Today, I spoke to Yinka Olaito, Yinka is a personal branding & social media expert. He helps individuals, organizations to maximize values in their brands/ideas through adequate positioning of their brands to the target audience that can pay premium. Also, he functions as public relations consultant, columnist and writer, trainer & public speaker.
Mohammed: Unemployed people are changing their job titles many times because of the crisis, how will that impact their personal brand? And how can they use any career experience for the strength of their brands?
Yinka: Let us look at this from a three sixty degree view. First, my take is ‘inconsistent robs individual of any value’. We must remember the fact that differentiation aids strong memory and perception. When an individual begins to accept everything that is thrown at him/her, the brand equity may start diminishing gradually. Initially it may appear that no harm is being done but over time, it will become obvious that one has no solid hold on a particular field. More also, taking any job that will not aid the use of personal skills, expertise will strongly expose personal brand inefficiency, weakness. A smart individual should always play the game from his/her strongest point. I as an individual will want to believe also that the effect of inconsistency in job description may not be well pronounced on a college graduate who may not be well known as much as someone who has been into personal branding journey for a long time. That makes situational analysis important in this regard.
Having said this, I believe that job titles sometimes do not necessarily describe a brand personality. For instance Dan Schawbel’s job title at EMC has a social media role meanwhile he is recognized as a personal branding expert not a social media guru. If the job title can aid the discovery of hidden talents, skills as well as make an individual relevant to the niche community he belongs to, why not? Another point of view here is that there is nothing that is totally bad. If due to recession, bad economy and needs to remain afloat, pay bills some are already involved, my counsel is to look for a story out of the experience to project a brand personality that is still impactful. Also, let us not forget that why keeping the job, one can still continue to be relevant online through a strategic personal branding building online.
Mohammed: I started to hear some people blaming personal branding experts as they promote “Don’t” more than “Do” making by that social media a prison. How do you describe personal branding to these people and why we are seeing a lot of contradictions?
Yinka: For this set of people my take is that every opportunity has an attachment called responsibility. For instance we are all given a chance to live life to the fullest. As much as we have this right, we all have to take personal responsibility to live our lives in a certain way that will make the life we have to make meaning. We must avoid staying on the express way in order not to get crushed by a car on the fast line. We must also take responsibility of not eating poison among many other responsibilities. Let us note also that personal branding must clearly impact a certain community. To impact anyone, we must learn to respect their times, values, spaces etc.
Now if one wants to impact positively any community but do not want to go by the rules, one may eventually lose credibility, relevance. This is the essence of the ‘Donts’. You can not eat your cake and have it. Choice has to come in. If one cannot live by required, basic relationship rules of the society/niche I guess there is no need to desire the world to revolve around personal goal of wanting to ‘live as I like without giving a damn’. For me personal branding is opportunity to impact, bring necessary improvement on the lives of the niche. This is carries huge responsibility.
Mohammed: Are we going to rate people reputation ONLY based on their online history? How can we keep positive image while being ourselves and not hiding the human side?
Yinka: The internet is giving us opportunity to meet people we may not have met in life. Through people activities on the net, we form an impression of who they are. This may add to their reputation or reduce them. So the internet helps us to form an impression of who they are. That is reputation as far as I am concerned. Individual must work add to build trust. For me trust is far deeper than reputation. We must note that no great relationship has being built on reputation alone. Reputation carries us as far as acquaintance level. To sustain a long lasting relationship, trust must come in. This shows in personal attitudes, values, ethics etc. Keeping positive image while being ourselves require that we place value on ourselves, learn to play the game right and respect for others. We can still be ourselves while doing these. We must remember life (personal branding) is an opportunity with responsibility attached.
Brand Word: No matter how crowded the market place is, your unique voice can still be heard.
Spotlight: Yinka Olaito uniqueness is in developing engaging strategy that gives individual, corporate organization unfair, competitive advantage that takes profitability to higher level.