Your Personal BrandYour personal brand is not unlike a corporation’s. Its your reputation, other’s perception of you, and how you call attention to yourself. Long gone are the days where individuals align themselves to one company for their entire career. The strength of many companies rely on the quality and expertise of the individuals. So why do people neglect their most valuable professional asset — their brand?

Your personal brand used to reside on an old resume in a drawer, and perhaps on a few outdated letters of recommendation. But we have LinkedIn now. We have Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. And they’re all easy to use. Think about investing time in your personal brand the same way that you would invest money for your retirement. Even a little bit of effort now, will pay off exponentially in the future. You are only a Google search away, or at least — you should be.

LinkedIn is a must for everyone. Its a permanent professional network for jobs, recommendations, advice, and professional growth. Get on there now, fill out your profile, and connect to people you know. This is an incredibly deep version of your resume. Facebook is LinkedIn’s little brother in terms of professional networking. I prefer to use it to stay in touch with my personal friends, but there’s definitely some crossover there.

Blogging and Tweeting can be a very public forum to showcase your professionalism, knowledge, and expertise. And because of the viral nature of these mediums, a little effort can go a long way. In fact, once you start using these tools, you’ll find countless resources on how to blog and tweet like the best of them.

Its all free (for now), easy to do, and honestly, its fun too!

(For extra credit – read Chris Brogan’s take on email databases, although I think a LinkedIn account is adequate for most.)