By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach At Blossoming Brands

When I get asked “why should I care about my personal brand?” the mantra that I always repeat is that a strong personal brand will help you to be Referred, Remembered or Recommended. It’s one of these that will bring you customers or work time and time again. And for me that’s a pretty compelling reason to want to build a strong personal brand.

So, to that end, how can you increase the chances of being referred, remembered or recommended? Well, essentially you want to stay front-of-mind among the people who can influence whether you are selected or chosen, in whatever form that is appropriate for you. This is what they mean when they say a brand is about the space you occupy in the mind of others. If you don’t pop up in their mind, and have a little slot all for yourself, then things are going to be much harder for you.

In our uber-connected world, social media is the obvious way to stay front-of-mind with your contacts and connections. But taking part isn’t necessarily going to guarantee success. As with most things in life: it’s HOW you do it that counts.

So, I’d like to explore the use of social media in ways that help you to stay front-of-mind in the right way. Using social media to build your personal brand online is nothing new and there are countless blog articles scattered around the web to help you with your tweeting style, your blogging habits or your Facebook usage. So, what I’d like to talk about here is the implicit message that is being said through your actions, rather than the actual content of your activity. What do I mean? Well, what impression are you creating through what you choose to post online? When you take a step back, what do all your posts add up to when taken in their entirety? Do you come across as considered and intelligent? Or, do your tweets reveal someone with anger and frustration bubbling through frequent use of sarcasm and whinging? Are you noisy or invisible when it comes to your online participation? Are you a social media stalker sitting in the sidelines watching and consuming content? Or, are you a content producer and instigator of conversation?

Your social media engagement style is the digital equivalent of your personality in real life. Just as your office colleagues will take what you say and what you do to create their perception of who you are, your online connections will be using what and how you post to do the same. So what do your online actions say about you? If you were to take a moment to review all your status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, what would you notice? What are other people gleaning from your posts?

Over the next three articles I will explore this further by:

- Taking a closer look at the Big Three

- Checking out some of the other ways of engaging through social media

- And finally, reminding us to consider both our audiences and the context when posting

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. She is also the contributor of a chapter on Online Reputation for an up and coming book on Internet Marketing due out in November 2012. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com, www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands