Building your personal online brand in Nigeria has proven to be a good advantage that leads to success for you as an individual and for your business. My friends giggle when I tell them how grateful I am to God for giving us Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Jerry Yang and David Filo over the likes of most past and present Nigerian business leaders.
Coming across this statement may sound unpatriotic if you do not know my story. But the truth be told, these innovators I listed above have been more relevant to my career and that of every other online entrepreneurs in Nigeria than any of our past and present leaders could be. The 69 percent of businesses in the U.S. postulated from statistics to have begun at home and the entire 59 percent of businesses that are completely home-based wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of these innovators who are helping individuals build their brands online.
By sticking to their passions, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos have empowered so many Nigerians to make their living online from the comfort of their homes. Today, online entrepreneurs in Nigeria are using Facebook, Blogger owned by Google, and Amazon to either create awareness for their brands or sell products directly to their customers.
These notwithstanding, most Nigerians do not see reasons why it is pertinent that they build their online brand. It is surprising that most million-dollar businesses in Nigeria do not have online presence. What an awesome opportunity we have here for our unemployed youths who are savvy with digital marketing to explore.
Brand the Personal Product Called “You”
One of the most amazing ways to build a business from scratch with zero capital is to first begin by seeing yourself as a product that needs to be branded, packaged and promoted. By branding the product called “You,” you initiate a particular experience. This experience is what makes customers to keep returning.
In building your online brand, you must first build your unique value proposition. These unique value propositions are the things that should form your core philosophies for coming online.
You must ask yourself this question, “What do I intend to achieve by being online?”
Are you here to get a bed mate, a spouse, a business partner and sponsor, generate leads, and seek tech help or to assist others to live their dreams?
Why exactly are you online?
Are you here because all your friends are using Google, they all own a blog, they are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Twoo etc, and you wouldn’t want to be left out?
While I leave you to answer those questions, let me quickly tell you that failure to get them straight means you are wasting your data (megabytes and gigabytes), money, energy, time and life on things that do not have corresponding positive influence to your financial growth.
Strategies for Building Online Brand
Before I share with us reasons why it is important that you build your online brand, let me quickly give you strategies that can help you build your online brand. They include:
- Discovering your passion and making it your vocation, occupation and preoccupation.
- Optimising your online offices (on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc) by making them look professional.
- Building your self-hosted blog.
- Giving yourself a unique title for which you would want to be known for (like Thought Leader, Financial Fitness Expert, Lead Coach etc.)
- Learning to make friends online with ease.
Why You Need to Build a Strong Personal Online Brand in Nigeria
Having laid the foundation for this teaching, let us now discuss five simple reasons why building your online brand will be one of your wisest decisions this year.
1. Building Your Online Brand is Cheaper
What it will take you to be on your local television and radio stations four times a month is enough to launch a professional blog, craft an online course and build professionally optimised social media accounts.
For every category or platform of online presence you want to build, there is always a way you can factor it into your budget. Money is no excuse for refusing to build your online brand. With as much as a hundred naira megabyte every week, in one month you can build a formidable online brand that can get you a speaking gig or freelancing job.
I began teaching others ways they could make money from their blogs without depending on Google AdSense when I was still using a free-hosted blog.
2. Makes You Technology-Friendly
On daily basis, young and vibrant minds are developing apps to make our work easier. Recently the news was everywhere that the US car-hailing company, Uber has joined the race for driverless car technology.
Being online informs us of what is new in the world of technology, shows us how it works and also teaches us how to profit from them.
For those of us who profit by being online, we believe that there’s an app, and they could be an app for everything. Regrettably, those who trivialize this must surely be fired by technology. Today, with sensor attached to the entrance door of your hotels and restaurants, one would have no need of security personnel at the entrance doors.
3. Helps you generate traffic faster
It is one thing to be talented; it is another thing to have a platform where your talent can find expression. I have discovered that anointing without a platform breeds frustration.
In a bid to get over this challenge, many talented people seem to be forcing themselves on people who don’t care about what they carry just because they want to be at the point where the traffic flows. Most times you will see them quarrel over who’s suppose to speak at the next conference and who’s not suppose to speak. People are seeking for already made traffic. Just few have stepped out to generate the traffic.
Like politicians in Nigeria, everyone want their share of the national cake, none cares how the cake is baked.
A built-up online brand can generate as much as 1 million unique visitors on daily basis, something you must work for at least 10 years to get offline. Good enough, if you have a quality and valuable product to sell, with a great sales copy and proof of delivery, you can get sales from 10% of your unique visitors.
Do the mathematics: assuming you have a product you place for sale at N1,000 and 10% of 1 million people buys it daily, how much will you make in 30 days?
That’s cool, right? I’m working on such product myself, and when it will be out, you will surely know.
4. it’s an opportunity to connect with potential clients
Individuals’ core philosophy for coming online differs. Just like they are men who go online to find girls they can deceive into sleeping with them, or the other way round where girls go online seeking for men they can lure into having extramarital affair with them, they are also those who come online to seek for premium help. These people seeking for premium help are those who are willing to cross several borders just to connect with the solution they are seeking for. Guess what? As much as you can deliver what you promised, they are ready to pay.
However, no matter how eager these guys are to pay, you can’t get a dime of what they are ready to pay if you are operating a quasi online brand. You must build a strong online brand.
When it comes to doing business online, it goes beyond having a good product and a fantastic sales copy. It goes beyond the things you promise to do – it boils down to how they perceive you. Controlling how online customers perceive demands the service of a professional. People who don’t discover this secret will never get to close any deal online.
They are billions of people who will never know you exist until you go online.
5. it’s an Opportunity to build a business alongside
The bottom line of everything we do online, whether we are writing articles, sharing pictures and videos, selling eBooks, marketing audios and managing accounts for celebrities is, “How much does it make for you?”
It is as simple as that. If it does not generate income for you and does not have the capacity to generate income for you in future, there is no point dissipating energy on it. Beyond making you a celebrity, building an online brand helps you build a business alongside. Who would have known Ayodeji Adewunmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude, Japheth Omojuwa, Oluwaseun Osewa, Linda Ikeji, Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Kofi Afaedor if they hadn’t built their online brands through their websites and blogs?
In this 21st Century, I have discovered that the best way to start a business is to begin online. God help me, if they hadn’t been anything like “The internet,” I would have been one of those unemployed graduates roaming the streets. But God through the internet has today empowered me to build my brand, develop online training programs, author books and become a freelancer who works from home. It will interest you to know that brands built online have the globe as its marketplace. Using the right tools, you can reach as many nations as possible without restrictions.
As you read this article today, I want you to ponder over it and ask yourself, “How much does the time I spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks help me generate per day, per week and per month?” If you aren’t making a dime from such engagements or the amount you are making is not worth the time, then you will need to read this article again and again, take notes and implement the strategies you learnt.
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