After interacting with you, what do others remember about you? Your personal brand. Consider it as your own individual business card or trademark. With continuous change in the workplace and immense competition, it’s more important than ever to brand yourself. By setting yourself apart, you increase the chance that people will want to collaborate with you, hire you, and listen to your proposals. To help get started on personal branding this year, try following these seven tips from experts.

[Related: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding]

1. Put pen to paper.

If you want to be successful in the next 12 months, now is the time to get clear about your goals. Understand what you desire for your business, brand, and yourself. Doing so will help ensure that success comes more easily. Keep your eye on the prize by writing down your intentions. You don’t need to plan out every single detail of how you will achieve them, but it is important to be clear about what you want. ambitions could include earning a promotion, signing up new clients, or starting a side business. It is essential to have clarity when tough choices come up or when circumstances become hectic; your objectives for your brand are what will help keep you stay focused and motivated.

2. Craft your narrative.

Your story is what creates your brand. who you are and want to be in the world needs to be conveyed with a clear and concise message that resonates with people. Your brand needs to be authentic above all else. It should reflect your own unique personality and interests. You might be stylish, funny, or have an invention that will change the world–whatever it is that makes you special, make sure your brand highlights that. Your story is what makes you unique, so embrace it wholeheartedly. When you talk about your experience with reverence, passion, and love, people will take notice of your enthusiasm.

[Related: 8 Successful People Share Their Best Organization Hacks]

3. Tap your circle of colleagues and friends.

A clichéd but nevertheless accurate statement goes: it’s not what you know, but who you know. Therefore, building relationships is important if you want to create a personal or brand identity. These connections should be strong, full of meaning, and genuine. Healthy business relationships are sustained by factors such as mutual respect and honoring one another’s trustworthiness. Furthermore, being generous with your time, resources, knowledge, and connections communicate to others that you care about their success. Helping others achieve their goals is the best way to ensure that they will return the favor. Keep in mind that no successful person has ever accomplished everything by themselves.

4. Be great to work with.

The best way to make sure you’re respected and that your work is valued, is to be the person who makes someone else’s job easier. This means being buttoned up, responsive, and always “on it.” When you add value to the work of others, you’re also adding value to your own brand. So make sure that every email you respond to and every call you take is done with pride and done well.

5. Post with a purpose.

Personal branding has become increasingly important in today’s world, and social media is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Whenever you post anything online, make sure that it accurately represents both who you are as a person and the core values of your brand. When it comes to social media posts, stick to what you’re good at and be cognizant of what sort of image you want to present. You don’t need to appeal to everyone, but consider the following before making a post: Should I be saying this? Is this post portraying me in the best light possible? See it as a chance to demonstrate the best version of yourself.

6. Show off your expertise.

To get your name and face out there, attend industry-related events, join organizations, speak on panels and write articles for popular sites. You can also help develop young talent by taking them under your wing, and in doing so gain admittance into an even larger network. Helping others feel empowered in your field of expertise makes you a go-to person and builds stronger relationships with those around you. It also establishes your personal brand. So, the next time someone asks for advice on holiday décor or an ad campaign’s success, don’t be afraid to share what you know!

7. Run in successful circles.

The people you spend time with have a profound impact on who you become, both personally and professionally. So, always surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best self. When you associate with people who have powerful lifestyles and are working to achieve their goals, it’s likely that you’ll want to do the same. These are also usually the types of people you end up building your career with and forming professional relationships with as you grow older.

[Related: 4 Secrets To Help You Master Your Personal Brand]

Photo: David Lees / Getty Images

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