Creating a personal brand can be a powerful way to achieve important professional and business goals. When you develop a personal brand, you make yourself more recognizable and take charge of how you are perceived online. When done correctly, a personal brand can help you achieve the following:
- Become a thought leader or a recognized expert in your field
- Find a job with greater ease as you’ll stand out from the crowd
- Attract new clients and partners to your business
- Get leads
- Drive traffic to your blog or site from LinkedIn
Building a personal brand is different from becoming an influencer. A personal brand is oriented towards a professional audience and involves content for B2B or B2C audiences.
For this reason, LinkedIn is a good place to start your personal brand building journey.
LinkedIn is the largest networking platform for professionals. It has over 500 million professionals to date and a significant chunk of this network consists of high-level decision-makers. Another interesting LinkedIn stat is that for B2B businesses, 50% of their social traffic just from the platform.
You have the best chance of building a strong personal and professional brand by leveraging LinkedIn. Let’s get down to the specific ways you can use it and become a recognized figure in your industry.
Build a strong profile
Before you can start any other step, you need to have a robust LinkedIn profile for your audience to visit. The profile section is where people will learn more about you so that they can connect with you, follow your content, and figure out if you’re the right fit for their goals. If they’re looking for someone to hire or to get interesting content, your profile content will help them understand if you’re a good fit.
Before you can start writing your profile details, there’s are two things you need to do:
- Brainstorm the goals of your personal branding efforts because this will direct how you write your profile and posts
- Determine the right keyword to use in your profile and content. LinkedIn can be compared to a search engine for people. Leveraging the right keyword will help people find you using the search feature
When you’re clear about what you want your branding to achieve, you’re going to shape your content by keeping your goals and the keywords at the forefront. Here are different areas of your profile that you can optimize.
One of the elements of your profile that’s visible in a LinkedIn search result is your headline. It’s also the first thing that draws people’s eyes after your picture and name. In this spot, you need to create a descriptive headline that includes the keyword you want people to find.
Keep it short and eye-catching so that people want to continue exploring your site.
The About Section
You can write up to 2000 words in your profile’s About section. However, it’s the first sentence that will determine if people read it fully. Create a good hook in the first five words and try to create a story here. End your About section with a call to action. For example, ask your audience to send you an email or to connect with you.
Another way to highlight whether your profile is relevant is to add helpful details to your work experiences section in your profile. Elaborate on what you’ve done and try to tie it together with what you currently do. This will help you build a robust profile that gets recognized as a good result for specific searches.
As you create your profile, make sure that it provides information that goes beyond what’s on your resume. Try to make your personality appear in the way you write. LinkedIn is a networking site and you want to reach people at an emotional level by generating trust. Use conversational language and keep your content easy to read to draw more people to your brand.
Connect with your target audience
LinkedIn allows you to connect with 30,000 people. But when you make connections, pick people who potentially belong to the audience that will value your content.
Once you’ve built your profile so that your audience can find out more about you, your next step is to connect with the right people.
To do this effectively, consider your goals and who your audience is. If you’re trying to become a thought leader in the arena of data science, then you need to connect with other data scientists and people in related roles. Getting connected to people who are involved in, say, orthodontics will not serve you. Your content won’t interest them and this will show through a lack of engagement on your posts.
Use LinkedIn’s search feature to find people who are your target audience. Filter by location and keywords and send a personalized note when you do add a connection.
To get more attention and engagement, comment on their posts, wish them on their work anniversaries, and also follow up on your invitations.
The most important thing you can do is to send an invitation that explains why you want to connect with them and how connecting with you can benefit them. This will make it more likely that you’ll get a positive response.
Create engaging LinkedIn posts
So, you’ve made a solid LinkedIn profile and have connected with the right people. But the final ingredient in the mix is to make great content. LinkedIn is like any other social media network in the sense that emotions are the key to engagement. Here’s how to structure your posts:
- Make the very first line a hook that expresses your point of view in the form of a statement or the start of a story
- Use short sentences and line breaks to make your post easy to read
- Tell a meaningful story or share your insight on a trending topic
- Add a call to action inviting people to comment
- Use hashtags to make your content findable by topic
Put these tips into practice and you’ll see a rise in engagement as well as views on your profile.
The steps suggested here will all improve your profile’s performance on LinkedIn. However, there’s no substitute for real passion for what you do. Be consistent with the techniques given here and make content regularly that shares what you think.
As you continue to build your personal brand, you should see an increase in followership and get recognized as a thought leader on the topic you focus on. Keep engaging with other people too and you’re bound to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn.