We’re all familiar with branding our business, but what about branding ourselves?
The past 18 months have been a turning point for many business leaders. No longer interacting at trade fairs and conferences, CEOs suddenly had a laser-sharp focus on their personal brand – and how that was represented online.
Working on your personal brand is an excellent idea if your offline reputation took a hit due to the pandemic. It helps sell and market you and offers a human element to your business. LinkedIn is by far the best platform for establishing your brand, but with so many people brand building, how do you get it right without getting lost in the sea of content?
A good strategy is essential, so here are our top 13 tips to start brand-building.
Getting the Basics Right
To start thinking about your personal brand, begin with the basics. Once you nail these elements, you can go on to think about content and outreach, but it all starts here.
- Remember – LinkedIn is your Living CV
Your LinkedIn profile is not something you fill out one day and then walk away from. Instead, it’s a living, breathing record of your achievements and career successes. So the first thing to remember when trying to ace your personal brand is to keep your profile updated – whenever you make a career move, speak at a conference or publish an article.
- Optimise Your Profile for Search
Did you know you can optimise your LinkedIn page for SEO?
Understanding your relevant keywords is a crucial aspect of understanding your personal brand. Determine the keywords you want to be found for when potential clients of employers search LinkedIn and use them in your headline, summary, and job descriptions. All the work you do to optimise your profile will be lost if you don’t choose the right keywords, as no one will discover your profile.
- Sell Yourself
Just as you would when talking about your business, it’s essential to sell yourself in your description. Again, be specific – include facts and figures to demonstrate your accomplishments, but keep it concise and to the point.
- Choose the Right Profile Photo
As with any branding, images are key. When people are skimming through your profile, the first thing they will spot is your profile photo, so it’s essential that the picture represents your brand.
Ensure your photo includes a clear view of your face and shoulders and is clear, crisp, and well-lit. You should be dressed professionally, and remember, a smile goes a long way!
- Don’t Forget Your Cover Photo
LinkedIn cover photos are another opportunity for you to shape your personal brand, so be sure to take advantage of this feature. Consider including your company’s logo or an image that reflects your profession. We’ve seen some great examples of company pages that include a CTA in the banner to engage visitors further.
- Make Your Headline Count
LinkedIn profile headlines are limited to 120 characters, so you need to get creative to make this prime real estate as effective as possible. Your headline needs to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to stick around. Once you’ve chosen your headline, test it on a mobile device too to make sure it works across devices.
Now we’ve got the basics sorted, let’s take a look at how content can help shape your brand on LinkedIn.
- Write Articles
To have a chance of standing out in the crowded field of LinkedIn, you need to be creating your rich content. We know you’ve heard this over and over – that’s because it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and develop your brand on LinkedIn.
Most companies are sitting on a goldmine of information and data that would be interesting to your customers and/or peers; creating content is just about getting that information out there.
Even if you have a blog on your website, publishing on LinkedIn has specific advantages. All your connections get notified whenever you publish on the network, and you can choose to feature these articles on your LinkedIn profile.
- Create Brilliant and Diverse Content
The thing that will differentiate you from everyone else on LinkedIn is providing exceptional content that people simply cannot resist. Try to ensure this content is a diverse mix that represents all sides of your personal brand – videos, infographics, free ebooks, and live webinars are all great ideas.
- Reshare your top-performing posts
Keep a close eye on what posts perform best, and repurpose or reuse that content. They resonated with your audience, so take your own lead and let them inspire other content, and reshare those super-successful posts to get more traction.
- Leverage Industry Influencers
Influencers are crucial to your personal brand – establishing relationships with influencers in your industry by mentioning them in posts can help boost your visibility on LinkedIn and affirm your personal brand for other users.
- Participate in Groups
LinkedIn groups are a powerful resource, especially as you develop your personal brand. Groups allow you to meet and mingle with other professionals in your industry and offer the potential of powerful connections and working relationships down the line.
There’s one crucial part to being part of these groups: participation. Comment, share content, offer advice and start conversation threads – this kind of engagement will mean you reap a lot more of the benefits of groups than if you sit on the sidelines.
- Keep an Eye on Connections
A huge part of LinkedIn is making and maintaining connections. Accept all requests that come in, even if you don’t know the person. The more connections you have, the higher LinkedIn will rank you, and the more others will see your profile.
Crucially, you must continue to engage with LinkedIn for it to be an up-to-date authority on you and your personal brand. So regularly post, share, engage and keep your profile up to date. The more present you are, the more benefits you will get from the network.
LinkedIn is one of the most critical networks for personal branding; it’s a powerhouse tool to have at your fingertips, so we hope these strategies help you to make the most of personal branding on LinkedIn.