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Building a brand is best achieved by developing a reputation in the community for having expert knowledge within your industry niche. While everyone wants to have their brand become an overnight sensation, it is important to keep in mind that becoming a leader within a niche takes time and determination. To establish a brand as a leader in the public eye, it is important to be consistent and relentless when promoting the brand's image.

Here are six winning strategies to use when seeking to build a brand's image as an industry leader:

1. Participate in speaking engagements. Becoming a leader in the community will require getting out in front of the public to share what makes a particular brand unique. This can be done by speaking at public events such as workshops and conferences. Although this strategy works best if a person speaks at an industry-related event, volunteering to give a speech at an unrelated workshop can offer opportunities to get a brand's image recognized by a wider audience. When participating in a public event, it is important to remember that the speaker is representing the brand. By relaying the brand's message or core tenets, a person can continue to bolster a reputation for leadership.

2. Host a workshop. Leadership means taking on the responsibility of getting things started. When a person takes on the challenge of hosting a workshop, it shows that their brand has expert knowledge to share with the community. When planning a workshop, be sure to brainstorm the ways that a brand's image can be used to share their knowledge or products. Then, be sure to invite other industry leaders, rising stars and the media to ensure the workshop increases public relations.

3. Get involved with community organizations. Community involvement with charitable and local organizations offers several benefits for those seeking to promote their brand as a niche leader. First, the public loves a brand that offers to give back to the community. Getting involved will establish the brand as committed to improving the quality of life within the area. Second, volunteering allows a person to branch out into new areas while simultaneously learning new skills and sharing their knowledge. If an organization exists that can boost a brand's identity, then volunteer for special events or serve on the board of directors. In niche areas that are fairly open for new community services, start a new organization or offer to get involved with schools and other public areas of the community.

4. Start a blog. Online, there are many opportunities to promote brand leadership. Starting a blog is one way to share industry-specific knowledge with a wider audience. When starting a blog, be sure to keep it focused on the particular niche with which the brand specializes. Additionally, it is important to aim for consistency. Maintaining the blog by keeping it updated with regular posts that have a consistent message is essential for establishing a reputation for reliability. Be sure to also include new information that readers will find useful in their everyday or professional lives so the brand will be relevant enough to gain leader status.

5. Stay active on social media. In addition to blogging, it is possible to build a brand's image by becoming actively involved with social media. By creating a brand profile, a person can send out regular updates regarding their brand's achievements and activities to a wide audience with only a few keystrokes. As with blogging, be sure that every post represents the brand's image and is targeted to the desired audience while sharing relevant information. Social media posts are an excellent way to promote upcoming events by sharing schedules and important dates. They can also be used to announce new products and services. An additional bonus of utilizing social media is that the public can do half the work for a brand by sharing posts with others who may take an interest in the brand.

6. Promote awards and achievements. Modesty may be a desired trait in individuals, but it will do no good for establishing a brand as a leader within the community. Instead, it is important to make sure that a brand is recognized for its contributions to the community. When an award is given, send out press releases to local and national media sources. If a ceremony is offered, invite industry experts and be sure to show up and accept the award graciously. This is also an area that can be shared alongside new information such as by including a brief mention of the award in newsletters and email campaigns.

When a brand becomes recognized as a leader within its niche or community, its reputation will contribute to increased growth that will allow it to reach its full potential. However, it is important to remember that building a brand takes hard work and a commitment to get involved with the greater public. By serving the community and sharing expert knowledge, a person can build their brand's reputation for being a leader within its niche.

Phil Laboon started the multi-million dollar company, Eyeflow Internet Marketing,a Pittsburgh based SEO firm, from the ground up when he was 20 years old. Eyeflow has grown rapidly, recently being named by the Pittsburgh Business Times as one of 2012s Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in Pittsburgh, with over 100%.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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