This is part one of the three part series this week on marketing yourself. Parts two and three will come later this week.

YOU are a brand. I am a brand. We all have our own brand, and in a digital world, it’s on us to define what that brand is, and how we want to use it.

Recession or not, high unemployment or not, it’s up to you to create the life you want for yourself. Whether that means getting a high paying job in your industry, or a new position in a difficult industry to get into, or working for yourself and marketing your services to others, there are different things that you can do to give your “image” that much needed boost.

We all need it.

Taking control of your identity online is step 1. Social media has created a whole new channel to get our voice, and our personal brand out to the world.

Take this blog as an example. I’ve branded my name in the marketing world, developed a Twitter handle that I use to spread marketing news that I’m interested in and communicate with others in the field, included my LinkedIn page that has my career history and professional connections, and wrote a book demonstrating my knowledge in a particular field.

Not only can I prominently feature all of this on paper or online wherever I apply for work, show my skills, or market myself, but if someone does a Google search on me, I’m in control of what shows up. Because I’ve worked to make it that way.

What happens if someone does a Google search on you? Try it out.

Like what you see? Do you even show up?

Essential in marketing yourself is to stop ignoring your digital footprint, and start taking control of it. Start to build a reputation for yourself online.

In part 2 we’ll dive deeper into how to brand yourself to get a job.