Brand audit. You’ve likely Googled yourself before, but this time you have a strategic purpose. Make it your business to know what is posted about you on pages one through three in a Google search. If there is anything inaccurate or unflattering, you may need to take corrective action. Delete unflattering posts. It’s perfectly acceptable to self-edit. If you have older posts on your social media platforms that contain images or text that is unflattering or no longer accurate, I strongly encourage you to delete them or un-tag yourself. Edit as far back in your timeline as you possibly can. Just because you’re tired of seeing those NYE pics from 2010 doesn’t mean a new viewer won’t review them. Update your profile image. Fair or not, we’re judged first and foremost by the images we project to the world. If your LinkedIn image is of your kids, dog, or is more than five years old, you’re saying to others that you don’t care about your image. As a result, others will not care about you. Take the time to get proper headshots or use a picture that projects you as a polished professional. Understand security settings. Every single social media platform provides you with a certain amount of security settings to help you filter who can and can’t see your posts, engage with you, respond to your posts, etc. It’s important that you understand each of these settings, know how they work, and decide what level of engagement you’re comfortable with. If you’ve mastered the aforementioned steps and are ready to take your brand further, I recommend the following: Completely fill in your LinkedIn. Not completely utilizing all your LinkedIn profile has to offer you is like leaving money on the table. Here is a platform that is encouraging you to tell everyone more about your professional accomplishment, so let your light shine! As stated by Suzy Welch, bestselling leadership author and CNBC contributor, “If you maximize your LinkedIn profile, you may not be looking for your next job. It could come find you." Brainstorm content. Effective content is comprised of individual pieces delivered via blog, video, graphic design, etc. that are immediately useful, unique, personalized, and/or entertaining. What thought leadership can you provide in your industry or area of interest that meets these key elements? Brainstorm and write down any and all ideas that apply. From there you may begin to develop your content. Establish a content calendar. Creating a weekly or monthly content calendar will help keep you organized and focused on creating effective content. Build your calendar around key industry events, national holidays, and periods where your individual area of expertise could be of value. In between those times you’re going to want to highlight other thought leaders in your space. If you feel overwhelmed by all this information, don’t be. You can do this. Take it one step at a time and you’ll see results. You are your best publicist, so now is the time to create and manage who you are to the online world. If the desire is there, but the creative abilities aren’t, there are tons of online resources, apps like RIPL, ADDY or LAYOUT and brand professionals who can help guide and support you throughout your journey. Happy branding!