Personal Branding photo from ShutterstockYour personal brand is how you present yourself and your career to the rest of the world. Similar to building and managing a corporate brand, you should build and manage your own personal brand as well. In my opinion, most people still don’t take this seriously. However, in order to be successful, you should be careful about the image that you portray to others.

With the development of internet and social networks, people have more platforms to express themselves and build their personal brands. Nevertheless, this should be done correctly and managed over time. Below you can find tips for building and managing your personal brand effectively.

1. Check your online presence: Have you ever Googled yourself? If not, now is the time. Search yourself on major search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. and see if you are happy with the results that come up on the first page. Don’t forget that there may be others who have your name and they can also come up on the search results. In order to differentiate yourself from others who have your name and show up more on online results, you should contribute more and be active on social networks.

2. Clean up the results that you don’t like: You have checked your web presence and found embarrassing pictures or ridiculous tweets. Now, it is time to clean them up. There are several ways of doing this. You can ask search engines to remove them. Google has a process for this. Another alternative is to go to each social network and manually delete them or take your account private so others won’t see your posts or pictures. If your friends have posted them, you can also ask them to remove the stuff that you don’t want to show up online.

3. Build your online personal brand: If your name doesn’t show up on the first page of search engines, then, it means you are not contributing enough. Open up a LinkedIn account immediately and fill in as much information about yourself as possible. Give enough details about your education and previous work experiences. A Google+ account is also helpful because if someone searches for your name, you appear on the right column of search results.

4. Buy your name’s URL and build a web page: If you can, buy your own domain name and build a simple web page about yourself. Buying a domain name is very easy and should not cost more than $10- $15 per year. You can buy your name’s URL from a domain name registrar and you can build a simple web page using free tools such as Wix, Weebly or WordPress. If you are not sure how to do these, ask for help. Probably, you can find a tech-savvy teenager or a college student who can do these for you in a few hours.