Whatever industry you’re in, branding is a crucial aspect of creating a successful business. Whether it’s through content marketing and reaching out to your customers, or being active on social media, branding is about creating and cultivating a reputation or a feeling that you want to be associated with your company.

The same applies to building your personal brand. In age where social media is crammed with thought leaders and companies, creating a good personal brand could spell the difference between getting or losing a high-level job, or even becoming a respected name within the industry. With content shared by employees receiving eight times more engagement than content shared by brands, it pays to be savvy online and invest time into building your own.

Get writing- and speaking

One of the best ways to become more visible online is to start getting involved with online discussions and debates. Keep an eye on your industry and find out what’s going on, or find interesting angles that you can then write about. It’ll take time, but if your posts are good people will start sharing them on social media and vastly increase your online exposure.

Not only will this approach show you know what you’re talking about, but it’ll open other doors, too: the next step is to arrange regular speaking engagements at industry events that will allow you to show that you’re confident, well-versed in what’s happening in the industry and a good connection to make. Start small, and build up; eventually you’ll start getting invited to bigger events and conferences.

Get connected

Of course, one of the best ways to make a splash in your industry is by cultivating your online persona. This is one of your most powerful branding tools, and so it pays to keep tabs on how you’re coming across online.

To do this, make sure your social media profiles are fully up to date and look- and sound- professional. For greater engagement with others in your industry, share their content and get involved with online debates. If you’re serious about building a strong personal brand, perhaps it’s worth investing in a website- which will give you both a place to keep all the content you’re writing and better control of the image you’re presenting to the world.

You should also be using these social media networks to interact with each other. There’s a danger when networking that you only focus on your own needs and ignore those of others, but if you want to get something back then put effort in and be helpful to others, whether it’s making connections or offering advice. Once your list of contacts starts growing, you should then keep a detailed log of who they are, how you are connected and any potential opportunities you can create for later reference.

Know what makes you special

To make yourself stand out in today’s busy online social forums, you need to know what makes you special. To do that, you need to develop a strong value proposition: what can you offer other people, and why should they go to you for advice rather than somebody else? Knowing what makes you stand out is not only useful when it comes to carving yourself out an online niche, but when writing things like a great executive CV- for more tips on adapting your brand for a CV, check out this Redline blog here.

Creating and developing a personal brand is hard work, but if it’s done correctly, if can pay huge dividends and open up doors to conferences, valuable connections and status as a thought leader in your industry sector. Though it requires a lot of time and investment, one thing’s for sure: whether you’re applying for a job or not, it pays to be smart about your personal brand.

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