Chinedu, a Content Strategist and Brand Storyteller, with BAMF Media USA, writes for magazines, websites, and blogs. His content is consumed by millions of people from different geographical locations, monthly.
First and foremost, What is Personal Brand.?
Personal Brand is you.
What comes into everyone’s mind when they hear your name. For example, if I say Davido or Wizkid, everyone remembers Music. This is because they have built a name in the Music Industry. Same as Social Media, you can build a Personal Brand that will always work for you.
Take for example, LinkedIn.
Once I see Kayode Abass popped up on my timeline, I know he’s doing some marketing stuff. Whenever I need a digital marketer I can work with, I think of Kayode Abass. He’s built a name for himself.
As much as social media is available for everyone, only few are actually making a living from it. Yes, it’s just a social media to you but it’s an office to me. I have been working there everyday for about two and half years. And I can tell you it’s a blessing.
But it didn’t come cheap. It’s hard work and consistency. Many actually know me as the Poetprenuer. That’s my brand. Storytelling in Poetry style before having to switch to where the money lies.
Now, the question is –
HOW DO I BUILD MY BRAND?
HOW DO I BECOME A FORCE TO RECKON WITH?
HOW DO I MAKE CLIENTS OR COMPANIES COME FOR MY SERVICE?
My answer – PERSONAL BRAND
It makes no sense to go to Kayode Abass or Olutobi for technology. If people still ask you what do you do? It means they still understand you.
These are the type of messages I get on weekly basis:
We need a storyteller in our company. How much do you charge?
We need a content strategist at our company. Are you open to it?
And many more.
I signed a deal with an Australian company – Inbound Marketing Australia, yesterday as a brand storyteller. For anyone who wants to build a Personal Brand, I’ll advise you to do a storytelling style.
Here’s why you should consider storytelling.
Stories are always engaging and interesting. Besides, we all do storytelling everyday either consciously or unconsciously. Like this, if you are trying to explain something to a person or a group, you have to paint that picture for everyone to understand. That’s storytelling.
To make storytelling works for you involves one thing – YOUR STRENGTH.
You need to know what you are good at and how you want the people to think of you anytime they see you. In other words, having clarity is the key to building your personal brand. But what I’ve discovered so far about people, they don’t really know who they are and it’s really a problem for them to grow. You can’t be like everyone. Even if you admire them, trying to be like them is detrimental to your growth.
I started my social media journey with storytelling and poetry. I know I was good at that but I have no idea if it’ll work for me. One thing I did was shut my ears to the crowd even when many said it was never a career. But look at me now, I’m here in your presence and you are all listening to me like I’m a special being but I am not special. I’m just someone who figured out what works for me and stick to it.
NOW ASK YOURSELF, WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GOOD AT?
You know it yourself. Then take it out to the world.
How do you take it out?
That’s where storytelling comes into play. Check the social media, everyone is telling a story. But not everyone is good at telling stories. Take it or leave it.
You know Prince Ea on Facebook. Likewise Quentin Allums on LinkedIn, Gary Vaynerchuk on Instagram. These people are storytellers and they are unique at what they are doing.
One reason I recommend storytelling to my students is because stories have a way of breaking down your heart. Look at most advertisement, those ones done like movies tend to capture everyone’s attention from beginning to the end. For example, if you see Funke Akindele (Jenifa) trying to advertise, let’s say, Tom Tom. You’ll be eager to know what she’s trying to say even it makes no sense. That’s the power of stories. While people read stories, they get the message being passed across.
Another question, WHAT STORIES DO YOU PASS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
If you are a hairstylist, put a short story with a nice picture of your hairstyle
If you are a tailor, put the picture of a nice sewn cloth by you and insert a short story.
While people read the story, they see the picture. When they see the picture, they take an action.
One thing I love about social media, it’s free for everyone to use and there are amazing opportunities on it.
But are you making use it? Or
Are you just broadcasting another brand on your timeline?
Here’s how to broadcast another brand, if I go to shoprite and upload “shoprite things” on my time, I’m promoting them indirectly.
Most of us do this especially on Facebook and it hurts me to the bone every time I see people not taking full advantage of social media. Many people want to build the brand but don’t really know how to start. Some even are not sure if they are good at storytelling. The truth – we are all storytellers
Always know this, nobody will tell your story better than you.
If you want to build your personal brand through storytelling, here are things to consider:
CLARITY– understand yourself (inner strength).
What you are good at. It doesn’t make sense to appear like a pastor today and a footballer tomorrow. Then musician next tomorrow. Anyone doing such must either be a comedian or someone who lacks clarity of his journey.
Now that you understand what you are good at, find the platform that works for you. How do you know this platform is good for you?
Here’s how I figure mine.
I looked for someone who’s good at what I love doing. Meaning I have a mentor and watch what he does and how he goes about it. My mentor is Grant Charles Adam. I found him on LinkedIn doing poetry and I fell in love with him. I mean poetry
Definitely, you must have a mentor in your field, else you go astray. Don’t just go to facebook because everyone’s there or LinkedIn because everyone says you’ll get job there. They are mere fallacies.
Before joining a platform, find someone who’s doing what you love. Then study for a while. Get familiar with the environment. One hack – your mentor will easily inspire you.
This is the problem of many storytellers. Social media is saturated. There are always more than 1000 people doing what you are into. So how do you stay ahead? Consistency
Consistency brings you out everyday.
Even if you have nothing to say, tell your stories again.
Brigette Hyacinth does that. Brigette got 2000000 followers on Sunday. I met her when she was 110k followers in 2017 but hardly will a day pass by without me seeing her posts. I think she posts three to six times a day.
It’s simple, the day you fail to be consistent, someone else will replace you and your audience will not remember you again. Why? Someone else is satisfying their needs.
Consistency is important when building a brand.
Why do you think footballers can’t replace Ronaldo and Messi? Those two are crazily consistent
Your network is your net worth
Honestly, you can’t do it alone but you can leverage on others. How do you network?
- By tagging relevant people. Don’t just be a tagger, tag with purpose.
- Support others. I mean engage their contents and offer something good.
Remember, any personal brand build on me, me, me, mentality, won’t last
Always show up to give your audience something to reflect on. Don’t be about sales. Help your audience and they will bless you with their pockets. All my life, I never go online looking for clients, they come to me because I am a networker. I network. I engage more than 100 contents daily. That’s crazy right? Yes, it is. To be great, you must be crazy.
Helping people to reach their goals will help you reach yours. Besides, people will be interested in what you have to say. Many people read my posts not because it’s awesome but because I know what I’m good at, I understand the platform that works for me, I am consistent and I network. That’s what gave me everything I have today.
Storytelling is not difficult, unless you make it difficult for yourself.
Session moderated by:
Oluwatomisin Olowoyo, Principal, CSA Academy