People buy from those they know and those they trust. If you need a service or product, which individual or business is the first that comes to mind? That’s the power of a personal brand. When done right, you can become the go-to person for a particular topic. When others hear your name, they say, “Oh that’s the ____ person.” People often associate my name with LinkedIn. But, this wasn’t always the case. So what can you do to build and strengthen your personal brand on LinkedIn? Let’s dive into some tips.
Optimize Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile acts as your personal landing page. It tells potential clients, investors, employers, and employees what you’re about and why they should buy from you, invest in you, hire you or work for you. This is the first place you need to start when building your personal brand as all of your other activities will drive people to view your profile.
Adding a professional headshot and custom cover photo are great ways to kickstart your profile optimization as they’re the first thing people look at when they view your profile. The next step is to look at your headline. This is the text appearing right under your picture on your profile. It also appears beside your face and name when you create posts or comment on posts. Going beyond “Position at Company” to include keywords and value proposition statements will improve the credibility and searchability of your profile while helping others know how they can help you and/or how you can help them.
Next, writing an informative About section can shine some light on your personal and professional journey beyond just the roles you’ve been in and the companies you’ve worked at. This is a great place to talk about how you got to where you are today, what you’re doing right now, and what lies ahead for you in your future.
Finally, asking coworkers, supervisors, and clients to write you a three-line LinkedIn recommendation can further add credibility to your profile. It’s also free publicity for them as others will see their name, picture, and headline on your profile.
Give, Give, Give
Now that your profile is presentable, you’ll want to start adding value to the LinkedIn community. Creating educational content about challenges you’ve overcome, things you’ve learned and tips for succeeding in your industry are great ways to showcase your knowledge while helping others in their journey.
If you’re not ready to start sharing your own advice, you can share content from others. Whether you share a screenshot of a tweet and add a few lines of your thoughts or share an article with some industry trends and your key takeaways, you can still add value to your network without creating original content from scratch.
The important thing to remember is to make a large portion of your content educational and a small portion promotional. It’s okay to share a client testimonial or case study every handful of posts. Just make sure most of your posts aren’t promotional.
Go Beyond Content
While creating content is an easy way to get noticed, if you don’t have a large following, not many people will see your posts. This is where engagement comes in. You can use the search bar on LinkedIn to find posts related to your industry or keywords that you’re interested in. You can then go and comment on those posts to add your thoughts to the conversation. Each time you comment, your name, headline, and profile picture will appear in the comments section. Others who like and comment on the post may see what you had to say and click through to your profile to learn more about you or follow you to see more of your content. This also shows potential customers that you’re accessible should they want to reach out to you.
It can be easy for your feed to get quickly crowded and for you to miss content from important people. Turning on the notification bell on someone’s profile will notify you when they post so you don’t miss a post from them. This is also a great way to be one of the first to engage on their post so others see your comment when they view the post. To quote,
It’s not always about producing more content; but rather creating more value with the content you produce. – Bill, Founder at Linchpin.
Your personal brand won’t grow overnight. On average, it takes eight touches with a prospect before they buy from you. The same thing applies to building your personal brand and gaining trust from others on LinkedIn. With only 1% of LinkedIn’s users creating content and 9% engaging, 90% of users are simply scrolling and lurking. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not seeing a ton of engagement in your posts. The lurkers are quietly absorbing what you have to say. You’ll eventually see those inbound leads start to slide into your inbox.
Growing my personal brand on LinkedIn was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Hopefully, this article gave you some tips and inspiration to get started with growing your personal brand too.