Can you take a pause and think about the following brands – Milo, Apple, Coke and Techno. What comes to your mind? Milo probably comes with an aura of nourishment, Apple reeks of comfort, Coke exudes satisfaction and Techno sounds durable.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, recall your favourite artists, actresses, influencers or authors. Can you see them? Write out who comes to mind and what words you used to describe them. Have you done that?
Think about it, Adaora Lumina and Tricia Biz don’t dress the same way; Josh2funny’s tone of comedy is different from Mr Macaroni’s; Taooma and Kie-kie exude the same level of energy but in different directions.
You think of comedy when you hear Odunlade Adekola and think of a playboy at the mention of Jim Iyke. Naira Marley could never sound like Olamide and You can distinguish Teni’s voice from Niniola’s despite the fact that they are sisters blazing the trail in the music space.
How did these people come to embody the words that best represent what they do without any public declaration at their end? The hack is their deliberate consciousness of building a defined personal brand.
I like to define a brand as an entity with a unique identity – what people remember you for when your name is mentioned. To take cognizance of your personal brand is to ask resonating questions like; Who am I? What excites me? What do I love to do? What can I do with joy, for free without getting stressed? Finding the answers to this array of questions are pointers to the direction your personal brand should take.
The following practical steps might help in positioning yourself and giving people the right perception of you.
- Tell your story: Everyone loves stories because stories sell, but more importantly, stories resonate with us. Take delight in sharing stories about who you are, what you are doing, projects you are working on, challenges you are facing, setbacks that knock occasionally and other nitty-gritty that could capture people’s attention. By doing this, people remember you, connect with you and even recommend you for opportunities that align with some stories you have shared because your name is imprinted in their hearts.
- Highlight your interests: It is 2021 and everything is almost a trending thing. From the SDGs to the financial fluctuations and monetary vitalities. Every trend is newsworthy and showing your public interest in a worthy course entrenches your name in people’s mind and make you stand out of the crowd. People remember Dipo Awojide when they talk about career advice, and Tunde Tash when they want to move to Canada. Greta Thunberg is synonymous with Climate Change and Chimamanda is a symbol of feminism (despite being made popular by literature). The lesson here is that sometimes the way to stand out is to stand for a cause and continuously educate, participate and relate with everything about the cause.
- Leverage a platform: One of the most magical things Covid brought was the meteoric rise of social media influencers. From Khabi lame, the tik-tok speechless star to Elsa Majimbo who expresses what we can’t with the most discordant sarcasm. An amazing way to make your name ring loud is by leveraging a platform. It might be a writing platform like blogging or LinkedIn, an audio platform like podcast, a picture-centric one like Pinterest and Instagram or audio-visuals like Reels, Youtube channel and TikTok, leveraging a platform goes a long way in reinforcing your personal branding.
Sometimes, your platform might not even be digital, it might be your old students’ association, your secondary school page, an NGO you joined as a volunteer and lots more. Always think of a platform as a podium you have to announce your name, who you are and what you do. Easy, right?
- Make impact howbeit how little: From crowdfunding to pad a thousand ladies to facilitating exciting sessions at mushroom schools, an exciting way to stand out is to continuously give back with your skills and abilities. Collaboration is the new competition and sometimes joining hands with people of like-minds sets you on the next pedestal. Think about it, who can you collaborate with to make an impact today?
You might stop and wonder, what is the fuss about personal branding? Think of it like this, people listen to those they trust, and people only trust you when they know who you are and what you do. What would people recommend you for today? Think about it.
To learn more about personal branding, you can get a copy of Lustre via this link.