Concentrating 260 million business-minded people every month, LinkedIn is one of the best biggest and most inclusive databases in the world, filled with people looking to get ahead and take initiative in their professional life.
This makes the platform one of the most fertile grounds for you to gain recognition in your field and build a solid personal brand. That being said, there many amongst my readers and viewers that don’t what this brand-building process entails.
So, to give you a good idea of what a personal branding strategy looks like, here is a quick guide to establishing your own on LinkedIn.
Sort out your profile
Your profile page is the storefront of your business on LinkedIn, through which visitors can glance and decide if they’re interested in what you have to offer or not.
Even if your content is inspiring and you have built an amazing network, you are still going to lose opportunities if your page doesn’t reflect that.
So, before you start cranking out content every day, the first thing you want to do is sort out your LinkedIn profile to properly represent you.
People tend to think of their profiles as an online resume where they list their accomplishments and wait for applause, but that only tends to make it uninteresting for visitors.
Instead, try thinking of it as your personal landing page, that is, a digital representation of you and what you do.
In practice, that means:
- Getting a recent and relevant headshot
- Using the header to visually tell people what you do.
- Get epic keywords in your headline that speak to your audience, and don’t just build your ego.
- Your about section is about your ideal client not about YOU!
- Using the featured section
Build up an audience
Now that you’ve got your profile ready you’re closer to the content production stage, but there is still one thing you need to do: build a network.
Treat it the same way as you would treat an in-person networking event. You don’t start inviting people to your events until you
Just like you don’t want to pump out content into the void, which is not only a waste of effort but can also be extremely draining on your confidence, you also don’t want to connect with people and never engage them. You don’t invite someone to an event if you’re planning to ignore them
Have a connection clear out: Another important step in building your network is periodically trimming it of useless connections. If they don’t inspire, motivate or teach you, then why are you connected? You are a sum of what you consume so make sure what you are consuming brings out the best in you.
Okay, you have an awesome LinkedIn profile, you’ve started engaging with others and you have cleared out your connection list. Now we can roll back our sleeves and start producing some content.
Now, making quality content for LinkedIn is something of an art and there are a few good practices to observe like:
- You are not a used car salesman. Your content should not be about selling your services or products. Instead, it should offer value, inspiration, motivation, insight, or a glimpse into your life for your connections. Benefiting connections should be the main focus of your content.
- Be Visual! Time and attention are rare resources on the internet and good use of graphical elements pictures and graphs help catch people right away.
- Keep it simple. There is a reason why the Willey Dummies series is so popular – it speaks to people who are not experts. That is people like your ideal client who wouldn’t really need to contact you if he had your expertise. So there is no point in using industry terms with an audience that may not know what they mean.
As you write, try to be as simplistic as possible and explain every term you feel like might cause your readers to scratch their heads. If people can easily understand what you do and how you help it will help them make better assumptions about you, which is the entire point of personal branding.
- Make articles! Not only do they help set you up as a thought leader, but if you hit the right keywords they can significantly increase your reach. They also have impressive shelf lives, some articles ranking really well on Google even years after they were published. However, they are a long term game, so don’t expect to see immediate results if they’re your focus. LinkedIn is also known to not prioritize articles so it might get less interaction than you are hoping for. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if they’re your thing.
- Consistency is key. No person on this earth, however simple is going to be one dimensional, we all have layers to our personality, opinions, and tastes. In order to build a successful personal brand on LinkedIn, you will have to choose which facets of yourself are going to compose your message and stick to it.
Stretching yourself too thin while trying to please everyone blurs the water and weakens your personal brand. Once you are fairly established and have built a strong audience, then you can start incorporating more. Even so, remember less is more ALWAYS!
If this still seems like a lot to take in at once, do not despair, creating and managing a strong personal brand is something that takes time and practice, and it’s not one article that will teach you everything you need to know.
Luckily, you don’t have to stop at a single article, if you are serious about nailing personal branding, why not sign up for my LinkedIn Program? I promise there is no jargon when I say that even an 11-year-old could do it.