Till date, the conversation about what exactly personal branding is, is still ongoing. Personal branding does not begin and end with looks. A personal brand cannot be externally designed. A personal brand is not your logo or the degrees you have attained from the best institutions.
Neither is it your fancy job title or every other label other people have imprinted on you. A personal brand is not for only people who want to start a business or those running businesses. It is for everyone! Many people confuse the concept of business branding and personal branding. A personal brand is about you. It has become a very important asset in this day of technological advancement and human development.
The Influencer Marketing Hub explains that a personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experiences, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes. In my own words, a personal brand is the individual who has made their story their mission, and that mission their message, which they reflect every day.
A true personal brand is a human being internally working on their progress to be intentionally designed. It is you telling your story the way you want it to be told, rather than leaving it to the world to assume and decipher who you are. A clear personal brand differentiates you from others and distinctly sets you apart.
Is it possible to tie your personal brand and your business brand together? Yes it is possible only if each part of the puzzle is carefully curated and designed. Firstly, you must communicate with boldness and clarity, the image and story you want people to recount when your name is mentioned.
Take a second to perform this exercise. If you were to ask people around you who you are as a brand, what will they say? If a digital or print communication were to go out in the media, what would be written about you? Allison Walsh defines branding as what people say about you when you are not in the room. So, whether or not you decide to work on building one, people will communicate about you whatever it is they have observed or been fed.
One would ask, why is it important that I build a personal brand aside my business brand? You must realize that although a business may seem intangible, the driving force behind the empire people see is a human drive. Just think about it. A business is a manifestation of the sum of minds that make decisions and implement those decisions. When customers look at your business, they will consider YOU, the person behind the business, and make a judgement about whether they would want to be associated with you.
“Millennials, in particular, have a distrust of advertising. 84% of millennials trust neither the advertisements nor the brands that create them. Yet, they are prepared to believe people they feel they “know”– even the business people behind the brands they detest so much.” – Influencer Marketing Hub. Meaning, the effective growth of your business is directly dependent on the image of yourself you sell others. Google certainly helps when it comes to placing your company in the firmament, but given how the internet has diminished our memories, any spark of recognition that we can hope to fire in the minds of interested parties is a win and a slight advantage over competitors that might not share in that passing familiarity. (Forbes)
Your unique point is found in the type of message you want to deliver and how you will deliver it. These days, everyone is trying to sell something and there is a lot of noise in the market space. If your message is similar or same to others, the way you are delivering it should be different. And if your delivery is same or similar to others, the message you are sharing should be different.
For example, when I started out as a personal coach, my preferred mode of communicating with potential clients on my social media pages was to put up a picture with the message. With time, I picked up the audio-visual channel. Working through videos allowed me to uniquely express my voice, accurately communicate my story and message in the tone and manner in which words had failed to. People did not only get to see my face, they also got to connect with my voice, my mannerism and the clarity in my message!
Another advantage of having a personal brand is that you can be YOU and that is the easiest thing in the world if you understand the value you carry. Consistency and Clarity of thought in communication are two common traits lost in many personal brands. Consistency is key. It takes five to seven impressions for someone to remember a brand (entrepreneur.com). In the beginning stages of finding your space, you are bound to encounter a lot of confusion but with time, you will establish a stable foundation. The focus should never be on how much you are putting out, rather, the strength and clarity of what you are putting out.
If your personal brand is indicative of who you are, the value you have to offer, your credibility and the measure of how successful you and your business can become, where does one begin in creating a strong personal brand for results?
- Stand and Speak your Naked Truth
A personal brand is all about YOU! Be unapologetically yourself. Stand and speak your naked truth. First, you must ask if you know yourself. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? What do you believe is unique about you that you? For a million reasons, people will like you and for another million reasons, people will detest you. You can only emanate and communicate what you believe is true about yourself. Your self-confidence, integrity and story should be intrinsic values you are honing. When you are a certain thing on the inside, it is easier to craft that into a valuable and beautiful thing on the outside, not the other way round! No one will believe in you if you do not. No one will promote you if you cannot do that for yourself. Whatever message you have and whatever mission you are on, you should be the first to trust and believe it. With time, your style and individuality will attract a reliable tribe.
- Gain Mastery
One of the things Brendon Bruchard always says is that you have to gain mastery in your PFI – Primary Field of Interest. Your primary field of interest is any interest you have and you must spend time in building mastery and being relevant in that field. Develop obsession with your interest and keep practising till you are easily recognized in that field.
- Communicate with Authenticity
Having the ability to communicate your truth and field of interest with originality is valuable. Authentic and appealing communication can be done via both verbal and non-verbal means. Your words matter as much as the actions that go with them. When people talk about authenticity and being yourself, many people mistaken it for serving raw and unrefined message. It is important that your communication is appealing while speaking your truth. In fact, going ahead to polish up yourself up is not being fake. It is called growth. If you are authentic but not appealing, you will still be a brand but not for the right reasons. So yes, be authentic but be appealing as well!
- People like people who are like them
Develop massive interest in people who appreciate what you do. Say you have as little as 5 people or as much a million people who take interest in what you do, develop an interest in them. Be deliberate about connecting with them. It may involve you taking interest in what they need or what they do as people or in finding the commonality between one another. The number you begin with does not matter. A good personal brand is known but a better personal brand is known and sells itself through others. A personal brand is not a bunch of words that only describe you. It is not still; it is active! Every day, the decisions you take and how you implement them contribute to who you become and essentially what your personal brand grows to be.
It does not take a day to build a personal brand. It takes years; in fact, it is a lifetime duty. The worth of having a solid personal brand which is incomparable to another is worth the effort required to make it. As you search within yourself to know who you are, what you stand for, you will find the voice to craft and tell your story. You will find the message and the mission and as you take that journey, each day will bring you closer to creating something unique – your personal brand.
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordikwaku across all social media platforms.