Building your small business or personal brand is not something that can be done on a schedule – it takes constant work to maintain and grow. You likely already devote time to social media branding and other online initiatives, and study up before important interviews or client meetings. You may be surprised, though, at how simple actions can make a difference in how you are perceived too. Take a look at these simple ways to build your positive brand reputation each time you go out in public:

  1. Take business cards. Always be prepared to hand out your contact and business information when you are away from your desk. Keep some in your wallet or purse, your car, and your gym bag. It is much easier to explain what you do by handing over a business card and it looks better than scribbling down your contact details on a napkin or old receipt.
  2. Look put together. You don’t have to always be in professional wear, but you should appear semi-professional every time you are out in public. Avoid looking like you just rolled out of bed (even if you did) and make a strong impression every time you are around other people. You never know who you will run into, or who you meet, in passing.
  3. Watch your temper. Keep a handle on how you process your anger and try to maintain a positive attitude, even if you have been wronged. The person you enter a disagreement with could turn out to be someone you wish was on your side later on. You also never know who is around you watching or listening. Strive to be professional in all your dealings, even personal ones.
  4. Look up from your phone. When you are standing in line at the coffee shop, or waiting at the doctor’s office, avoid the urge to bury your head in your smartphone. Strike up conversations instead with the people around you and when the opportunity arises, talk about your line of work and ask about theirs. You may find that the person you made small talk with will provide you with some business or connect you with someone else who will.
  5. Notice opportunity. Turn errand running into a business trip by making a mental (or digital) note of the opportunities that you pass along the way. Is there a new business that would benefit from your services? Perhaps there are some old prospects you need to revisit, or places you never even noticed on your normal routes. Pay attention to what is around you and look for ways to maximize your business and branding opportunities.

You are always “on the clock” when it comes to building your personal brand. Figure out how to make the most of your personal time and everyday activities to further that cause.