5 essentials for building your personal brand on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools for professionals looking to expand their professional network, attract new job opportunities, and find potential clients. To take advantage of all that LinkedIn offers, it is vital to build a strong personal brand that showcases your unique skills, strengths, and values.
As a knowledge manager experienced in social media, as well as a recently-on-th-job-market candidate, I have compiled a list of top essentials for building a successful personal brand on LinkedIn. These essentials include optimizing your profile, expanding your network, sharing valuable content, seeking recommendations and endorsements, and being a force for good on this and any other platform.
1. Optimize your profile
Your LinkedIn profile is like a landing page for potential clients and employers, so it is important to optimize it accordingly. What does this mean? For starters, you should:
- Use a professional profile picture and banner image that aligns with your personal brand.
- Craft a headline and about section that highlights your unique skills and strengths, with a clear call to action.
- Use hashtags that are relevant to your field and have search volume.
- Use the Featured section to showcase your work and demonstrate authority.
- Use the Experience sections to highlight your achievements and provide a clear call to action.
By optimizing your profile, you can make a strong first impression and attract the right audience. I’ve begun to implement most of the ideas in this post myself, though I am by no means a perfect example. That said, feel free to take a look at my profile and connect if we’ve not already!
2. Expand your network
Expanding your network is a crucial part of building your personal brand on LinkedIn. Here are some tips:
- Connect with industry professionals, peers, and colleagues.
- Engage with their content regularly to stay top of mind.
- Participate in LinkedIn groups and forums to share opinions and expertise.
Remember to be genuine and authentic when connecting with others. Networking is about building relationships, not just collecting contacts. By expanding your network, you can tap into new opportunities and strengthen your personal brand. But be warned, connecting just to connect is a red flag that can be spotted a mile away. Be sure you are connecting with authentic interest and not just to see what they can do for you.
3. Share valuable content
Sharing your knowledge and valuable content is an effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Some things to keep in mind:
- Mix curated and original content. Generally I recommend and 80 / 20 mix of highlighting others to sharing about yourself.
- Always add value and context when sharing. A repost without your perspective shared is fairly worthless to your audience. Show us why you are sharing the content.
- Write posts on topics that you want to be known for, and share your unique perspective. Focusing in on your niche is important to help your audience know what to expect from you.
- Repurpose your top-performing posts to reach a wider audience. Perhaps a simple LinkedIn post becomes a blog post becomes a Youtube video becomes a Podcast episode… reuse of your content across platforms in ways that are designed for those platforms is a great way to expand your reach and influence.
By sharing valuable content regularly, you can build your reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and valuable member of your industry.
4. Seek recommendations and endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements can add credibility to your personal brand. This is a tough one for some people as we can often be hesitant in asking for this, however:
- Create a narrative for your purpose in looking for recommendations and endorsements. Let that pre-work help you move past the fear and allow you to ask for recommendations and endorsements from colleagues and clients.
- Be selective about who you ask – choose those who can speak to your unique skills and strengths. Mass-messaging your entire contact list will produce negative results. Tailor your request to each individual you feel would add value to your brand.
- Most importantly: Give more recommendations and endorsements than you receive. Give generously, without expecting anything in return. I know from direct experience that recruiters and potential clients look at this balance and will pass more often on people who don’t give recommendations or give at a far lower volume than they receive.
Remember, giving more than you receive is key to building a strong network on LinkedIn. By seeking recommendations and endorsements, you can strengthen your personal brand and build trust with potential clients and employers.
5. You are your own community manager
Finally, it is important to remember that LinkedIn is a community, and you can be a force for good on the platform. Here are some tips:
- Respond to comments and messages to build relationships and show your appreciation.
- Engage with others’ content to stay top of mind.
- Give generously of your time and knowledge to build relationships and establish yourself as a valuable member of the community.
- Ignore trolls and spam DMs, as they’re a waste of your time and energy.
You’ll see a common theme above, I’m sure: Engage. Give more than you take. And share your knowledge. Good life lessons at a broad scale, really.
By consistently following these essentials, you can build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn and other platforms, attract potential clients or employers, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. With a strong personal brand, you can accomplish your professional goals and take advantage of all that LinkedIn and your industry has to offer.