Have you ever noticed how you’re more likely to opt for a retailer or service provider that you’ve heard of, or whose profile seems more convincing online that a competitor with a good offer but whose name means nothing to you? That’s branding at work – and these days, it’s more subtle and complex than ever.

When you’re searching for a job, or making yourself available to approaches, your own brand needs to be just as sturdy as that of the businesses to whom you offer your patronage. And while yes, this can mean using symbols, designs and paid publicity, it is important to match your online ambitions to your own character and skills. After all, it is more important for your brand to be strong and consistent than showy and hi-tech.

Indeed, the first place you need to visit is not Photoshop or GoDaddy but your heart. Your online brand can never be fully deleted – it will be comprised of every manifestation of yourself you leave online over the years – so once you decide to take control of it you need to be specific about just what it is you stand for. Decide what makes you unique, what your ambitions are, what value you can offer, and the tone with which you would like to convey yourself. Most importantly, be consistent across platforms and across time.

Putting together these platforms is the easy bit. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook – they all put the tools in your hands, and anything you’re not sure on how to setup, you can quickly Google a tutorial for. What’s tougher is maintaining these profiles and your general online presence with regularity and consistency, and that’s where you’ll need to find your voice, and your imagination.

Help is on hand with the infographic below from Headway Capital, which guides you through the steps you need to find that momentum – and create the brand you need to get you where you want to go.

11 Tips for Building a Strong Personal Brand Online (INFOGRAPHIC)