Creation: Four steps to building a powerhouse personal brand
by Artwell Nwaila (@artwelln) We creatives have different targets when it comes to success, compared to the rest of the corporate world. We don’t care much for the top-floor corner office, nor do we care about the CEO position. What we do care about is recognition for our skills, and generating a good income from the respect that we reap. This may only be achieved through a convincing personal brand, so here are a few points that will help you with your polishing.
1. Be where it’s at
We are fortunate to be living in times where the internet gives us access an unimaginable amount of information. I try my hardest to find the most relevant events to attend for networking. While I enjoy networking almost as much as I enjoy watching reruns of Days of Our Lives (I’m being sarcastic here), as painful as it is, networking has allowed my brand to reach many influential people. This, in turn, has opened many doors for me.
2. Manage what gets seen online
In the past, your personal brand was carried by word of mouth; today, a big chunk of your personal brand is sold on the internet. The first point of connection between you and a potential client is sometimes via a Google Search. Through careful crafting, you can control what pops up in search results. This may be achieved by controlling what you post on social media and….
3. Becoming a content creator
Selecting a topic and writing about it on several blogs [or, ahem, news sites — ed-at-large] will start to identify you as a thought-leader in that space. The more you write, the more your brand is visible on Google. My strategy was to launch SA Creatives, which has grown to be an award-winning platform. My brand value has since grown, which has allowed me to share my knowledge on platforms such as MarkLives. Jerrr but am I a kleva!
4. Share skills
As with the above point, it is important to be seen to excel in a particular topic. It’s very common to find events that encourage people to share their skills with professionals and younger up-and-comers. This may sound like common sense but you need to make sure you know your stuff. I’ve been to a skills=sharing session where the facilitator was as clueless as Paris Hilton in a library. I regularly keep on top of my selected field by always reading. I then share my skill through part-time lectures at a leading tertiary institution.
Once you have mastered the above four points you will need to ensure you maintain a clean brand. Don’t slip by losing trust, respect or credibility. Success is sure to follow — trust me, I know — I’m a kleva!
Artwell Nwaila (@artwelln) is a creative director in the wonderful world of TV, as well as founder and publisher of the award-winning SA Creatives (@thesacreatives), a network intended to help creatives move their professional lives forward through showcases, news and a freelancer directory. His monthly column on MarkLives, “Creation”, is a humorous take on life in the creative world, seasoned with experience-based practical advice.