Ms Nour Elzeny is head of communications and CSR at Swiss Canal Bank in Cairo. 

Nour Elzeny and Assert Media

As an expert in corporate communication, she also teaches and trains people for corporate speaking in universities and several other people, including women and youths. And she does the same in different community activities. She also was one of the top 50 women in Egypt. Ms Nour is also passionate about sport.

She is an instructor at American University. Not only that, but she has 30 years of experience, which is why she is teaching us about Personal Branding in this session to help scale businesses.

The Note we took for you in case you missed the podcast.

Personal Branding Mission

I am passionate about helping women leaders like yourselves build personal brands that represent their true quality. To be able to influence others in their current world, whether they are holding a senior position or starting up their own new business. No matter what your story is, personal branding is mainly one of the steps that will help you achieve success.

In today’s digital world, your online presence is your brand. It’s how you land the right job, collaborate, influence, or contribute. 

Your homework: create a single slide with photos capturing your true identity. We’ll discuss how to choose the right ones to convey your brand. 

But first, Google yourself. What comes up?

When you want to know about anything, you Google it, right? So Google yourself. Google different spellings of your name, even. Look at the results. Do they represent you? Are you happy with what the world sees?

If not, it’s time to work on your personal brand. Do a brand audit across social media and Google. 

Set up Google Alerts for your name and email (even misspellings) so you can monitor any mentions online.

Google Alerts helps you monitor your online presence, which is crucial for managing your personal brand. 

When your name is mentioned, you can respond accordingly. Positive mentions? Express gratitude. Negative ones? Investigate and work with the media outlet to resolve the issue.

However, not all negative mentions require a direct response. Consider the media outlet’s reach and influence before investing time and energy. 

Sometimes, focusing on building a positive personal brand is more effective. Throughout my career, I sort of evaluate if it is right that I have to answer immediately to those media outlets. Shall I establish contact with them? So what I do and focus on is that I positively build the personal brand. When you have a strong following who know and appreciate your work, they become your advocates, defending your brand online.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is about what you are known for. It’s the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear your name, regardless of where they encounter it.

Jeff Bezos said it best, “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s about defining yourself – your essence, your qualities, and your reputation. Together, we’ll craft your personal brand, establishing you as a credible authority in your field.

This isn’t about chasing fame or bragging on social media about awards or conferences. Those posts don’t resonate. People care about how your content impacts their lives, their businesses and their daily struggles. 

That’s why 80% of your social media should focus on helping others in your industry or community, sharing your expertise and insights. The remaining 20%? That’s where you can showcase your interests, letting your audience connect with you on a more human level.

It’s not about self-promotion. It’s about making a genuine impact and building a brand that reflects your true value.

Let’s look at the steps together.


Why do we need to care about building a personal brand? 

You need to do a personal audit to see the gap in your personal branding game then you will know how you conduct yourself. This way you decide how you would like the world to perceive you. 

It is a journey which is not in one step. 

You establish your social media presence when you get your first contract. It’s a journey. It’s not a one-time step whereby you establish your social media presence and then you’ve got your first contract, your promotion, or the job or partnership you are looking for. It’s not one time you establish an image on social media. It is a continuous effort, but it pays off. 

Some might say, “That’s very exhausting to be able to monitor and keep track of how my personal brand is looking on the different social media platforms”.

Some say, “It’s exhausting to be able to keep up with the new trends and so on”. 

But again, I always tell everyone to look at the outcome and what they will gain when they maintain their social media presence. You need to keep up with the different changes. 

I get it, maintaining a social media presence is tough. It’s more than just posting selfies; it’s about staying on top of industry trends, acquiring new knowledge, and constantly updating your content. 

It’s a commitment, but here’s the reality: If you don’t put in the effort, your brand will stagnate while others who are hustling will outshine you.

It may not be easy, but the rewards are worth it. Imagine your brand thriving, achieving success, securing lucrative contracts and partnerships, and even making a positive impact on your community. 

That’s the power of a strong online presence.

So you need to figure out what you should be up to, after the digital audit. 

Steps to Digital Auditing

1. Self-assessment: this involves understanding your strengths, weaknesses, skills, values, and opportunities. It’s about discovering your authentic self, not presenting an idealized version that doesn’t exist. 

Do a swot analysis for yourself as well. It’s a must. Before you think of going on social media, building a website or recruiting an agency to help with your online presence.  

You can use free online tools to aid in this process, and jotting down key findings in a notebook will help create a roadmap for your brand. 

These tools include:

  1. Strength finder. It’s now called the Clifton strengths. This is just one website. There are around 34 themes and some questions, you answer them and get a detailed report of the top five strengths that you possess. 
  2. The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator: a set of questions. You answer them and you will be able to identify your personality type and the jobs or tasks that are relevant for you.

Personality assessments like The Enneagram and DISC personality tests will also be useful. 

  1. You can do the 360 feedback whereby you get feedback of how people perceive your personal brand. 

I make use of feedback too by getting a paper and asking questions of my peers in the industry. Someone I trust to give me honest feedback. I ask how they see me and if they consider me an expert in the field. 

Also do parallel work to achieve the skill sets you don’t have then focus on applying your key strengths in the early stage of your personal brand. 

2. Once you understand yourself, the next step is identifying your target audience. This involves pinpointing who will benefit from your knowledge, experience, or services. 

For instance, if your expertise is in corporate communication, you might target conferences attended by individuals interested in that field. 

Understanding your audience helps tailor your content and messaging to resonate with them, ensuring your efforts are not wasted.

Who are your target audience? 

What are their values, expectations and problems? How can you find this? 

Go into their social media or website. You are the expert in your industry. Analyse these things and pinpoint what they are missing. 

Focus on your strengths and what you can do for them. Then look into how you can use your skills to solve their problems.

Then interact with them on social media or call to schedule an appointment with them. 

What is the best way to approach your target audience?

Approach them subtly by posting and using the right hashtag. 

Some books can teach you the right steps to approach your target audience, and if you can’t read these books, you can access their summaries. There are also audio versions of these books that you can listen to while you drive. 

Tools for creating content for your social media page

  • Canva, Adobe, Spark, Luminate Five. 
  • WordPress for developing a website. Google has one too and you can do it for free. You need only to buy your domain name from GoDaddy or other domain providers. 
  • Buffer, tweet deck and others for managing your social media.
  • Tools like Google Analytics and Social Blade can help you analyze your audience.  
  • Mailchimp is one of the really good platforms. 
  • LinkedIn for professional networking.
  • Google Alerts and Social Mentions for monitoring your brand. 

This is a big topic, but I just wanted to highlight the key or the key elements and the steps that we need to be able to start. 

People are smart and can tell when your post does not represent you. So you must be authentic you be real. 

And the key to personal branding is to utilize the skill set that you have. Utilize the experience for the benefit of others and Africa as a whole.

Watch the full session here.

Covered by Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu


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