Building a Personal Brand: Tools, Examples and Strategies

In a world where people are starting to recognize the importance of having an online presence and posting content, the most successful creators are the ones who can build a solid personal brand.

In this article, we will give you a beginner’s working guide to personal branding. You will learn why you need a personal brand, strategies for building a personal brand, examples of African creators who have successfully built personal brands, and lessons you can learn from them.

You will also learn some of the struggles you might face while trying to build your brand and the tools you will need to overcome them.

Ready? Let’s dive in!  

What is a Personal Brand?

A brand is a product or business that has a distinct identity in the eyes of the people conscious of it. The defining factor for a brand is its identity. 

Elements like design, company culture, values, etc. form a brand’s identity and ultimately distinguish a product or business from others. For example, branding is what sets Coca-Cola apart from Pepsi, even though both drinks taste very similar.

In the last century, the idea of branding has transcended the product space and now also applies to human beings. This has led to the establishment of personal brands.

A personal brand is a total of all the experiences, skills, interests, and values that differentiate one person from another. In short, personal branding is the process of defining and promoting what you stand for as an individual. 

As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is quoted as saying, “Your Personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Why Do You Need a Personal Brand? 

An entry-level requirement to being a creator is putting out content for people to consume. Content could range from posts and videos on social media to e-books and courses sold on Selar.

Putting out content over a long period of time would make people form opinions of you, based on what they have seen or heard. The sum total of these opinions becomes your online reputation. 

For a creator, it is important to take control of your reputation. A great way to do this is by intentionally curating the impression you want people to have of you and your work. You do this through personal branding.

Here are other reasons why you need a personal brand: 

  1. Increases Your Visibility: Having a personal brand makes you more known in the public eye. Visibility is a form of currency, it expands your reach in the digital world. The more people see you and your content, the more they are willing to consume your content, partner or collaborate with you, give you money in exchange for your products, and so much more. When you are intentional about creating a personal brand, more people and brands will get to know you, thereby increasing your chances of gaining the above benefits. 
  2. Helps you Connect with Like-Minded People: Building a personal brand can sometimes be an announcement to the world. It tells the people who come in contact with your brand who you are and what you care about. Like a magnet, this has the effect of drawing like-minded people to you and facilitating these connections. For example, a copywriter would attract people who are also copywriters or who are interested in being copywriters. This way, a community of copywriters is being formed and will be nurtured if the right strategies are put in place.   
  3. Opens you up to Opportunities: Building a personal brand gives you opportunities that you might not have had otherwise. A person who has decided to create hair related content, for instance, can get the opportunity to work and collaborate with hair brands, offer haircare masterclasses, travel to teach people how to take care of their hair, acquire hair products and tools for free, and so much more, by virtue of building a personal brand. 
  4. Helps you Influence and Impact Others: Building a personal brand also gives you the opportunity to influence people on a larger scale. With a personal brand, you can share the knowledge and skills you have acquired with your audience, teach them how to replicate your results, and watch them grow. There is beauty in contributing to the human collective, and as a creator, influencing and impacting the lives of others can be such a fulfilling experience. 

READ: Personal Brand 101: How to Build a Personal Brand Online as a Digital Creator

Strategies For Building a Personal Brand

Building a personal brand is a long-term process that can be tedious, and perhaps even nervewracking. However, there are several strategies that you could implement during the journey that would help you navigate the process with more ease:

1. Pick the Right Platform

 The beauty of the digital age is the wide range of social media platforms at our disposal. As a creator, this gives you an array of choices that can be explored. When building a personal brand, think about the social media platforms you would like to focus on.

You may choose platforms based on the audience you are trying to reach (TikTok for Gen-Zs, Instagram for Millenials), or based on the value you are trying to offer (Substack for newsletters, Spotify for podcasts, etc.) Either way, ensure that it is something you give some thought to before you start building your brand. 

2. Curate Your Look

Product brands usually have colours, logos and designs that distinguish them from others. For example, at Selar, we use the colours pink and purple for our content. Similarly, as a creator building a personal brand, you can decide to adopt elements that resonate with who you are and what you’re trying to achieve.

You may choose specific fonts, colours, or video editing styles. Doing this helps you stay top of mind for your audience. 

3. Be Consistent

Consistency births progress. Building a successful personal brand requires consistent value delivery. This could look like showing up by sharing your stories online, making social media posts, teaching people, and so much more.

With consistency, you will be able to build a solid proof of work that would attract more people to your brand. People value trust and showing up consistently would make your audience trust you more.  

4. Leverage Storytelling

 For a creator looking to build a personal brand, storytelling is a sure tool for achieving growth. Storytelling entails the process of sharing stories, ideas, and values, with your audience.

This can be done in so many different mediums and is usually a continuous process. The more stories you share, the better chance your audience would get to truly connect with you. This in turn, would help you establish your personal brand.

5. Provide Value

Nothing much happens without your ability to provide value. Value is what would make your audience stay, even when the editing, or the video quality is not that great. Do research into the problems and concerns your audience might be facing, and provide solutions for them. If your content is valuable, people will be drawn to you. 

6.Measure, Iterate, Evolve

The beauty of curating a personal brand is that it doesn’t have to be static. Your personal brand is dynamic and can always evolve as you grow. Don’t be scared to start somewhere and figure it out with time. Iterate as many times as possible. Also, listen to your audience. Look into social media analytics and social proof (comments, testimonials) to see how well you’re doing as a brand, and where your impact is most felt. Then, leverage on that. 

Some Personal Brand Examples 

Thinking of how to build a personal brand without knowing where to start? We have curated a list of people with great personal brands to look into. These creators have been able to implement the strategies above in ways that have worked well for them. This list is relatively diverse, but will give you a great template for how you can attempt to show up online when building your own personal brand.

