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Today, I spoke to Yinka Olaito, Yinka is a personal brandiYinkang and social media expert. He helps individuals, organizations to maximize values in their brands/ideas through adequate positioning of their brands to the target audience that can pay premium. Also, he functions as public relations consultant, columnist and writer, trainer and public speaker.

You can connect with him via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Mohammed: Unemployed people are changing their job titles many times because of the crisis, how will that impact their personal brand? And how can they use any career experience for the strength of their brands?

Yinka: Let us look at this from a three sixty degree view. First, my take is ‘inconsistent robs individual of any value’. We must remember the fact that differentiation aids strong memory and perception. When an individual begins to accept everything that is thrown at him/her, the brand equity may start diminishing gradually. Initially it may appear that no harm is being done but over time, it will become obvious that one has no solid hold on a particular field. More also, taking any job that will not aid the use of personal skills, expertise will strongly expose personal brand inefficiency, weakness. A smart individual should always play the game from his/her strongest point. I as an individual will want to believe also that the effect of inconsistency  in job description may not be well pronounced on a college graduate who may not be well known as much as someone who has been into personal branding journey for a long time. That makes situational analysis important in this regard.

Having said this, I believe that job titles sometimes do not necessarily describe a brand personality. For instance Dan Schawbel’s job title at EMC has a social media role meanwhile he is recognized as a personal branding expert not a social media guru. If the job title can aid the discovery of hidden talents, skills as well as make an individual relevant to the niche community he belongs to, why not? Another point of view here is that there is nothing that is totally bad. If due to recession, bad economy and needs to remain afloat, pay bills some are already involved, my counsel is to look for a story out of the experience to project a brand personality that is still impactful. Also, let us not forget that why keeping the job, one can still continue to be relevant online through a strategic personal branding building online.

Mohammed: I started to hear some people blaming personal branding experts as they promote “Don’t” more than “Do” making by that social media a prison. How do you describe personal branding to these people and why we are seeing a lot of contradictions?

Yinka: For this set of people my take is that every opportunity has an attachment called responsibility. For instance we are all given a chance to live life to the fullest. As much as we have this right, we all have to take personal responsibility to live our lives in a certain way that will make the life we have to make meaning. We must avoid staying on the express way in order not to get crushed by a car on the fast line. We must also take responsibility of not eating poison among many other responsibilities. Let us note also that personal branding must clearly impact a certain community. To impact anyone, we must learn to respect their times, values, spaces etc.

Now if one wants to impact positively any community but do not want to go by the rules, one may eventually lose credibility, relevance. This is the essence of the ‘Donts’. You can not eat your cake and have it. Choice has to come in. If one cannot live by required, basic relationship rules of the society/niche I guess there is no need to desire the world to revolve around personal goal of wanting to ‘live as I like without giving a damn’. For me personal branding is opportunity to impact, bring necessary improvement on the lives of the niche. This is carries huge responsibility.

Mohammed: Are we going to rate people reputation ONLY based on their online history? How can we keep positive image while being ourselves and not hiding the human side?

Yinka: The internet is giving us opportunity to meet people we may not have met in life. Through people activities on the net, we form an impression of who they are. This may add to their reputation or reduce them. So the internet helps us to form an impression of who they are. That is reputation as far as I am concerned. Individual must work add to build trust. For me trust is far deeper than reputation. We must note that no great relationship has being built on reputation alone. Reputation carries us as far as acquaintance level. To sustain a long lasting relationship, trust must come in. This shows in personal attitudes, values, ethics etc. Keeping positive image while being ourselves require that we place value on ourselves, learn to play the game right and respect for others. We can still be ourselves while doing these. We must remember life (personal branding) is an opportunity with responsibility attached.

Brand Word:  No matter how crowded the market place is, your unique voice can still be heard.

SpotlightYinka Olaito uniqueness is in developing engaging strategy that gives individual, corporate organization unfair, competitive advantage that takes profitability to higher level.

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It is not new that strong personal brand can play a major success for corporate brands. A human brand is like a leader, people follow and trust what a leader say.

Oprah is great example of famous strong personal brand. Oprah’s Book Club is a place where Word Of Mouth (WoM) spread at the speed of light not  only because its Oprah’s brand but because Oprah gives you why you should buy this book and what was her experience with the book. Its real experience not just a way to get money.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of my favorite football players (soccer in American dictionary), he transferred to Real Madrid from Manchester United in a deal worth €94m (US$132m). Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand is unique and that is enough to attract hundreds of companies for commercial ads but who wins? Yes, who pay more.

The latest Ronaldo’s ad is for Clear Shampoo for men. Ronaldo did the 30C. Ronaldo seconds for $$$ and shows the sport side of him to promote the product but wait? What did he say at the end?

“I Use Clear for Man”, I don’t think Ronaldo used Clear or at least heard about it before but it is matter of how much money he got for making  this commercials. If it is not Clear then it could be any shampoo brands that Ronaldo play the role for so it is not matter of real experience.

I have been using  “Clear” since a year and that’s OK for me. However, I made a survey and asked my friends. Would you buy “Clear” after Ronaldo’s commercial ad?

Most of them reposed with NO! I’m sure millions of people will buy it because Ronaldo’s brand associate with it but people think and they know its just an ad. My point here is that companies can full benefit from commercial’s ad if they just add the real experience for using their products, like Oprah who read the books before giving her recommendation. Its real not acting.

Today, Ronaldo’s posters are placed everywhere in Amman, Jordan. You don’t move 500 meters without seeing him. Taxi drivers said that they are seeing him more than their  family. I wish if Clear used Ronaldo more than just a Robot.

C. Ronaldo

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