Branding has changed. Now, it’s not just about the business; people are interested in the people behind the company.
Many people are just as interested in YOU as they are the business and want to buy into the personality of the brand. Trust in big businesses has decreased and it’s more about building relationships with real people and personal brands are becoming more considered by the public. This is why professionals should always be building their personal brand.
LinkedIn is the perfect place and tool to build your personal brand; it’s made for professional networking and opens you up to a whole community of people, creating all sorts of opportunities.
Most people who interact with you professionally will go on to view your LinkedIn profile. This is where first impressions are really important: “Like it or not, people will harshly judge you by how slick your profile appears. If the life is sucked out of it by a cruddy headshot or out-dated, boring or skimpy information, you could miss out on more than a few potentially career-boosting connections. You might also dent your reputation and scare off business.” The Entrepreneur. LinkedIn can be the first-port-of-call and is really important in building your personal brand.
So what can you do on LinkedIn?
audience and draw them in with keywords. Make it attention grabbing, strong and reflective of your USP. It’s a critical element in building your brand; as it’s one of the first things people see.
In your summary section make sure you tell your story and share your background, you don’t want to leave blanks for people to fill in themselves. Show your brand history and let them know how you got to where you are today. Include your specialities and show-off your expertise. Try to use a distinctive voice and give it a bit of personality, however still keep in mind that it’s a professional network. Be concise and clear, avoid clichés and find a unique way to demonstrate your skills and tell your story.
The first thing people will do is look at your profile, so make the most of your personal space. Your profile should be complete and you should take advantage of all the sections that are available and fill them with content that is valuable and relevant. Use keywords throughout your profile to make you more searchable and always have a personal call-to-action to make it easy for people to reach you. By completing your profile you provide your audience with all the information they need and a whole picture of you and your personal brand is created. The profile is what leads on to connections and opportunities.
If you add extras to your profile and link to more of your work people are able to build a better picture of your personal brand. Link to your blog and self-publish posts to boost your visibility and show people more about you. Sharing blog posts shows that you want to share your knowledge and it also adds a personalized touch. Add things like your full CV and power-point presentations. Post and link to work that is relevant and that you’re proud of, giving people an idea about your strengths.
Joining LinkedIn Groups is a way to build your personal brand as you get the chance to network with people in your industry and build a reputation. By posting updates you grab people’s attention and demonstrate your expertise. It’s a way to regularly reach out to your audience and keep in touch. You should also respond to questions and comments promptly, showing that you’re a good businessperson to deal with. In ‘How to Engage in LinkedIn Groups’ we talk about the benefits of engaging, one of which is becoming a Thought Leader where you’re seen as an expert and a trusted resource.
LinkedIn is a really powerful tool when building your personal brand, be transparent, honest and open, let your audience know that you’re a trustworthy brand. Think about how every time you help someone you’re building a relationship and growing a reputation, a reputation that will reflect your brand. In this way you’re also building connections and exposing your brand to a huge network.
LinkedIn can make a real difference to how your personal brand is viewed and known. If you would like to find out how to make the most of LinkedIn attend one of my half day Workshops in Edinburgh – see Eventbrite for details or contact me ann@the-marketing-mentor to arrange a 121 session.