Cutting across all spheres of life is the need for a formidable personal brand. We realise this need, and also how often people tend to either underestimate it, or do it wrongly. So we have made this list of tips to consider while building your personal brand. Yours could take an aggressive outlook like ODUMODUBLVCK and Burna Boy, or a gentler one like Johnny Drille and Korede Bello. But regardless of which you choose to wear, these rules will always apply.
Define your brand
Have a focus. Identify what you want your brand to be and be very specific about it — write it down on paper if you must, then begin to map it out. Knowing exactly what you want to build will let you focus on it and not get off track. Choose something you enjoy, something you’re good at, or at the very least something you can sustain. Don’t add fitness and working out to your brand if you know you’ll faint after two months of jogging. You have to wear the shoe that fits you.
When you have defined your brand, it’s time to get good at it. This one is very paramount and is a fundamental part of building a proper brand. If you’re going to get people to value or respect you within the industry, you need to make sure you have something to teach them. Not to sound like our parents, but be like King David and become the best at what you do. This doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect at it before putting yourself out there. Start from wherever you are, because it is by starting and practising that you develop expertise.
Create something of value
We’re not referring to how our parents used to chastise us for watching TV because “what value is it adding to your life?”. Value can be anything. Entertainment can be valuable. It could be music, financial advice, or advice on fitness. Your brand could even be that of becoming the most reliable/intelligent one at your job if your goal is to climb to the top of the corporate ladder and start collecting CEO money. Whichever one it is, make sure that whatever you are selling is something that people want to buy.
In this context, consistency is almost synonymous with discipline. It’s just a softer word for it. Even when you’re tired or frustrated, please keep going because at the very least, you’re honing your skills in the process. Keep showing up and keep working towards your goal. Be mindful that this doesn’t mean you should keep doing the same thing forever if it’s not working. If you need to go back to the drawing board and adjust things, do that. But one way or another, please don’t stop because consistency is the only way forward.
Promote your brand
Unfortunately, one thing about success is you have to divorce yourself from the fear of looking stupid. Put yourself out there, promote your brand, be your biggest cheerleader. Build your professional profile on LinkedIn if you have to, post about your business on social media if you must, and tell people. Of course this is easier said than done because we’re all shy but please dear, remember that fortune favours the bold.
Build connections with people within whatever niche you are trying to carve out for yourself. Build connections outside of that niche too as there is much to be learned from people in other industries. Nothing is a better soil for growth than community, so develop one. Build for yourself, a community of people you can be accountable to because you’d be surprised how much there is to learn from those around who are also trying to build one brand or another.