An entrepreneur’s personal brand is a foundational part of a company and can go a long way in making or breaking its success.

A personal brand makes you stand out in a sea of start-ups to customers and potential partners and employees. Perhaps most importantly it earns trust and provides an easy way for customers to refer you on social media: that’s important, since only 33 percent of buyers trust information from companies while 90 percent trust information from people they know. And people also are more likely to trust information delivered through personal branding compared to information coming from company profiles: 82 percent of buyers trust a company more when its leadership is active on social media.

But if the intent of your personal brand is to make you stand out, you must take your branding beyond the standard LinkedIn profile.

Here are some essentials for your personal branding:

  1. Keep your information consistent across social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and your website. Your word choices can make you stand out, memorable, and easier for customers to search for again. Inconsistent wording can cause misunderstandings and lead to questions of your authenticity.
  2. Maintain a blog. Blogs are an opportunity to express your voice, values, and experiences. They can also provide examples of the work you do and how you talk to your customers. Blogs are rich in opportunities to increase your search engine optimization and provide a casual platform to link back to your company website and personal social media accounts.
  3. Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups with other like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs. You can learn a lot from your peers and increase your visibility with potential partners or referrals.

Remember to periodically search your name and your company’s name online and ask if you are satisfied with what comes up. Your personal brand is your outlet to stand out and connect. Be active and responsive online and you will be memorable to customers—and their referrals.