Branding has historically been seen as something only companies or corporations cultivate. Today, more than ever, most individuals have a personal brand – they may have not been consciously cultivated, but they nonetheless exist, especially in the digital age we are living in. An AVG study recently announced that a shocking ninety-two pent cent of children under the age of two already have a digital footprint! Mummies and daddys the world over just love showing off their kids on social media!

Thus, it is not whether you have a personal brand, but whether you choose to take responsibility for and build your brand, or whether you let it become defined by external factors outside your control.

Shama Hyder at Forbes talks us through the seven ways you can start building an awesome brand for yourself. Take notes ladies and gentleman!

1. Start thinking of yourself as a brand

What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there general qualities you want linked to your brand? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand. Can you think of any examples in Thailand or abroad where individuals who have built up authentic and powerful personal brands that really resonated with you?

2. Audit your online presence

You can’t mold perception without first understanding the current status. In other words, Google yourself and setup alerts for your name on a regular basis. Have a fairly common name? Consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.

3.Secure a personal website

Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank for your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be robust. It can be a simple two to three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website with time.

4. Find ways to produce value

We’ve all been there. Someone in your network posts something utterly mundane or ridiculous, and you wonder what compelled them to do so? A medium is not a substitute for a message. Find ways to add value to your audience by creating or curating content that’s in line with your brand.

5. Be purposeful in what you share

Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.

6. Associate with other strong brands

Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands. Find and leverage strong brands which can elevate your own personal brand. Start with the three C’s: company, college, colleagues. Which school did you attend? Are there groups you can join? An alumni newsletter you can contribute to? What hidden opportunities are available within your company which you have yet to tap? Consider submitting a guest post to the company blog or look at other digital assets you can connect to your brand.

7. Reinvent

A strong personal brand is dependent on a strong narrative. In other words, what’s your story? Take a second to think of celebrities you know who have a strong personal brand. Oprah Winfrey. Martha Stewart. Richard Branson. They are all have a very clear story and a consistent brand. If you have multiple passions or areas of interest, a narrative becomes even more crucial so there can be unified theme.

Most importantly, remember that a strong personal brand should be ubiquitous and ever evolving.