Everyone has his or her own personal brand. Branding is no longer limited to businesses exclusively. A personal brand is how people remember you as an individual. Everything someone does affects his or her brand.

The way you dress and carry yourself? It affects your brand.

That social media post you published? It affects your brand.

This is why one must always be ready and aware of one’s actions. One of my favorite hip-hop artists has a line in one of his songs that states:

“If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”

Even the slightest mishap can tarnish your brand permanently. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name?

A good personal brand can open up multiple opportunities for anyone. When your personal brand is compelling, people will find you interesting and desirable, which allow business relationships to occur more naturally. However, a poor personal brand makes someone seem un-inviting or undesirable.

Your online presence is one of the primary ways to monitor your personal brand. Your digital footprint, such as Google search results and social media, is the easiest to monitor, but also the hardest to manipulate. Try and match your digital footprint to your desired brand. If you’re a subject expert on cooking, like food things on Facebook, connect with food people on LinkedIn, or write blogs expressing your expertise in the kitchen. Attempt to associate yourself with your subject field as much as possible. This helps define your brand.

Your digital footprint is also important when it comes to distinguishing a personal brand is the increasing amount of businesses using the internet to hire new employees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 84 percent of hiring managers use social media in their hiring processes. These hiring managers are wanting to find out more about who you really are and what really makes up your personal brand. Remember, once something is online, it is virtually impossible for it to be removed completely.

Lastly, the key to a great personal brand is authenticity. Every person is unique and has qualities that separate them from the pack. Be yourself and highlight your own awesome qualities.

Authenticity rules.