Do you want a better life? Do you want a better job? perhaps more business opportunities in Nigeria is all you desire, whichever the case is, personal branding plays a significant role in ensuring you get more deals – by implication more financial gratification.
Personally, my concept of business is building a brand. Studying Business Administration at the University of Jos played a significant role in understanding the concept of personal branding and why it is important to create a lot of business opportunities in Nigeria especially. In the same manner, I have always faulted the popular concept of cost minimization and profit maximization which most entrepreneurs build their business around. Using this concept will make you compromise on quality, branding, and catalysts to bring more business opportunities.
Since I started my entrepreneurial journey since college days, I have been working on building myself a brand and the results have been amazing, to call a spade a spade – it is what has brought me this far. So I thought to share my personal branding strategy in this article. This is far from saying I have built a strong brand, NO! I’d rather say I’m building a strong brand.
My personal branding efforts singled me out in the massive crowd, got me some good deals, brought more income, and life cannot get any better. I have got random invitations to speak at workshops, got some deals to help start-ups run digital marketing campaigns, consult for some businesses on digital marketing, get clients all over the globe to design beautiful and engaging websites for business and personal use, and so many more. All of these came through deliberate and intentional personal branding efforts.
I feel very sad when I see people ignore this little but highly significant and distinctive ability to stand out. I will focus on how to brand yourself to get more job offers and more business deals.
Do You Exist In A Market?
The undeniable truth is this: Every organization out there wants good people with amazing skills and qualities who they see as an asset to work with them. Amazingly you know you are all of these things but yet you do not have that job. You have all the skills, yet your business is dragging. Your competitors whom apparently you are more skillful than get all the good deals and leaves you with crumbs. This can be very annoying, very painful I must confess. The reality is that you deserve more, unfortunately, those who need you and everything you have to offer do not know you exist. That is just the problem, and the only solution is to market yourself as a brand even if your goal is just to get a job.
Through experience, I can confidently say that this is the best way to get any dream job or create any dream life. I have been in a similar situation before. This problem cannot be solved by uploading your resume in more employment portals like jobberman, having an active LinkedIn profile or by applying for more jobs offline. If you have tried that before, I am sure you ended up bored and frustrated with the process. Those portals that have several job listings and you wonder whoever get the jobs.
With my personal branding method, I am getting relevant and good job offers and also lots of business opportunities in Nigeria. I’m grateful for this, so I thought to share my experience. Just the other day I got a call from someone who would want me to help him penetrate his business into a new market, he is looking to penetrate more in the Nigerian market and also Africa. So he told me, he knows I have lived in Jos, Nigeria for some years and I know the terrain and I also have the skills, and he needs to create a new market in the North-Central. That is just an example. Now people recognize me as a promising entrepreneur and digital marketing expert, and I’ll never have to hunt for good jobs again.
Why Good People Don’t Always Get Good Jobs or create more business opportunities in Nigeria
Before we start the discussion on my personal branding strategy, let us have a look at this ugly reality first. Good people are not the only ones having a difficulty in finding the right jobs or creating more business opportunities in Nigeria. Organizations are also finding it very difficult to recruit good people to work for them. This is so true.
So there are a lot of good jobs and good people out there, but they are not dating each other. It is true! I know corruption plays a significant role in this but I do not want to go into that. Organizations are always complaining about the difficulty of recruiting the best-qualified people to work with them and experts are always complaining about not having enough good and relevant jobs.
Why is this happening? The reason is that most appraisal tools in a recruiting process are not measurable. For example, consider two people who work in a computer factory. One person assembles 500 computers a day and the other person assembles only 400 computers a day. Now it is easy to say who is the expert in assembling computers. More computers per day, the better he/she is.
This is the big problem, in reality, this concept is inaccurate. A manager who makes a hiring decision cannot measure your expertise with any tests or tools. So people hire with quick results, emotion and “gut feeling” and hence the mega mismatch between job openings and individuals.
