Back when I was starting my career at the University of Cambridge, if someone had told me that I'd end up with more than two million social media followers, and regularly doing live streams online, I'd never have believed them. I just wanted to build a good reputation in my field; little did I know that would grow into a “brand.”

Today, building and maintaining my personal brand is an important part of my job. But it's becoming important in so many professions, way beyond the realms of influencers, entrepreneurs, and gurus. In this digital age, your reputation—everyone's reputation, really—exists in the online world as much as the offline world. You can take advantage of this to establish your expertise, network and make new connections, grow your career (or, if you're self-employed, generate new business), and, ultimately, build your own personal brand. Whether you're employed, self-employed, a leader in your industry, or someone who's just starting out in their career, being your own brand ambassador may just be the most important job you'll ever have.

What Is the Brand of You?

You're already familiar with the concept of a brand. In the traditional sense, a brand is the culmination of all those things that make a company stand out, such as its values, visuals, and tone of voice. Basically, anything that contributes to how people perceive a business, that's its brand. As Jeff Bezos neatly puts it, “Your brand is what people say about ...

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