Can we be frank about personal profiling/branding?


Publicity whether self driven through personal branding efforts or through a professional outfit needs to be driven by passions greater than your business title. Though I agree that a title drives better credibility, if you only rely on that you might not have a lot to offer to your audience.


Many people want to get visibility but they aren’t clear about who they are and what they want to be known for. Please take my advice, as the old adage goes- “know thyself” and refuse for someone else to mould you into something you can’t live up to. Now I know that it gets a bit fuzzy when you’re being positioned to represent a brand, but seriously you need to know yourself and your topics of interest. I emphasise this because I’ve seen too many people trapped by the company they work for and the title they hold. 


They have the ambition to give back, maybe to guide people to rise above their adversity, or to become better leaders, drive a cause they’re passionate about. But fear and the ring of other people’s critical voices get in the way. This is where authenticity and courage must be practiced.


Take action

You know your stuff. You’ve had noteworthy experiences. You definitely have an opinion or a story. You may not say it like your favourite thought leader or influencer, but your perspective and unique articulation could be relevant to folks who could become fans. Say things your way, from your unique point of view.


There are 100’s of millions of businesses around the world because there are hundreds of millions of ways to solve consumer or market problems. You don’t have to follow the loudest or most popular voice. Be brave and do it your way.


Keep at it

Don’t give up the first time you get no response. Sometimes people need to hear things a few times to understand your message. For some people it takes one hit and they go viral and for others it takes consistent daily practice. I repeat, don’t give up! The motivation to build your brand has to transcend virality. No one, not even artificial intelligence (AI) can determine what will hit a nerve to reach more eyes and ears, be persistent. Be happy with the fact that you’re sharing a message you deeply care about and believe that there will be an audience that feels the same way, or could be persuaded to rethink their viewpoints. Your message could touch one person and make a world’s difference.


Create a cadence for when you will share your message and don’t be afraid of video. YouTube has a great creator programme and you don’t need studio quality videos to thrive. Any social media network you choose to drive your brand on requires that you consistently show up.


Hone you craft

Building your profile is a craft. Clarify your story, work on it so that it begins to roll off your tongue like honey. Analyse responses to your messages and see what resonates. What peak’s your audience’s interests within your messaging framework (do you even have one?). What gets tongues wagging and why? Use the tools that will indicate what works and what doesn’t but once you have a strong following ask your audience relevant questions to drive stronger engagement.


Do not be afraid

You must be yourself, be original. Sharing your views could liberate someone else from rigid conformity and archaic principles. It takes courage to dismantle or even demystify common everyday things. Some may be outdated in reality or metaphorically and you could help bring a different understanding to your topic of choice. Be ok with debates and disagreements and expressions of discomfort. It creates healthy dialogue, just remain respectful when someone has an opposing perception. Some may view your opinion as polarising or sparking controversy, but remember new ideas cause fear. Repeat the message in different ways until it comfortably sinks in. Don’t suddenly change your mind because people don’t like it. Understand why there’s a different perspective and accept that you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.




Leave congeniality to pageantry 


I know that social media platforms are a form of pageantry and so is the process of personal positioning. But if you pander only to what people (not your audience) want, you will lose your path, your story, your brand. Don’t do it, you will confuse yourself and therefore your fans. It’s nice to be liked for what you really believe in, not what you get moulded to be. You’re not dessert, you’re a human being with incredible insights. Leverage those to build an authentic brand. Authenticity beats congeniality!