10/20/2014 05:42 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2014

Effectively Building Your Personal Brand with Zahrina Robertson

Today, there is a lot of talk about personal branding and every career minded professional understands it's importance. Everybody has his or her own personal brand but effective brands are based in reality. To build a strong brand, you must focus on authenticity and who you really are. Strong brands are uncovered, not created!

Strong personal brands know their values, passions, goals and ultimate mission. You must know yourself and to know yourself you need to learn what others think about you. Since your brand is held in the minds of the people who know you, you must be constantly aware of external perceptions. Think about what you stand for and what your values are.

With a clearly defined brand statement, you can begin to get the message out, both online and offline. Start to share your story so you can build emotional connections with your target audience. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Circles, Twitter and Instagram are some of the most accessed websites on the Internet. By not being present on these platforms, or by having an average social media presence you are missing valuable opportunities.

The brain processes images around 60,000 times faster than text, which means people tend to gravitate towards images when scanning through a busy feed. You have a millisecond to make an impact and display the best you that you can! Having professional personal branding images across all social media platforms is vitally important to convey confidence and certainty to your clients, both current and future.

Effective personal branding requires constant repetition. You should integrate your brand into everything you do to increase the breadth of your brand, reinforce your message and increase your credibility. You may find that different images work better in different platforms, Pinterest is great for product images while Facebook is better for aspirational images to encourage your brand's awareness. Experiment and measure your results to know what works and what doesn't.

Personal branding requires steadfast commitment and regular attention. This should not daunt you, as above all else, personal branding is about being your best self - always.