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Paula Pwul: The New Era of Millennials, Entrepreneurship & Personal Branding

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Every generation has its own identity and Nigeria millennials have finally found theirs: entrepreneurship that is now second nature to us. We understand the power that comes with playing an active role in shaping our future and that of our country. And so we are creating a newer, cooler, more exciting entrepreneurial sphere, one that’s fused with creativity and authenticity.

When millennials are asked what we want, one frequent answer is, “to make an impact and stand out.” But how do we stand out? That’s where personal branding comes in.  

Why is personal branding important?

Millennials are making waves in Africa, attacking redundant practices and changing the landscape of business in ways that no one predicted. From fashion designers like Andrea Iyamah to digital creators like Dodos, tech babes like Toby Ayeni to story tellers like Ife of Dang!, we are seeing a wave of personal branding like never before and it’s nothing short of a super power. This is how you stand out. Whether you are in corporate or you run your own business, creating a persona that people can clearly see is a non-negotiable.

How can you create a personal brand?

We have never had such immense opportunities to build a personal brand that commands respect. Everything is going digital, and the barrier of entry is low – you literally just need to open a free instagram account. If you want to get seen and paid in 2023, here’s how you can start:

Be true to yourself

Know who you are, what your values and beliefs are, what makes you unique and special. Be authentic in how you show up.

Develop a strong brand identity

This includes having a strong visual identity (logo, colours, fonts etc) as well as consistently communicating your message across all platforms. You don’t have to do it all yourself, find someone you vibe with who already does this and let them help you.

Create valuable content

This could be blog posts, videos, Instagram stories or even just tweets. Share your story, your journey and your learnings with the world. The more value you can provide, the more people will take notice of you. Here’s a pro tip: that thing that you find so simple is the bane of someone’s existence. Guess who they could be paying to solve that problem?

Network and collaborate

Get involved with other like-minded individuals and businesses. Attend events, join online communities and build relationships. Competing is so 2020, collaboration is the new thing!

What should your personal brand represent? 

It’s easy to create a company or brand. But actually creating an impact is a different ball game altogether. Get to know yourself and know why you do what you do. Find the thing that lights you up and share it – that’s how you get noticed. There is power in authenticity and in standing out from the crowd. Seriously, just do you.

What are some common personal branding mistakes?

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” So here are a few things to avoid if you’ve decided to show up and build that personal brand. 

Not being genuine or authentic

Cancel culture is coming with us into 2023 and people can spot fake faster than you can say ‘channel’. Besides, we did the carefully curated content in 2019; we’re over it. We we want your real and we will reward your courage with community.

Being afraid to share your story or be vulnerable

I know you want to be a hard guy, and honestly I understand, but hard guys have lives too. While I’m not saying you should share everything – it’s okay to not share that you were served breakfast if you don’t want to – but people value humanity now more than ever so there’s no need to be a robot, we connect through shared experiences.

Not having a clear message or purpose

Some people go to social media for cruise, some go straight to their favourite creator’s page because they know there will always be something valuable for them. Also, it’s a fun way to learn. When you are known for something, people will come straight to you. But you need to be clear on your purpose because without it, you will be all over the place with your content and honestly no one likes confusion.

Trying to be everything to everyone

First of all, you can’t. Second, why on earth do you want to? My friends know that for anything digital and business related, I’m their plug. They also know that a party starts with drinks for me, not cooking, and they love me like that. You don’t have to be everything to every one. Pick a problem to solve and solve it well.

Trying to fit in or be like someone else

You see that dry humour, that quick wit, that annoying thing you do where you start dancing as soon as Asake comes on? That’s what makes you you. And once you expend energy trying to keep it on the low and trying to be someone else, someone you think your audience might prefer, you lose them pretty quickly.

So be yourself, because that’s what your audience wants. Don’t forget to show up too, all the talents and goals in the world will not take the place of consistency.

Cheers to 2023, dem never see you coming!



Photo by Blue Bird for Pexels

Paula Pwul is a brand consultant and content marketing expert who is passionate about books, personal development and helping women building impactful businesses.

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