Before I switched to talking about and teaching people how to create online businesses, personal branding was kind of my forte.
I really enjoyed teaching people how to build both their personal and business brands.
I realized that a strong personal brand is what differentiated the individuals who are making money and making waves from the wannabe influencers.
I don’t say this to shade anybody, but a lot of so-called influencers have only been made popular by Instagram and Instagram bloggers.
Take that away from them and they are but a shadow.
Anyway, in all my teachings on branding, so many things have been said, most of them the same things.
Talking about having a consistent voice on social media, using consistent brand colours and fonts, having a logo, a photography style, and so on.
All of these things are really important, but at the same time, they have become cliches.
Of course, everyone knows how important it is to be consistent with their designs, their messaging, and even their names on social media.
But, there are a few unpopular personal branding tips that many people do not know.
Okay, so I have been able to retain consistency with my visuals, here, take a look at my designs on social media.
My YouTube thumbnails 👇🏼
My Pinterest pins 👇🏼
My Instagram content 👇🏼
And I have also been able to maintain a consistent voice in my videos on YouTube.
What else is there? I am not the only one that is deliberate about all these things, many people are.
You are too because I bet you wouldn’t open up this blog post if you were not longing for unpopular personal branding tips that can elevate you.
What will make you different are the few things I’m going to be sharing next, some unpopular personal branding tips.
Before we get into that, I’m inviting you to join my substack, it is absolutely free.
What are these unpopular personal branding tips that will elevate you quickly?
1. Focus on Long-Term Brand Success
Many people are looking to make their first buck on social media and then become instant successes.
While this is a good thing to aspire to, it’s not the best thing to do.
I have a couple of friends who are YouTubers, and all they are waiting for is to get monetized and instantly start living off the money from YouTube.
I hope they do not become shocked when they realize that YouTube monetization is dynamic, it depends on so many things.
The ads that are placed in your videos are dependent on so many factors, like your niche, your content type, the season that we are and so on.
And depending on those same factors, your earnings may be in peanuts.
But enough of YouTube. The point here is that if you want to build a great personal brand both on and off social media, you need not focus on short-term goals.
Instead, focus on building relationships with your audience, your clients, and people in general.
Build trust, and build a good reputation by constantly showing up to share value, and being genuinely concerned about people.
Whenever you are asked to work on something, don’t immediately start thinking of how much money you can make from it.
Reverend Sam Adeyemi, a credible Nigerian pastor said in one of his messages, and I’m paraphrasing, he said when someone asks you to do something, money or payment should be the last thing to talk about.
When people see that you are willing to give them value in exchange for nothing, they’ll begin to feel that you genuinely care about them.
Many people don’t succeed in business because they focus only on money goals, but if you focus first on giving value, money will naturally find its way to you.
My own YouTube goal is to build a platform where people can go to receive value for free and then desire more of that value that they then pay me to teach.
So prioritize your brand over short-term sales because it will bring you more respect, admiration, and wealth in the long run.
2. Use Your Authentic Voice
This point can easily be translated to mean ‘Be your authentic self’ but I’m using the term above because of a story a friend told me.
My friend works in a radio station and she is also a voice-over artist.
She told me a story about how one of her colleagues lost a million naira voice-over gig because she was unoriginal.
According to her, this friend of hers grew up in the western part of Lagos, and if you know Nigerians, you’d know that our accents are very strong, so much so that they can be heard in our English language.
Now, her friend decided that she wasn’t going to let anything stop her, not even her accent, and she started to speak in a different accent.
If you know anything about voice-overs, you’d know that you have to be original in the way you speak, your pronunciations must be correct at all times.
My friend narrated that at the radio station where they worked, she had been told many times to focus on pronunciations rather than accents, but she didn’t listen.
So when she got the voice-over gig, she sent over her sample audios and she was turned down.
The rejection email simply raid “We need originality, thanks for trying”
Look, it’s hard to be consistent with who you are, not to talk of trying to be someone else.
