The key to building an effective personal brand

11 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
The key to building an effective personal brand

eBusiness Weekly

Lesley Mupeti

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room,” according to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

And according to Brandmaster academy, your personal brand is how you promote yourself.

It can also be defined as the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual. Personal branding involves creating a brand around a person rather than a business entity.

According to Forbes, effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers. Nowadays people would rather do business with other people rather than mere corporate entities.

Elon Musk has more followers on social media than Tesla not the other way around. Personal branding is all about first impressions.

You never get the second chance to make a first impression. Make it one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are. You think you don’t have a personal brand? Try googling yourself and see what pops up. The results which come up will be the first impression people have of you.

In an increasingly difficult and more competitive job market there are some people who are actually getting called by multiple prospective employers and turning down the kind of job offers that you would sell your soul to get.

According to a 2018 Career Builder survey, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process and 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees. Do you want to have employers chase you instead of the other way around? Read on.

Reasons why you should build a personal brand

1. You gain name recognition

When you build an effective personal brand, you won’t have to go through the trouble of introducing yourself again. Think of Arthur Marara, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, Sicelo Dube, Oprah Winfrey, Gary Vee, Donald Trump or Elon Musk who are huge personal brands. They don’t have to introduce themselves anymore to the people who matter. The key is to become famous among the people who need to know you and live in total obscurity in the rest of the world.

2. You build trust and recognition

Online reputation is important because it helps you establish trust and credibility. People like to do business with people they like and trust.

You need to establish first why people need to trust you. If it means building a website, posting on twitter or linked in then so be it. Instead of potential clients/employers considering you as a last option, you will be considered first choice.

Be genuine and authentic and engage with your audience in a way that establishes trust.

3. You attract opportunities

When you commit to personal branding you become magnetic. You start attracting the people and opportunities you need to be able to achieve your goals. You become relevant to the people who really need to know you. You become first choice instead of last option.

4. You take control of your career

If you have a strong brand, it means that you have the power to choose the opportunities that make sense for you. At the point you’re getting multiple job opportunities or multiple clients for your business.

You get to point where you’re privileged enough to fire employers or clients. A perfect example of this is Zimbabwean Billionaire Strive Masiyiwa. He sits on the boards of The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and Neflix. Keeping his seat on the board of Econet Wireless didn’t make sense to him and he quit. I know people willing to sell their souls for a seat on the Econet board.

5. Your business starts to sell itself
Once people start to engage with your content, they will start relating with your message and story and they will turn into raving fans. When you sell your brand story well, you simply rise above your competitors who struggle to get noticed.

A perfect example is when entrepreneur Elon Musk released a song on Spotify and it went on number 1. He’s built his personal brand so well that at this point I’m convinced that even if he starts selling mud his raving supporters will flock to snap it up.

6. You grow your wealth

Strong brands have more earning power than weaker brands. A Rolex costs much more than an ordinary wrist watch. We pay more for stronger brands because they deliver more value for our money.

Strong brands earn more for the differentiated value they offer and for the value they add beyond meeting the minimum requirements. There’s a reason why Elon Musk is the richest person on the planet, Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire and Strive Masiyiwa the richest person in Zimbabwe.

How to build your personal brand

At this point I’m sure you’ve realised that there’s a huge ROI when you commit to building your personal brand and I’m sure you now want to build one for yourself. Ask yourself these questions to further understand personal branding. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to show your magic to the world? How do you want people to talk about your business? What kind of reputation do you want among your employers? The key question at this point is: How do you go about building your personal brand?

6 steps you need to take when building your personal brand

1. Determine your goals

Do you want to develop a personal brand to achieve more sales in your business? Do you want it to open doors for future employment? Have clear goals so that you can custom build your personal brand to fit into your objectives. Sit down, pen and paper in hand and write down what you want your personal brand to achieve for you.

2. Understand your audience

You’re trying to determine who you want to help. Who do you want to add value to? What are their likes and dislikes? What do they dream about? What are their fears? Take time to scroll through the social media profiles of your potential audience and understand them.

3. Analyse your peers

In business they’re called competitors. In personal branding it’s all about relationships. The advantage of building relationships with peers is that it facilitates the growth of your own brand. Look for their content, like it and share it.

Compile a list of your peers and get to know them. When the opportunity comes to collaborate they will know your name and you won’t be a cold lead. You want to build a relationship that’s so strong that when your name comes up they will know who you are.

4. Have a differentiation strategy

Why would your audience listen to you? What is your unique perspective? What is your unique voice? If you provide content everyone else is giving out, then there’s not much reason for people to listen to you.

Define your personality. Again, sit down, pen and paper in hand and write down your key personality traits that are going to separate you from everyone else.

5. Identify attributes and lean in

People do business with people. This is why corporates are trying so hard to humanize their brands.

Develop your personality and be more comfortable with who you are. Develop these attributes and lean into them. Be as real as possible, be authentic.

People don’t want to deal with phonies and fakes. If you’re more relatable, people will gravitate towards you. Be comfortable with who you are. For example, with your boss you’re 60 percent real and with your best friend you’re 90 percent real.

6. Give value

Forget about sales techniques and selling. If you want to build your brand, people need to see you add value to the market place. Forget about the DM, forget about the ask etc and focus on giving value. Don’t be salesy.

Now that you know how to build your personal brand let’s look at a few examples of some exceptional personal brands.

1. Arthur Marara

Arthur Marara, a lawyer by profession created an image of a personal finance and motivational speaker guru. He built his personal brand by hosting a lot of live sessions on various social media platforms giving advice about personal finances and life in general. He has written multiple columns for local newspapers such as The Herald and Sunday Mail. He also posts a lot of personal finance nuggets on his various social media handles.

2. Sicelo Dube

Entrepreneur Sicelo Dube is the founder and director of LEC biotech which supplies laboratory equipment and manufactures various chemicals. Her personal brand is built around a character called the “Stem Lady”. This character challenges the status quo and encourages more women and young people to take up science subjects in high school and college. This image works well hand in hand with her business because as more young ladies take up science subjects, schools are going to be needing more lab supplies. Sicelo recently won the 2nd runner up prize in the ZimTrade Eagle’s Nest Export show which airs on ZBC TV.

3. Oprah Winfrey

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s core message is challenging her millions of viewers to live the best lives possible by understanding their potential and she has an estimated net worth of US2,5 billion according to Forbes. All of this from building a personal brand.

4. Richard Branson

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson’s core values are adventure, risk taking and entrepreneurship. Richard Branson is never one to follow the herd and actually his most famous quote is, “Screw it, let’s do it.” He went against the traditional personality of the “Businessman” and created an image that was courageously funny.

I don’t have much to say in conclusion except this: go on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok or whatever and start posting content.

Leslie Mupeti is a graphic designer and brand strategy expert. He can be contacted on +263 785 324 230 and [email protected] for feedback.


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