Ask Kirubi: What’s your personal brand?

January 21, 2016

, For many years now, I have met many businessmen and entrepreneurs. Some want to do business and others want to waste your time and money. The latter most times don’t do it deliberately but due to disorganization and lack of having a personal brand, they find themselves in that position. It’s important to make sure that you are always prepared because you do not know who you will meet, when you will meet and where you will meet.

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When you meet someone for the very first time, they assess you or size you up within the first few seconds. But what exactly are they assessing?

Your character, skills, experience etc. Basically they are asking themselves, if they can trust you and respect you? These two factors are important because you cannot conduct business with someone you do not trust or value.

While it is not easy to earn my trust in the first few seconds you can tell me about yourself and what you have done to give me an idea of who I am dealing with.

Tell me about yourself and what you have done. What roles and responsibilities have been entrusted to you? I need to be able to know that you deserve my trust after which I can assess your competence. Your skills, talents and experience will make you earn my respect and possibly create an opportunity to work together.

Most people believe that competence is the most important factor because they want to prove that they are smart and are an expert in their field. However, I will only evaluate your competency once trust is established. If I cannot trust you, no skill, talent or amount of money will make me want to do business with you.

This also plays a big role in employment. Take for example two interns in a company. Both are really trying to work hard and look smart so that they can land the job. However, one of them goes out of his way to ask others for assistance, extra work and basically gets to know those he is working with. He establishes a relationship with them. Now, who do you think will get confirmed?

You cannot work alone nor do business alone. While your skills will get you far, establishing trust and building relationships with people will get you even further. These relationships provide a gateway for additional skills, opportunities and overall, increase your expertise.

All in all, trust and competency add value to your personal brand. They both go hand in hand and are important when it comes to business. Your personal brand opens doors because people get to know who you are and what you represent. Most people don’t take time to build their personal brands; don’t be among them. Whether you are employed or self-employed, creating a personal brand makes a huge difference. It is the only thing you can own with pride.

To prosper soundly in business, you must satisfy not only your customers but you must lay yourself out to satisfy those who make your product, those who sell it and those who have invested in it. For them to be able to do that they must trust you and your brand.

Let your word be your bond. Only then will you be able to create a brand; a product of value.

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