How often do you Google someone to find out what they look like? How frequently do you scroll through the social media platforms of people you meet?

For the first time in history, we can see into the lives of anyone – and that includes you and me. It’s why building your personal brand is so important, especially when starting out in business.

The fact is: you are already a brand. And how you show up online is in your hands. It’s a tough challenge with so many platforms out there, and it can seem impossible to keep on top of it all. But if you want to remain resilient in an uncertain business market, it’s the only way.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you create your personal brand…

1. Search yourself

Go in with the mindset “I am already a brand” and Google yourself to see how you show up online. What articles or websites appear under your name? What images?

People will form an opinion of you within three seconds and lose interest if they can’t find you – so if you’re showing up as an axe murderer – or, worse not at all – you need to audit your profile. Make your brand on the internet the one that you want it to be.

Google yourself to see how the rest of the world views you online

Google yourself to see how the rest of the world views you online CREDIT: LOIC VENANCE /AFP

2. Build your Google fame

Build your personal brand to attract the market, rather than being forced to sell yourself to it. The better your profile on social media, the more interviews, speaking engagements and articles you do, the bigger your Google fame – and the greater value for you in your market.

3. Find your DNA

The marketplace is crowded; how are you going to make yourself stand out? Create a personal DNA that captures what you want to be known for and have it running through everything you do. The brand is the end-to-end of the revenue stream… not just a pretty logo.


The DNA of a brand like Nike runs through ever single thing it does CREDIT: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS 

4. Have a website

Whether you’re launching a brand or working in a corporate job, build a website – even if it’s just a one-page WordPress. You need a “house” for all your work and information to sit on, increasing your Google fame, adding value to your brand and pulling the market.

5. Speak it, look it, share it, be it, live it

Speak it: You are your brand, so always remember, whether you’re talking on stage or out in the marketplace, be an ambassador for brand YOU.

Look it: Every time you walk into a room, people are analysing you before you’ve opened your mouth, so make sure you understand what the “look” of your brand is as well as what’s coming out of your mouth. “Looking it” is just as important as “speaking it”.

Share it: It’s easy to build your own network, and it’s so important as it can go with you to any job or business. The bigger the network, the bigger the database that you’ve got, giving you a following, which is very important. If you write a book and you want to get it to number one quickly, you only have to push it out to your network, and they can potentially sell it for you.

Be it: Be the expert, think about what do you want to be an expert in, and then pursue it.

Live it: Remember, you are a brand everywhere, both online and offline, so live like it. If you end up doing something that doesn’t fit with your brand, you could be photographed, put on social media, and before you know it that can impact your personal brand.