Kindly introduce yourself to us.
My name is Mwanamkasi Juma. I am an Engineer by profession and practise Branding and Marketing as a passion.
So, Mwanamkasi, what pushed you into the branding and marketing industries?
Well, it’s something that I had practised one way or another. I am passionate about creating generational brands and minimizing unemployment. I started with physical branding and later branched further into Brand Development and Management.
What is personal branding, according to you?
It’s about how you present yourself. You are given a voice, what do you want to tell people/what would you like people to hear? You are given a face, what would you like people to see? Or rather, what comes to your mind when someone tells you, Who are you?
How do you build your personal brand and why is it important?
It requires strategic planning and thought into what you aim to achieve. What vibe do you give when you walk into a room? How do you deliver your work/services? How do you relate to people? All these entail your personal brand. How you build is to create consistency in all platforms. Be it social media or in person. What do people say about you?
Choose to give your side of the story. Choose to create the impact you want. Use the presence and voice you are given to create the right impression. Branding goes a long way to help you achieve your goals.
If someone wants to be a brand. Let’s say you are a poet and motivational speaker. What should you consider?
- Whom do you look up to in the industry?
- What is your style as a poet or motivational speake? How are you able to attract your audience? What is your strength?,
- Start networking both online and offline. Connect with like minded people. Talk about your passion. Get feedback.
- Use all platforms to express your knowledge and what you are good at.
- Get a unique selling point. What is your Brand uniqueness? What is your strength? How do you want to be perceived?
- Target your audience with your professionalism and content.
- Pitch. Learn. Repeat
Is branding an old concept that’s always been there? And what are its unique features?
Branding started long ago when masters used to “mark/brand” their slaves. Personal Branding is inclusive of how you work with people and how you deliver your work. How you present your ideas…etc. You have a personal brand whether you work on it or not.
Personal Branding always works with regards to what you give off and whom you target. Don’t forget to always get feedback to assess your growth. At the end, it’s the feel you left. Your impact. Your legacy.
How can someone use social media to build their personal brand?
Tell your story. What are you good at? What do you want to be involved in? Talk about that. Contribute in the field you want to be involved in.
What about if there is little response on social media?
Discipline and Consistency. Your point is more like asking a blogger/writer to quit. People might/will read and fail to respond. It doesn’t mean they are not reading or watching.
Point to note:- Many deals will end up being done offline. That’s why I insist on Offline Branding as well. Always remember your end goal. Why did you pertake that journey
What is offline branding?
It’s attending networking seminars that are in line with what you are interested in. Pitching to people, partnering and many more. Most importantly, delivering what you promised and said you will deliver.
When people become a brand, they sell. How much should they charge? Or where can they get the information of how much they should charge?
If you are good at what you do, you are qualified, been in the game long enough, never be afraid to ask for your money/value. Remember, you get what you ask for.
As for the first part, I keep mentioning that you should talk to people, network, learn and practice. Whom do you look up to, talk to them. If you practise long in the industry, you will know how to price with time. Which will always depend with the industry you are in, the service/product you are offering and the quality.
It seems that negative branding gives quicker returns publicitywise then positive branding. What are your thoughts?
It’s true. But it depends with the industry and target market and how you go about it.
Positive branding takes longer. Unless in the entertainment industry, I don’t believe negative publicity is on purpose in other industries. Point is to never give up. Keep up your vision and go for what you aim for.
Have there been challenges in your journey? How did you overcome them?
No journey is easy so to say, creating impact isn’t easy. Being known for something takes time. Challenges are there but we overcome. To say the truth, I love what I do. It excites me. I love the journey. So, I am grateful for every bit of it.
Practicing gives me so much joy and delivering what I promise is even more exciting. I overcome my challenges through learning and accepting that I don’t know everything. I hire people who are better in my weaknesses and invest in my business relationships.