13 Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Think Content

Now we’ve got the basics sorted, let’s take a look at how content can help shape your brand on LinkedIn.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Your Network
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Engage

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.

5 Minutes with Caroline Carr

Caroline Carr is the Director of CC Marketing Communications and Communications & Client Director at workplace mental health organisation This Can Happen.

In this role, Caroline works across sales and marketing to achieve the company’s aims of supporting employers and employees to create a positive environment for good mental health.

Hi Caroline, thanks for chatting with Colour Me Social! Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

My background has always been in events marketing. I am events through and through – any type of events, awards, conferences, big consumer exhibitions – in every sort of industry. I’ve done everything from finance, retail, and consumer. I was the Marketing Director of the Ideal Home Show for about six years, which was the massive big event that happened at Earls Court, and on the Ski Show, women’s health events; a real mixture! 

And then, about seven years ago, I set up my own consultancy, and it was very much a lifestyle choice. I wanted to be a mum to my kids and run my own business as well, and I haven’t looked back. This Can Happen is one of my clients, so I juggle them along with a few other clients as well. I love the variety. 

What do you like about running your own company? 

I love the flexibility, and I love being my own boss. The fact that it’s in marketing is exciting, as things are constantly evolving in the industry. I had learned more new skills in the last five years than ever before because suddenly, I didn’t have a team around me, and I had to do it myself. I’ve really become an expert at WordPress and MailChimp and HubSpot, and so much more. Previously I was working at a much more senior, strategic level, but now I’m managing strategy plus all the hands-on elements of marketing too.

What does your role at This Can Happen entail? 

Well, I’m an early riser. So you’ll always find me at my computer by half-past five in the morning, and that gives me an hour and a half to get ahead of everybody. In my role at This Can Happen, I head up all the content and the sales side, so I’m really spinning two plates. On the content side, I’m looking after our social channels and email, all of our content, be that video articles, blogs on which I work with the brilliant Colour Me Social! 

Within my role, I am responsible for marketing our different products and pushing them out appropriately, and also, I’m a brand ambassador – it’s up to me to make sure that everything we put out represents the brand.

Then on the flip side, I also look after the sales team. So it’s my responsibility to bring in the revenue that allows us to do what we do to continue growing. So that’s revenues across everything from ticket sales, our friends’ programmes, the webinars we sell, speakers –  everything, and we’re a really small team! Although everybody gets involved and helps, which makes it lovely.

What was it that appealed to you about This Can Happen?

So much, you’re not gonna be able to stop me! The company is all about workplace mental health. I can honestly say for the first time in 25 years of being in the event space, I feel like I’m working on a brand that is making a difference – quite simply making a simple difference to people’s lives, and that is so refreshing, and motivating, and so rewarding. I just love it. 

Everything we put out as a brand is there to offer solutions and support to people to help them with their mental health, and if one thing I do can make a difference to someone’s mental health, then that’s just brilliant. 

It’s also really exciting to be part of a brand that is growing rapidly. We started as a conference three years ago, and now we’re much more than that – we’ve got about seven or eight different products. So the pandemic really challenged us to look at changing our model and how we operate and offer resources all year round, not just sporadically. 

The people you meet come into this mental health space because they have a personal experience of some sort. It might be their own personal experience or colleagues or a family member. Still, they’ve all somehow indirectly or directly been involved in witnessing someone with poor mental health, and it’s made them want to make a difference. 

What are the unique marketing challenges for an organisation like This Can Happen?

I think the challenging thing for us is that in the last 18 months, mental health has really come to the top of the workplace agenda. With that comes 3000 companies offering apps and solutions of some sort to people. So it’s suddenly become a very crowded space – there are a lot more conferences, a lot more awards, a lot more experts, and a lot more services being offered. So that’s a real challenge, trying to make This Can Happen’s brand stand out amongst all the support out there. 

Ultimately, the fact that there is so much support and that it has come up to the top of the agenda is brilliant. But we as a brand have got to make sure that we get our voice out there, and we’ve also got to make sure that we are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the competition. So it certainly keeps us on our toes!

