In 2006 Time Magazine named "You" the Person of The Year. Ten years later, "You" are the Brand of The Year.

Personal brand building online for executives, employees and students will dominate 2016. It may have been cute two, three, four years ago to say, "I am a technological dummy," but it's not cute anymore. 

It's irresponsible. 

As brands push to further humanize, and engage with consumers in new ways, they'll look to their work force to lead the charge.

Executives will become micro brands within organizations.  Poised to buoy social media content distributed by the brand. 

Does it really work?

Building my personal brand has changed my life. Almost 10 years ago I wrote my first blog post, which earned me $260,000. 

When I wanted to get into social media, I purchased the URL Facebookshouldhireme.com. That gained the attention of Fortune Magazine.

That attention helped me get my dream job in social media at a company called Buddy Media. Salesforce bought them for close to $1 billion dollars. 

Five years ago, a producer "discovered me" via my blog and put me on television. 

Now I regularly appear on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and MSNBC. 

Content that I generated on Linkedin, Medium, and my blog helped me get the attention of editors here at Inc.com.  

How do I start building my personal brand?

I'm giving away the first chapter of my new book to help you get started. Remarkable You: Build a Personal Brand, and Take Charge of Your Career. To get your free chapter, Click here. 

Who should do it? 

Employees:

Whether you feel secure within your job or not, your job might go away. In fact, your whole company/industry might go away. Building your personal brand is a safety net. Investing in your personal brand is an investment in your career.  The equity is yours. 

Bosses:

Educate your customers about your product in a non-invasive manner while establishing trust. Empower your employees to advocate for your brand.  Allow employees to amplify your message via social media.

Unemployed:

When potential employers Google you, they'll see that you've been an active content creator. Engaging with others, sharing ideas, and contributing to your field proves your acuity. Now, you're not just a clock-puncher, you're a thought leader concerned with the larger world. And that's attractive to your next employer.

Entrepreneurs:

Customers will view you as a thought leader. They will connect with your business on a personal level. New business, new investors and outside opportunities that you never could have conceived will come to you

Students:

Students who grasp the reins of their personal brand will be the first to get the attention of potential employers.  When engaging in building your personal brand, you will help further define you're career path.  You may even discover an idea that will start you on the path to becoming an entrepreneur.  This simple $20 online course is a good first step. 

What you need to know: 

If you're preparing to generate content (blogging, podcast, video etc.), make sure it's good. This may sound simple, but if you're publishing junk, people will view you as junk. It's difficult to repair a damaged personal brand online.

When done properly you will educate customers in a human way, and establish trust. People will view you as a thought leader. Customers will connect with your brand on a personal level. 

Employers, customers, partners, investors and opportunities discover you instead of you discovering them.