BRANDING A MARKETABLE TEACHER
To survive the post COVID era as a teacher in Nigeria, there is a need to re-brand yourself.
Individual branding has become a trending topic in the past few years as a person’s online image is fast becoming just as important as their offline image.
Today, teachers are either looking for new opportunities in high paying schools, or finding out ways to utilize their skills in different setups. Either you want to start your own business, join an educational organization, or even jump into the corporate world; you need a positive, exceptional digital footprint as well as a distinctive personal “teacher” brand.
One of the first questions I ask teachers who are discouraged or concerned about their job security especially in private schools in Nigeria is, “What’s your brand? If suddenly, you no longer have a job, what will you do with that brand?” In most cases, many of them are not able to answer those questions; they feel confused or awkwardly silent. Meaning they have no idea how to answer such questions. I was once in that shoe, not until recently I started creating a niche for myself in the education world.
According to an online entrepreneur Magazine, “your brand is your promise to your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates what you offer from that of your ‘competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
A personal brand as a teacher should include skills and experiences on your resume, a professional philosophy, communication abilities, and behavior/personality attributes you possess.
Branding itself triggers emotions, gives a sense of belonging and a feeling of security, passion and confidence.
In today’s virtual world, in which perceptions and impressions are as important as the facts and realities, the question you need to ask yourself is whether you are prepared to build your brand or whether you want it to be defined by other people’s perceptions or opinions about you. What do you want people to link up with you when they think of your name, your expertise on a subject matter or some random qualities you possess?
In Nigeria, it is somewhat difficult to stand out as a teacher. This might be because the profession has not been given the kind of full recognition it deserves, or that those practicing it have not proved themselves properly. The very few who have stood out are those who were once teachers and now have their own schools or run an educational consulting firm. But not everyone will own a school and so the need to carve your niche is very important.
Here are few things to consider in branding yourself for the potential educational market:
- What do you exactly do in the classroom? Make a highlight.
- Write down everything you do in detail, step by step.
- Narrow the list and extract what your proficiency is.
- What do you want to stand for as a brand?
- Take some time and really think about what your brand stands for. It’s important that despite your product or service, you have a clear mission statement for people to read.
- Do some research on your area of expertise and equip your soft/IT skills for productivity.
- Start thinking like an expert in your niche. This is more of an attitude adjustment as teachers. Start to look at yourself as an expert in your content area.
- Attend workshops both in (and out) of your subject area, attend conferences and continue to build your portfolio!
- Market your expertise content as a branded teacher. In this era of technology, we have so many mediums: Use free resources such as: YouTube, Twitter, Blogs, publications Facebook, Instagram, etc. let people know of your expertise.
- Find a platform and start writing: write about what you know how to do best.
- Start making impact: Once you get the above right, you may be able to present at conferences or do workshops for fellow educators or your market audience either one on one or via online platforms.
You are on your way to becoming the most sort after educator in Nigeria.
As teachers, we should always strive for the best performance in our own interest and the interest of our students. Building your personal brand requires long-term commitment, determination, strategic thinking and patience.
As we sojourn through the next phase of the world’s realities, become the next face of the global necessities.
Written by: Tosin Osemeobo
Educational coach (Abuja)
Edited and published by Aidetion Network