Dr. Natalie Bitature is an Entreprenuer, an advocate for women in business, a Forbes 30 under 30 Africa recipient, among other things. We had a coversation with her to discuss all things personal branding as she is our ‘go-to’ person for all things business and branding. Many people are still unaware of how your personal brand can affect your future. Dr. Natalie Bitature helps us break it down. Here’s how the conversation went…
Q- How important is one’s personal brand?
A- Your personal brand is greatly important as it is your representation to the world. Its how you get hired or receive opportunities. Cultivating an authentic and respectable personal brand is crucial to any individual in today’s working world. I believe your brand is the evolution of reputation. You must build a brand that aligns with your personal values and mission. This makes it easy for any prospective employer, partner or potential client to search you and know what you are about. Whether it be Google or word of mouth, your personal brand exists in rooms that you don’t, so be sure to make it count.
Q- How can we improve our personal brands?
A- ‘Be impeccable with your word’ -Don Miguel Ruiz. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Carry yourself with integrity at all times and only agree to what you truly can do. Your interactions with others will teach them who you are and that greatly affects your brand.
Be authentic and loud about it. You have to get used to speaking up and having an opinion. Once you are sure about the quality of your character and abilities it is useful to ensure that comes across well and often. We live in times of social media and online profiles. Make sure your online persona is true to who you are and in alignment with your message.
Q- Do employers look up candidates? How can negative posts affect future opportunities?
A- Yes, in this day and age it is very easy and an important reference check depending on the position. Be sure there is nothing about you online you would not be ok with your grandparents seeing! Use that as an easy rule of thumb because I assure you there are employers who are in their age bracket and if a picture or video of you is brought to their attention you dont want to be offside. Employers still do reference checks and can easily google your name as part of due diligence. Also within industries people tend to know each other even maybe through a friend, you dont want to be up for a position and someone has evidence against you from you online profiles. So be sure you have a professional LinkedIn profile and your other accounts have no posts where you are involved in something illegal or unethical.
Q- Any further advice for our members?
A- When it comes to personal branding we are living in the most exposed time that ever existed. Please remember the internet is forever. Everyone was young and reckless once but generations before us did not have their peers capturing and posting it all. Cleaning up your online profiles should be standard procedure for all young people entering the job market. Finally, think about who you want to be professionally in 10 years and start behaving like that everyday!