If you want to build a great personal brand, you need to be your authentic self.
Also, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts.
Many people are scared of putting up their opinions online because of attacks.
Twitter is particularly a place where people are ready to eat you up just because they don’t agree with your opinions and as a result of that, so many people talk a lot of nonsense.
But a great and unpopular personal branding tip is to be unafraid of putting your thoughts out there.
For example, last year, a celebrity couple got married, and these are very popular Nigerian actors.
The wedding was all glitz and glam and social media had no rest.
After the wedding, pictures continued to fly around for weeks that I began to wonder.
Exactly 6 months after the wedding, the couples treated themselves to a flamboyant trip to Dubai, and once again, pictures.
Bloggers took it upon themselves to share pictures from the 6 months wedding anniversary of the couples.
I was shocked, in case you didn’t know, Nigerian celebrities’ marriages don’t last, 2 years is the maximum.
So I went to Twitter to talk about how celebrating their 6 months wedding anniversary and sharing photos all over social media was a wrong move.
And behold, people came for me.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Nothing grows in the comfort zone.
I have always planned to go live on Instagram for years now, but just thinking about it makes me cringe.
I’m a video creator, a YouTuber for that matter, but somehow, going live just gives me the jitters.
My first fear is what if nobody joins? I’ll literally pack my load and relocate from Instagram. LOL.
I also have this fear that I may forget what I’m about to say, and my uhmms and errmss won’t sound really nice.
Another fear that I have, which really is a limiting belief, is the thought that what do I really know that I want to share? And what will people say when they listen to my nonsense?
So because of all of these, I decided to stick to creating videos for YouTube where I can edit any part out and use a script.
Here’s a vlog I made for my YouTube channel, carefully edited 👇🏼
Now, that’s a comfort zone, and I really need to move out of it in 2023.
So what comfort zone are you in currently that is not making you scale your personal brand?
Do you also fear going live on Instagram? Let’s challenge ourselves to get out of it.
Let’s promise to do one live video once every month, when we start to gather our confidence, we can increase it to twice a month, and so on.
Who cares if no one shows up? Actually, we can make a deal with our friends to join us (like I did when I went live last year with a friend).
Imagine if we showed up live regularly, we’ll be able to build the know, like, and trust factor and uplevel our personal brand.
Whatever comfort zone you are currently in, create a plan to get out of it because nothing ever grows there.
4. Become an Expert in Your Field
This may not sound like an unpopular personal branding tip, but trust me, many people are failing at it.
If you want to build your personal brand, you need to be the go-to person in your field wherever you are.
So no, it’s not about calling yourself an expert. I know you want to own your expertise, but that’s not how you do it.
Becoming an expert in your field consists of 3 things.
The first thing is to choose one thing you want to be known for. Start by taking a look at yourself and find out what you love to do so much.
What do you like to talk about or read about or listen to? What do you know very well more than other people? And what do people ask you for help on?
Once you have done that, go to point number 2. Start learning all that you can about that thing.
When I realized that I loved to do social media, I first went to take a crash course on Digital Marketing.
Like the name of the course, everything crashed into each other.
We learned social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, etc. in the space of 4 days.
After the class, I took my material and started to study them one after the other, I read articles on Google, I read on Pinterest, and I also practiced it myself.
The third point is to begin to share what you have learned and share your experience from doing them.
When I started to use the things I learned about social media for myself, I was able to talk about my experience.
And when I started to get clients, it was easy for me to teach what I had practiced.
And now, I get referrals from people who know me as ‘the social media girl’ in Church and in my other communities.
If you want to be the go-to person in your field, you must identify your core offering, become knowledgeable about that offering and offer value to people.
Here are a few books I recommend to you
5. Share Stories/Use Storytelling
I think I have shared about 4 to 5 stories in this blog post so far, and without asking, I know you can resonate with some of them.
