Personal branding (an art of presenting yourself as major corporate players like Nike and Adidas) has become the norm in both career and business development. The credit goes to changes in both the cultural and business worlds.

In a quick paced society with a short attention span, instant and continued visibility isn’t just critical to guaranteeing you stand out from the crowd, it also progressively outlines the public perception of who you are and what you stand for. You can call it self-glorifying if you want. Label it symptomatic of a decline in overall values if you like. But make no arguments about it. People make instantaneous judgments based on what their eyes tell them at the very first glance, and fundamental marketing codes still have to revolve around regularity and scalability.

As a result, it’s crucial if you want to be seen a certain way, you not only need a project that relates to the image you are portraying, but you must take control of your life, instead of letting others define the reality of you and your business. Here are some ideas to help you set yourself apart from the rest.

Pitch like it’s the bottom of the ninth with the home team behind ...

Clarify your thoughts

You must clarify yourself, and summarize exactly what you do, in 30 seconds. Build a mental matrix of skills you feel you are crazy about, and the personal abilities and morals you’re proud of. Then create a moving and honest outline that puts it all together. How do you see yourself? Because that’s how others will see you in their mind — a short, vivid label that puts you into a mental group. To this degree, your pitch must be concise, lasting, and give you control if you’re ever put into a mental corner. That way, when the other person has an exact question for an exact service, they know who to call. Instead of trying to grab attention in an area filled with competition, choose a niche area that’s lacking in supply.

Lead your image

From clients and partners to recruiters and applicants, endless professionals are using services like Bing and Google to research topics, potential employees and providers in increasing numbers. As a result, it’s important you make use of these services to establish your awareness, and strengthen the message you’re trying to say. As a simple exercise, search your company name in Google, and find out what turns up. It’s important that the majority of the hits that appear — particularly the first page results, since they are the most clicked on — be what you want, and that they tell the same story. To this degree, you must own a website with your name as the domain or an easy variation of it; you must also have profiles on all the popular social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) all under the same name. Furthermore, what you say tends to stay in the public eye for quite some time. So you must think before you say something random or upload those pictures of the party last night.

Be heard

Plenty of people hold back what they are going to say, fearing criticism or embarrassment. But that is why we are in an age where so many of us are vying for so little. Bear in mind that at the fundamental levels, branding is about building yourself as the exceptional expert in your field, not just another guy in the middle of the crowd. You must build a podium (books, magazines, blogs, videos, tweets, etc.) that broadens your outlook to as many people in the world as possible, and stimulate contribution and support. Every podium must be labeled with your name, company logo, and general awareness. Once you build it, the content you push through it will demonstrate you as an expert in your field. Consecutively, you can always blog for major media outlets, exchanging your skills for a nice pic and bio, or you can speak at several trade events.

Give your time

By doing others favors, taking the time to respond to questions, or to clarify a point to donate to charitable organizations that help your industry, may not seem cost worthy. But simple acts of human compassion and kindness aren’t just good to hardening your character. They also help you create powerful relationships that pay off in the future. Working for charitable organizations presents wonderful opportunities to build trust, expanding your network, since you never know when you might need it. People remember when you go that extra marathon by spending some time to help an unexpected ally. It presents an ideal time to showcase your natural talents.

Mix it up

It doesn’t matter if you use social networking sites, tradition outlets or many other free services to build a reputation, access to that information is the name of the game. People must know you’re out there, they also need to know how to get in touch with you, so that you’re available to answer any questions in a reasonable timeframe. It doesn’t mean you have to tell the world that you stay up until 5 a.m. answering questions. But it does mean you cannot build too many walls between you and your customers, and be respectful of any question you come across. Be genuine, be good, and be capable.