Branding for Creatives 101: How it went down

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Regina Re is a phenomenally talented woman. She is a vocalist, a thespian, a host, a performer but most importantly; an effective communicator. At the Branding for Creatives event, she engaged us as much as she taught us. Her message hit home and let us craving for more.

She began by giving us three rules; to be open to learning, not to judge and to receive criticism positively. We soon realized that the rules indeed came in handy as we sat to unexpectedly reflect on our lives visa vie the kind of brand we wanted to build.

The first thing to know about branding is that it is not a preserve of the select few but rather something we all have. At all times, we are communicating something about us by what we do, how we dress and through our reactions. Personal branding is thus the act of being deliberate about what you put out there. A personal brand is the sum total of who you are until now. Because of this, it is important to note that whether your brand is working on not, you still have it.

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A brand stimulates a specific meaningful precise perception. Yet perception creates 98% reality in an audience about the values and qualities a person stands for. Regina helped us ask ourselves what kind of perception we were stimulating to our audience with real examples from how we have introduced ourselves, what we had worn and habits we had publicly displayed (like lateness). How people view you, whether it is true or not, is branding.

Your personal brand affects you in more ways than you know. It will determine if you will be taken for that job, your salary negotiation if your juniors will respect you and how much you get paid. It is thus not enough to have the creative skills but be interested in how you are perceived. Take responsibility for what others say about you. Recognize you are brand and operate it by design.

We were also cautioned on the ‘Woiyee’ syndrome, which is a habit of focusing on the limitations in our circumstances, and just how as creatives, it is easy to slip into that hole. But that should not be so, we should take responsibility for our lack of success and do something about it. Begin by positive self-talk, living unapologetically and surrounding yourself with the right people.

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To keep us going, Regina shared a guide to doing a personal brand self-assessment which you may read here.

We were also taught on how to work on an elevator speech. Just like an elevator, this speech is fast, takes you up and there is value to using it compared to using a flight of stairs to get to a top floor. Your speech should also always be able to answer someone’s need (this is called closing). Give people a reason to be interested.

In closing, it was clear that an effective brand came by choice and not by chance. Regina Re has built the expertise and experience to offer one on one coaching services on this. Anyone interested can reach her through the email regina-re@executiveadvantage.co.ke or call her on +254722 563 432.

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