On 12th January 2020, Slumcode Innovations and Creatives (SLIC) Hub hosted our director Dr. Odhiambo David for a session on Personal Branding at their offices in TENA Estate, Umoja – Nairobi. This was part of the SLIC Hub #CoffeeTalks project which was established to provide a platform for sharing lessons and insights on issues for personal development.
Personal branding is a key component of what people do in their lives, how they relate with others, how they are perceived and the ripple effect of this perception with regard to achieving their goals. The topic of the session being “Personal Branding: Positioning yourself for your goals”, Dr. Odhiambo dissected the topic into four (4) main sections;
1.What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is the experience that people have with an individual that enable them perceive them in a particular way. The experience can be in person, online or through stories shared in different circles. An individual’s brand will thus be the image they have in the minds of those who have interacted with them in different circles whether in person or not. The sad bit is that everyone has a personal brand whether they are using it to their advantage or not. Ever wondered why when two people ask for the same thing from the same person at different times, one ends up being granted the request while another person may not be granted the same? Most times it is because of the perception the person being requested has of the two people. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you will be the one to be granted or denied your request.
2. What is your goal?
Some people say that goal setting is overrated and all. It’s a cliché and this time having the session at the start of the year was strategic because getting into 2020, almost everyone had resolutions and targets to hit. A goal in simple terms would then be the specific desire you have that you set out to achieve within a specified period of time. It’s important to know what you want because then with this in mind you are able to plan on how to get to it. Most times we say we want to live a good life but then we can’t define the good life we want to live. This further stretches it to the point of specificity of your goal e.g. starting the year you might have resolved to get a job. You then need to know why you need the job and which kind of job. If it’s to pay your bills and survive you’ll take any job that comes your way and the problem with this is that it even makes it difficult to job-hunt because you are spoilt for choice. Same applies for a writers-block when you have so many ideas and a blank page you don’t know how to put your thoughts to context and create flow.
3. What is the relationship between your personal brand and your goal?
There is no order in which your goal and your personal brand should be set but ultimately they should be in sync. What this means is that with a goal in mind, you have to look like yourself in that status. As the bible says, claim it and it shall come to pass. Claiming it in this context is looking at it in the context of your goal and aligning your values, building your skills, competencies and character to align with that goal. An individual who intends to be a marketer has to be skilled which means they must understand key marketing principles, must be trustworthy because as a marketer business relationships thrive on trust and ultimately has to be reliable to ensure clients can almost be guaranteed to get their needs serviced by him/her. Building a brand is a deliberate intentional process and it comes in all spheres of life. It’s the same way with a man intending to marry and settle down making the club his favorite spot. Ultimately he’ll have to marry the bartender, waiter or he won’t marry at all. Otherwise, his marriage will end up with squabbles from time to time.
4. How do you build your personal brand to direct you towards your goal?
Building a personal brand starts with the end in mind. Once you have defined your goal with specificity or rather with at least some kind of consideration of the bigger picture. Dissecting it into parts you can get to know what that level of you intends to be e.g. as a CEO in a community social impact organization, you need to know your probable clients (community and their needs); the kind of skills you’ll need to integrate in the community (language, resource mobilization, community mobilization skills among others); and how to rise to that position if the organization exists otherwise you’ll have to work on how to start one. To build your personal brand to align with your goal you have to be competent in the track which calls for life-long learning; have values that align with your aspiration (character) and finally you’ll need to communicate that brand (online, in-person and the power of social networks. Can your network vouch for you? If not you need to review your personal brand.)
It was an interesting session which culminated with discussions and coffee from the host Mr. Albert Nashon.
As Ryculture Health and Social Innovation, we were honored to be part of such conversations driving positive change in the society. Our sincere gratitude to the Slumcode Innovations and Creatives (SLIC) Hub for such a noble initiative and we hope to continue such conversations.