RiRi’s Guide to Personal Branding

Brand 'RiRi' has taken the world by storm since she first appeared on the scene almost a decade ago.

Brand ‘RiRi’ has taken the world by storm since she first appeared on the scene almost a decade ago.

So you’re working on strengthening your personal brand right? No? Well then you should be… The reality is that whether or not you’re aware of it, you do have a personal brand. It’s all down to perception; the person you are perceived to be ultimately defines your personal brand. What if people don’t think the same of you as you think of yourself? What if you like to call yourself an expert but everyone else sees a novice? You have to take control of your own brand; you have to ensure that both the inward and outward perception of yourself is aligned.

Let’s take the music artist Rihanna (@rihanna) for instance, love her or hate her, the girl knows what she’s doing and she is good at it. Here’s [my take] on RiRi’s Guide to personal branding.

1. Define exactly who you are and own it.

Rihanna has a number of nicknames including, ‘RiRi’, ‘Caribbean Queen’ and ‘Bajan Princess’, all embodying who she is as an artist and celebrity personality. The different sides of her multifaceted brand can be seen during her playful on screen interviews, her angelic tourism advertising campaigns and of course, her increasingly raunchy music videos. Inappropriate? Perhaps. Controversial? Often. Over the top? Most definitely! But that is who she is, and like it or not, that’s who we all believe her to be.

2. Break all the rules.

A successful personal brand is not one enveloped by compliance, that won’t get you noticed. Swim against the tide! When everyone else is wearing black – wear white. When everyone is turning right – take a left. And when everyone else’s hair is blonde – go bright red! You never know, it might just catch on.

3. Keep yourself in the loop.

The various social networking mediums available nowadays mean there is a global conversation taking place at all times, and whether or not you’re a part of it, that conversation is ongoing – so get involved. Rihanna is constantly communicating with her audience; be it tweeting to her 33,583,803 followers, sharing fun images and short videos on Instagram or posting about her latest goings-on on FacebookRihanna is constantly kept abreast of what is happening in the world in which she operates. The same should be said for any professional, attend events, make connections, instigate discussions, network; keep yourself in the loop.

4. Collaborate.

What could possibly be better than one expert? Two experts! Or in Rihanna’s case three! Her collaboration with rappers Jay Z and Kanye West on the Run This Town track saw three musical greats on one song. This gives each individual artist a chance to tap into the others’ following and also align themselves musically. Who do you look up to in your field? Who is trying to achieve something to similar to you? Why not put your heads together and come up with something great as a unit? It will allow for a much vaster reach in half the time, think about it.

And finally…

5. Look the part.

Like it or not – first impressions are based on appearance. If you want to be taken seriously as a {fill in the blank}, you’re going to have to look the part. If you’re in the entertainment industry, make bold fashion statements, if you’re a city boy/girl – we want to see you sharply suited and booted. Whatever it is you’re doing/want to do, it needs to be done with conviction. Here’s how Rihanna does it.