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Your Personal Brand Lives at Night, Too

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The following is the eighth 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.

You may love the nightlife, but is it good for your personal brand?

Many people think that the concept of personal branding applies only to work and career. Not so! The true idea of personal branding includes all parts of your life (professional, personal, social) and all aspects of how you spend your time (at work with colleagues, home with family, out with friends).

It's all about balance and consistency, and how you fit it all together, that makes up your personal brand. You have to manage all aspects of your life so that the totality of who you are works to accomplish your goals, both personally and professionally.

Related: How to Grow Your Career with Booze, Vacations and Fine Restaurants

This includes your social life too, no matter what stage of your life. You need to consciously think about the kind of social life you want to have. Make your nightlife consistent with your personal brand, just like you do during the day.

When you think about your social life, are you a party animal or a wallflower? When you're at social occasions do you mingle all around or stick with just one or two people? Do you do the inviting or wait for others to reach out to you? Early to the event or last to leave? Couch potato or mixologist?

Decide how your social life fits into the grand plan of your personal brand, so that the time you spend out can contribute toward accomplishing your goals.

1. How do you want to be perceived when you are out with your friends? This should be a decision you make up front. We all have social roles in our groups of friends, and it's important for you to play the role you want. Leader or follower? Always planning ahead or winging it? Social butterfly or the more reserved one?

2. How does your social life fit in with your personal goals? Think about how important your social life is to your life's goals. If it's front and center to how you want to spend your time, then prioritize accordingly. If it's merely an add-on to what is already a busy week with family or work, then treat it as such.

Related: 5 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Reputation

Carve out a necessary amount of time for your night life too, just like you would any requirement at work, as long as it's contributing to your goals.

3. How do you want your social life to take shape? Are you looking for a big group or just a few close friends? Do you like to do social activities every day, or just on occasion? Is social time about food and beverage or action and adventure?

4. Who's in your posse? This one gets tricky. You really should decide on the kinds of people you want to be a part of your personal brand. You should fill your life with those who will help you attain your goals, and vice versa. This is not meant to be manipulative, but purposeful. Bring purpose to who you let enter into your life and you'll be far happier and more productive.

The right answers to these questions will help to make sure that your nightlife is helping propel your personal brand forward.

Oh, and by the way, don't post pictures where you have a drink in your hand. Sound advice I received at one point in my career, as social media started to take off. It's not that there's anything wrong with having a drink, it's just that as your pictures tile on your social outlets, it then becomes a portfolio of you drinking -- post after post. It can send the wrong message, perhaps, and not what you intend.

So put the drink down before you snap the shot.

Related: This Is Why Social Media and Drinking Alcohol Don't Mix (Infographic)

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