But just like I mentioned in the don't disappear step, you have to keep yourself available. Even when your personal life is maybe overwhelming.
Now you and every public figure has to decide (and nowadays you're a public figure if you have a facebook account) how public you want to be. Do you want to share with the world that you're going through a divorce? That you're sick as a dog? That you're moving? That you're gay? That your child has been diagnosed with autism?
Some marketers will say that you should keep it all professional and leave out all the personal. Others will try to give you exact guidelines. If you become well-known, you're private info will be shared whether you want it to be or not. But for now, you're in control. You decide what to divulge and what not to, what level you want to expose yourself at. So decide.
If you decide to share, decide what level to share at and be consistent. If you want to slip in some personal touches, do it more than just once every 6 months because otherwise it becomes jarring. This refers more to little comments like tweets about your dog puking on your shoes or about wrecking your car. For big issues, think carefully before you broadcast and then be prepared to be judged and questioned and interrogated and supported and advised.
If you decide not to share, you have to keep your marketing presence alive even if you aren't feeling up to par. Keep up appearances, as they say. If grandma died and you don't want to tell the world, you can't disappear. Market on.
It may not seem like this is an actual step in building your image, but it really and truly is. Decide early and think it through carefully. This is not the kind of decision you should make on a whim. Decide before the big life happenings occur. It will make it easier to already have your choice made.
Step 3: Decide how personal your image is.
So how personal is my image going to be? Well, semi-personal. I'm planning to tell you when I have a bad day and when my kids are driving me crazy. (Tonight, for example,I'm super grumpy - I have a massive headache and my baby won't go to bed.) But I'm not going to share the deeply personal stuff. My reasoning is two-fold: First, I work to escape my personal stuff. Second, I'm saving those stories for my books :)