The ‘Forgotten’ Laws of Personal Branding

Bernard Kelvin Clive ---Author, Speaker, and Corporate Trainer

The world is governed by laws, and if one seeks to dominate any field, knowing and mastering the laws in that jurisdiction is a primary success factor. Laws are a rule of construction or procedure. Today, we want to look at the unspoken laws of branding, use them to your advantage.

Here we go!

  • The Law of Purpose

The foundation upon which great, authentic brands are built on purpose. Without a sense of purpose and clear direction in your life, you will only be building a fake brand of yourself.

When you discover your purpose, build your brand on it. When you work passionately with your purpose, it will set you apart from the masses.

You must endeavor to build confidence in what you have. That is your greatest asset.

  • The Law of Process

It takes time to build great brands. You must understand that the brand-building process takes time and there is nothing like an overnight success. You must work constantly and consistently on shaping your brand, redefining and polishing it along the way. Your brand will evolve, but keeping its core values and purpose intact is essential.

  • The Law of Pursuit

Whatever you truly desire, you will pursue. For your passion shows in your pursuits, and your daily activities reveal your goals, your brand makeups. If you truly desire excellence, it will show up in your choices, in your little works. I encounter so many folks who would say they are passionate about one thing but their deeds reveal otherwise. How do you expect to be a great musician/singer and never learn a song or practice? The point here is this: Pursuit must be mapped with your passion. It must be in sync, lest you miss the mark. If you want to be a writer, read and write. If you want to be a footballer, get into the field and exercise, play. Always ensure that your audio is in sync with your video: your passion with your pursuit. “To the hungry every bitter thing is sweet.” 

  • The Law of Focus 

In building a strong personal brand, you will need FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success. You will need to stop chasing around all those flashy things that you think are opportunities for you, and get focused! Don’t try to handle so many things at a time; focus on your core competence, develop your skills in that area and master it. This is how to fix it: Ask yourself, “What is that one thing that matters to me now?” Then take massive action, focus on it, and go, make it happen!’  

  • The Law of the ‘Niche’

Instead of trying to focus on the masses, concentrate on a niche or create one. Think of divergence; creating new brands in small areas, being the very best there.

Let’s face it, I know you have ‘world domination’ on your mind; to build a great personal brand, that’s great! But know this: As the noise increases in the world and social media becomes louder, to have your brand heard, you must position yourself as a specialist (expert in an area, a niche) and not be a generalist, pleasing everyone, becoming a jack of all trades. Consumers are seeking experts in little things. 

  • The Law of ‘Naming’ 

(The rule of 3)

In choosing your brand name, you can work with “the rule of three”.

The Rule of ‘3’” is this:

  1. You either have one name, examples here: Yahoo, Google, Oprah, Jaguar, Versace, etc.
  2. You go for two names or words. Check these: Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Ralph Lauren, Mensa Otabil, Richard Branson, Albert Ocran, Agya Koo, Lil Win(Kojo Nkansah)
  3. Here, we have initials or acronyms; for example BBC, CNN, BMW, BKC, KSM, R2BEES.

You can break the rules and succeed in your way.

NB: The power of the brand is not just in the name but what has been invested in the name over the years.

Take time to build your brand name for at the end, brands are summarized and succinctly captured by their names, mostly a single. For example, Oprah, Apple, C. Ronaldo. These names reflect not just any person or product but specifics. The question is: What power will your name command?

  • The Law of the Word

The ability to create and own your phrases and words helps you to spread and position your brand.

This can be done using your tagline or any word or phrase that you will find fitting for your brand; a word that is synonymous with your brand. E.g. Xerox – “Copy”, FedEx – “Overnight delivery”, Seth Godin – “Tribe”, “Permission Marketing”, Bernard Kelvin Clive – “EnjoyLife”, Ato Ulzen-Appiah – “MoreVim”, Mark Zuckerberg – “Facebook”, Sir Richard Branson – “Virgin”.

  • The Law of Scarcity

This is used to increase the value of your brand. Use it sparingly. It’s like this: The more you are seen and heard, the more you lose value. That’s if you make yourself accessible to all men at all times. You should have some privacy and exclusivity.

It’s simply the game of ‘hide and seek’. The Law of Scarcity silently says, ‘Let them miss you a little. You don’t show up at every event, you purposely turn down some invitations and skip some meetings. When you make yourself less accessible, you increase the value of your presence.  

  • The Law of Success

Nothing succeeds like success. Your success in one endeavor will attract a lot more. So your goal is to work hard to position your brand.

Nobody cares or regards you until you succeed. Until you hit the headlines, you make it into the news feeds, the top-ranked in your field, you will hardly get attention. But as soon as you make it in your circle, other successful people will be attracted to your brand.

Your goal is to strive to succeed.

  • The Law of the Differentiation 

This is your USP – Unique Selling Proposition. There should be something that distinguishes your brand from other brands. You must skillfully differentiate your brand from the others. Be wired not weird. To stand out and draw attention requires you to be properly fit for the job, employing all your abilities and skills. What will make people want to buy from you?

One way to differentiate your brand and stand out is to be the direct opposite of other brands. Those who always try to be in the safe zone (to blend in) never win. Be either of the extremes, hot or cold not lukewarm. Stand out, be the opposite of your competitor.

  • The Law of Access

You must touch their hearts before they show you their hand. Permission grants you access. How do you get the attention and permission of others? This is built by offering value first to others. When you can earn and get their permission, you wouldn’t need to shout to be heard.

Sometimes, only a whisper does the magic because you’ve earned the right to be heard. How are you creating access to people? How do you break through those iron gates?

You can do so by providing value for people and genuinely caring for people. 

  • The Law of Control

The power is in your hands. You are in the driver’s seat of your brand, steer it where you want to go. So pick yourself and don’t use the “if only” syndrome as an excuse

The misconception of personal brands linked to fame: Many have the notion, “If only so-so-and-so refers me”, “If I only get on Oprah’s show”, “If Warren Buffet gets me a little money”, “If Seth Godin blogs about me”…

Listen, hinging your success to others, waiting on others before you act, are the worst thing you can ever do to your brand.

You are in charge of building your brand, begin today!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is an Author, Speaker, and Corporate Trainer. Africa’s foremost author[ity] on Personal Branding and Digital Book Publishing. An Amazon bestselling author of over 40 published books. As a speaker & trainer, he has been known to simplify complex ideas about branding and life and present them to audiences in clear, actionable steps. He has over a decade of experience in digital publishing and has globally consulted for entrepreneurs, pastors, and people like you to write books and build brands. He hosts the number one ranked Career & Business Podcast in Ghana. Bernard is a brand strategist at BKC consulting and runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass.

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