Personal branding is all the rage right now. As social media continues to be discovered and embraced more and more by the mainstream, how we represent ourselves across channels is becoming increasingly important. And now given the shaky economy, many are flocking to social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to give their online presence and edge.

This interest in personal branding has given rise to many opinion leaders like Dan Schawbel and Rob Cuesta. Even Chris Brogan, with his eBook on Personal Branding, and David Armano with Brand U.0, have jumped in to take a swing at the importance of personal branding.

The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking who you are through personal brand management by Hajj E. FlemingsOf all the voices advocating personal branding, I’ve found the most relevance with Hajj E. Flemings. Hajj is a dynamic speaker, and author of The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are. After reading his book I would say that he presents a complete view of personal branding that focuses on building your personal brand online and off.

Hajj understands that there are a lot of tools out there to power your personal brand, but they are just that….tools. Here is a slide from his presentation at Brand Camp University, which he hosted last month in Detroit. It illustrates how the touchpoints of your personal brand exist online and offline, and for those of you with little presence online, how increasingly important your digital footprint is becoming for your personal brand.

Personal Brand Footprint by Hajj E. Flemings

In his book, Hajj presents 6 steps to personal brand management:

  1. Identify your passion
  2. Define your mission
  3. Count the cost
  4. Create your voice
  5. Develop your core
  6. Be authentic
  7. Shift to now

These steps accompanied with enticing visuals and engaging stories of brand successes and failures makes The Brand YU Life a worthwhile read that I recommend to anyone wanting to create, define, and manage their personal brand.

(Stay tuned the next few days for an interview with Hajj to hear more of his thoughts on personal branding.)