Create Your Personal Brand: 5 Steps

1. Know yourself and what you’re good at.

Your personal brand reflect who you are, so you can’t possibly brand yourself if you’re clueless about yourself.

This doesn’t mean navel-gazing, but rather a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, what you love doing, and the skills that you’ve mastered or are working to master.

2. Capture your online turf.

Buy the domain name that corresponds to your brand name and secure the Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ account as well.

If you find that your brand name is already “owned” create a different brand name. With LinkedIn, you’ll use your real name, so put your brand name prominently in your profile.

3. Set up automatic updating.

In order to do away with the busywork of different social media platforms, setting up an application will help to simultaneously post to all of them. Hootsuite is a good example of such an application.

4. Get feedback from people you trust.

Advice and encouragement from others helps to keep “brand development” on target.  Philip Styrlund, CEO of The Summit Group, recommends setting up a “board of directors”–a few trusted colleagues who can assess your ongoing efforts and act as an informal sounding board.

5. Create a memorable brand name.

If you have a unique name, make that the brand name.  If not, create a brand name that’s a hybrid of your name and your career direction. “You want people to find you, not somebody who’s got the same name as you,” explains Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.  Remember, though, if you put your direction in your brand name you’re tied to that direction.