• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Why you shouldn’t overlook your personal brand while focusing on your business!

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As a Nigerian entrepreneur, you may have heard of the debate about whether you should focus solely on building your business or invest your time in growing your personal brand. While building your business is undoubtedly critical, overlooking the importance of developing your personal brand could mean missing out on significant opportunities.

In the Nigerian context, where building trust can be challenging, having a strong personal brand can set you apart from the competition. Let us examine some relatable examples from Nigeria to further emphasise the importance of balancing personal branding and business.

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Adaobi, a passionate fashion entrepreneur from Lagos, has dedicated years to building her clothing brand, but her brand remains relatively unknown beyond her immediate circle. On the other hand, Chinedu, a fellow entrepreneur with a skill for digital marketing, not only runs a successful agency but has also cultivated a strong personal brand as a go-to expert in his field.

Chinedu’s dual emphasis on his company and personal brand sets him apart from Adaobi. While Adaobi’s focus on her business is commendable, Chinedu’s brand as a thought leader in digital marketing fosters trust among potential clients and collaborators. It also opens doors to collaborations, speaking engagements, and even potential investment opportunities that can fuel the growth of his agency.

Another relatable example is Ifeoma, a budding food entrepreneur based in Abuja. Ifeoma’s passion for cooking has led her to establish a small catering business specialising in traditional Nigerian cuisine. While her food is beloved by her clients, Ifeoma realises that by sharing her culinary journey, recipes, and cooking tips on social media platforms, she can expand her reach and attract a broader audience beyond her local community. As Ifeoma’s brand as a home chef grows, so does the visibility and appeal of her catering business.

These examples show how developing a strong personal brand can help entrepreneurs stand out in a crowded market. In Nigeria, where most entrepreneurs offer similar products or services, a strong personal brand can help you differentiate yourself from the competition. By showcasing your expertise, values, and personality in a way that resonates with your target audience, you can attract more clients and collaborators.

Moreover, a strong personal brand can act as a safety net in times of economic downturn or industry disruption. Even if your business faces challenges, your established reputation as an expert in your field can pave the way for consulting gigs, freelance projects, or new business ventures.

Why balancing personal branding and business is important

While focusing on building your business is essential, overlooking personal branding can lead to missed opportunities for growth. Having a recognisable personal brand opens doors to collaborations, speaking engagements, and even potential investment opportunities that can fuel the growth of your business.

It is not just online that personal branding is essential; offline branding also plays a significant role. Offline branding can be even more critical in some industries, such as real estate, where building trust with clients is essential. Your brand is what sets you apart from the competition, and it is what people will remember when they think of you and your business.

So, why should you bother building your brand? Well, for one, a strong personal brand can help you build trust with potential clients and collaborators. When people see that you have a well-established reputation, they are more likely to trust you and your business.

It can also help you make more money. While it is true that personal branding does not necessarily guarantee that you will make more money, it can create more opportunities for you to earn more. For example, if you are a consultant, having a well-established personal brand can help you attract more clients and charge higher rates.

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Understanding the difference between offline and online personal branding

It is essential to understand that there are two types of personal branding: offline and online. While both are essential, they serve different purposes.

Offline personal branding involves building your reputation in your local community and industry. It is about attending networking events, speaking at conferences, and building relationships with other professionals in your field. It is about building trust with people you meet face-to-face.

Online personal branding, on the other hand, involves building your reputation online. It is about creating a strong social media presence, blogging, and publishing thought-leadership articles. It is about reaching out to people beyond your local community and creating a global reputation.

Both offline and online personal branding are essential, and they work together to create a well-rounded personal brand. By balancing both, you can create a more significant impact and reach a broader audience.

Common misconceptions about personal branding

There are several misconceptions about personal branding that can prevent entrepreneurs from investing time and effort into developing their personal brand. Let’s explore some of these misconceptions and debunk them.

Personal branding doesn’t bring me money, so why should I bother?

While it is true that personal branding does not guarantee that you will make more money, it can create more opportunities for you to earn more. Additionally, having a well-established personal brand can act as a safety net in times of economic downturn or industry disruption.

I don’t have the time to build my personal brand online; can I have a manager that can help me?

While it is true that building your personal brand online can be time-consuming, it is essential to remember that your personal brand is a reflection of you. No one can create a personal brand for you; it has to come from you. However, there are professionals who can help you develop and execute a personal branding strategy that aligns with your goals and values.

Read also: How local brands can thrive in global market

People make a lot of money offline, so why do I need a personal brand?

While it is true that building relationships in your local community is essential, having a well-established personal brand can help you reach a broader audience and create more opportunities for growth. By building your personal brand online, you can reach people beyond your local community and create a global reputation.

On a final note, building a personal brand doesn’t necessarily mean being an influencer or celebrity. It means showcasing your expertise, values, and personality in a way that resonates with your target audience. It can be as simple as sharing your insights on social media, speaking at industry events, or publishing thought leadership articles.

Remember, your personal brand is a reflection of you, and it is what sets you apart from the competition. By investing time and effort into developing your personal brand, you can create more opportunities for growth, build trust with potential clients and collaborators, and ultimately achieve success as an entrepreneur.

 

Damilola Felicia Badmus is a Seasoned Branding Consultant with a proven track record, helping personal and corporate brands. She is presently empowering Tech SaaS Founders through Branding. She is the author of “How Linkedin Works.”