Becoming who you want to be—or rather, who you want to be seen as—doesn’t mean abandoning who you really are. It just means determining what your best attributes are and using them to build your brand. Building your brand is more important than ever—and easier than ever, thanks to the internet. But why is branding important?

Branding yourself is just like branding anything else. If I say, “I’m lovin’ it,” does McDonald’s immediately come to mind? What about “Golden Arches” or even “fast food”? Same thing, right? McDonald’s has worked to makes its brand immediately recognizable—and what comes to mind first when most people think of fast food. You can do the same for yourself. You can be the face of Human Resources expertise, vegan baking or whatever it is that you want to be known for. So how do you do that, exactly?

Start at the beginning. What are your brand attributes—that is, what adjectives would you use to describe yourself. It might be helpful to ask friends or colleagues. Are you serious? Approachable? Bold? Surprising? Next, figure out your niche. You may be in Finance, but what makes you different from everyone else? Maybe it’s related to your job—or maybe you’re known for the fact that you participate in an adult kickball league. Determining your characteristics—particularly the defining one that makes you stand out—puts you on the path to personal branding.

After you figure out the basics, you can start with your internet presence. Make sure that you have an up-to-date and well fleshed-out LinkedIn page and a website, preferably with your full name as the domain. It also never hurts to have a blog or podcast. Last but not least, make sure that everything—your social media profiles and posts, your blog, website, podcast—are all consistent in their portrayal of your personal brand.

Once you’ve made yourself known on the internet, get out there in the real world. Join a professional or recreational organization. Volunteer. Join a board or two. Just get involved, and let everyone know who you are, what you’re good at, and what you’re passionate about.

These simple steps can get you started on your journey to personal branding. Above all, remember to be authentic and consistent. And don’t just build your brand, maintain it!

If you could use some help with your career, reach out to the specialists at TalentBridge today!