Tips for Building a Personal Brand

Ngozi Enelamah


If you followed our recent updates, we launched in Kenya and partnered with Moringa school, where we had a panel session speaking on personal branding.  

Personal branding has become more critical than ever for freelancers, content creators, and entrepreneurs. Like popular brands such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and others, you can think about who has built brands that differentiate them from the crowd; personal branding helps you differentiate yourself and your service from the rest. 

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is very much similar to corporate branding. Think about it this way. You’re the first point of your business as a freelancer, entrepreneur, solopreneur, or even content creator. As a result, you are the face of your business, and how others perceive you impacts your freelance, entrepreneurial career success. Do they think highly of you? Do they regard you as resourceful, capable, and experienced? This is what personal branding helps you achieve. 

Personal branding is the story you tell that creates a perception of what people know about you – how they perceive you and your product or service. That is to say; personal branding is the intentional effort to position yourself in an industry as unique and valuable.

Examples of personal brands:

Let’s give a few examples of people that have built personal brands

  1. Gary Vee
  2. Vusi Thembekwayo
  3. Debola Williams
  4. Davido
  5. Diamond Platnumz
  6. Cristiano Ronaldo
  7. Thisthingcalledfashion. 
  8. Kim Kardashian 
  9. Jackie Aina

These people have successfully built a personal brand such that when you think of them, something unique comes to mind – either the way they speak, dress, show, or present themselves in public.

The benefits of personal branding as a freelancer

We’ve defined personal branding; now, let’s talk about the benefit or importance of personal branding.

  • You attract opportunities: Building relationships and attracting opportunities can be complex. However, this becomes easier when you’ve built a personal brand because people recognise you as an expert; it’s also more accessible for people to refer clients to you.
  • You gain trust and authority: When you are clear about your brand and have communicated this to your community in a way they understand, it helps you gain their confidence and positions you as an authority and thought leader in your industry.
  • You build confidence: Confidence is maybe the most critical outcome of developing your brand. After a while and seeing the results that come from your brand paying off in the form of opportunities, power brokers, recognition, and accolades, this, in turn, results in confidence, and you grow more at ease in your skin.
  • Your market value increases: Having a solid personal brand that people trust gives you room to charge premium prices that increase your market value. 

Read also: How to get your first remote job.

Tips for building a personal brand

Know yourself: The first step to building a personal brand is a solid foundation that is authentic to you. Personal branding doesn’t mean crafting a personality that isn’t you but rather showcasing yourself in your true nature. You first need to ask a few questions about yourself to start, and this is because it helps you understand yourself more. Here is a list of the questions to ask yourself. 

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What drives you?
  • What are your strengths and weakness?
  • What are you most talented at?
  • What’s your unique selling point?

After that, the next question to answer is in knowing yourself is 

  • What’s your brand vision?
  • What is your brand mission? 
  • What’s your brand messaging?
  • What’s your brand personality?

These and many more are a few of the questions you need to ask to understand yourself while building a personal brand. 

You can also read A case study on how people can develop themselves as a personal brand 

Know and Understand your audience: There’s no personal branding without an audience, as your audience is the receiver of whatever product or service you’d like to sell. In knowing and understanding your audience, here are a few questions to ask and give answers to. 

  • Is my audience gender-specific or a mixed gender
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live? 
  • What’s their earning capacity? 
  • What interests them?
  • What keeps them going? 
  • Where can I meet and connect with them?
  • How do they love to be communicated with? 

When you have given answers to this question, you are on a better part of knowing how to keep your audience glued to you. 

Know your competitors or industry players: This doesn’t mean looking at what your competitors are into and doing precisely like them. It involves you doing the following. 

  • Know who your competitor is
  • What makes them your competitor 
  • What are they offering, and how are they offering it 
  • Who is their target audience
  • What makes them better than you
  • What makes you better than them

Consistency: Now you’ve done the right thing by asking yourself questions about your audience and competitors, the next step is staying consistent by 

  1. Show up and show out
  2. Be educative and informative 
  3. Deliver more than expected 
  4. Be accessible 
  5.  Be available to help your audience 
  6. Build and cultivate relationships
  7. Be fun and engaging 
  8. Connect and build relationships with people 
  9. Be consistent in the brand story, style, and colour
  10. Keep your words. 

Other things to put in place while building a personal brand are

  1. A professional logo
  2. A professional website 
  3. A brand colour
  4. A brand theme 
  5. A social media channel
  6. A professional picture 
  7. Social proof
  8. Content strategy

Now that you’ve gotten this information, the next step is to take them, use them and build strategies that help you build a strong brand, as you’re probably aware of people who have great brands, and you’ve seen them reap many of the benefits of personal branding. It’s time to step up your branding efforts so you can reap these benefits too.

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