In a world where career pivots are inevitable, and some jobs of the future have not been created yet, personal branding is career insurance. It makes you future-ready and gives people a reason to choose you always because they care more about you than just what you’re offering. – Tolu Michaels
Tolu Michaels is a multifaceted woman who has built a profitable digital business and trained over 20,000 entrepreneurs to build purposeful and profitable personal brands that stand out of the crowd and sell impactful products through her digital programs and create a bigger impact with their work.
Tolu Michaels studied Mechanical Engineering at the famous Covenant University. Being a car lover but after interning at a Toyota after-sales franchise, she felt her sensitivity to petrol smell and dealing with engine oil daily was something she couldn’t handle and made it a necessity to switch to digital entrepreneurship which came on the heels of her job loss.
Fortunately for Tolu, losing her job was a catalyst to rethink the kind of work she would rather have and when she couldn’t find it, she started offering her skills to serve people beyond her physical location.
At the time, there was no idea on what a digital business is all about for the Mechanical Engineering graduate but according to her, she knew it was possible and decided to go for it and today, Tolu has created a successful business that grows year after year and gets invited to stages where she couldn’t have dreamed of simply because of the difference her work makes in people’s lives.
Speaking on series of her career challenges and how it has shaped her into a modern entrepreneur, Tolu narrated how a hiring manager couldn’t choose her because she was just starting a family and felt it would affect her performance on the job as newly mother.
Meanwhile, rather than using the ugly scenario of turning herself against the world, the nursing mother only got strengthened in her resolve to create opportunities that wouldn’t require other people’s permission. In her case, the normal challenges like not knowing how to do something she had never done before but reminded herself that nobody was born knowing how to do anything, so she learned and grew.
In her words, “there were life challenges that came with being a mum; motherhood changed me, changed my priorities, and also made me realize how limited I am. I not only wanted to build a profitable business, but I wanted to do it without neglecting my health or family. I decided to rebuild my career around values I believed in and chose to only work with clients who valued quality work. Motherhood taught me time and energy management and uncovered capabilities that I didn’t know existed.
Stressing the significance of personal branding on woman career, she noted technological advances and flexible work arrangements has given recruiters more options than ever before in candidates’ selection who are vying for the same opportunities as you are.
“To thrive, you’ll have to proactively understand and communicate what makes you different from others. The process of doing so is called Personal Branding helps you stand out in a sea of competitors; it is how you present yourself to the world and establish a reputation. She said.
According to her, building a personal brand is to discover and communicate your personal uniqueness. A powerful asset that puts someone on the radar for exciting career opportunities. When people see the value, they are willing to pay more for your time or to participate in something because you are in it. You are also more likely to be approached for relevant and interesting opportunities. She added.
In a world where career pivots are inevitable, and some jobs of the future have not been created yet, personal branding is career insurance. It makes you future-ready and gives people a reason to choose you always because they care more about you than just what you’re offering.
“Studies show that people have up to five different careers in their lifetime, so you don’t even know what is ahead of you, but one thing you’ll always have is you. You’ll always have your credibility and reputation and that’s a benefit of personal branding. Especially, as a woman, just because of the lifestyle many of us want to lead and the responsibilities of nurturing a family, you need that flexibility, it helps to future proof your career.
When asked if the internet is sustainable in the long run as many see it as the main source of employment, Tolu affirmed with yes and said this is an era of unprecedented leverage unlike years ago when the average person could not publish and distribute their ideas at a reasonable cost but today, anybody anywhere in the world in any time zone can access your best thinking at any time and they can do it without taking your time at all.
Software that should cost an arm is now available for free or next to free.
“Internet access is cheaper and more people are online because the opportunity is abundant, but for it to remain a sustainable source of income, one must think like an entrepreneur. It’s important to build the skills to grow and market your business. For it to be sustainable, you must stay profitable. To stay profitable, you must learn how to get your ideal client’s attention, build trust, and successfully deliver the product/service.
Commenting on how more people can use digital media to grow their business especially now that space is witnessing some form of restrictions in Nigeria, Tolu said the lesson people can learn from the recent social media restriction happening in Nigeria can be summarized as ‘don’t put all your eggs in another person’s basket.’ saying Internet allows you to not just have access, but also to have options.
She further implores business owners to explore other people’s media platforms: Using digital media to reach new audiences doesn’t have to be about firing out a Facebook ad and hoping for the best. You don’t always have to use your own media platforms. Consider collaborating with others who already have a platform, to increase their reach.’
However, she advised businesses to take full advantage of the options to build out all of their online real estates. It’s difficult to be active on every platform, but at least be present everywhere so that given the opportunity; you can take advantage of it.
“Digital media goes beyond social media, blogs, magazines, podcasts, and so on. Businesses should use digital media to meet new people, communicate with their subscribers and clients. Two things to note: Create your own asset, get your audience onto an email list or telephone list to give you continued access to them; no platform can take that away.
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