Do you ever feel like you have to hide the authentic, genuine, and kind parts of yourself for fear of not being respected in your industry? I used to feel this way too, but my perspective drastically shifted after my near-death tragedy. I decided life was too short not to be my authentic self—in all areas of my life.

The other morning I received the most beautiful message about how much my brand stands out—that my heart can be felt so strongly against the background chatter on social media.

I get that a lot, especially from media outlets.

Business, sales, social media, public speaking skills, and a large following are all essential to creating an influential brand—but don’t overlook other character qualities to propel your brand even further. While I don’t have a large number of followers across my social media platforms as other influencers do, I do have something unique to me. I have an empowering story, and, as many around me say, “a heart of gold.”

Here are three unexpected traits you can harness to create an unforgettable brand that stands out.

Be Kind

Kindness is completely under-rated in business. Society convinces us to view this character trait as somehow weak or depictive of someone not capable of leading others to success. I don’t believe this to be true. In fact, quite the opposite.

Kindness shows a level of strength which only comes from the depths of your soul. It comes from self-awareness, years of self-reflection, not conforming to societal pressures, and the willingness to be vulnerable and compassionate with others. It denotes a sense of inner power that is unshakeable when rooted in a solid foundation of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-confidence.

You can’t fake kindness and caring about others. It shows in your day to day actions, and it shows in the language used in your branding. It is from within that comes your greatest source of strength, leadership, and ability to connect with others.

Be Supportive

Being supportive of those I admire has helped me rapidly grow a powerhouse network of key influencers online. There’s a difference between hanging around someone online because you’re looking to get something from them versus an overwhelming appreciation for the value they bring to your life.

Try to understand how it feels like for the other person. Expecting an influencer to have coffee, a quick lunch date, or a chat over text to give you all the secrets to their hard-earned efforts is not only inconsiderate, but disrespectful as well.

Successful individuals have spent time and money to get where they are. Respect the person’s journey and take the time to build a quality relationship—being a person of value. Relationships need time to develop. How much is it worth to you?

Here’s a great article by Brian D. Evans, CEO/Founder of Influencive, on networking with influencers.

I’ve connected with some amazing influencers the past few months solely because I liked their energy. Most of the time I don’t even know their status or what they do. I just like them and want to be around them more. So, I support them. I show it, and they know it.

Support others from a place of authenticity instead of wanting to know “what’s in it for me?” It’s a beautiful feeling to give to another without expecting anything in return.

If you do find yourself given the opportunity to collaborate with someone you admire and they’ve brought value to you, make an effort to maintain that relationship—it shouldn’t feel one-sided. You can’t pretend to believe in collaboration if you’re only looking to help yourself. You never know when you may cross paths with them again or need their support.

Be In Flow

Being in flow means you trust your ability to move through life in a way that brings you peace and acceptance in every moment. The easiest way to do this is to be yourself and give as much value as you can to others. My biggest success so far comes from the fact that I give from my heart every day with no expectations. Miracles flow from there. I have proven this time and time again. I go to sleep peaceful and happy every night because of the love and achievements I receive just by being me.

The universe has an interesting way of giving you back everything you need and more when the timing is right.

Growing a profitable brand takes years and a lot of work. Create it from a place that has tremendous meaning to you. Build for long-term success surrounded by people you care about and who care about you. Knowing I surround myself with incredibly talented people who feel more like family, is one of the biggest gifts for me in life. Opportunities enter my life every week because my network trusts me and looks out for me, allowing my brand to build authority and my business to grow faster than I could have dreamed.

The world is craving kindness and heartfelt connection. If you want to create an unforgettable brand which radiates authenticity and community, be brave and build from the heart.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Founder/CEO Live Big Be Happy. #1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Digital TV Host, & Near-Death Survivor. Cherie is known for her powerful near-death experience. It took $3 million dollars, 100 top surgeons and medical experts in the world, a bionic heart, and a heart transplant to save her life. Her compelling story has been published by the largest database of near-death stories in the world and selected as 1 of 16 out of 3800 featured. The History Channel has approached her, and NHK Broadcasting in Japan has featured her in a film documentary.