People relate to stories very well because they are how we share information about our lives and it makes the information memorable.
Stories let us share information in a way that creates an emotional connection and because of that, we can gain a deeper understanding of other people’s experiences.
Stories help us to share with others our failures, our fears, and our weaknesses.
For instance, I’ve just told you about my fear of going live on Instagram in a storified way and you can relate to it because of the emotional connection.
Story changes minds and wins hearts so use it to win the hearts of your audience, and share your story with them.
Early last year, a friend of mine reached out to me to ask for my social media rates.
He then asked me to come take a meeting with his boss the following day.
The meeting was slated for 10 am and I got there at exactly 9:30 am. His boss didn’t come on time, so he pleaded with me to be patient.
At 11:35, his boos came in and they all started their management meeting, so I had to wait again.
I sent my friend a message telling him about my growing impatience.
When it was 12:35, I got up to leave, as I walked past their meeting room to get outside, my friend ran after me and pleaded with me that his boss would see me now.
I guess they thought I was looking for paid employment because the way and manner the boss and the staff spoke to me were degrading.
I turned down their offer to pay me peanuts for social media management and I walked out.
Anyway, I tweeted about the event and posted it on Instagram and people really engaged with it.
I was able to tell a story with my experience and got people’s reactions.
Stories connect us, always tell yours.
6. You Need to Spend Money
The truth is that you don’t need money to start focusing on building a solid personal brand.
In fact, all these unpopular personal branding tips that I’ve shared with you do not require money.
You can take free courses online, Google won’t charge you anything to share valuable articles with you.
Social media is absolutely free for your use.
But here’s the thing, you’ll get to a certain stage where you would need to start paying for online courses, paying for certain subscriptions, and so on, to scale your personal brand.
Instagram will soon be rolling out its meta-verified feature where you’ll have to pay a sum of $12 dollars to access some features and reach more people.
Twitter is already charging $8 for verification, and we all know what that verification can do for your personal brand.
You need money, you need to invest financially into your personal brand.
There are tools that will help you create content, onboard clients, advertise, and so on. These tools don’t come cheap.
There are events, training, and seminars that you need to attend that will cost a lot of money.
Getting a business coach or a personal branding coach will also cost you money, and if you want to go far, you need these people.
When you finally have a mentor, you’ll need to pay for your mentor’s courses, access their paid events, and so on and so forth.
You need money.
My advice for you is to have something you’re doing that brings you money on the side, whether that’s a side hustle or even full-time employment.
7. Keep Your Promises/Be a Person of Integrity
It is really easy to be a dishonest person because of our ever-growing virtual world.
We have heard stories of vendors closing down their Instagram stores after receiving payment for goods.
We have also heard diverse stories of people who are not who they claim to be online.
One thing matters really well, you must be a person of integrity.
If you want to build a personal brand that creates wonderful opportunities for you, you must keep your promises.
Recently, I created a website for a client whom I met on social media, after we spoke, without asking for samples of my work, he sent me an initial payment for the work.
Immediately after I received the payment, I got to work.
At one point, I couldn’t reply to his messages because I was super busy, but I made sure that I carried on working on his project.
And when I was able to respond to his messages, I apologized.
For me, it’s much more than making money, it’s about building a very credible brand.
It’s long-term for me, it’s not about the peanuts, so I am very deliberate about everything I do.
That’s all on some of the unpopular personal branding tips I have for you.
I hope I have been able to do justice to this topic.
These unpopular personal branding tips will help you scale your personal brand.
The final thing I want to add is to focus on your physical appearance as well.
Back when I was taking JAMB lessons in 2009, a man came into our class to teach us how to become a millionaire.
He had patched trousers on with a really bad slipper, his appearance alone told us to beware.
You don’t have to break the bank to buy the most expensive clothes, you just have to dress appropriately.
I’d really love to know your thoughts, put them in the comment section down below.