Building an Authentic Personal Brand as a Young Entrepreneur

At just 23 years old, Multazim Zia has already accomplished more in business than most do in a lifetime. The founder of MultiPath, a personal branding and coaching company based in the Northwest of England, got his start as an entrepreneur while still a teenager. Now, he's focused on establishing credibility and authenticity to stand out from the crowd.

An Early Start in Business

Zia's entrepreneurial journey began when he was only 19, while still studying to become a physiotherapist. He started taking on private clients in his free time, leveraging connections with friends and acquaintances to build up a roster.

After qualifying, Zia specialised in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and opened his own clinic. To attract patients initially, he emailed information to solicitors and insurance companies in a professional manner. This strategy paid off, with several firms referring clients to him. Now, much of his business comes from word-of-mouth and referrals.

Transitioning to Coaching and Public Speaking

As he gained experience, Zia found himself drawn to coaching others on achieving their goals. He also discovered a passion for public speaking. This led him to broaden his services and rebrand his personal business as MultiPath.

Zia noticed that many self-proclaimed "gurus" online lacked qualifications or expertise. He felt called to share "authentic knowledge" across various industries instead. Through MultiPath, he offers coaching, speaking, writing and PR services based on his own growth and interests.

The Power of a TEDx Talk

In building his personal brand, Zia set his sights on one major goal - giving a TEDx talk. The prestigious TED brand is globally recognised for spotlighting innovative thinkers.

When Zia spotted a local university was seeking speakers, he jumped at the chance. His TEDx talk focused on life lessons for students during the pandemic. He emphasised maintaining a "student mindset" of constant learning, regardless of age or career stage.

This high-profile speaking opportunity expanded Zia's reach and bolstered his credibility. The TEDx talk also helped attract clinical clients who want to work with someone influential.

Using Social Media Authentically

To share his message online, Zia mainly leverage Instagram and LinkedIn. On Instagram, he's found that posting Reels as well as photos and quotes works well. The different formats allow him to showcase various aspects of his life and business.

On LinkedIn, networking and making connections is the priority rather than branding. Zia believes the professional audience there isn't the right target market for his services.

Across platforms, Zia aims to post authentically as himself - not following trends or algorithms. He focuses on sharing his knowledge and experiences in an emotive yet professional way.

Staying True to Your Brand

When asked for advice, Zia emphasises aligning your branding with your true values and beliefs. "Don't make videos or posts just because social media is demanding it," he says. "Stay true to who you are."

He also warns against spending heavily on marketing or hiring teams before you know precisely what you want to achieve. Otherwise you may waste resources without furthering your goals.

Building Credibility and Trust

The biggest obstacle Zia faces is skepticism due to his young age. Yet he differentiates between credibility - earned through qualifications and expertise - and authenticity, which comes from living by your principles.

Zia continually seeks to learn, keeping up with the latest practices in his field. He points out that as an entrepreneur, you don't have to be the absolute best to offer value. You simply need evidence to back up your services and a commitment to integrity.

By being relentless in his self-improvement and transparent about his journey, Zia has built a personal brand that far exceeds his years. For fellow entrepreneurs, his story offers inspiration to stay driven and connect authentically with your audience.