Personal branding has over the years become one of the most important influencing factor towards the sustainability of certain business. The stride achieved by entrepreneurs in building personal brands for themselves is highly important to the success of today modern business. Example of entrepreneurs that have succeeded in building a personal brand for themselves in Africa include Tony Elumelu (Nigeria), Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Ethiopia), Jason Njoku (Nigerian), Patrick Ngowi (Tanzania), Aliko Dangote (Nigeria), Adii Pienaar (South Africa), Mark Essien (Nigeria) and Fred Deegbe (Ghana)
It is quite human to always want to build successful business from the scratch, nothing should stop you but on the contrary, building a personal brand for yourself would help you easily reach your potential whilst building a sustainable business in that process. A lot of entrepreneurs have been able to achieve this in a very short while and this has highly impacted on the success of their ventures. Often times, after building a personal brand for yourself it gets equal as that of the company you are promoting.
One of the most successful personal brand out of Africa is Tony Elumelu. Fondly regarded as a visionary entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Tony is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). In 2011, New African magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa, he was later recognized as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine.
Merit Of Building a Personal Brand For yourself
Developing an Alternate Plan:
If things don’t go as planned, you remain. This is sometimes classified as the alternative to what you can achieve if you don’t break through with your current endeavor.
The chance of failure is very high in this current economy that if your business fails, you can still move on to do greater things in life.
Sometimes having your name behind a company alone speak volumes to every other investors thereby reducing the chance of failure. When Heirs Holding bought a controlling interest in Transcorp PLC it was a new dawn for the business. Investors expectation was high and the stock immediately rallied at an all time high. Transcorp PLC which has interests in hotels, agriculture, oil and gas is quoted in the Conglomerate sub-sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and has become the toast of investors in the market rallying to a 28-month high after the close of trading on the investment day.
Strong Network Of Contacts;
As you proceed into building a personal brand you also make new contacts along the way, your journey into this would allow you meet people that share the same idea, vision and want to help you achieve your mission in life. Currently you have family members which you really do not have control over, they serve as the first foundation towards your brand and network of contacts, friends would help you and the most referenced are your potential clients, partners, customer and employees. Networking has also moved online via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook e.t.c. The larger your network the easier you would achieve anything you set out to achieve through people. Entrepreneurs subscribed to the TEEP platform, the philanthropy body of Heirs holding has had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in his network many of which include international business experts, presidents, governors, artistes, footballers and movie celebrities. This would never had happened if Tony had not built a strong network of contact across all sectors in Africa and the Global Economy.
Lets assume you are building a fashion brand from the scratch, your Instagram , Facebook and Snapchat account would be the first point of contact from where people would actually experience your person and understand the kind of venture you are trying to build. When Tony Elumelu was in Standard Trust Bank he was widely known but when he led a major acquisition of UBA group in a merger that shocked the whole continent his personal branding moved to another level. STB as at then was widely seen as a technologically advanced bank and the 5th largest bank in Nigeria but with a little war-chest and asset base compared to UBA group, a bank that has remained in the Nigerian financial sector for years. That merger alone helped propel him into a force to recon with in Africa and gradually he grew into one of the most influential business figure in the whole continent.
Sales and Marketing tool
Personal branding is a very astonishing marketing tool.People only want to trust humans than corporations, in a world where corporations are hardly liable, having a human face to any company make people easily trust such organization. Research has it that founders led company always out perform its peers in the same industry because the vision is well articulated and properly managed. In Africa example of such include Dangote group led by Aliko Dangote himself, Forte Oil by Femi Otedola and House of Tara led by Tara Durotoye. With a good understanding of your followers and their segmentation you can always tailor your contents to address specific needs relating to your business.
Role Model & Influence:
Along the lines of building a personal brand for yourself you would have to be very cautious of the things you do.Building of personal brand has help entrepreneurs become a better person to the usefulness of the society at large. If you fail your followers your brand would also suffer in that process. Today, Tony Elumelu is adduced as a strong influence and a role model in the society, he has also grown his followers in large numbers across different platform and in person.
Do it Like Tony, that is our sincere advice to every entrepreneurs out there. Make use of every opportunity to create influence
Growing Your Personal Brand From Scratch
Be yourself and always exhibit originality no matter where you are and in whatever situation you find yourself in. Dress well as that would indicate how you would be addressed, be charismatic, continually improve yourself in your field and be outspoken when the needs arise for the benefit of the society you belong, write thought leadership articles, participate in interviews and build your online presence across different platform.