How has the role of marketing at This Can Happen changed in the Covid-era?

Of course, the biggest shift is that nearly everything is now digital. I’ve seen LinkedIn explode. I think that’s due to a mixture of people having a bit more time, people being furloughed, job hunting, people supporting each other and struggling industries more – there’s a real sense of camaraderie. However, LinkedIn has been saturated on the flip side, so trying to get your voice and your message across has become almost impossible. 

Another change is the shift to virtual events and webinars, and I think there’s real fatigue for that now. People are consuming media on the go – there’s been an explosion of podcasts, which is great because you can listen to them as you’re walking. And I think the way to stay ahead is just being really innovative with your approach in terms of digital, particularly on LinkedIn. 

Finally, what is the best marketing campaign you’ve seen?

You know, there’s only one brand that I absolutely love. And I don’t know if it’s because my mum was Irish, but it’s Guinness. I absolutely love the Guinness marketing – I think it’s so clever. But, of course, I also enjoy a pint of the black stuff myself! So I just think it’s brilliant: it’s simple, striking and funny – the adverts make me smile. And if something makes me smile, it sticks in my head. So to me, it’s genius marketing. 

Low-Budget Digital Marketing Ideas for SMEs

Most SMEs are cost-conscious. 

We have to be. We’re good at finding ways to trim budgets while boosting the bottom line and making the money we have go far.

But how do you harness that savvy thinking when it comes to the ever-changing world of digital marketing? 

Thankfully, we’re here to help! 

Read on to find our top tips for rolling out brilliant digital marketing that will reach customers and convert leads without costing you a fortune. So long as you have some time and are willing, you can still achieve great success with digital marketing, even on a shoestring.

CREATE CONTENT 

Give Your Content Some Love

Creating brilliant content around your USP is one of the most powerful things you can do for free to get your brand out there. Remember that old marketing saying – Content is King? Well, it’s as true today as it has ever been. Despite the huge economy around content marketing, 

you don’t need to run ad campaigns or sponsored posts to get traction on social posts, and you just have to be posting the right content.

Here’s the advice we always come back to when helping clients think about what content will work for them:

  • Write content specific to your business goals
  • Ensure your content is written with your audience in mind
  • Set your own writing goals and principles (is your company tone friendly, approachable, formal or educational?)

Your choice of content will depend on what type of business you are, and where you have the greatest successes will be affected by many different factors. For most start-ups and SMEs, LinkedIn is the perfect starting point for sharing content, but most companies can also find great success with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok.

Create Multi-Purpose Content 

A great ‘cheat’ when it comes to content marketing is to remember that one piece of content can be leveraged in several ways. For example, perhaps you have published a white paper on your blog. Firstly, make sure you share it across your social channels, but then have a think about how you can extrude other content from it – could you make an infographic from the findings? Is there a great quote you could pull out and make into a graphic tile? Free resources such as Canva are great for creating simple graphics that can make your content work harder and go further.

Record Videos

We say it over and over – video is one of the best formats for sharing content online. Facebook alone boasts more than 4 billion video views per day, and all you have to do is look at the success of video platforms to understand that it’s the most effective and digestible way to present content in 2021.

Many startups and SMEs are nervous about producing their own video content, but it doesn’t need to be daunting. Videos do not need to be professionally recorded to be successful – a smartphone can work well to create short, engaging videos that entice customers. Showing the face behind the business is a really effective way to build trust in your company, so don’t shy away from putting yourself out there and heading up some video content.

THINK SEO

Smaller companies are often put off by SEO, and we get it. It can seem like an overwhelming task to optimize your web presence, but it is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic to your site and improve your organic reach.

Keep It Local

An approachable way to tackle SEO is to focus on local SEO. While national SEO is driven by ranking in searches across the country, local SEO prioritises appearing in specific locations, making it more relevant to your base of local customers; plus, it’s free!

Local SEO can be time-consuming. However, the benefits over time can be huge, so it’s well worth investing some time into these SEO must-dos:

  • Add location-based keywords to the titles, headings, and body of your main website pages (think: “Oxford accountant”)
  • Get your company listed in online directories, ensuring your information is identical across platforms.
  • Create content on your blog specific to the neighbourhood you serve. 