In reality, it takes at least 6 months for a manager to completely understand the unique skills of his/her subordinate. So even if you actually possess the skills, they may never give you the chance because not everyone will get a chance to go through a probation period, and you may lose great opportunities. To overcome this, you need to brand yourself in such a way that people perceive you as an expert even before they hire you either for a paid job or business. That’s exactly what preeminent branding is all about.
In general, there is a huge market demand for experts because experts get the job done, no stories. But being an ‘expert’ is a subjective thing. There is no way to measure someone and certify them as an expert or otherwise. You become an expert with indicators of expertise – which for many people is accidental, but for guys like me, it’s a deliberate effort. How to build that brand as an expert is what this article is going to be about.
Why Qualification & Certifications Isn’t Good Enough
Don’t get it twisted at all, certifications never prove that you are an expert. Really?? That’s because the market is crowded with too many certifications. Certifications just demonstrate mere knowledge, but never expertise. People WILL NOT hire you for what you know, they hire you for the results you can bring. I chronicled a similar thought in this article How to Become a Self Made Digital Marketing Expert
Creating more business opportunities in Nigeria has nothing to do with mere certifications. Certificate really is getting outdated. True that!☹
Now Is it OK to Brand and Market Yourself?
I would attest that the idea of marketing yourself may feel a little creepy when starting out. You have to overcome that hesitation. If you are really good at something, it is your responsibility to let the world know about it.
My branding strategy is based on how companies market their brands to their customers. But it is not the marketing that you see around you. Don’t worry! I am not going to tell you to create banner ads for yourself neither will you need to start an advertising campaign!
How To Be Seen As An “Expert” to get more business opportunities in Nigeria
The web definition of an Expert is a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.
It is one thing to be an expert, it another thing to be seen or perceived as an expert. Yup!?
As difficult as it is to become an expert – perhaps as difficult as a lifetime of learning, it is the easy part. Making people see you as an expert is the hardest and most important part. You are never going to become an expert for yourself, are you? not even when you want more business opportunities in Nigeria.
Okay, let’s quickly run through what experts do. This will help us to identify how to be seen as an expert.
- Experts Write: Experts write books. They also publish great informative articles on their blog. Many people read their blog. They post articles on reputed publications, newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
- Experts Speak: Experts speak at seminars, do guest lectures at universities, conferences, and workshops.
- Experts are Thought Leaders: Experts are not just “I-know-a-lot-of-stuff” people. They also have unique ideas, concepts, and theories which they have developed over a period of time. To cut short, they are authorities and thought leaders in their field of work.
- Experts Train: Experts also train other people. They charge a lot for the training. The Experts of experts charge even more.
- Experts Consult: They work as consultants to many businesses and organizations because… well, they are experts!
You see how experts create more business opportunities in Nigeria? If an expert does none of the above, then it would be quite an uphill for us to accept that he/she is an expert. If you are an expert and you have not started any of the things mentioned above, you want to start immediately.
Here’s My Personal Branding Strategy
If I consider the amazing results my branding strategy has yielded in a short space of 2 years, I feel blown away. I’m pretty convinced it’s working and I can only Imagine where I would be if I continue in this pace in the next 10 years – I’m pretty sure I won’t be any far from being a major brand in Africa like I have always wanted.
My personal branding method is tailored for the digital age. Here are the 7 steps involved.
- Documenting my Experiences and Ideas
- Creating a Brand Identity
- Creating Digital & Mass Communication Platforms
- Sticking to a Niche
- Publish EPIC Articles on my Blog
- Write, Speak, Train & Help
- Marketing Myself and Scaling!
Documenting my Experiences and Ideas
The first thing we do in the journey of becoming an expert is to learn. Isn’t that obvious? We learn from books, other people, mentors, seminars, workshops, blogs etc. But if we do not take notes, we will forget most of what we learned.
The primary requirement to become an expert is to learn and take notes. However, do not take notes on a random piece of a notebook. We know what happens to them – it just disappears into thin air, every time! So publish your notes on a blog. You can easily make reference to it when you need it and above all anybody else can have access to it. When they see, they know you are an expert.
