These days, focusing on your brand and everything you stand for is the key to being successful and influential, so it’s crucial to your business that you get it right.

There are as many ways to kill your brand as there are business leaders, but these seven are definitely the dumbest ways to do so.

You might be killing your brand if…

1. You don’t bother to figure out what you stand for in the first place.

Everything hinges on the underlying reason why you do what you do. If you don’t have that clearly defined, if your core values aren’t clearly articulated, then you’re always going to be falling short with your clients, your customers, and your employees.

2. You use cheap designers.

Yes, hiring your neighbor’s third cousin’s nephew who is currently in design school will save money. At first. Until you have to hire a real professional to fix the mess. And then you’ll end up spending more than if you’d used a pro in the first place. In addition, cheap design typically looks cheap. Which means your customers think your product or service is just as cheap as your image. Self-destructive cycle, really.

3. You think your logo and sign is enough.

It’s not. Logos, business cards, letterhead, signs — they’re all pieces of your brand. But they are NOT your brand. Your brand is the overall human experience. Your brand is your values in action. Your brand is so. much. bigger. than just your design.

4. You don’t use social media.

A business that is not online in today’s world, simply doesn’t exist. End of story. Anyone who tells you otherwise is living under a rock.

5. You use social media inconsistently.

Unlike the good old days when you could put up an advertising poster somewhere and then forget to go back and take it down without any harm to your business, inconsistent social media will actually backfire on your brand. As bad as it is to be invisible online, it’s worse to look like you don’t care enough to stay up to date.

6. You won’t listen to people who are professionals in areas where you aren’t an expert.

Shut up and listen. When it’s outside your area of expertise, stop being a control freak and trust the people you’ve hired who know what they’re doing. If you won’t get out of the way and let them do their jobs, you’re wasting your money and their time.

7. You focus more on product than relationships.

So your product is good? That’s nice. Your relationships should be even better. If you’re a jerk to work with, people will find somebody else, even if you have the best quality in town.