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Personal branding might be something that most of us associate more with companies than individuals, but in a day and age when we all have social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and, for job networking, LinkedIn, understanding how to present yourself has become critical. In fact, when done wrong, it can be the difference between being successful and failing.

Now, we’re not here to freak you out or anything, but, as you probably know, you have one chance to make a first impression on someone. That can be while swiping on online dating apps or when a recruiter Google’s your name and sees what some of the search results are. If you want to ruin your chances of getting a reply, you’re going to want to make sure your personal branding matches who you really are.

Trust us, the last thing you want to have happen is for a girl or hiring manager see that you’ve still got pics of you passed out drunk in a bathtub floating around the Internet. It may have been funny years ago, but girls and potential companies don’t want to hire someone like that.

Since we always want you to put your best foot forward and have you present yourself the right way, we’re giving you a few tips about personal branding, which should help you express yourself creatively and in a professional manner.

Personal branding is your story

As we mentioned above, you’ve got one chance to make a first impression on someone, so why the hell wouldn’t you want it to be a good one? The reason why personal branding is so damn important is that it tells the story about who you really are. There’s a reason why guys can quit their full-time jobs and start a lifestyle brand about their traveling adventures, food escapades and/or style, and it’s because they’re confident enough in themselves that people want to read/see their story. This is why personal branding is so crucial, because it should make you unique.

Only post something your grandma would be OK with

Sure, there are people out there like Dan Blizerian who posts wild things on his Instagram account with sexy girls while doing crazy stunts, but, you know what, that actually fits his personal brand. He’s sort of the ideal bachelor who does all sorts of guy things, right? He identified as that character a long time ago, which has helped him get to where he is now. While it works for Blizerian, it may not work for you, so make sure you’re careful with what you post on social media and the frequency with which you’re doing so. There’s a difference between quality and quantity when it comes to social media.

Keep things consistent across all platforms

Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or something else, make sure your personal branding is consistent across each. Sure, each platform may be intended to be used differently, but there’s a reason why hiring managers from companies are looking at all of your different social media profiles — it’s because they want to get a true sense of who you really are. If you’re professional on one but a degenerate on another, that looks bad for you, so make sure things match up so not to confuse anyone when they’re searching for you.

Personal branding should be authentic

Above everything else, personal branding should be about you, not someone you’re trying to be. We live in a world of constant comparisons, measuring ourselves up to others in a way that can lead to envy more than inspiration. Whether that’s posting things online to make us more attractive to a girl we met on a dating app, or worrying too much about what other people will think of a picture or caption we post, as long as you’re being you, that will (usually) be received positively.

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