Let’s dive in! 

1. Salem King 

Example of Personal Brand: Salem King

Salem King has done an amazing job at positioning himself as the Creator for Creators. It’s even on his Instagram bio. Salem is a lifestyle creator who consistently shows up online (peep the number of posts), and creates really valuable content that helps people navigating life. His main audience appears to be Gen-Zs/Millenials and he connects with them through great content and a sense of community. Brandwise, his content is easily recognizable due to its monochromatic theme.

People trust Salem’s brand because of how authentic it is. He is a dictionary definition of growing as a creator and is not afraid to share his growth journey. 

2. Alma Asinobi 

Example of Personal Brand: Alma Asinobi

Alma Asinobi is a Nigerian travel-content creator currently living in Canada, and who takes her audience on her exciting trips all around the globe, while sharing tips and strategies for them to make the most of life while traveling.

Alma is a great example of someone who has allowed her content to evolve. In 2020, her content was mostly geared toward creators, and then she discovered traveling and has managed to pivot her value offering. She is a great example that personal branding can be fun if you lean into it and prioritize your growth. She is also a fantastic storyteller. 

3. Victor Fatanmi 

Example of Personal Brand: Victor Fatanmi

Victor Fatanmi is a product designer and the founder of FourthCanvas and FullGapCo. Victor is a huge advocate for storytelling and is excellent at engaging and educating his audience, majorly on Twitter.

Victor is a testament to the fact that a story can exist anywhere and can assume any format, as long as you’re creative enough. 

4. JayOnAir

Example of Personal Brand: JayOnAir

JayOnAir is a radio host and comedic content creator who is famous for his representations of real-life happenings through skits. Jay has managed to build a personal brand that relies on humour to attract an audience.

Beyond humour, his ability to do many things well, and push out pieces of content with speed is what makes his personal brand truly stand out as a content creator. 

5. Haoma Worgwu 

Example of Personal Brand: Haoma Worgwu

For creators looking to really take advantage of LinkedIn as a platform and build personal brands there, Haoma Worgwu is LinkedIn in Nigeria’s #1 Voice on LinkedIn Growth.

Her branding displays enormous value for people who want to learn how to brand themselves professionally, grow their businesses or personal brands, and attract customers using LinkedIn.

6. Omoye Cooks

Example of Personal Brand: Omoye Cooks

For creators who have physical products or skills, Omoye Cooks is a great example on how to build a personal brand, and sell and market your products and skills. As a food content creator, Omoye has developed the skill of making her food videos informative, straight to the point, trendy, and humorous.

She allows the value she has to offer to be visibly seen, with cooking classes and products, and fuels engagement through creative content like “food combinations we have all tried” to “different ways to cut plantain.” One can say that this food content creator has hacked the ability to truly connect with her audience.

The Struggles of Building a Personal Brand and How to Overcome Them. 

At this point, you have probably decided on developing your personal brand. Yet, you might still have a few concerns that need addressing. Or, you are already in the process of building your personal brand and have gotten stuck because you are facing some struggles. We have created a list of general struggles people generally face when building a personal brand and how to overcome them. 

Here are some common struggles people face when building their personal brands and strategies to overcome them:

1. Lack of Clarity

Being uncertain regarding what you stand for as a personal brand can actively hinder your brand creation/development efforts. Take the time to define your values, passions, and strengths. Reflect on what makes you unique and how you want to be perceived by others, then show up exactly that way. 

2. Inconsistency

As we have already stated above, consistency is key to building a strong personal brand. As a creator, ensure that your messaging, tone, and visuals align across all platforms. Let people know who you are and what you stand for. Then, show up as consistently as you possibly can. If you need help, you can create a content calendar to plan your posts and maintain a regular posting schedule.

3. Lack of Visibility

Worried about whether or not people will see your content? We’ve all been there. Standing out in a crowded room, or in this this case, a crowded digital landscape can be quite challenging, but there are strategies Focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Then, engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages, to make them build a connection with you, and stay. You can also leverage on collaborations with other creators in and outside your niche to expand your reach. This way, you can gain more followers through the communities of others. 

4. Imposter Syndrome

Feeling like you’re not good enough or qualified to build a personal brand is common? Remember that everyone starts somewhere. Rome was not built in a day, and certainly neither was Layefa or Veekee James. Embrace your unique journey and stay consistent. You can also decide to rely on your friends and family for encouragement and guidance. Stick to supportive people. 

5. Fear of Judgment

Sometimes we worry about what people think. This fear of criticism or rejection can hold us back from sharing our authentic selves on social media, and may even push us to adopt narratives that are untrue. This is where it is important to remember again that Rome was not built in a day and good things take time. Practice authenticity in your content, and remember that not everyone will resonate with your message—nor should everyone resonate with it. Focus on connecting with your ideal audience rather than trying to please everyone.

6. Limited Resources

Building a personal brand often requires time, effort, and sometimes money. Prioritize the activities that will have the most impact and consider outsourcing tasks that are outside your skill set or bandwidth. Take advantage of free resources and tools available online to streamline your efforts.

READ: How to Monetize Your Personal Brand as a Creator

By addressing these challenges head-on and implementing strategies to overcome them, you can build a strong and authentic personal brand that resonates with your audience.


The main takeaways from this article are these:

Benefits of Personal Branding and Strategies for Building a Personal Brand

As a creator, there has never been a better time to define your own narrative and tell your stories online. As seen above, there are many benefits to owning a personal brand, and a lot of creators have really keyed in on personal branding.  The good thing is, there has never been a better time to start! With the tips shared above, you can create and thrive in your personal brand.