Leverage Online Review Sites 

User-generated content is win-win. It’s great because it increases trust and confidence in your brand, and it also requires very little work from you! Oh, and it’s brilliant for SEO.

Encourage reviews on Google or Trustpilot, and (if the feedback is positive) leverage those testimonials by using them on your website and in your digital marketing content. 

Create a free Google My Business Profile

For local businesses especially, a Google Business Profile is one of the most effective free marketing strategies available. Taking advantage of this free listing allows your business to show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the right-side Knowledge Panel for branded searches.

GET CREATIVE

Small budgets often require out-of-the-box thinking, so why not consider some of these creative ideas to take your marketing to the next level without splurging your budget?

Produce Your Own Podcast

The popularity of podcasts shows no sign of slowing down, and they can be a great way to connect with your audience. Why not think about reusing content, and record your first podcasts using old blog content? Promote through your social channels and respond to your audience’s needs and interests to create a cost-effective marketing product that your customers enjoy.

Run Webinars

If the last 16 months have taught us anything, it’s that video conferencing is a very powerful tool. Webinars are a free way to promote your business by providing helpful information to a wide potential customer base, no matter their location. In addition, they can be used to boost conversions, improve brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Ensure you promote your webinar through your social media channels ahead of time and send reminder emails to registrants, so they don’t miss it. As a bonus, webinars will help you build your email list. 

Enter Awards

You’ll find that most industries have business awards that you can enter. Some charge, but many are free. If you win or are even shortlisted, you can shout about your accolade on social media, giving your customers even more reasons to trust your company. You also may gain some press coverage if you win, so it’s well worth taking the time to fill out the application form to highlight the work you are most proud of.

Shoestring Digital Marketing

Ultimately, marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are hundreds of tactics out there that can be really effective with a small budget, you just need to commit some time and energy, and you’ll soon be seeing results.

for loads more small business marketing tips, click here.

Make LinkedIn work for your small business this year

LinkedIn has long been known as the home of B2B discussion, and in 2020 the opportunities to engage and grow your business are expanding. Companies of almost any kind can benefit from maintaining a LinkedIn presence, and although it does require a dedicated, platform-specific approach, the numbers speak for themselves:

  • LinkedIn has more than 645 million users, across more than 200 countries and territories; 
  • LinkedIn has added nearly 150 million new members in the past two years;
  • 94% of marketers use LinkedIn to publish content;
  • Of the LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis;

LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most active professional networking platform and your company page represents a huge opportunity to establish your brand as an industry thought leader, as well as attract top talent from around the globe. Here’s how to optimize your business page and improve your presence, authority, and recruitment prospects on the platform.

How to create and optimise your page

Step 1

Log in to LinkedIn. Click the work icon on the top right corner of the page. Then click create a company page.

Step 2 

Select small business from the list of options.

Step 3

Fill out your company’s name, a public LinkedIn URL, your business’ website and your business’ industry.

Step 4

Check the verification box to confirm you are authorised to represent your company, then click create a page. If you don’t have enough connections, you may not be able to create a community page. If this happens, build your network then try again. 

Step 5

To really unlock your business page’s potential, you need to optimize your page – according to LinkedIn, completed pages get 30% more weekly views. Start by identifying keywords and using them throughout your page.

Include relevant keywords at the very beginning of your company tagline as well as in your headline, overview, specialisms and life section. Keyword research will help you understand the actual search terms that people enter into search engines. Use tools such as Moz Keyword Explorer or SEMRush to help you. 

Step 6

Using those keywords, write a strong ‘About’ section. Work up an engaging overview of your business, that answer the following questions:

  • Origin Story: Where did our idea and passion come from?
  • Vision: What future do you want to help create?
  • Values: What core values support our vision and decision making processes?
  • Positioning: Who are our customers and where do we fit?
  • Products/Services: What are our core product & service offerings?

Step 7

Creating backlinks to your company page will help boost your SEO ranking. A good way to do this is to ask your employees to update their LinkedIn profiles so that their page’s a link back to your business.

