Liezel van der Westhuizen is a well-loved media personality in the South African radio and television media space, but she is currently changing the marketing game like no one has ever done before. She’s taken a step into the digital world and is offering the “average Joe” a piece of her own master-mind in what she calls, “Marketing Mondays.”
Liezel is a global motivational speaker and corporate coach, specialising in personal branding and speaker training. According to her social media, she says, “Let’s share, support, and upskill each other where we are able to, during these times!”
Liezel is fondly known to friends and fans alike as ‘The Giraffe’, a moniker she has also worked into the name of her personal vlog, Giraffe in the City. What many people may not know is that the nickname was originally meant to be an insult. Over the years, Liezel has turned ‘The Giraffe’ into a recognisable brand image and is teaching those around the country how to do the same.
Marketing Monday’s – tell us about these seminars and why they are so important?
I host my Marketing Monday seminars at 12pm midday, on my Facebook and Instagram LIVE (@LiezelOnline), each Monday as a way to share my ideas and experience as well as interview some of the most interesting and educational people in our country. It was an idea that came about, as a way to give back during lockdown – having seen just how many businesses and entrepreneurs were struggling and scrambling to adjust to the cultural shift, in basically how we understand the world, and how we operate within it. I figured that there was merit in giving out the kernels of wisdom I have, from: insights on social media tactics businesses need to capitalise on, to why personal branding should be foremost in many entrepreneurs’ minds.
How has your experience come into play and helped you?
My multiple degrees, years of industry experience, and the frankly sterling reputation that precedes me, need to do more than benefit me, both now and later. I’m very cognisant of the platform I have, and the privileged position I find myself in; And Marketing Mondays is one of the more constructive ways I have felt would yield substantial benefits to others.
People anywhere are able to ask relevant questions to the topic of the week I’ve chosen, and I answer their burning question with as much clarity and specificity as I am able to during the live call. There are resources I also outline to those watching, and which you’ll have to tune in every Monday at 12pm midday, to hear how to access.
Why is it important to open oneself to multiple avenues and angles?
If lockdown taught us anything, it is to be as diverse and adaptable as possible.
It is simply not a viable long-term business (and life) model, to not try for multiple streams of income, various ways to entrench yourself more firmly in your industry, and to not work at the angles available, that will have you working smart and sustainably. One’s personal brand is an asset. People need to understand the enrichment that comes with having one, and eventually having it be so valuable it functions like a credit card because of its success as social currency.
Tell us about the Giraffe Brand Academy and where do you hope to take it forward?
The Giraffe Brand Academy helps entrepreneurs with building personal brands, with their marketing, as well as equipping them with sales tips and necessary fundamentals in my business training. I coach a number of clients all over the world, and it is so rewarding to see the brand and the academy growing in renowned, and successful business strategies. I can only hope that going forward, more people see the value of investing in their brand, and that I can be a part of their journey, coaching them towards towering over their competition.
What is one entrepreneurial quality you believe everyone should harbour and why?
‘Agency’ – which is sometimes defined as being the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. I just believe in an entrepreneur not going with the crowd, when there’s the opportunity to be singular and creative with your business. I believe in having and cultivating your own drive, rather than waiting about for other things or people to motivate you. I believe in taking in what’s going on in the world and its markets, but having the leadership thinking to be decisive and unique in your entrepreneurship.
Where do you draw support from?
I have a number of mentors and coaches in the business world, who have been instrumental in the defined brand I am today. I have learned so much from them! My career though, has been impacted most clearly, by those around me too – the many faces I’ve seen (famous or otherwise), the voices I’ve chatted with, and the body’s I’ve swum and walked alongside.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Even if history never remembers my name, I hope every heart I’ve touched, every ear I’ve had listening in, and every action for the world that I’ve striven to always make purposeful, means that there is an imprint of good vibes just floating about from one soul to another.
I’d rather leave impressions through feelings – making someone smile, and that rippling across to a world of positive action and feeling.
Upskilling, confidence boosts, brand development, and feelings of calm, are just some of the rewards that come with engaging Liezel across her various platforms – all with some formidable insights attached to them.
So, whether it’s confusion about how to deal with the technological demands of a world operating under social distancing, or the best tips for establishing a stellar Personal Brand, this renowned motivational speaker, and corporate coach – with a triad of degrees & a cornucopia of varied clients around the world – brings a wealth of wisdom to anyone tuning in to Marketing Mondays.
Marketing Monday’s LIVE on Facebook and IG – Monday’s, at 12h00 (SA Time).