Two years ago, I was travelling to a developing country to do some charity work. My bags were packed, flights were booked, and my hotel was ready for check-in. Unfortunately, immediately I arrived at the airport, I had to cancel my trip. I had received some devastating news. I was reading through the fine print of the charity itinerary and on the bottom of page 3 it said:
To protect the dignity of the communities we are visiting, no pictures will be allowed to be taken for social media.
I felt bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray, run amok, and flat out deceived (malcolm X said it first). I immediately asked the Uber, to take me back home. Dear reader, I ask you: why should I do a good deed, if I cannot post it on social media and leverage it to build my personal brand?
In the olden days, they had this thing called “reputation”. The idea was that you would do your job well, treat people well, mind your own business and that just by being a decent human being you could build a good reputation. It seems like a really quaint concept, but now that we have the internet, we need to think bigger.
Developing your personal brand is very important. For example, my personal brand is extremely intelligent so I know everything, compassionate, and finally, humble. I have also decided to deliberately include some strategic flaws in my personal brand. I find that this allows me to appear more relatable. My flaws are that I am too much of a perfectionist and I am too nice so people take advantage of my niceness.
Once I had defined my personal brand, the next step was to shout about my virtuosity in as many places as possible. This step is very important because this is where many people make the mistake of wasting their time doing nice things that can’t be publicized.
Whenever people come to my house to solicit donations or people ask me to volunteer, I tell them that I’m not interested. But if they take a video of me “doing” the favor, add a link to my website (tomiwa.ca) and give me a 24 hour notice, I might reconsider. In the world of voicing your personal brand, perception is more important than reality.
As you can see, I’m a very nice person with absolutely no ulterior motives whatsoever. If you agree, share this with everyone you know and make sure you tell them how wonderful I am for sharing my knowledge with the world. I would be extremely humbled.
Author’s note: This essay is for the voice talent online scholarship competition. Some rules of the contest include: The title of your article must include the words “Voicing your Brand” and The winner will be judged on the entertainment-value, quality and popularity of their entry.