Step 8

The best way to improve your company’s ranking is to regularly share relevant content. Read on to discover the best type of content to share.

What posts to share

Social media content is all about who you want to reach and if it will drive viewers down your marketing funnel. Here are a few types of content that work especially well on LinkedIn, including a deep-dive into video, our top-tip for 2020.

Publishing how-to blogs or list posts

Writing informative articles is a great way to raise your visibility and start conversations on LinkedIn. It demonstrates your industry expertise and positions you as a thought leader. How-to blogs and list posts receive the most attention on LinkedIn, and given their easily digestible formatting it’s easy to see why.

Sharing Industry-Adjacent Content

The key to LinkedIn articles is to consistently share information that interests your clients. This content gives you the opportunity to showcase other topics you’re familiar with that could be helpful to clients. Customers remember smart people who offer up reliable advice, so sharing industry-adjacent content helps keep you top of their mind in the long run.

PowerPoints and PDFS

LinkedIn owns the service SlideShare, which offers tools to help you make your own presentations. Take advantage of their tools and courses and share original slideshows on your LinkedIn page. 

Make Predictions

Prediction posts at the start of the year are a winning tool for boosting your LinkedIn engagement. Making predictions about your industry positions you as a sector leader and encourages people to share their opinions with you.

LinkedIn Video

Video is 5 times more likely than other types of content to start a conversation amongst LinkedIn members, so it’s a great tool for increasing brand awareness, offering a more human side to your company. 

According to Wyzowl’s 2019 State of Video Marketing…

  • 79% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to make a purchase
  • 87% of people would like to see more videos from brands.
  • What’s more, 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.

Despite this, video is still a relatively untapped marketing channel. Don’t be put off by a lack of budget of technical know-how, you can create this content affordably in – house your video content doesn’t necessarily have to be professionally produced to be effective. Here are a few ideas for creating that captivating video content.

Create screencast tutorials and presentations. 

A screencast is simply a video recording of your computer screen accompanied by audio narration. Use a PowerPoint presentation or high-quality visuals, and narrate as if you were giving a presentation. Screencasts are one of the most cost-effective techniques for producing video content and are the perfect place to start if you’re camera shy or don’t have a video camera. 

Show behind the scenes of your business


Giving your followers a backstage pass offers a unique insight into your business – why not highlight your best employees, or flaunt your office culture and brand values?

Try DIY animated videos

Hiring professionals to make animated videos will set you back a fair bit, so why not try giving it a go yourself? Animated videos are a great tool for simply explaining concepts, whilst enchanting your viewers. Try cloud-based animated video creation platforms such as Sparkol or Vyond. These platforms are not free but are more affordable than employing a professional, and many of them offer free trials. 

Share video testimonials from happy customers

User-generated videos take the pressure off your company to produce content while offering social proof – something you can never get enough of as a business. Customers product reviews, social media shout outs and testimonials are invaluable tools to grow your business, and if they are video testimonials, even better! To cultivate your customers, why not consider offering them discount codes in exchange for video testimonials of your product. 

Interview experts and thought leaders

Associating your business with influential thought leaders in your field will help you become recognized as an industry leader. Interviewing experienced leaders in your industry is a tried-and-tested way to build trust and authority with your target audience.

Pro tip: Add subtitles to your video content – studies have found 39% of people are more likely to finish a video with subtitles.

How to grow your followers

You’d think out of 645 million users, it wouldn’t be that difficult to quickly build your connections, but after you’ve exhausted your own contacts list it can be a challenge, especially when you want to make sure those connections are relevant and add value to your network. Here are some simple steps to help grow your followers:

Add a page link in your signature

If you’re already emailing someone professionally, it’s likely your page will interest them.

Add the follow company plugin to your website

This drives visitors from your website to your LinkedIn, increasing your reach.

Ask your employees to add your page to their current work experience

This will help you get more backlinks and gives you the opportunity to share your employees’ best posts on LinkedIn, profiling your top talent as well as leveraging their networks.

Mention companies and pages in page updates

By mentioning companies with the @ symbol it’s easier for them to reshare your content in front of your audience. Think about the companies you admire and have strong followings and mention them in your updates. 

