Personal Branding with Bernard Kelvin Clive: Is personal branding for everyone?

The positive impact of ‘Expert Status’ – Authority leveraging
Bernard Kelvin CLIVE   

During a recent event for young entrepreneurs, a question was asked if personal branding is for everyone. Well, I laughed and made a statement that ‘an undiscovered genius has no value in the marketplace’.

I’m of the believe that personal branding is a universal concept, applicable to everyone, irrespective of their profession or industry. I disagree with the notion that personal branding is exclusively reserved for celebrities or those in the entertainment sector. Instead, I believe that it is a valuable strategy for individuals from all walks of life.

Self-discovery is a fundamental stage in building one’ s brand. I encourage individuals to intimately acquaint themselves and comprehend their inherent talents and strengths. This self-awareness, forms the bedrock for establishing an authentic and congruent personal brand that aligns with one’s passions and capabilities.

Personal branding is an ongoing process of personal development, devoid of immediate gratification. It is a journey of self-improvement, aimed at creating a solid foundation.

Moreover, each person possesses a unique offering. Even within smaller communities, there are individuals recognized for their expertise. This recognition, constitutes their personal brand, irrespective of formal marketing strategies or logos. Personal branding, hinges on how others perceive an individual based on their skills, attributes, and the value they bring to the marketplace.

The concept of personal branding, transcends products or services. It centers on the individual behind the brand, spotlighting how they present themselves and the impression they leave behind. The emphasis is on showcasing individual distinctiveness and value proposition, regardless of the nature of their work or what they offer.

Personal branding is a potent mechanism to market one’s individuality. It involves uncovering one’s purpose, recognizing unique attributes, and leveraging them to create a lasting imprint. Personal branding, is a holistic process rooted in introspection, self-evaluation, and self-expression. In an era where differentiation is pivotal, personal branding furnishes individuals with the means to stand out and effectuate a meaningful influence.

Marketing your Uniqueness

Personal branding is the process of distinctively marketing one’s uniqueness. It involves identifying and highlighting the qualities and abilities that make an individual special and different from others.

I believe that in order to build an authentic brand, one must find their purpose. I believe that one’s purpose, or the reason behind what they do, is more important than the external aspects of branding such as logos and visuals. Without a clear purpose, individuals risk building a fake celebrated brand that does not align with their true calling or what they were meant to do. Purpose serves as the foundation for personal branding, guiding individuals in their journey to market their uniqueness effectively.

Identifying one’s uniqueness is a crucial step in personal branding. I suggest that individuals should do a self-assessment to understand their passions, talents, and what comes naturally to them. By recognizing their gifts and abilities, individuals can determine what sets them apart from others. While others may have similar gifts, it is the way in which individuals execute their work that makes them unique. Personal branding allows individuals to showcase their distinctiveness and create a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of others.

Personal branding is an inside-out process. It is not about external factors such as fame, instant success, or name recognition. Instead, personal branding is about self-discovery, self-assessment, and self-expression. It is about understanding oneself and leveraging one’s unique qualities to make a positive impact on others and the world.

Personal branding is a powerful tool that allows individuals to market their uniqueness. It involves finding one’s purpose, identifying one’s unique qualities, and leveraging them to create a lasting impression. Personal branding is not just about external factors but is an inside-out process that requires self-reflection, self-assessment, and self-expression. In a world where standing out is crucial, personal branding provides individuals with the opportunity to differentiate themselves and make a meaningful impact.

Quality Service builds strong brands

Quality service plays a fundamental role in building strong brands. In today’s competitive market, consumers have numerous options to choose from, and it is the quality of service that sets a brand apart from its competitors. Whether it’s a product or a service, customers are always looking for value and excellence. When a brand consistently delivers high-quality service, it not only builds trust and loyalty among its customers but also establishes itself as a reliable and reputable brand.

One of the key aspects of quality service is the mastery of one’s craft. Just like I mentioned earlier, individuals need to invest a significant amount of time and effort into honing their skills and expertise. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour theory emphasizes the importance of continuous practice and improvement in any field. When individuals dedicate themselves to mastering their craft, they become experts in their respective domains, and their work reflects the highest standards of quality.

