Think about how many people know you, the person, as opposed to knowing your reputation as a top-notch paralegal. The odds are that most people in your professional world barely know the real you at all. They have expectations and know your skills, area of expertise and quirks, but how many of those people have you spoken with about something other than work? The answer is probably just a handful.

The point is, outside of your immediate circle of friends and family, people know you primarily by your personality, reputation and past performance. In a sense, they know you by your personal brand. You might be asking yourself, “My personal brand? What’s my personal brand?” Simply put, your personal brand is the emotional response that people have when they meet you for the first time. It could be joy, pleasure, dread, fear or anger. Branding yourself means that you create the kind of emotional response you want people to have when they hear your name, see you online or meet you in person.

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