Most people appreciate the importance of having a strong brand for their business, but when it comes to personal branding, people tend to be a little shyer. It wasn’t that long ago that personal branding wasn’t really that important.

The concept of “a job for life” was still strong, and all that really mattered was doing a good job on a daily basis.

Personal Brand

Today, however, people change jobs frequently, the workplace is more competitive, and everyone – whether self-employed or part of a bigger company, needs to have a strong brand.

So, how can you build a good personal brand? Here are a few tips to put you on the right track.

1. Be On Your Best Behavior

You may be sick of hearing this, but the world is getting smaller. The people you run in to in a night club while you’re on a stag do in a foreign town this week could be your co-workers (or your bosses) in your next job.

That doesn’t mean you have to be uptight and boring all the time, but try not to blab about work when you’re on a night out, and if you are going to get drunk, try not to get so drunk that you do something that you wouldn’t want to see posted online for your current boss to see.

2. Build Your Own Online Portfolio

If you Google your name or your email address, what comes up? If the results are all rants about popular TV shows, or statistic pages that show the number of head-shots you’ve earned in your favorite video game, then you might want to put together a more professional online presence.

Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, and other popular networking sites. Put up a professional blog, and do some SEO so that those pages are the top results.

3. Tell Your Story

What is it that makes you special? Are you great under pressure? Are you the person that comes up with creative ideas? Can you sell anything to anyone?

Find out what it is that makes you an asset to your company, and make sure that’s what you become known for.

4. Start Networking

Networking is something that requires regular attention. You can’t just go out and pick up business cards at the start of your career and then expect those people to remember you forever.

You should tend to your connections regularly. Go to SAP events or developer conferences and touch base with old contacts. Give advice to new starters and congratulate top execs on their latest awards. The more you talk to people, the more they’ll talk to you.

5. Share Your Expertise

If you have something worth sharing, tell people about it. Instead of just shaking hands at SAP events, see if you can give a talk at the next SAP conference.

Even if you don’t think that you’re a “big shot”, if your talk is interesting, people will perceive you as being important in the industry. Speaking at a conference (if you do a good job of it) can work wonders for your personal brand.