Furthermore, quality service is not just about technical proficiency but also about meeting the needs and expectations of customers. Understanding the target audience and tailoring the service to their specific requirements is essential. This involves active listening, effective communication, and a genuine desire to provide the best possible experience. When customers feel valued and their needs are met, they are more likely to become loyal advocates for the brand.

Consistency is another crucial aspect of quality service. Brands that consistently deliver exceptional service build a reputation for reliability and dependability. Customers know that they can trust the brand to consistently meet or exceed their expectations. This builds a strong brand image and fosters long-term relationships with customers.

Personal branding also plays a significant role in building strong brands. Individuals who focus on their personal brand understand the importance of delivering quality service. They recognize that their reputation and success are directly linked to the quality of their work. By consistently delivering exceptional service, they establish themselves as experts in their field and become go-to professionals for their customers.

Moreover, personal branding is not just about external factors such as appearance or marketing tactics. It is an inside-out process that requires individuals to reflect on their purpose, identify their unique qualities, and express them authentically. When individuals align their personal brand with their values and strengths, they create a genuine connection with their audience. This authenticity builds trust and credibility, which are essential for building a strong brand.

The truth is that quality service is the cornerstone of building strong brands. It requires individuals to invest time and effort into mastering their craft, understanding their customers’ needs, and consistently delivering exceptional service. Personal branding also plays a fundamental role in building strong brands, as individuals who focus on their personal brand understand the importance of delivering quality service and building authentic connections with their audience. By prioritizing quality service, individuals and brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors, build trust and loyalty among customers, and establish themselves as leaders in their respective industries.

Power of Visual Branding

One aspect of personal branding that often gets overlooked is appearance. As humans, we are naturally drawn to visually appealing things. Our brains are wired to process and respond to visual stimuli more effectively than any other form of communication. Therefore, how we present ourselves visually plays a significant role in how others perceive us and our personal brand.

Let me share an experience with you where I once visited the office of a highly influential individual in casual attire, only to realize how this seemingly simple choice had a significant impact on how others perceived me, despite the high-quality work I had previously delivered. This episode served as a pivotal lesson, reminding me of the paramount importance of presenting oneself in a visually appealing manner, especially within professional settings. The lesson was clear: visual branding is not to be taken lightly.

Going beyond mere personal style, visual branding calls for a deeper level of self-awareness and alignment between appearance and purpose. It necessitates understanding one’s unique identity and making conscious choices about outfits that harmonize with one’s individual characteristics. Factors such as body type, environment, and cultural context all play a role in this selection process. This meticulous approach lays the groundwork for establishing a genuine and captivating visual brand.

In the realm of visual branding, consistency is not an option; it’s a must. It’s striking how certain individuals are readily recognizable due to their consistent signature styles. This continuity reinforces the perception they wish to create. The significance of maintaining a coherent visual image cannot be overstated. Such consistency sends a potent message and contributes significantly to the development of a strong personal brand.

The role of appearance extends far beyond surface-level considerations; it serves as a tangible representation of one’s identity and values. Visual branding has the potential to captivate attention, leave an indelible impression, and wield influence over how others perceive individuals. However, a crucial point raised is the necessity of remaining authentic and ensuring alignment with personal values. This authenticity is the cornerstone for establishing a robust and trustworthy personal brand. The strategic cultivation of one’s visual image empowers individuals to stand out from the crowd, foster loyalty among their audience, and ultimately position themselves as leaders within their chosen fields. Visual branding, as I’ve come to understand, is a vital and versatile tool for molding perception, both personally and professionally.

Now, the question to ponder is: how do you intend to approach your own visual presentation in order to reinforce your brand perception? It’s time to lay out a plan and execute it with professionalism, ensuring that your visual identity aligns seamlessly with the narrative you wish to convey.

Bernard Kelvin Clive is a multi-talented individual who has made a name for himself as a leading authority on personal branding and digital book publishing in Africa

To learn more about Bernard and his work, visit

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