Keep it up

Post consistently – according to LinkedIn, pages that post daily get twice the member engagement. Try the 3, 2,1 technique to keep your content varied- every week aim to post 3 pieces of industry-related content, 2 pieces of ‘proud’ content (content that makes your employees and followers feel good) and just one piece of product-related content.

Remember to engage promptly – reply, comment and ask questions and keep your business details and photos up to date. Building a community on LinkedIn requires attention.

Make LinkedIn work for your small business this year

There are endless opportunities to make your small business LinkedIn Page work wonders for your company. Of course, running a small business can be challenging, but with a good plan in place and the right tools, LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for helping your company grow. We hope you’ve found this guide helpful, and are inspired to make LinkedIn work hard for you in 2020!

How to grow your LinkedIn network in just 5 minutes a day

As a small business are you maximising your presence on LinkedIn? Our favourite B2B platform has now got more than 630 million members – 21% of the entire global workforce –  yet, despite its huge number of members, many people are still not using the platform to its full potential.

Despite a growing number of small firms and independent consultants stepping up their social strategies; in what is an increasingly competitive market, many still have work to do.

Research shows that nearly 60% of people now consult social media before making their buying decisions. 70% of them use LinkedIn, so it really is more important than ever to ensure you have a strong, thriving network.

Building your community is all about making connections. So, this month we’ll show you how dedicating just 5 minutes a day to strategically building your first-degree connections can exponentially improve your access to new clients and professional opportunities.

So, whether you’re aiming for that 501st connection, or just want to make your profile work harder for you, read on as we show you how to grow your network by investing just 5 minutes a day.

1. Personalise and connect

Follow up with everyone you meet (or wanted to meet but didn’t) at networking events. You can only do so much at a conference, so use the power of LinkedIn to make those connections count. Before you hit connect make sure you send a personal message, explaining who you are and where you met (remember, this is not the time to sell your services). Dig out those business cards and get searching.

2. Update your status daily

Simply having a LinkedIn profile is not enough to keep those connections coming in. Like any social media platform, you need to engage and participate. As you would on Facebook or Twitter, make sure your content adds value, stays on brand and includes a call to action. Try sharing relevant articles, videos or blog posts.

Keep yourself present in your connection’s feeds to give them more opportunity to like and share your posts. This will get you introduced to their connections and offers a great opportunity to grow your network. When connections share your content it is social proof that you’re an expert in your field, which might encourage those 2nd-degree connections to reach out to you.

3. Participate in groups

It’s impossible to engage on a one-to-one level with hundreds of connections. Here’s where LinkedIn groups are a great way of making and maintaining those new connections. Join relevant groups and pick a handful to stay active on, but avoid marketing yourself or your business. Participate in (or better yet, initiate) group discussions.

If you are a member of any ‘real world’ networking groups look through their membership directory and find those contacts on LinkedIn. Remember to customise your connection request and reference the group you are both in.

You can also consider starting your own group. A certain level of kudos will come with this, and people are keen to connect with experts. When they join they are likely to connect with you.

4. Promote your profile

This is a great way to take advantage of your presence on other platforms. Make sure you have customised your URL, then place your LinkedIn profile link in your email signature, add it to your website, include it on your business cards and list it on your social media bios. This tip is easy to achieve and can really drive your traffic and therefore connections.

5. Engage

Keep an eye on your wall and be sure to share, comment on and like your connections updates and posts. There is always a lot going on with LinkedIn – new jobs, birthdays, job changes. Interacting with these important milestones is a great way to develop relationships as well as building new connections, as it will give you more visibility on the platform.

Conclusion

Give just 5 minutes of your day to one of these tasks and you’ll be able to track your success as your number of connections starts to grow. When you connect with the right people on LinkedIn you are truly taking advantage of one the best networking tools at your disposal, putting you one click away from meeting any one of those 630 million members.

If you would like some support with your LinkedIn or wider social media strategies, we’d love to chat.

A version of this post originally appeared on our good friends at South Thames Marketing’s blog.