CIM MARKETING CLUB: Expressing Your Personal Brand at Work – ARU Student Review

On the evening of 21st April, we attended a webinar by Shola Kaye who spoke about expressing your personal brand at work.

The webinar started off by Shola sharing her personal story, including struggles in her early career. This related well to the AVID framework of successful speaking that she shared with us. As the framework suggests, you should be “Authentic, Valuable, Inspiring and Dynamic”. By sharing her story with us at the beginning, she demonstrated her authenticity – the first component of the framework. Shola also said, “Authenticity is the foundation of communication.”

Furthermore, a key takeaway from her session was that “Facts tell, stories sell.” She explained this through her “Now-Then-How” Framework, which again suggests how you should present your personal story. You should start off with the “NOW” – where you are now. “THEN”, you say that it was not always like that – you can mention a struggle or challenge which makes you more relatable to your listener(s). Finally, you share “HOW” you managed to overcome that.

Moreover, another noteworthy quote from the session was “Take up space, take up time.” Here, Shola explained the concept of gravitas. She explained the importance of portraying yourself with confidence and professionalism. How you perceive and present yourself will have a direct impact on others’ opinions of you.
Voice is another important factor in developing your personal brand. Shola demonstrated that you can use three types of voices – from the head, chest and gut. You have the ability to use all of them in different circumstances, but it is up to you to choose which one is appropriate at the time.

The part of the session that we most enjoyed was when Shola explained four different archetypes – the king, warrior, creative and carer. These were explained using celebrities and politicians. For example, Donald Trump was depicted as a warrior, whereas Barack Obama as a king. Shola let us reflect upon the archetype that we could most relate to.

“I mostly see myself as a split between a carer and creative. I tend to put people before myself and I also like to think creatively.” – Saisha

“I could relate most to the king, although as Shola mentioned, it can depend on the situation. I can definitely become a warrior when it comes to issues that I am passionate about.” – Julia

It was mentioned that these archetypes can clash at work. Shola gave an example of a manager that was a “warrior”, who went on to lead a team at a spa. The workers there tended to be “carers”, and generally did not like the manager’s approach. As a result, the manager soon left as the work environment did not suit her archetype.

To conclude, there were a lot of important takeaways in the session that you could easily apply to your daily life. She helped the viewers better understand themselves and provided tips and frameworks to improve your personal brand. Throughout the session, Shola’s positivity and enthusiasm radiated from the screen. She took an interactive approach to her webinar, asking viewers for their thoughts throughout the evening, which provided an opportunity to share their reflections. Overall, it was an insightful evening which supported the reflection upon one’s own personal brand.

You can view a recording of Shola’s session on the CIM YouTube Channel here

If you are a student and you would like to take part in future CIM Marketing Club events, please sign up for the Marketing Club newsletter here.

Byline: Saisha Chauhan and Julia Cieslak, ARU Students