LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and the place to establish your personal branding in the B2B space.
The first objective of online branding is to increase visibility. With more than 800 million members in more than 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn is the top networking platform for business professionals and the top social platform for lead generation. Using LinkedIn to build and sustain your personal branding is essential to ensure you are seen by decision makers and people you want to find you.
LinkedIn can help you showcase your value proposition and set yourself apart from your peers. This is just as true for businesses as it is for individuals. In both cases, the goal is to establish who you are, what you do, and why people should care. In addition to building awareness and increasing your visibility, LinkedIn can help you connect on a personal level with your target audience – a critical requirement in today’s digital environment.
You likely already have a LinkedIn page, but are you leveraging it for maximum advantage? It is far more than a place for your online resume. Take control and put the social platform to work to build your brand.
Steps to create your personal brand on LinkedIn
- Keep your LinkedIn profile current
- Make video an integral part of your LinkedIn profile
- Show your audience the value you can bring
- Provide proof of the impact you can make
- Grow your network
- Post regularly on LinkedIn
- Create a newsletter
- Ask for and give recommendations
- Join LinkedIn groups
Why is LinkedIn important for personal branding
- LinkedIn is where business decision makers connect, collaborate, recruit and share thought leadership.
- LinkedIn will help you rank higher on search engines. In most cases, when someone conducts an online search for a specific person, their LinkedIn profile appears first.
- LinkedIn is an important tool to increase your visibility: the first step to growing your network and generating leads.
- LinkedIn is the most trusted and credible social platform according to eMarketer’s Digital Trust Benchmark Report 2021.
How do I use LinkedIn to build my personal brand?
To build and promote your personal branding on LinkedIn, optimize your LinkedIn profile with these best practices:
1. Keep your LinkedIn profile current.
Update your profile to make sure it accurately represents who you are and what you can offer. Specifically:
- Include a professional headshot that looks like you do today – not five years ago. Use a clean background or, if you have a brand colour, make that the backdrop for your headshot. Remember, your LinkedIn photo is the first impression viewers will have of you. Make it count.
- Add a background image to your profile page. Choose something relevant to the work you do.
- Put your headline statement to work. Many people tend to make their title their headline statement. This isn’t particularly useful to your audience. Instead, update your headline statement to tell people what you do, how you do it, and who you work with.
- Turn Creator Mode on and showcase your top areas of expertise. In 2021, LinkedIn announced the launch of LinkedIn Creator Mode to help members build community, gain visibility and increase their followers. Creators can be members, organizations and companies that regularly share content on the platform.
- Take the same approach for company LinkedIn profile pages. Emphasize the important information your target audience will want to know.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL and share it. Including your full name in the URL will make you easier to find and improve your Google ranking.
2. Make video an integral part of your LinkedIn profile
Up your visibility by creating a video to introduce yourself to viewers of your LinkedIn page. You can now add a video to the summary, experience and education sections of your LinkedIn profile page. Taking the time to create a video about yourself is a powerful way to establish your expertise, build a sense of human connection with your audience and set yourself apart from your peers.
3. Show your audience the value you can bring
Most people use the “About” section as a place to itemize achievements and expertise. One way to differentiate yourself is to share how you bring value and help organizations.
Tip: Include links to your website and contact information.
4. Provide proof of the impact you can make
Add supporting evidence of the work you have done to your LinkedIn profile. This can include video, presentations, images, podcast contributions and white papers – anything that demonstrates your achievements.
5. Grow your network
With your profile updated and optimized, build your network by connecting with colleagues (past and present), clients, industry leaders and other professionals. Access LinkedIn’s “people you may know” section for other potential contacts.
Tip: If you are reaching out to someone you don’t know, include a personal note sharing why you’d like to connect.
6. Post regularly on LinkedIn
Consistently publish high-quality content that showcases your expertise and thought leadership. “Feature” these posts on your profile page to boost your visibility and engagement. Make sure your blogs offer valuable information readers can use and will want to share. The more your content is shared, the greater the impact and the more your personal brand will grow. It takes time and effort, but regularly publishing quality content on LinkedIn will help you establish your presence, which in turn will help you reach and engage with your target audience.
7. Create a newsletter
LinkedIn Newsletters offers members who have turned on Creator Mode the ability to create subscription-based newsletters. The benefits include the ability to:
- cement your status as a thought-leader in your areas of focus;
- stay connected to your followers/subscribers by publishing daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly;
- gain new followers; and
- improve your ranking on Google’s search engine results pages because Google indexes articles.
Plus, when you publish your first newsletter, every single member in your network will receive an invitation to subscribe. Once they do subscribe, they will receive a notification each time you publish – further helping to build interest in your brand.
8. Ask for and give recommendations
Connect with other LinkedIn members who had a great experience working/collaborating with you and request a recommendation. Be willing to give recommendations when requests come your way. This is an easy way to gain support from within the community.
9. Join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to engage with your audience, build relationships and establish yourself as a thought leader. Joining an existing group allows you to strengthen your networks and creates opportunities for quality interactions with potential leads. The key is to be an active participant and take part in discussions. If appropriate, share content. This is an effective way to build your credibility.
Tips: Use keyword searches and take a close look at the profiles of your connections, clients and industry leaders to find relevant groups. You may want to consider starting your own group. Just remember, you will have to manage it, which takes time and effort.
LinkedIn has transitioned from the place to post and find jobs to a highly trusted and valued platform for professionals around the world. It’s the place to reach decision-makers, showcase your work and build your professional brand.