A personal brand is intrinsic; it starts from conception and continues as one evolves. It is who you are and your identifier within a defined niche. However, that is not enough; a Personal brand is the combination of your capabilities and efforts through a deliberate process of perception building.
In the words of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It controls your whole existence, and it should open doors for you in an otherwise crowded space. If your personal brand isn’t doing this, perhaps a review is in order, as recent research shows that your reputation, be it digital, helps 70% of today’s employers form an initial employment decision about you. This is to say that your presence on the internet and physical interactions now defines you to people who others would have never met you. The advent of platforms such as Google and Linkedin has simplified the process wherein a quick search by a potential recruiter, partner, or investor will provide insights into your thought process, things that interest you and so on. Therefore, what you like, share, comment on concerning your brand matters.
Building a personal brand equates lending your name a voice, giving power to your innate capabilities and driving the social force of your community concerning what you are most passionate about. Contrary to what most associates with personal branding, it is not limited to only a group of successful people of a given age group.
To stand out in a rather crowded marketplace either as a careerist and or a business owner, creating a defined perception of who you are, what you stand for and what value you bring forth is what a Personal Brand is. In building a personal brand, your values and experience reflect why people should pay attention to what you have to say enough to listen and eventually win over their trust. Sounds easy, right? A survey carried out by Career Builder reported that 54% of employers in 2018 failed to hire applicants because their content on social media did not align with the job they applied for nor the company’s policy.
Furthermore, the recent pandemic has reaffirmed the efficiency of working from home and how workers’ integrity helps promote the company’s image. In precise terms, personal branding is important; the value of you as an individual project within a predefined niche; can be based on your hands-on experience or expertise.
Let’s take a cursory look at some of these personal brands PANDORA has on board to build on the importance of personal branding.
- Mohammed Iyamu is an automobile afripreneur, an investor and one of the Co-founders of Autochek Africa and CARS45, both renowned brands in the emerging automobile market in Africa. He has continuously and consistently communicated his value to this rather unpopular niche in the African automotive market through perception building strategies. He has grown a community of budding investors looking for investment opportunities in unrelated markets in Africa, giving advice and providing guidance. He further shares his knowledge of the automotive industry by writing about his interests, investment opportunities discovered while building Autochek Africa with co-founders, etc. This second investment-backed company has seen the brand actively build a chain of outlets across sub-Saharan Africa in record time. Autochek Nigeria, Autochek Ghana and of recent Autochek Kenya all in the space of 12 months.
One can say his reputation helped open doors for him in those markets. He is a thought leader who has gained wide recognition and investment opportunities by investing in his brand. Indeed, building a personal brand is all-encompassing as it goes before you and gets the groundwork done.
- Azukaego Chukwuelue is Supply Chain Director at Kimberly-Clark, a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company and a Co-Partner at Truss Empowerment Foundation, a foundation geared towards empowering and supporting women into male-dominated roles. She is an authority within the field of supply chain in Africa with over 2 decades of experience. Azukaego’s personal brand strategy was centred on two main objectives – teaching SMEs how to leverage effective supply chain practices and encouraging women to take on more challenging roles. With this, she tells the story of women in a male-dominated industry such as supply chain, problems and solutions in the supply chain sector, etc. With these strategies, she is fast becoming the go-to source of knowledge and insight in the supply chain sector in Africa; she has been on countless panel sessions hosted in North America, Europe and Africa.
The importance of building a personal brand can no longer be downplayed, and it is equally not too late to start now. You do not have to be pre-known, nor do you have to have a certain status in society; all needed is YOU, being honest with yourself and ready to do the groundwork behind the scenes. Therefore, pick up your antecedents, fine-tune them and find a personal branding agency to guide you through niche carving, being genuine, documenting your lessons and living your brand because, with it, your visibility will sell everything attached to you.
- Every individual is a brand, but what distinguishes you from others is the effort you invest in your personal brand.
- Personal branding gives you more visibility and increases your opportunities socially and economically. Top of mind awareness is guaranteed within your niche to equally influential people. Even for the already powerful people.
- Personal branding helps you discover your potential and develop a powerful brand around it.
- Personal branding is dependent on your genuineness and the value you possess—efforts in your niche. Building a personal brand requires you to make positive impacts on others.
- Consistent with your personal branding strategy is a must.
- PANDORA Agency is a strategic marketing and communication firm that provides personal branding services for c-suite executives, some of whom are @IyamuMohammed @AzukaegoChukwuelue. We help you discover your isn’t capacity, and we create a framework that enables you to attain set objectives over a defined timeframe. All results are measurement-driven to ensure return on investment is had.