The following is the sixth article in the series, "Living Your Personal Brand," in which marketing master Jim Joseph discusses practical ways to build your brand daily and use it to advance your personal and professional lives.

Many people have questioned the sudden rise of “personal branding.” Why do we care so much now and why the emphasis on the topic?

While in some cases we can thank reality television for turning ordinary people into authors, product developers, spokespeople and marketers, the truth is that the concept of selling yourself has been around for decades.

Related: Authenticity Is Your Brand's Greatest Social Media Asset

Personal branding is merely a way of selling yourself, and it’s never been more important, thanks to social media.

Social media has given us a platform to broadcast our personal messaging to accomplish our goals. For professional purposes, we have LinkedIn to connect with others in our industry. For sharing with friends and family, there’s Facebook. Pinterest is where we show off our passions. Instagram is for visual self-expression. For me, Twitter is all of the above.

It’s fair to say that my personal brand was born on social media. Odd for someone my age, perhaps, but after years of developing a career I was finally able to find a place to publish my brand. While my business books gave me a professional voice, social media gave me the platform I needed.

You may be doing the same with your personal brand in your social media outlets. Just make sure you do it consciously and consistently.

Always use your personal brand as your guide whenever you are engaging on social media. Consider how to use each outlet to accomplish your goals, both personally and professionally. 

Related: 10 Tips for Mastering Facebook

Think ahead and act consistently when uploading pictures, writing posts and reacting to others. Here are four things to keep in mind:

Snap pictures with care. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and nothing is truer on social media. Your pictures say volumes about your personal brand, so look closely before you upload. Keep drinks out of view and be careful about certain social situations (if you know what I mean), especially if you are trying to present a more professional personal brand. Pictures of family members and pets can certainly enhance your brand, but only when done appropriately.

Read twice and edit before you post. Every post you write contributes to people’s perceptions of your personal brand. Always post carefully, knowing that others are reading word for word, and never write in haste. Always edit your purposefully chosen words, and read through your post twice before pressing send.

React with caution. I rarely react to others’ posts immediately, especially if there is snark involved, because I’m likely to respond emotionally. Wait a bit and think twice before you respond, even if it’s all in jest (especially if you don’t really know them). Posts are often taken out of context and can severely damage your personal brand. You never know what others will do with your response, so act without emotion.

Remember to be consistent. One of the most important tenants of a great brand is consistency, and it’s even more important when it’s a person. It’s something I constantly remind myself of -- you should do the same.

Behave consistently in social media and you will be building your personal brand in the process -- post by post, picture by picture, moment-by-moment.

Related: 5 Surefire Ways to Wreck Your Social Media Network