Personal branding may seem like somewhat of a buzzword these days. Something people talk about and emphasize but don’t really take action on. However, your personal brand is something that you should work on or at least audit every once in awhile, especially if you are a business owner or entrepreneur. Sometimes there’s a fine line between a personal brand and your business as a brand, but it should be known that whether you have worked on it or not, you have a personal brand. Who people associate you with, how they describe you and the way you work, and your social media all contribute to what your personal brand is. The question is, do you want to actively take part in curating that brand or not?

Review your online presence.

Take a brief inventory of your online presence. This is not only your social media but any related articles or publications that pop-up when someone googles your name. Take a few minutes to google yourself once in awhile and see what comes up. You can even create alerts when something featuring your name is posted online. Again, these things are already out there and shaping your personal brand. Figure out if it is projecting the right image and know that every post, every photo, every comment will be part of your personal brand.

Have a personal website.

Whether you already have a website that features your company, product or service, it is nice to have a website that comes up under your name and features you and the projects you work on. This helps you rank in search engines and differentiate yourself from others who might share your name. You can also use it to point to your other projects and businesses.

Whether you speak or write, be authentic.

A way to boost your personal brand is to speak at events and write articles/blogs within your industry. It’s a great way to become known as a thought-leader or an industry expert as people will look to you for information and advice. Whatever you choose to do and how you provide value to others will have to be authentic. Not many things will do more damage to your personal brand than being perceived as fake, insincere or untrustworthy.

Connect with others and build associations.

Your associations and partnerships are key in validating your personal brand. Find the people and business you’d like to be aligned with. Then, collaborate or guest blog on their platform if possible. Build a partnership that helps you create a community of other like-minded people around you.