Whether we realize it or not, we’re all entrepreneurs. We’re all building our own brands – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – and we’re all creating a network for ourselves to stand on because we all have something to stand for. We live in the age of the Internet, where people follow, like, retweet and hang on every word we say.

No matter what we choose to talk about, social media and the Internet have become the way we market ourselves. What we say, how we say it and when we say it has become the lenses that people view us through. They become the things we’re known for. They become more of the things we sell on job interviews than our skills themselves.

Here are 8 things to remember – when building your brand from the beginning.

1. Figure out what you want to represent

It’s completely up to you to decide what you want the axis of your dot-com venture to be about.
More than anything, stay with what interests, drives and motivates you. If it’s cars, let it be cars, if it’s fashion, let be fashion.

2. Decide who you want to represent

Everyone has an audience and at some point, so will you. Do you want to reach women? Men? Girls just starting college? People interested in coding? Designers looking for a space to keep track of all the latest and greatest portfolios on the market?

3. Create a logo

Listen, to be completely honest, your brand won’t be anything without a logo. It needs an identifying marker, like a birthmark or a uniqueness that sets you apart from everyone else.

4. Get to know as many people – and as many ideas – as you can

Network, network, network. Network ‘til you’re blue in the face. Network ‘til you can’t network no more – and then find the strength to network some more. Point is: word of mouth helps news spread. Word of mouth informs, excites and encourages.

5. Don’t hold back, not even for a second

If you’re going to build something for yourself – if your dream is to have something that is yours, all yours, and successful – then you can’t sit idly on the sidelines and wait for it to come and find you.

6. Create your personal website

Build your website and please please make it mobile friendly and don’t use a .wix or .anything spend the extra couple of bucks to look professional and get a .com

Remember all these things impact peoples opinions on your brand.

7. Put your stamp on social media

Going to events, showing your face and doing the legwork is important. You’ll meet people, exchange business cards swap stories and make plans to “get coffee” and “catchup” or “meet for a drink” and “share startup stories” but we all know that the chances of these happening are few and far between.

The more you put yourself out there on different social platforms, the more people will associate your identity to your brand – and just like face-to-face networking, word of mouth will help spread the news. Your social media presence will determine how you differentiate yourself from other brands and, more importantly, how people come to recognize you.

8. Stay consistent

Keep your name the same across everything. If your website is “Toms Travels,” your social media accounts, email and contact information should share that same branding. Consistency isn’t just important for you to keep track of things, but it will keep your followers tuned into what you’re doing.

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More over at ED/SquareSpace.