As part of the Women Who InfluenceHow I Built My Brand event series in partnership with Breather, I interview accomplished women on how they’ve established themselves in their industry. Multi-faceted entrepreneur April Jackson, shared her personal branding tips during this intimate Q&A.
At only 28, April has worn various hats in her career including former Miss Jamaica Universe, Ivy League graduate, BBC Apprentice contestant and more recently, the owner of Three Little Birds, a Jamaican restaurant in Brixton, London.
April Jackson, founder of Three Little Birds
Personal Branding Tips from April
Momentum is Key
When opening Three Little Birds, I opened the restaurant the day before my last episode on the Apprentice. The learning curve was steep. All of the big things I’ve achieved have been done in a seemingly short space of time. When you give yourself no other option, you find yourself doing things you didn’t think you could.
Know yourself and what works for you. There are some things that you should not compromise on. When I opened the restaurant, I wanted to sell only Jamaican rum. People told me I was crazy. But once the customers tasted the rum they loved it!
Build a Support System
I’m over the idea that entrepreneurship is this fun, happy-go-lucky experience. Being a business owner is hard work. There seems to be a myth out there that we all just make money online, sitting at home buying Chanel handbags.
A strong inner circle is crucial for when times get tough – and they will! You need to be able to divulge your inner thoughts and know you won’t be judged. My dad is my biggest role model. I’m so proud of all he has achieved. He has built everything himself and is the epitome of a self made man. My work ethic is a result of his example.
Building a Personal Brand
My business in hospitality is very much connected to my personal brand. Learn to play the social media game to be present where your customers and clients are. There are very few people building a business today, who will not have to use social media in some form.
Building an emotional connection, through being yourself is key. Otherwise it becomes a weird, copy-cat profile of someone else.
We all have something unique to offer. People often comment on how tall I am or when I wear my hair in a bun, people remember it because this is how I styled my hair on the Apprentice. Play up what makes you unique, don’t hide it.