We hear the word “brand” being thrown around left, right, and center *insert slow eye roll and heavy sigh here*.

Everyone seems to know what a brand is but let’s talk about what a brand isn’t. A brand isn’t just a face, name, logo, jingle, an employee, a voice, reputation, feeling, product, colour, or tagline! It is a culmination of these, give or take, fused together to create a distinction or unique identity.

There's more to personal branding than mere ''packaging''

Personal branding, or “packaging” as we Nigerians like to call it, is essentially crafting a unique identity to set yourself apart from the rest. In the words of Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.com, “your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room”.

?Packaging is important; it is what differentiates a “dustbin packer” from a “waste management officer”, and a “house help” from an “au pair”. In the same way one might pay N3,000 for a pair of plain white sneakers and N30,000 for a similar pair of white sneakers, but with a Nike logo on it, strong branding and proper packaging command a premium price. 

Why should I care about personal branding? 

Control Your Own Narrative

What comes to people’s mind when they think about you? Is it aligned with who or what you’d like to be seen as? The danger of not caring about intentionally building your personal brand is that people may not know who you really are or what you stand for and are left to draw their own conclusions. 

Money

Another benefit of effective personal branding is money; yes money. For some of us who have bills to pay, having a solid brand within your desired space helps pay those bills.

Let me explain; take me, ?The Branding Powerhouse? for example, I’m actively building my personal brand within the branding, marketing and digital space in Nigeria on a daily basis. I put out valuable content at no cost, offer free trainings and tutorials from time to time, help small businesses with marketing strategies pro bono every now and then, and so much more. I do this, not because I’m balling so hard that I don’t need to get paid for them, but because I understand that with time, people see these things, start to associate me with my line of business and this slowly but surely organically brings clients my way.  

So how do I build my personal brand?

Now you have a couple of concrete reasons as to why you need to, let’s talk about some practical steps to actually build your personal brand. 

- Fake It Till You Make It

- Promote Who You Are And What You Stand For 

- Network Like Crazy!

- Look The Part 

- Develop Your Skills 

-  Reflect, Rebrand, Reinvent 

- Create a Personal Brand Statement 

Also watch: Why Nigerian Men Now Ask For DNA Tests In September

Long story short, invest the time, effort and money into building your personal brand, or risk having the world decide who you are for you.

A strong personal brand cannot be built overnight. Dedicate set hours weekly to reflect, strategize, develop your skills, and work towards becoming the version of yourself you want the world to see.

Like I always say, ?“who you are in reality doesn’t matter as much as who you’re perceived to be”. 

A combination of her experience in Digital Marketing working with major brands, along with an MBA specializing in Marketing & Brand Management quickly earned her the nickname “Branding Powerhouse”. Oluwaseyi, author of “The Nigerian Guide to Personal Branding” develops and executes creative strategies to help brands gain and sustain a profitable presence both offline and online. Her experience which spans across 4 countries and 3 continents includes training and consulting in the area of Branding & Digital Marketing with brands such as Diageo, Globacom, Action Aid & Google.
When she’s not busy making brands money or preaching the transformative message of Digital in Africa, she enjoys indulging in her guilty pleasure - Reality TV.