Branding is a way of marketing yourself so that people know who you are and what you do. If you brand yourself well, it will send a message that is instantly understood by your buyers and customers. The best three ways to build your name brand are: 1) Know yourself, 2) Choose work that allows you to do your personal best, and 3) Market, market, market yourself.

Know your strengths
What are you good at? Why do other people like your work? What areas can you improve upon? If you are not sure what you are good at, how can you expect other people to take you seriously?

Know your niche
What makes you unique? How can you position yourself in your niche market? What value do you provide that makes you stand out? Become focused, do what you do well.

Register your name
Register your trademark or servicemark at Get a business license. Register your website and domain registration at Having all of your “names” officially registered is very important to protect yourself against copyright infringement, and plagiarism---in short; the stealing of your identity.

Gain credibility
What can you do to make yourself an authority in your chosen field? Write a book? Give a speech? Join an association? Putting yourself out there in front of the public is essential.

Develop and maintain your network
Who do you need to stay in contact with? Who can you connect with in the future? What relationships can you nurture that can be mutually beneficial? Word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful and influential advertising there is.

The second way to build your brand is by the projects that you take on. When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to choose the work you do, so it is very important that you take on projects that reflect the kind of brand you are building. Make your work the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Do the little “extras” that make you stand out.

By choosing work that is important to you and making your projects extraordinary, you make (and leave) your mark. Keep your eyes and ears open. Always be on the lookout for projects, companies, and people that you can bring your special qualities or brand to. Great work does not magically appear. In fact, some projects may, at first, seem dull and boring, but when you perform your magic, those projects become exciting. And soon, by word of mouth (and because of your reputation), people will come looking for you.

The third way to build your brand is to actively promote yourself through print and Web-based marketing materials. You can develop professional marketing materials within an economical budget. Make sure your materials are up-to-date, of high quality, contain excellent content, and are readily available to potential clients. It is also important to keep a current read on the marketplace. Is your brand making the impact you want? Do you need to make some adjustments? Do you need to reinvent yourself? Being the CEO of You, Inc. is a tough job, but the rewards certainly outweigh the drawbacks.

___Attractive business cards, letterhead, etc.
___Your own website.
___A personal biography.
___Brochures and flyers.
___Create and send out press releases.
___Video or audio clip, if relevant.
___Use testimonials or case studies of those who have benefited from you or your work.
___Develop interesting story ideas that can be picked up from the media.
___Become well known in your career field by writing or presenting your work
to professional associations.
___Have an effective communication program, so that people can find out about you
(word of mouth, voicemail/information line, email, etc.)
___Use similar colors, logos, and messages in your marketing materials, so people can
easily make a connection between you and your work.
___Develop a logo and tag line (For example: Get Smart!’s logo is the knowledge tree
with a man and woman reading under it, and has the tag line: “Educate and Empower Yourself”)

Building a brand is about building recognition, and above all, trust. Make sure your clients and customers can trust you to do the job and do it well.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle L. Casto is a whole life coach, speaker, and author of Get Smart! About Modern Romantic Relationships, Get Smart! About Modern Career Development, and Get Smart! About Modern Stress Management. Her coaching practice is Brightlight Coaching, she helps people come up with bright ideas for their life and empowers them to freely shine their bright light to the world. Coaching is an empowering and enlightening experience. Michelle can work with you to build and brand your business. Contact her for a free 30 minute coaching session: (361) 949-0337 or and