Personal branding Law of Access … Dining with deities


By Bernard Kelvin CLIVE

Today, I want us to talk about the Law of Access and Permission in personal branding.

It’s a concept that goes against the quick-fix mentality that can prevail online. Building a reputable brand takes time and effort, and forging meaningful connections is a key part of the equation.

Here’s the thing: access to high-profile circles or influential figures isn’t something you get handed over. It’s something you earn through deliberate efforts and by building genuine relationships. People you connect with need to see that you bring value beyond just wanting their name to elevate your brand.

Several people think great associations and connections come cheap. They might chase after big names hoping for a shortcut to branding success. But that approach often backfires. It’s all about authenticity and establishing trust. You want to connect with people on a deeper level, demonstrating that your brand has something special to offer and that you’re in it for the long haul.

Now, let me explain what this law is. The Law of Access & Permission suggests that you need to earn the right to access people’s attention, networks, and resources by providing value and building trust. This permission grants you access to their inner circle, where you can build meaningful relationships, influence decisions, and achieve your goals.

So, how do you go about earning access and permission? Let’s delve deeper into it. The first and most important thing is to find a niche and build your personal brand in that area. Niching doesn’t mean you are limiting yourself. It’s a way to build strong capacity and also to be discovered with ease. Focusing on a niche is the power move when it comes to building a personal brand. It’s about taking your unique talents and expertise and laser-focusing them into a specific area. That’s how you become the go-to person, the authority figure that everyone in that niche respects and wants to connect with.

Think of it like this: Access and connections aren’t handed out like free candy. You have to build something valuable first. That’s where your brand comes in. By carving out your niche and establishing yourself as an expert, you become desirable – the go-to-guy. People are drawn to what you have to offer, and that makes connecting with them so much easier.

Remember that wise saying of Jim Rohn “To attract attractive people, you must be attractive yourself.” It’s the same principle. When you build a strong, niche-focused brand, you become the magnet that pulls in the kind of connections you want. It’s all about strategic self-improvement, taking your skills and turning them into a brand that resonates with the right people.

Let me share this recent encounter with you regarding how this law played to my advantage. About a decade ago, as a young speaker, there were several renowned speakers and entrepreneurs whom we, as aspiring speakers, aspired to host at our events or seminars. Among them was a particular individual whose aura, presence, and caliber made inviting him to our programs quite challenging, especially for relatively unknown individuals like us. Despite our efforts, we couldn’t secure him, but we pressed on with our work.

Over the years, I focused on building my brand, particularly in assisting people with writing and publishing their digital books. Fast forward to today, I received a call to help someone with their digital content and books. To my surprise, the person I was once struggling to connect with ten years ago was the same individual seeking my expertise now. This time, however, it wasn’t about pushing doors or relentlessly pursuing, but rather, my established brand and expertise had opened the door for me.

When my name was suggested to assist in this regard, they researched my work, including my contributions on platforms like Amazon, and concluded that I was indeed the right person for the job. This experience illustrates the power of building a brand over time in a specific field. Your consistent work and results speak for themselves, making it easier to gain leverage and access opportunities. Now, having access to the person I once struggled to connect with for a decade, I can easily engage with them, present new ideas, and potentially collaborate on other projects.

You see, building a brand takes time and dedication. Whether in a niche market or a broader field, your continuous effort and tangible results will ultimately showcase your value and worth. Now, armed with my established brand, I can confidently approach individuals with solutions to their problems, knowing that my reputation precedes me.

So, listen to me today: when it comes to building your brand, don’t underestimate its importance. Consistency is key. Stay true to your brand and allow it to grow organically. Avoid the temptation to rush toward showcasing success; instead, nurture your brand with patience, perseverance, and credibility. When you’re ready to share your expertise, others won’t doubt your authority, and you’ll be able to command the value you deserve.

Remember, building your brand is like filling a piggy bank—invest in it steadily, and eventually, it will yield returns. Reflect on instances where your brand has empowered you, like negotiating confidently at the table and recognize the value it adds to your interactions. So, the takeaway is clear: prioritize your brand, nurture it diligently, and in due time, it will speak for itself.

Key reminders:

  • Find a niche and build your expertise. Focus on a specific area and develop your skills and knowledge in that area. This will help you become a recognized authority figure in your niche.
  • Build a strong personal brand. This involves creating content, networking with others in your niche, and establishing yourself as a thought leader. Your brand should be authentic and reflect your unique value proposition.
  • Be patient and consistent. Building a strong personal brand takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results overnight. Keep putting out valuable content, networking with others, and refining your brand message.


Now, to put the law of Access and Permission into practice, do the following:

Offering Value and Building Trust

This principle establishes you as a trustworthy source with something valuable to offer. When someone grants you access (information, data, resources), they expect something in return. By consistently providing valuable insights, solutions, or resources, you demonstrate your worth and build trust, making them more likely to permit you in the future.

Demonstrating Expertise and Credibility

People are more inclined to give access to someone they perceive as knowledgeable and reliable. Showcase your expertise through your actions and communication. Share relevant case studies, research findings, or past successes that demonstrate your ability to deliver on your promises. This builds credibility, making them feel comfortable entrusting you with access.

Building Relationships and Networks

The law of access and permission thrives on relationships. Nurture genuine connections, and create a sense of reciprocity and trust with people. Get to know the people you’re seeking access from. Understand their needs and challenges. Offer your support and build rapport. This personal connection makes granting access feel less like a transaction and more like a favor to a trusted friend or colleague.

Providing Personalized Experiences

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Take the time to understand the specific needs and expectations of the individual or organization you’re seeking access from. Tailor your requests and interactions to their unique situation. This personalization demonstrates respect and builds trust, making them more receptive to granting access.

Being Authentic and Transparent

Honesty and transparency are paramount. Be upfront about your intentions and what you hope to achieve by gaining access. Don’t make misleading claims or promises. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and take responsibility. This authenticity fosters trust and makes people feel comfortable granting access, knowing they are dealing with someone genuine.

Go out and make it happen. Take time to build your personal brand!

I’m your personal branding coach, talk to me!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is a leading authority on personal branding and digital book publishing in Africa.

As a brand strategist at BKC Consulting, he runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass, helping individuals take their personal and professional brands to new heights. To learn more about Bernard and his work, visit

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