How are you differentiating yourself from everybody else who has a similar skillset, ideas, and audience goals? The answer is simple; you have to establish a strong personal brand. Personal branding is a powerful thing. Forbes statistics suggest that sales professionals who have established a strong brand on social media do 78 percent better than their peers who don’t do personal branding. Remember that it takes anywhere between five and seven brand impressions before somebody remembers your brand. This is why consistency happens to be one of the most important prerequisites for success.

Here are 6-easy steps to brand yourself that you can rely on regardless of your niche and experience level. Remember that getting results will take some time, which is why you have to stick to the strategy and be patient.

Step 1: Create Your Personal Brand Vision
What’s your personal brand all about? Which values and inherent beliefs do you want to put emphasis on in an attempt to differentiate yourself? These are the most important questions to answer at the beginning of the process. A long-term vision is needed to ensure your professional or business success in the future. Every thought leader and memorable business have a core of inherent values that remain unchanged through time.

Step 2: Determine Your Audience
To address people in an adequate way, you have to figure out what your audience is going to be. The most powerful brands are the ones that address a niche crowd. Attempting to appeal to a general audience will make it much more difficult to establish an emotional tie with prospects. Thus, you need to focus on a specific audience that has well-defined characteristics. To define your target audience, you have to imagine your ideal client. What does that person need? What do they believe in? Are they attempting to address a specific problem? Where do they work? How much do they earn? What are their interests? Their social and family status? The more specific you get with the questions, the easier it will be to visualize your prospect.

Step 3: Come Up with Your Emotional and Practical Appeal
A good branding message focuses on your expertise and the emotional appeal you’ll have for the respective crowd. To determine your emotional appeal, determine how people will benefit from the interactions with you and what emotions do you want to have associated with your brand. Regarding practical appeal, focus on the service you have to offer, the way in which it solves a problem and how it’s different from the possibilities made available by the competition.

Step 4: Draft a Message
Using all of the information gathered so far, you’ll have to put it all together. Write short sentences and phrases that bring together the qualities and the descriptive words you’ve already come up with. Do a brainstorming session and let your creativity run wild. Chances are that you’ll come up with some pretty impressive slogans that will simply need a bit of polishing.

Step 5: Think about Exposure
Coming up with brand attributes is just the first part of the process. You’ll now have to figure which channels are best for spreading the message. Some of the options to consider include starting your website/blog, doing social media marketing, writing an ebook, appearing during industry seminars or putting together a professional workshop. A multi-channel strategy is usually the one that will deliver the best results.

Step 6: Connect with Other Industry Leaders
Establishing your brand through association is a clever strategy. Social media makes it incredibly easy for all professionals to connect with some of the biggest industry leaders. Partnering up with them, participating in their events and engaging via social channels can help you reach a bigger audience and spread your message.

While the 6-easy steps to brand yourself are suitable for just about everyone, they require a thoughtful approach, strategic thinking, and commitment. If you want to build a brand, you’ll have to commit to the process. Spend enough time on preliminary planning, and the other steps will be much easier to complete.