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The Importance of Personal Branding on LinkedIn
Building a personal brand on LinkedIn is key to communicating who you are and what you stand for to potential clients, business partners, employees, and colleagues. It can also be key to reputation management and establishing yourself as a thought-leader and expert in your field.
LinkedIn reaches potential employees, customers, and fellow industry professionals and leaders.
Through building a personal brand on LinkedIn, you control the narrative and message you want to convey in the world’s most connected B2B platform.
In this post, we’ll look at how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn and optimize your profile for best results.
We’ll also look at best practices for engaging with your network on the platform, leveraging LinkedIn’s many features, and measuring your success at building a personal brand on LinkedIn.
Defining Your Personal Brand
Define your unique selling proposition
Before you can properly use LinkedIn to build your personal brand, you need to define who you are and how you provide value. A good place to start is with your unique selling proposition, or USP.
What makes your business stand out from the competition? What do you or your company do best? This could be the lowest price, highest quality, best selection, or most innovative service or product. Your USP will inform all your business activities, including brand creations, slogans, customer interactions.
Determine your target audience
Is your target audience business leaders, industry professionals, or customers? Figuring out who you want to reach should determine every step of your personal brand building on LinkedIn.
Develop your brand messaging
Once you’ve figured out your USP and target audience, you’re ready to craft the message and story around your brand.
Start with a document that explains your message through your USP and the values that are core to your identity. Then ask how your brand identity relates to your target audience. Understanding what your audience cares about will help you make decisions on brand messaging.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Choose a professional profile photo
According to LinkedIn’s own stats, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed by others if it includes a photo.
To make the most of your profile, add a background photo or image that reflects your brand. Using brand colors and a slogan, if you have one, can also help build your personal brand on LinkedIn.
Write a compelling headline
LinkedIn gives users 120 characters for the headline field. Options include a snappy tagline (“I transform products from vision to reality”), something personal (“nerd at heart”), and/or a value proposition (“empowering people to change their lives”). Follow up with a healthy dose of keywords describing yourself and areas of expertise.
Craft a strong summary
Listing key accomplishments off the top is one way to write an effective summary in the About section of your LinkedIn page.
Other tips include using an anecdote to tell people how you started on your career path, avoiding jargon, sticking to a theme, highlighting the types of problems you and your company have solved, and casting accomplishments as lessons learned.
Highlight your experience and skills
According to LinkedIn, members who list five or more skills are contacted up to 33 times more by recruiters and other LinkedIn members and receive up to 17 times more profile views.
Some tips: Be specific in skillset. Explain how you have helped the firms and people with whom you’ve worked.
Utilize multimedia to showcase your work
Both the Experience and Education sections allow documents, photos, links, presentations, and videos. Using a video will help make your profile stand out.
Customize your LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn automatically gives each member an ungainly letter/number/punctuation salad for a URL. However, in Settings you can simplify your URL and customize with keywords.
Engaging with Your Network
Connect with relevant professionals
Thanks to LinkedIn, building your network and engaging with relevant connections has never been easier. The platform boasts 930 million members worldwide across 200 countries. Over sixteen percent of members check in daily and over 48 percent are active monthly.
Your connections influence how people view your LinkedIn personal brand.
Participate in LinkedIn groups
Participating in groups brings you into contact with fellow professionals in your field and enforces your personal brand.
You can also start your own LinkedIn group. Creating a community can be a key strategy for establishing your personal brand by positioning yourself as a thought-leader.
Share valuable content
Avoid selling your brand. Instead, position yourself as an expert by sharing valuable content. Educate yourself by following and looking out for sharable nuggets —- industry related news, business announcements, and thoughts or opinion pieces —- which are genuinely valuable and interesting to you.
Like and comment on others’ posts
Interacting and engaging with other people’s content shows appreciation. Provide genuine feedback and share your opinions on their articles or posts. This will help get you on other members’ radar. If and when an opportunity arrives, you’ll be top-of-mind.
Respond to messages and comments
Responding to comments, positive or negative, lets people know that you are listening. And a personal reply to a message shows your accessibility and lets people know that you are positive, friendly, and interested in the other person’s profile.
Leveraging LinkedIn Features
Publish articles on LinkedIn
Posting articles on LinkedIn can help highlight your position as a thought leader. Think of them as an opportunity to build your personal brand by sharing experiences, advice, and non-intrusive content marketing messages.
Articles on the platform also have the potential to expand personal brand messaging beyond LinkedIn. Articles will often appear at the top of SERPs (search engine result pages).
Create LinkedIn videos
People are 20 times more likely to share videos than any other type of post. It’s also an important strategy for C-suite decision-makers and senior influencers to build their personal brand by growing brand awareness and building loyalty. A video can convey your message, demonstrate your values and mission, and help your audience get to know you better.
Use LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn Live Sessions let members share updates to their networks in real-time. They can help build your personal brand by connecting you with your audience one-on-one. You can also show off your expertise, share insights and more.
Recommendations burnish your personal brand by letting the words of your connections speak to your strengths and skills in a more objective manner than your own testimony.
Endorse others’ skills
Endorsing others’ skills establishes you as a leader who recognizes and appreciates talents in others, something that contributes to brand-building.
Measuring Your Success
Set goals for your personal brand
Goals for your personal brand on LinkedIn might include audience growth, increased engagement, and more connection with industry thought-leaders and influencers.
Track your LinkedIn activity and engagement
The platform’s analytics let you see the success of your efforts on LinkedIn. You can see who’s viewed your profile and posts, number of connections and followers, social actions (including likes, shares, and comments), and search appearances (the number of times that you’ve appeared in others’ searches), among others.
Analyze your LinkedIn metrics
By analyzing your LinkedIn metrics over a period of time, you can see where your brand-building strategies have succeeded and where they are lacking.
Adjust your strategy based on your results
What tweaks and changes can be made to reach your personal brand goals? Perhaps sharing less of others’ content and publishing more of your own articles or videos will increase the numbers you would like to improve.
LinkedIn — a tentpole for personal branding
There can be little doubt that LinkedIn is one of your most valuable tools for building a personal brand. The platform’s reach and size, its variety of features, and its potential for engagement is unparalleled in the business world.
LinkedIn is more than just a digital business card. It combines some of the best features of social media to allow users to convey value, establish their credibility, and position themselves as experts and leaders. If you’re not building a personal brand on LinkedIn, you’re probably doing yourself a disservice.
If you haven’t updated your profile in weeks or months, or rarely check in to see what your friends and colleagues are doing, reconsider. Building a personal brand on LinkedIn is one of the best and most effective ways to cut through the noise, find your audience, and position yourself as an industry leader.