Entrepreneur

A Black Entrepreneur's Journey to Building A Global Brand – Black Enterprise


The process of building a powerful personal brand requires courage, commitment, and a belief that anything is possible. Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the most difficult skills to learn and master. Sidney Evans learned this lesson early as his life has been a journey far beyond his wildest dreams. His brand is global and he offers other entrepreneurs advice on building a global brand.

Evans’ upcoming book, Run Your Own Race, provides a road map for entrepreneurs to help them build their personal brand. He is the founder of Brand Vision Global and moderator of the C-Suite for Branding Mag. The former Pfizer corporate trainer and voice-over actor was most recently the host of the Rebels & Rulers conference in Bucharest, Romania, and was the keynote speaker at the Brand Summit conference in Cairo, Egypt.

Throughout his journey of building his own global brand, Evans learned two key lessons:

  1. The most powerful thing one can do in life is making a decision
  2. The importance of using your talents.

After receiving his M.B.A. from the University of Miami, he designed a plan to re-brand himself and go global. His mantra: “dream, create, win!” has been the guiding principle he has utilized to live life.

Here are his three top tips to help you develop a global brand:

Formulate A Clear Plan

He says a key to any successful venture is one’s ability to devise a clear but comprehensive plan. What are your goals? How will you achieve them? What are you passionate about? This can only be accomplished by taking an honest assessment of your skills, i.e., personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. In Evans’s case, he was well aware that he was entering a competitive market but devised a plan that clearly articulated his value proposition. He decided to focus on helping organizations and people build powerful corporate and personal brands. The ability to communicate and write effectively requires consistent effort. His goal is simply to add to the conversation by giving perspective based on the multitude of lessons learned over the years.

Find Your Audience

After clearly defining your goal, what’s next? It is vitally important that you engage an audience/community to illustrate your expertise. Evans began by writing articles and self-publishing on platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Consistency and commitment to the process are key pillars to building a global following. Having a clear perspective and staying consistent builds a following. Evans carved a noticeable niche by focusing on personal branding and highlighting upcoming trends for brands. Always remember: value is essential and people all over the globe are looking for solutions.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

So often, we focus on amassing contacts from networking events. We all probably have treasure troves of business cards somewhere that contain potentially vital contacts. Reach out! I can personally attest to the value of following up, as Sidney and I connected online via LinkedIn and have built a symbiotic working relationship.

“People follow-up according to the extent that they see value,” he says. He has taken a much different approach by utilizing technology as a tool to ease the follow-up process. Further, he sees follow-up as a vehicle to build community—based on the exponential effect. Essentially, you never know whom you are meeting and whom they may know. That philosophy has clearly worked well as he has proven so adeptly. Three international talks in three months is not bad, and Sidney maintains that none of these recent accomplishments would have been possible without effective follow-up.

Keep in mind that Sidney Evans’s global success didn’t happen overnight. For more about my top important points for black brand builders to keep top of mind about success, head over to my recent Black Enterprise article here, and remember, it takes at least 10 years of building a brand to become a success—simply put, keep building.

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Jeff Shuford

Jeff Shuford is a nationally syndicated columnist whose monthly column appears in more than 44 regional newspapers. Shuford is one of fewer than five millennial African-American syndicated columnists in the United States, and one of the country’s youngest syndicated columnists overall.


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