How to build a strong personal brand?
I will give you five points
1. Find your message
A brand is all about communication. It’s simply telling people who you are and helping them to define you by that. Until you have found what to say to people about you, you cannot build a personal brand. So the first question you should ask yourself is “What is my message? What do I want to communicate?
For example, you wouldn’t stay with me too long to discover that I am passionate about God, food and Agriculture and entrepreneurship. Now, these are my messages. You can hear and see them loud and clear in everything I do, on my social media platforms, on my websites and even in my day-to-day conversions.
That is your message.
2. Be your message
A personal brand is more of who you are than it is of what people think of you. Many people focus on trying to convince people of their identity and spend less time on actually building the identity. That’s a wrong way to go.
Once you have discovered the message, the best way to communicate it, is to be that message. It will become easier for people to identify you and know you.
That is where the capacity building becomes critical. Is your message entrepreneurship? Then learn everything you need to learn about it. Is it fashion? You can’t afford to be left behind.
Do you want to be known as a leadership expert, a Human resource authority or a tech guru? Then build your capacity to become the best of it.
I totally agree with the founder of CoinState, Justine Wu, when he said “Be a master of your craft, skillset or industry before starting a personal brand. Then your content will help amplify who you are.”
3. Send one message at a time
The emphasizes on “at a time.”
One of the greatest enemies of building a strong personal brand is trying to be everything to everybody to be everywhere at all times.
It is both frustrating and futile. It shows a lack of focus and sends a confusing message of your personality to your audience. A brand is about identity, and secure identity is built on consistency.
To build an identity that makes you stand out of the crowd, you will need to be distinctive from the crowd and send out one strong message at a time.
Note, the keyword is “one at a time”. In as much as you can be many things in life, you can’t be too many things at a time. As I will always say, no one gets to the top of the two maintains at a time. A single (or few), clear and consistent message can help to strengthen your personal brand anywhere, anytime.
One of the best advice I have heard about brand was by Adams Smiley “Carve a niche, and then carve a niche within your niche. The best personal brands are very specific” he said. The narrower and more focused your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are.
4. Be Real
Nothing kills your brand faster than claiming to be what you are not. Is like giving people hope that you have food in your house only to come and realize that you are also as foodless and as hungry as they are. They will not only be disappointed but will be angry with you for raising their hopes and dash it.
Why saying you are an expert when you know you are still learning? I have seen a lot of experts on social media. Don’t join them for the sake of it. Earn it before your claim.
Earn it before you claim it. Building your life around your message protects you from the temptation of claiming to be what you are not.
Branding is not a deception. It is ‘packaging’ in the sense of it. Don’t get me wrong, the packaging is not bad, especially when you are not packaging empty container and not labelling water as Kerosene in the name of packaging. Do not package an empty box.
Do not package an empty container – it courses more harm than good. Nobody buys a terrible product twice.
I hope I am not speaking in parables?
5. Communicate your Message
Nobody can know who you are until you let them know. Go out there and tell your story. Create contents around your brand. Make sure is Consistent, Original and Genuine.
Don’t forget, Consistent, Original and Genuine.
Until you have horned your writing skills, you may find it challenging to build a strong personal brand. Show me a strong brand, and I will show you a skilful writer. That is why I will always say that everybody should be a writer. If you don’t start your story, nobody will tell it. You have to be the one to start your story.
It is your responsibility, not any other. Note that, the power of your brand lies in your ability to own your values, beliefs and principles and communicate them authoritatively.
Do not just go about agreeing with everybody’s opinion. Develop a mindset of your own and stick to it. They are people I respect, and I look up to, that does not mean I agree with everything they say. If it is not in line with what I believe, and there is no convincing evidence to back it up. I may never agree with you. Disagreement is not always a sign of disrespect; every real leader understands.