Ghana Tech Summit: Take Your Personal Brand to the Next Level

Sylvana Lewin, Thursday July 26th 2018

Recently, the first annual Ghana Tech Summit took place at the Accra International Conference Center, bringing together venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, government officials, and over 100 expert speakers. An initiative of Global Startup Ecosystem, the summit will occur annually over the next twelve years and aims to revitalize Ghana’s entrepreneurial economy and reposition it as a global case study of catalyzed innovation within an emerging market.

During the second day of the event, there were a few great sessions on personal branding, with one focused on LinkedIn in particular, run by Tyrona Heath, the Global Lead for Agency and Partner Education at LinkedIn, and a personal branding workshop run by Christine Ntim. We’ve recapped some of their top tips for you here!

Branding Yourself on LinkedIn

Heath kicked off her talk emphasizing the wide network a person can gain access to through LinkedIn, referencing the 560 million members the website has worldwide and the 26 million members on the African continent. She also explained that these numbers are growing at an average rate of 2 members per second.

While it’s clear LinkedIn can give a professional access to a much greater network, it’s not always clear how best to go about this. One way to  maximize your LinkedIn experience is through your profile setup. To start, Heath emphasized the importance of having a photo that reflects your professional profile. Users should also take time  to draft a compelling summary that is at least 40 words and reflects professional accomplishments in STAR (situation, task, action, result) format. As well, including quantitative data and keywords can significantly improve your profile’s SEO.

After completing these basic steps, it’s important to detail your work experience in an engaging and quantitative format. Adding links to articles written, websites created, and more can add extra depth to this section. Next it’s time to add skills and work on getting endorsements. Heath recommends starting with 5 top skills, both soft and technical.

Finally it’s time to pursue recommendations. Heath stated, “The best time to ask for a recommendation from someone is yesterday! Ask when you’ve just finished a task or at your performance review.”

LinkedIn can also be used to establish yourself as a thought leader. Heath recommended publishing articles on timely topics, breaking news, and trends and offering your unique insights to catch people’s attention. She emphasized, “Every single experience is an opportunity to create content.”

Personal Branding: Reality Check

Kicking off the next workshop, Christine Ntim emphasized the importance of having a brand that people can trust in and not just creating perfect profiles. She stated, “When it comes to personal branding, it’s also how you interact with others.”

[caption id="attachment_7188" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Christine Ntim speaking at Ghana Tech Summit 2018 Christine Ntim speaking at Ghana Tech Summit 2018[/caption]

Her recommended first step in forming a personal brand is to step back and complete a reality check, because even if you aren’t aware of it, you have a personal brand. A personal brand is what each of us puts out there to the world. It’s your reputation. Awareness of personal brand allows you to tweak it so that it makes sense for your professional profile.

Ntim defined three levels of personal brand: reputation, exclusive position, and public popularity. Reputation is word of mouth and your digital footprint. This is the most basic level. Next is exclusive position, which involves a focused awareness that has led to centralization and packaging of your brand. The final level is when you have reached popularity and notoriety, which is also when you can monetize.

Personal Branding: Audit, Execute, Test  

Once you’ve completed a reality check and discovered what level your personal brand is at, you can focus on where you want to get next. To do this, Ntim recommends auditing your brand. This is where you can focus in on discovering where your talents lie. Don’t just focus on what you believe are your talents, but also think about what people ask you to do most. Those, too, are your skill sets!

During this step, start by defining your value. List your top 5 life achievements, 20 things people always ask you for help on, and any talents or skills you have. When you’re done, look at each list and pick a few items to test out.

Now, you’ll start testing the skills you’ve just listed out. This can be done through free webinars, Facebook Live Q/A sessions, curated blogging, and speaking opportunities. After some testing, you’ll discover top skills, which you can begin to roll out in a more monetized fashion.

Personal Branding: Tools

Ntim had a variety of tools she recommended. For monetization, her top offline and digital channels include webinars, podcasts, blogging, workshops, endorsements, and more.

There are a variety of tools that can help a person establish a web presence. These can save time, allow you to better connect with your audience, and more. Connecting with your audience is crucial. Ntim stated, “Personal brand is not just making money, but how you give back to your community.”

Here are a few of Ntim’s top tools:

  1. Google AdWords (trends)

  2. Mailchimp (emails)

  3. Google analytics (data)

  4. Eventbrite

  5. Buzzsumo (trends)

  6. Boomerang (emails)

  7. Hootsuite (social media)

  8. Zoom (webinars)

  9. Slideshare

  10. Google Forms

  11. Canva

  12. Thunderclap

  13. Audacity

  14. Legal Zoom

  15. WeTransfer

Interested in hearing more about Ghana Tech Summit 2018? Read more here!