How you appear to your peers and customers can have a dramatic effect on your personal and organisation’s success. However, maintaining control over how you’re perceived is largely out of your control - or is it? With platforms like LinkedIn, you can influence how you’re perceived through effective management of your personal brand. The challenge for many professionals today is that they largely don’t know how to control their personal brand and end up letting it go to waste. Unfortunately, this leads to many missed opportunities and challenges for companies and individuals alike.
However, a positive personal brand can open many doors for you and your company. Opportunities will come to you with a great personal brand - which is why this blog post will cover 7 ways you can build your personal brand on LinkedIn. Read on to find out more.
Figure out your career identity
You are not your job title. You’re also not your experience. You offer much more to prospective companies and customers, which is exactly what your career identity is. While your titles and experience are fluid, your brand identity is something that slowly evolves rather than completely changes.
Your brand identity is what you bring to the table, no matter your task. If you’re the owner of a company, this includes the ultimate solution to the problem you solve.
To find your career identity, answer the following questions:
What are your top strengths?
How do these strengths play into your talents and tasks?
How do these talents and tasks assist those who work with you?
Once you’ve found your career identity, share it on your profile under your summary. We will cover this in more detail later.
Turn "About me" into "About you"
You may be a multi-level marketing genius - but what’s in it for me?
An important aspect of your profile should include the reader. In fact, everything on your profile should relate to your reader, always answering the ever lingering "so what”?
The "About me" section is where you can apply this shift in tone, applying whatever you can offer to what your readers can gain. By demonstrating your value, you build your brand based on what you can do for others instead of the "claims to fame" that saturate the platform.
Position yourself as a thought leader
Building your personal brand is a task that will naturally position you as someone who others look to. An important part of this is positioning yourself as a thought leader on a particular topic.
One of the best ways to do this is by creating, publishing and sharing content around industry developments, research findings or even just common challenges and opportunities. The key is to focus on sharing insights instead of selling yourself or your company.
We’ve touched on this topic before in other blogs, but if you need a quick refresher on what to publish, take a look at the pointers below:
Whenever you publish content, be sure to ask yourself if it passes the following 4 questions:
- Would my customers find this helpful?
- Is it short enough to be consumed quickly?
- Is it original or at least impactful?
- Is the content professional and relevant?
If you’re struggling to find ideas on what content to share or create, here are a few you can consider:
- A recent study by your company.
- Your insights into a recent industry event or findings of a study.
- A customer case study or testimonial.
- New info on your company or its products or services.
- Upcoming industry events you’ll be joining in on.
- Free resources made by your company you think will be helpful.
Get creative with your title and summary
Leaving your summary section blank is one of the worst things you can do for your LinkedIn profile. It’s your chance to let your visitors know who you are, what you do and what makes you different from the thousands of other profiles out there.
The first mistake people make when trying to fill out their summary section is using it as a timeline of their experience. This is already listed in your experience section - which we’ll discuss next.
Try to keep keyword phrases and search terms in mind for your title and summary. Your title should be a concise phrase that captures your passions and what you offer. However, your summary needs to consider your target audience - demonstrate what you offer readers, why you do it and why you love it. Additionally, be sure to include what makes you unique and what you bring to the table.
Remember, your summary isn’t a cover letter - so be sure to be authentic. Write the way you speak, and feel free to share some interests outside of work.
List and update your experience
Failing to keep your LinkedIn experience section up to date fails to maintain your personal brand. However, you should only add relevant work experience to your profile that supports your personal brand.
For example, you don’t need to include your early attempts at film production if you’re trying to promote your personal brand as a reliable and stable accountant-type. Likewise, if you want people to view you as an industry expert, you need to include the experience relevant to your industry, so include them all. Every certificate earned, award received, and accomplishments are all fair game, as long as they’re in the same industry you want to be known for.
Remember to ask friends and colleagues to give you endorsements and write recommendations for your work. This will let people know other people enjoy working with you and trust your abilities.
Nobody becomes an industry influencer off sheer luck. People follow influencers and listen to what they have to say. Building relationships with influencers within your industry and mentioning them in your posts can help boost your visibility on LinkedIn and lend you credence.
Try to be humble and point out what you admire about these influencers. Each time you mention influencers, always make the post about them, not you. After a while, those influencer followers may start looking to your perspective on industry developments instead of the influencer!
While reaching up to influencers is effective, so is reaching down and trying to lift others.
Helping others build their LinkedIn presence and personal brands helps both your aspirations and theirs. You benefit because you expand your reach to other people’s networks, while they benefit because they become visible to your network. Additionally, you can use the opportunity to build a stronger community on the platform.
When doing this, it’s important to show empathy toward what’s happening in your community and industry. For example, promoting success and failing to acknowledge the global pandemic resulted in many losing interest in particular industry figureheads and celebrities. Similar situations could arise for you and your personal brand, so being aware and in tune with your audience is paramount to building your personal brand.
Reach out and grow
Growing your personal brand on LinkedIn is essential to finding sustainable and long-term success on the platform. It can help your business grow and open opportunities for your personal development that were previously impossible. However, you may need a guide to help you extend your reach and truly engage with your audience online.
Getting the right partner is the first step toward effective LinkedIn engagement. It saves you time, money and frustration and lets you find success even without deep knowledge in brand building. We know how important a good digital presence is today, and how confusing building one can be to those who don’t have the experience. As a small company, we’ve gone through this process ourselves and found a way to succeed. That’s why we’ve spent the last 12 years planning and implementing award-winning brands for B2B clients worldwide.
Contact us for a quick 30 minute meeting and we will present you with an online brand development plan with the right messages, channels, audience and content to use, to assure your success online.