7 Personal Branding Lessons From Dbanj

| 5 min read

Personal branding, as you would know it, is about everything you do; going by the term, it is you as a brand.
Every job, every social and personal endeavor is tied to your personal brand.  You can’t go wrong if you focus on that.

Dapo Oyebanjo, famously known as Dbanj (and a litany of other catchwords) has some lessons for us.

#7. Blow your trumpet. Not the Harmonica.
There’s a mental appeal to “I’m Dbanj!” . Everytime. Bursting out your speakers, you recognise the voice and probably hum along. For some people, this may come across as a gratuitous display but we overlook the psychological impact it spawns.
Whatever motive or element of character prompts the action doesn’t matter. The message remains clear. If you don’t praise yourself, or “toot your own horn”, who will?
You don’t need to rub it in people’s faces that you graduated with a first class degree from Harvard, there are a bazillion people like you already. But you should always pitch yourself. You are a brand remember? And brands are not made to sit in the laps of its makers but to be shipped, pitched, sweet-talked, into the minds of people.

#6. Your network says a lot about you.
Successful people are not lone rangers and Dbanj makes no mistake about it. The acclaimed nephew to Snoop Lion makes seemingly strategic moves to be with/around people who have gained high level of popularity and are loved by a number of people; Kanye West for example..

Move with people who’d stretch you beyond your comfort zone. You carry on a more appealing brand when you spend time with quality people.

“You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.” – David Ogilvy


#5. Match your style with your personality.
Seriously, the “dress how you want to be addressed” saying works. You look like a farmer, you’ll be addressed that way.
Confident, poised, Dbanj lives up to his taste and matches it with his style. Every darn detail.

According to a research in psychology, attractive people are more likely to get successful faster than average people who probably pay little attention to their appearances.  It’s not a wonder why he bags awards and signs deals after deals.

Dbanj-kanye#4. It’s OK to “fake it till you make it”.
Perception is everything in our world today. Dbanj probably ended up looking like Rick-Ross-hit-the-gym in his bid to throw a new look with Kanye’s signature beard, but that’s a reflection of where he aspires to be.
Most successful people start out (early on) with mentors or notable persons they want to take after, usually; they turn out more refined and very very successful.

Whatever you aspire to be, look out for people doing remarkably well – study their biographies, updates on their achievements and basically any information you can find on them. Pick out what you like most about these people and modify to suit your person.

#3. Be innovative.
Dbanj “invented” the following words/slogans – in order of preference; Tongolo, kokolet,The koko, Eja nla, (the reincarnation of) Oliver Twist, why me?, Oshey! File! etc etc. I might just feel good about myself if you called me a Kokolet – it wouldn’t matter whether I’m having a bad hair day or not. These widely accepted catchwords are all accrued to the energetic crooner himself, making it very possible for him to create a name around his passion.

#2. Entertain people.
You’ll agree most of Dbanj’s songs were hits, topping charts in Nigeria and around the world. His performances and body movement (which people add to their collection of dance moves), or that he speaks Yiddish sometimes but still gets people off their seats.Dbanj - south Africa
You want people to enjoy having you as company? Find out what makes them tick, know a little more about them, it’ll set you a stage and perhaps accord you a standing ovation.

#1. Stand out. Be unique.
Dbanj stood out for introducing the harmonica into his first few songs, a fusion with pop that rocked for a long time. Yes the harmonica stood him out. His “marriage” to Don Jazzy stood him out.
To strengthen the headlines, Taiwo Oyebanjo was referred to as Dbanj’s sister; it simply attracted more attention; largely because of his fame – which would have been impossible if Dbanj chose to stick to the rules.

A final note:
– Your circle of influence matters.
– If you want to go far, find someone who can shoot you to the top and ride that horse!
– It’s your identity, love it, talk about it.
– Perception is everything; observe how you come across to people. Value opinions, sift through irrelevancies and adjust as necessary.
– It’s not really about working harder, but making smart choices and moving with the ‘right’ people.

A conscious work on your personal brand helps you evolve faster, makes you unique, valuable and powerful; allowing you flaunt your strengths. Once you know what’s compelling about you, you’ll use that as an anchor to build a strong career.

Strong brands attract premium offers, Dbanj is one no doubt. Don’t believe? Check out his accolades.

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.


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