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Your personal brand is pretty much a must-have in this high-speed world that relies on technology. There are so many people competing for the same jobs, opportunities, and business that it may seem impossible to stand out in it all. Maybe you’re a little wary of putting yourself out there on social media because you’ve seen it go very wrong in the past or maybe you’re simply as private person. Whatever your reason for not already creating a personal brand, it’s time to craft one and advertise your image. With a personal brand, you’ll become known in your industry and be viewed as an individual.

Make sure it’s authentic

Before you begin crafting your brand, take time to make sure the image you’re putting forward is true to yourself. While you should definitely play up your strengths, never lie about skills or experiences you do not have. Avoid setting forward a generic image that is the same as every other professional in your industry who are focusing on developing a personal brand.

Secure your accounts

Once you realize the importance of creating a personal brand, get the accounts you’ll need to portray your image online. If you don’t already have a personal website, get one as soon as you can, along with a Twitter account. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to make the domain and handle your full name, but if someone has already claimed it, select a series of numbers or way to identify yourself and then use it across all your profiles.

Create a succinct look

After you get your online profiles, it’s time to begin customizing them to work for you. As you’re designing your brand, create a logo and color scheme you like and that looks professional. Make sure you use the color scheme and style across all of your websites and profiles so there aren’t discrepancies in your personal brand and its appearance.

Narrow your focus

It’s likely that you have many interests, but you’ll want to have a narrower focus for your personal brand. Focus on the industry you want to, or currently, work in and also choose one or two hobbies that you can talk about. You’ll want to have your personal brand slightly separate from your career, so you show you’re more than just your job, but it’s important to also present yourself professionally and have a specific focus.

Always educate yourself

No matter how long you’ve been in your industry or how educated you are, there’s always the opportunity to learn more. Spend plenty of time reading current news or developments and consider taking classes and learning new skills. Become as close to an expert as possible and always strive to learn more; your knowledge will be be reflected as you share content that relates to your personal brand.

Think before you share

Many people make the mistake of mindlessly sharing content or creating generic articles that offer readers nothing new. Carefully read any articles before you share them in case there’s anything you disagree with or something others may find offensive or too controversial. Proofread any content you create yourself and step away for a few hours before giving it a final edit.