For seven years working with a Ghanaian television station as a journalist, I realized all was not rosy but achievable.
However, I quickly found the loopholes and move swiftly to plug them when I got there.
Indeed, business was challenging and therefore no one had the time to make amends. I also noticed that people did not take much risk in their story telling. That was my unique selling point.
While there, I won many awards and lots of opportunities including being nominated by the US Embassy to represent Ghana under the International Visitors Leadership Programm (IVLP) programme.
#1. Don’t look for the easy way out, but solve the difficult problems that will give you a unique brand proposition not only in the company as an employee but as an entrepreneur.
#2. Run your role as though you owned the business.
One day I almost drowned when undertaking a feature article, following a teacher who walks 12 hours to teach. He crosses two rivers, so following him without being a swimmer I nearly drowned in the river. Fortunately I was saved. In returning to the workplace the Group CEO and Board Chair gave me a gift of GH¢7,000 at that time for being bold to undertake such project despite the risk; that money paid my rent. The story is still being talked about today. Can you imagine I did the story as if I owned the company?
#3. Be willing to do more than your JD says.
Your job description says marketing executive for a content company. But can you learn editing videos or filming in addition? So that you can tell your clients what more you could do for them apart from just selling products. That way, you can make additional sales and differentiate you from your peers.
In this context of personal branding, I will say personal branding is how you distinguish yourself from others in either a company, industry or society by creating value. You are not a brand if you are not creating value; remember is about impact.
Journalists, footballers and celebrities move in their numbers because they are brand, companies are willing to poaching for brand activation because of their followers.
#4 Be consistent:
Whatever you are doing in the company, you must be consistent. Throughout my 20 years of journalism, my brand is brave, innovation and crazy. I remember Dr. Ishmael Yamson, Board Chair of more than 20 companies in Ghana described me as the “crazy journalist”. It did not happen within a ‘twinkle of an eye’. I went where even men will not go and took risks others will not take. Your brand message must align with your values and strategy over a period.
My husband one day said: because you have showed so much bravery and strength as a brand, it’s difficult for me to accept sometimes when you say you are tired. I was like wow, is that how people see “brand Odelia”? I am a manager now at the Multimedia Group and do not get the time to go on the field as much. I constantly get people to say we want you back; this was because I served my audience compelling stories, they wish I will be on their screens every day.
My research from a blog post from INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, helps you in the following six ways to build your personal brand by asking you some questions. So go ahead, pick a book and provide the answers, it could be the beginning of your personal branding journey.
1. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
2. What problem are you solving? What’s the benefit?
3. What’s the emotional value you provide?
4. What are your core values?
5. What’s the essence of your brand? What’s the core idea you’re trying to communicate?
6. What are your personal mission and vision?
I remember as a reporter and a voice over artists I did not voice stories whose quality I felt did not represent my brand. It felt like arrogance but the reality is that people did not know that stories I aired with my voice was not my story.
Joy Business changed its tagline from “empowering” to “empowering prospering together” every time we used the logo. The CEO will insist “we evolved and we must use the new tag line’”. Walmart and Mozilla are some few companies that provide a guide as to how to use their logo. They need us to consistently see a particular logo and nothing else.
This attention to detail about your brand will make you standout. Like me my colleagues knew I will not condone a substandard news report. It’s about excellence! excellence! and excellence!
To be continued…..
Written by Odelia Ntiamoah
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