Companies, products and services need strong brands, yes. But you, as an individual? In case you hadn't considered it, an investment in personal branding can make the difference between an average career and one that involves more opportunities, a robust network of people who will help open doors as well as greater achievement. And it's something everyone in business should be doing, entrepreneurs and employees alike.

Take it from Tai Lopez, investor, partner and advisor to more than 20 multi-million dollar businesses. Through a book club and podcasts, he shares advice on how to achieve health, wealth, love and happiness with 1.4 million people in 40 countries. To build his brand, he finds opportunities to speak in public, including a TEDx Talk with more than 6.7 million views as well as charity events and guest podcasting. But a big part of his success building a personal brand has come from the time he has invested in social media. Here are his words on how to use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to build a name for yourself that will positively affect your future trajectory.

1. Become a master storyteller.

Don't just randomly post to your social media. It should be like a movie with a continuing plot that evolves. There's a start that has a strong and interesting hook, and then over a year on your Instagram or Twitter, you will be telling a story that continually evolves but also connects to past posts.

2. Develop other characters.

You never watch a movie that just has one person, unless you're watching Tom Hanks in Castaway. Most good movies, TV shows and books have multiple characters in the storyline, so develop one on your dog, your friend, your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, kids and employees.

3. Use all the different social media channels slightly differently.

I see people automatically share their Instagram posts to Twitter. It doesn't look good. You can't just copy and paste everything from one platform to the other. Some things you can carry over, but a lot of your content won't work on Twitter which only allows 140 characters. But YouTube is a great place to post your longer content. Be cognizant of how the different channels work best.

4. Study the posts of your competitors or people you want to be like.

You'll get a lot of ideas from other people. When you're looking, for example, on their Instagram, look through what type of posts get the most engagement. You'll see somebody who has 10,000 likes and then a certain type of post always gets 20,000 likes. You can incorporate that business intelligence into your personal social media so that you don't have to learn everything the hard way.

5. Test how often to post.

Try posting once a week versus once a day versus once an hour. There's a lot of power in how often you post. In general, it's almost always better to post too much than too little.

6. Keep at it.

Stay out there for a while. A lot of the current big social media influencers started in 2009. You've got to be willing to put in that time and as Joel, my first mentor, used to say, "Make haste slowly." You want to quickly start, but understand it can be a slow process.

Published on: Jan 16, 2017