10 June 2010 33 Comments

Personal Branding: stop going solo

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

lonelyMany have asked me why I always say that networking will be the rule of the game now. A guy actually said ‘if I have done my part do I need anyone to validate my effort?’ While I quite understand that we cannot substitute hard work for anything, it is also a known fact that there are several ‘hardworkers’ who have not gained any noted ground in their fields. Hardwork alone cannot guarantee success again. There are lots of other ingredients that come to play for individual to make headway.

When you programme your personal branding journey on a   ‘solo frequency’ it will suffer unnecessary hardship. Never forget the African adage that says ‘because snakes do not move in group make it easy for a man to kill them’. No matter how powerful your brand is, it will always be considered as fuzzy, proud and irrelevant when you go solo.

Integration will bring a lot of coverage to the brand when many are talking about it. Come to think about it what is the strength an individual can pull when every effort is concentrated on building a skyscraper by a single hand? How long will it take such an individual? But ensuring you incorporate others will help achieve the goal faster. But a point to note here is that individual must have something of value before it can gain wider acceptance. So what factors will ensure you get necessary attention and positive words of mouth.

Understand your territory: You want to get necessary attention and influence your community? The first step is to understand the terrain you want to operate. This begins with the ability to understand the language your niche speaks. Even if you speak great English but you operate within a French speaking environment, you will still be termed as an illiterate and no one will propagate your thoughts nor follow you

Network: Do not be far from your industry’s event or be afraid to meet up with top leaders in the industry. Do not be afraid to offer them any help your skill can push. Remember, everyone will appreciate helping hands. When you do that consistently, you will get noticed and be recommended for better positions.

Be involved in niche dialogue: being part of a good community and being visible is important. What there is a current issue; ensure you always express your view. Make an intelligent contribution instead of just being part of the conversation. That will enhance your profile.

Guard your tongue and your fingers: Always remember that as huge as a ship is, it is only a small rudder that controls it with the help of a captain. Never assume you know it all. Do not send wrong signals about your brand by using your tongue anyhow. If I must add, your fingers are important now in this age of internet. Watch what you write or post as it has likely influence on whether you will become solo or enjoy all the comradeship


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