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Every time you interact with someone in person or online, you are building your own personal brand.

Think of a brand as a story. When people think of a business, or a person, they associate that with a wider story that says who the business or person is.

By taking control of your personal brand, you decide what story is being told.

Here are some steps for taking control of your personal brand.

Understand That You Have A Brand

The first step to take control of your brand is to understand that you have one, and then take a closer look at what your brand currently is. How are you presenting yourself?

A lot of branding comes down to details. What kind of language do you use? What tone do you set in conversations, and what do you talk about? How do you dress? Is your smile warm and inviting or are you more aloof? Do you have a firm handshake?

Consider your daily interactions and what kind of tone they set for your brand.

Be Intentional About Where You’re Showing Up

You can’t be everywhere. The people who try to are often stretched too thin. The places they show up, they do so infrequently and without as much presence as they would have otherwise.

Choose where you’re showing up wisely, and really invest your time. This counts online and offline. You can’t be on every social network every day. Choose one or two, and then invest your time in engaging with your following on that platform.

You can’t be a part of every in-person event. Choose where you’ll spend your time and then make sure you’re fully present while you’re there.

Understand That Nothing About This Is Passive

While everyone has a brand, and that can be passive, having a successful and intentional brand requires deliberate decisions.

It may feel frivolous to take careful considerations about how every outfit you wear speaks to your personal branding, but it’s important.

What Is Your Brand’s Goal?

Having a clear understanding of the goal of your brand can make your decisions a lot easier.

Are you a person wanting to get promoted at work? Then a promotion is your brand’s goal. You might look at the people who are currently working the job you want for inspiration. How do they present themselves? Use this information to brand yourself in a way that presents you as a top candidate for that job.

Your Habits Are Going To Become Your Brand

Branding is all about consistency. For a personal brand, this means your daily actions. Consider the things you do on a daily basis and whether they support your brand’s mission.