Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Importance of Personal Branding

In my last post i talked about How to get hired faster.I am very delighted you all enjoyed and found my tips useful.The response was overwhelming,a lot of emails came in,i made new friends on facebook,connections on LinkedIn and new followers on Twitter.(Lets keep In touch)
I would also like to thank Career Point kenya for posting my article on their blog. I couldn't have reached such a wide audience!I also wish to thank everyone who shared the link with friends,Thanks for the RT's too and comments on the blog!I got a lot of questions on How to use Social Media in Job Searching and my next article will handle that squarely.
On this post we discuss Why Personal Branding Matters.
We live in a hyper competitive world and standing out in today’s crowded market place is essential.

Despite constantly competing for attention the one thing that makes you stand out from your competitors is your Personal Brand.It’s the influence and attention you command.The image you potray,how you look and how you present yourself in public.
Its basically what is unique and valuable about you. Better put as “what do people say you are when you are not there”You are more like a CEO or a brand manager of the Brand called you!
In today’s environment a lot of people don’t buy the product, they actually buy YOU. By this I mean, do people find you trustworthy, are you reliable? Can you meet strict deadlines and deliver? Can people depend on you?Thats why you will find guys squeezed in one bar and the next one is empty.Its not in the flat screens or loud music!! Your staff or employees play a big role in this!
Use personal branding to distinguish yourself from the rest, Basically why should you be hired and not the rest? why are you the best for a certain position, opportunity, scholarship or a business contract. A good education may enhance this, if you are well connected you stand a better chance,but all these factors don’t really count much. When you are hired, people interact with you not your papers or impressive grades.
Your competitors can’t copy the essence of who you are, How you present yourself online, write emails, updates you post, business etiquette, public speaking and presentation skills. These are the differentiators.
Late Hon Michuki(R.I.P)
Are you known for the right reasons?What comes to your mind when Nelson Mandela is mentioned,The late Hon Michuki? What will you be best remembered for?Louis Otieno murder allegations are on the media; He denies killing the lady, can people trust his side of the story? So seek to create a powerful personal brand that exudes influence, confidence, credibility and persuasive power.


The three hall marks of a great personal brand are 
Authenticity,consistency and packaging.

Authenticity
An authentic personal brand must be unique and resonate with your target market. If Derek Bbanga is mentioned, it immediately clicks "Public image consultant" Oliech,Mariga,Kipchoge keino? Do your friends really know who you are? I am a marketer more interested in social media, people approach me for help if they need assistance with social media and various aspects of marketing. Can someone recommend you for a position, speaking engagement  or a trainer for a specific issue? Can the people around you be your brand ambassadors? Remember if the guys close to you feel you do crappy stuff or you aren’t that good in something, chances are that no one will talk to others about you!!Are you the type of person that can be headhunted for a senior position in a multinational?Is your track record reputable,are you well respected by your peers?


Consistency.
The best brands are consistent with their brand promise and that shouldn’t be different with your personal brand. Your brand extends to your employees, customers, the media and even the general public.If your personal brand isn't consistent to reinforce reinforce your brand, your key public's (Parents, friends,wife,girlfriend,clients etc ) will become dissatisfied.
Social media is a powerful personal branding tool.What do new friends,connections or followers find on your profile?Can people find reliable information on your profile?Twitter is really good for this,Aly Khan will tweet about Financial issues,Larry madowo,Jeff koinange are media guys…others have established their presence as Tech savvy people such as Moses Kemibaro,Neil patel and they consistently tweet about issues in their industry! Are you that consistent?Are you at one moment tweeting about food,restaurants and the other time you are sharing links on conservation and wildlife? The next day you are Re tweeting links to dirty photos? 
If you want to achieve consistency on social media you might consider connecting your facebook account to twitter and LinkedIn so that whatever you post on LinkedIn appears on your twitter and then on Facebook...But this may vary with what you do on social media on different platforms.For example i use Facebook to keep in touch with my close friends and family,promote certain products targeted at the 18-28 year market,I use Twitter to keep in catch up with what's trending,current and fresh.Its also a good site where i get Links on whats currently fresh on Social Media and Marketing.I get to see what other experts in the industry are saying about various issues while LinkedIn is for making professional connections because many professionals are not active on Facebook and while LinkedIn might have much fewer users, the professional mentality and the ability to network with like-minded people, is much more valuable.All in all ensure that your brand presence in these platforms is consistent.


Packaging

Finally package yourself well (The clothes you wear) to engage your market. This silently influences your audience. Dressing here doesn’t mean wearing suits to every meeting or interview!
In my line of work I offer my services to people in different sectors and backgrounds. If I am going to Homeboyz radio, doing jeans and a Trendy T shirt may make Mike Rabar like my product, If I am pitching to IT guys, a bit of geekish looks work for me. Wear something that your audience associates with.If you are going for an interview for a field job a casual look would work. Shows the employer that you really understand what your job entails. If you are interviewing for a UN position based in Dadaab,why wear suits?If you are speaking to teens I don’t suggest you wear baggy sagging jeans,however you need to put on clothes that bring out the best of you.
For ladies here don’t put on  short tight fitting skirt suits,You may impress a few men and blow their minds off, but what if you find 3 women and 1 man on the panel? A lot of Insurance sales girls dress this way to get the guys interested in their product and probably sign up!!Well a good number of them have confessed to me that they ended up getting countless date offers from Married men who don’t want to buy the insurance but want the “product” so don’t take the interest away from what you are promoting!!!
Do you agree with my points?Is there something you would like to add?or something you differ with?


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7 comments:

  1. Super! the article is on point, keep doing it and making a difference

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  2. wonderful info there,kip it up

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    Replies
    1. Hey buddy?Thanks for checking this out.Appreciate your time

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    2. Hello Muthuri , Great article here with Good insights.
      I was wondering if you would love your own personal Blog with your own domain.
      Well if you are interested, go to httpp://facebook.com/webonmobi and sign up to get a free Website.
      The promotion is only available via a computer.
      Thanks Morgan

      Delete
  3. Am thoroughly impressed by your line of thought Muthuri. This is quite something, a wake up call.I think a lot of people need to smell something stronger than coffee to maybe wake up from their fantasies and realize the significance of personal branding. How crucial personal image is at whatever time, place or with whom on what. This earns one respect, shows integrity and actually gets you soaring to greater heights. Great! Keep it up.

    Linda N.

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  4. This is a great article especially on the aspect of personal branding.
    Last year my friend had to lose a chance of geting hired simply for the kind of post he was making in his facebook page....i think the way we use our social platform matters alot.

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