In this day and age where business is evolving at a rapid rate, the popularity of creating your own brand and forging out on your own is growing. Building a personal brand takes time but is well worth the effort. It will follow you through your career and is something that can’t be taken away from you. It demonstrates leadership qualities and takes drive and determination to ensure its success. Having your own brand showcases who you are as a person and what you stand for.

Start by thinking of yourself as a personal brand, what is it that you believe in, what can you offer to the world and what are your core strengths and values. Crafting a polished idea and implementing it are two different things. Think about who you are and how you want to be represented in the business world. Once you have a clear idea of that, you can begin the next phase.

Build a platform. Invest in online real estate and create your brand website. This will be the most important method for consumers to reach you, to find out more about your brand, and the people behind it. Optimise your search engine key words; make it easy for people to find you. Create a website that is easy for people to read and understand, implement images and colours and font that draw people in, and make them want to stay there.

Embrace social media. Establish accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In a world where trends change in a heartbeat, Twitter and Facebook are the most effective ways to reach your target audience, to let them know what’s happening in your personal brand world. Social media is a great way to advertise your brand, and to let consumers know of any upcoming changes.

Be purposeful with what you share, let yourself shine through. Especially on your website, and through social media avenues. Be genuine and optimistic, let people see that you are an enthusiastic, genuine entrepreneur and they won’t be able to help but support your brand.

Set your priorities. Identify your values and find ways to produce value through your brand. Know who your target consumer group is: women, teenagers, all ages, etc. Tailor your output, including your website and profiles, to suit them. Having a specific goal in mind will make it easier for you to stay focused, and to prioritise your brand’s needs.

Associate with other strong brands. Find other brands that have similar values, target consumers, or products. Join forums or groups where you can have a voice, places you can identify with other like minds, and where you can boost your own platform.

Market your brand effectively. Identify other brands that are similar to yours and see how they do it. Research, talk to people, contact other brands and find out what services they offer. See if this will work for you. Use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to start advertising your brand, even before you are established. Create a buzz about your brand.

There may be setbacks and limitations, but you will discover ways to combat those. You always get out what you put in, and the more effort, time and energy you invest into your own brand, you can be sure you will be reaping the rewards in no time at all.