CEO of a publicly traded company, now sitting on multiple boards, asked, “Lisa, do I really need a brand consultant to build my personal brand?”
I quipped back, “No you don’t. You can make a million mistakes, throw spaghetti against the wall, and hope something sticks along the way. Or you can be strategic and intentional and hire someone like me with 20+ years of experience doing this to get you there sooner.”
Both had substance to what they were saying:
Wouldn’t it be so much easier to build a company and personal brand all alone instead of hiring someone else? Nope. Because the reality is, if you’re like most executives, you are insanely busy. What happens when you don’t have the time to do this all yourself?
You get lost.
You get carried away by the next big project.
And in some cases, you might even end up suffering from the shiny object syndrome.
But then, should everyone invest in a consultant? Not really, no. In fact, there are 5 types of people who should avoid consultants like the plague.
Who are they?
Let’s find out.
1) The Get Me A Million Views Quick Type
Building a rock-solid business and personal brand takes time. It starts with an audit that takes time. Then a lot of back and forth to get clarity on messaging, what story you will tell others; that takes time. Then a plan of action takes time. Then execution takes time. See a consistent theme? There’s no quick and easy way to build a brand online. If you’re looking for quick results, don’t hire a consultant.
Because no one can build an authentic brand in a day.
2) The I Know More Than You Type
Why even hire a consultant? Because you need help – and why do you need help? Because it’s overwhelming to do it all alone. It’s important to find the right resources to get the clarity necessary to help you attack brand building strategically. That’s why it’s key to understand that help often starts with an acceptance that you need it.
Remember: no one can help you if you don’t allow them to do what they’ve spent 20+ years being an expert at.
3) The I Don’t Have Time to Get The Basics Right Type
Every great branding exercise starts with a detailed audit. Because in this day and age, whether you like it or not, your company, and you, already have an online brand. How is it positioned? What do people feel and think of you when they see you online? Is the message you are saying what you really mean? A confused mind has to burn way too many calories to understand what you are trying to say.
A brand audit uncovers it all. That’s step one.
Remember: unless you have the foundation just right, branding is essentially a futile exercise.
4) The Low Money No Problem Type
Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy your way to a better brand, better features, and better traction for dirt cheap? Nope, it’s a recipe for disaster. Because money’s just a means to an end – and the end, is to build a brand that stands the test of time.
That’s not just authentically you, but the ‘real’ you.
You can get published on Forbes today, but is what you’re writing, publishing, and creating really what you stand for, believe in, and can vouch for? That takes deep thinking, strategy, and long-term alignment with who you want to be remembered as and how you’ve created transformations for others along the way. Experience doesn’t come cheap.
Neither does expertise.
5) The I Won’t Look Within Type
Unfortunately, in this era of incessant noise, we’re at a place where the loudest voice is often considered the most authoritative. Anyone can choose to be someone they are not. But not everyone can be brave enough to be themselves and SHOW UP consistently.
That starts by looking within:
How do you want to be remembered? What drives you? Moves you? More importantly, how can you make transform the lives of others? How can you add value?
Personal branding is never about you, it’s about how you help others. You are just the supporting character in their story. Unless there’s a commitment to work together to figure these questions out first, there’s no point in hiring a consultant.
In fact, there’s no point in building a brand either.
If you’re still here:
Congrats: you thankfully don’t fall within these 5 personalities who should never hire a consultant. That means you understand that building a phenomenal and ‘real’ brand takes time, commitment, and a lot of deep thinking.
Because it’s tempting to believe that the most important question to figure out is: who am I really? And what does my company stand for?
In reality, these questions don’t matter as much. They’re important, sure. But let’s be honest: no one cares why you get up in the morning. People care that you get up, you show up for them, and take them from where they are today, to where they want to go.
Value – and how you can add value to your audience.
Now you must ask yourself: how can I do that in a way that’s scalable and repeatable?
That’s step one.
Something I can help with. Working with executives around the globe for 20+ years, I know how to build a personal and employee brand from scratch. Looking to build one that’s authentically you? First, download this free whitepaper on what employee and personal branding are, what they mean, and how billion-dollar companies build and scale one.
Then, get in touch.
You deserve a brand that reflects who you really are. To leave a legacy behind built on stories others will share about how you made them feel for generations to come.
It’s your obligation to the generations now and the ones that will come after them to share your knowledge with others. It’s your duty to share the experiences you’ve had to make the path for others to thrive, easier. It’s your responsibility to show up.
Don’t settle for anything less.