Your personal brand should reflect who you are. In other words, your personal brand is all about your reputation. Personal branding is how you sell yourself and your job as a brand. As a consequence, a building block for your career is how you market yourself. The way people feel when they hear your name, positive or negative; help portray your image to them.

Are you someone who never follows up with individuals? Are you making an effort know the people that you meet? Believe it or not, all of these things play a part in your own brand. Your personal brand is also not just online. It’s how you handle yourself in the workplace, at activities or at home. It’s who, as a human, you are. Below are some of the ways in which you can positively develop your personal brand.

1. Build your network

Connecting with professionals and peers in the field is a great way to start building your own personal brand. Learning and interacting with them will help your professional circle and network grow. Go to networking events, send a message to the industry leader, and make connections. As you begin to make more and more connections, there will be a better chance of your personal brand being recognized. The more connections you make, the easier it is to tap into the industry and connect with others.

2. Be authentic

It’s all about being yourself. Trying to mask yourself as someone you’re not, will eventually be shown to others. Acknowledge that you don’t know every detail about your industry, and that you don’t have to act like you do. It’s all right, most people don’t. Let your personality shine forth. Who you are and what you are is unique, don’t be afraid to show it. It’s surely going to pay off in the long run.

3. Transparency is important

Whether you know it or not, in today’s digital age, everything is transparent. Make sure that you know what your goal is, and stick to it. What is your intention, and how are you going to portray and maintain it? With today’s technology, anything and everything can be easily captured and distributed in seconds, so be sure that what you’re about to do or what you’re about to say won’t hinder your brand if thousands of people see it.

4. Keep the engagement going

Once you start networking and connect to those already in the field, keep the interaction going. Follow them on social media platforms, ask for a coffee meeting, get to know them. You’re going to be comfortable engaging with them, and chances are they’re going to introduce you to others in the field, too. Don’t let the initial connection fade away over time. Make an effort to keep it alive, and make an effort to know it. You never know if they’re going to help you advance your career, or if they’re going to help point you in the right direction.

5. Knowledge is the key

Know what you talk about and own it. Get acquainted with important topics and trends in the industry. Understand your interests and see how you can use them to portray who you are and how you want to be seen. You want to add value to your conversations and engage in conversations about subjects you know about. Wanting to be a personal brand without a clear direction of your goals is an easy way not to be a personal brand.

Building your personal brand can be a daunting task. Take the right steps to be informed and to engage with your industry. Be proactive as your brand grows. Seek new opportunities for networking and new professionals to connect and engage with. Stay on top of the industry news and engage in conversation. Make yourself known and make your personal brand thrive.