You may read also: 7 Awesome Things You’re Losing Because You Aren’t Blogging
Creating a Brand Identity
Every company out there love to keep consistency with colors, logos, names, etc. You easily spot them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even in a Magazine. Can you imagine them using different names or colors on these different platforms? Being easily spot out is directly linked with more business opportunities in Nigeria.
Creating a brand identity is something I hold with high esteem, hence you see Daps involved in anything I do. Daps is not just a cliche it is a Brand.
To get started, create a nickname such as “Daps” different from your original name, get a professional picture, using low quality and different pictures all over the internet is not good for branding. Consistency in name too is key, create a short but also extended pitch for yourself on all platforms, this is also important in brand identity.
Creating Digital & Mass Communication Platforms
Having a blog to me is a blessing. I could have only wished I started earlier. Your digital communication channels will be your primary tool to share your expertise online. The most important and central channel should be your main blog. Dapsdiary.com, Dapsdigital.com, and Dapsbrook.com are where major interaction happens for me. I use every other platform such as social media, podcast, YouTube as a tool to backlink to my blogs.
This may not be the case for everybody, I know people who use Podcast or even YouTube as their primary platform. Regardless create one for yourself. This is crucial to creating more business opportunities in Nigeria.
You may also read: How to be Financially Successful With your Blog
Sticking to a Niche
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times – Bruce Lee
Starting out I had this major challenge. I had loads of interests and sticking to one was a big deal. I love the subject of productivity, entrepreneurship, faith, mastery, and eventually digital marketing when I started with my first blog. It was a major Issue not to write about any of this. So I thought to make dapsdiary a lifestyle blog where I write anything and I figured out I will focus on nothing. I knew that was just the same as being a small fish in a big pond.
I’d rather want to be a big fish in a small pond. That’s the reason I had to create a new blog dapsdigital and also dapsbrook as well. In all, my focus now is on entrepreneurship and digital marketing which goes hand in hand.
Publish EPIC Articles on my Blog
By epic, I mean the articles which are in-depth, well researched and worth linking back to from the interwebs not just some crappy contents we see on blogs in Nigeria. I was initially timid about this on my first blog dapsdiary.com, I wanted to write something not long so that it can easily be read easily, what I did not realize is that such articles cannot become a reference point on the web,
Content is king and can never go out of fashion. It is just a matter of time, good content would be found. Create content that is worthy to be shared and make reference to. This has worked for so many ahead of me, mine will not be an exemption and I can say the same for you as well if only you give it a try.
Write, Speak, Train & Help
Seth Godin – an expert in marketing, writes blog articles, writes books, writes wherever he can, speaks at several events, and he is definitely in demand for training and consultancy. So by reverse engineering the process, you can be perceived as an expert if you write, speak, train and help.
Depending on how good you are in your subject and in marketing yourself, you would get offers for speaking, training and helping people & organizations. Helping involves both consultancy or being a full-time employee.
I try to emulate this model. And so far, I’m making much progress, even though everything inside me tells me I have not yet started.
Again, people fall for this! They always thought it had to be a big thing, the truth is it can be anything. Write, speak or train about anything you’re passionate about. It can be sports, dogs, food, healthy living etc.
Marketing Myself and Scaling
All the methods discussed above so far doesn’t cost much. But once you start generating some income from your branding efforts you can take it to the next level by reinvesting some of the profits.
This is where many get it all wrong, learn to keep your brand as a business. Simple!? Anything you earn is what the brand has earned and not you – learn to just pay yourself a salary and reinvest the rest back into the process of branding yourself more and becoming more visible to those that really need you and your expertise.
Personal branding is so crucial to creating more business opportunities in Nigeria. Again the level of unemployment is alarming. Nigeria is a consuming nation and we consume everything: both goods, services, information, knowledge and so many more. Stop waiting for that dream job or business, start creating it. It just makes sense.?
If you start working on developing a celebrity status by just being everywhere online when it comes to your niche, people will start to see you as someone that can solve their problems. What that means is “more deals”
I hope you find this article useful, if you, then be kind to pass it on by using the social media icons to others who can also benefit from it.
You’ve got questions? then use the comment section below or leave me a mail at [email protected]
All the best.