It’s probably the last thought you have – to create a personal brand strategy for yourself.

But the world of work has changed and expanded beyond your office and your personal circles. Establishing a platform to extend your expertise beyond your sphere of influence is essential to establish yourself firmly in your career as an expert with a unique point-of-view.

Is it hard? No, but it will take a shift in perspective that you may not be comfortable with – turning the magnifying glass on yourself and finding out what your value proposition is. It will also require an ongoing investment in terms of time, focus, and resources.

Can you do it all on your own? You have the skill sets, the tools of the trade and the experience, but you will need at least one trusted adviser, preferably not a friend or colleague, who can be honest with you and whose opinion you trust and respect. It can be a coach or a strategist – someone who has a vested interest in your career development.

Here are some quick tips for getting started:

Establish what is unique about you. Before you start, sit down and write out three to five career attributes about yourself that are different from others in your field. Think about your overall experiences and what others can learn from you.

Determine your audience. Is it professionals in your field? Or professionals in a certain industry? Determine beforehand whom you are targeting and where you need to make an impact.

Create a platform. A platform consists of your online presence. Start with a blog and choose a mix of tools that will most effectively reach your audience (i.e. Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn). If you have existing accounts, you may want to establish new ones under your brand name.

Join the conversation. Establish a following by joining in the conversation through “curating” articles, retweeting and commenting on opinions, and re-blogging. Bring your own personal spin to the online conversation.

Remember that content is king. Great content will create interest. Focus on developing stories that will appeal to a large audience with tips and advice to convey your overall skills and expertise.

Don’t forget the offline world. A great way to extend your brand is through speaking engagements. Develop a speaking proposal and pitch yourself at conferences in your field.

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