While not as popular or trendy as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is a force to reckon with when it comes to personal branding online. Given its growing worth and influence, LinkedIn should become part of your personal marketing arsenal.
LinkedIn easily beats other social networking sites when it comes to personal branding. Its features make it a lot easier for individuals to distinguish themselves from the pack.
With LinkedIn, you can refine your personality online and present your own personal brand more attractively. Effective branding is what we always strive for as online marketers. With social media, personal branding has become a DIY activity. But branding isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
As one of the top social networking sites, LinkedIn offers some significant guides to help you develop and refine the way you present yourself online.
Let’s start with the basics. When creating a LinkedIn profile, start by asking yourself the following questions:
Once you’ve determined your strengths and skills, you have a good overview of how to present yourself to prospective clients or recruiters.
Below are some recommendations on how to take advantage of LinkedIn for effective personal branding.
Be true to who you really are both online and in person. Remember that your online profile is a reflection of who and what you are in life.
Think of LinkedIn as the online version of the moment you present yourself to a prospective employer or business client. Be honest about what you can really do well; include your technical credentials, your recent achievements, and the networking groups you are currently active in.
It’s also a great idea to secure recommendations from friends and people you have worked with successfully in the past.
Be creative with your LinkedIn headline
Take advantage of the LinkedIn headline. Treat it as a crucial part of your personal branding. It’s your personal tag line.
When people examine your LinkedIn profile, your professional headline is what they see right after your name. It displays prominently, so make it count by stating a bold claim about who you are. You can use a headline such as “Helping Businesses Grow with Effective Sales Copy.”
Be consistent with every bit of your information
Strong brands, whether corporate or individual, display consistent information wherever they appear. That’s why you should make a point of having the same information appears on your LinkedIn profile, resume, and other social profiles.
Information such as dates of employment, companies worked for, accomplishments, name, tag lines, and photo should be consistent wherever you appear. When your data and graphics are consistent, people quickly recognize you.
Work on improving your visibility
Having a strong personal brand and sharing great content and ideas are going to be of no use unless you work steadily on getting exposure wherever you can. Some of the ways you can increase your visibility in and out of LinkedIn are:
Create a strategic brand association
People who associate with like-minded individuals develop public stature. That’s why it’s very important that you increase your network consistently by adding people who can provide value to you and to whom you can provide value.
But when you do connect with people on LinkedIn, be sure to connect with people you know or have worked with in the past. Start by connecting with friends, colleagues, classmates, and previous bosses. Grow your network further by asking for introductions from people you’re already networked with.
Improve on your expertise
Strive to learn new things that you think will help you provide value to your network. Improve your knowledge about your industry by following relevant updates and news.
LinkedIn provides an extremely useful feature called LinkedIn Today, which helps users stay in the know on issues that interest them.
Also, participate actively in LinkedIn Answers, where you will have an opportunity not only to help people on certain issues, but to position yourself as a trusted expert in your field. The great thing about answering questions on LinkedIn Answers is that each time you answer a question, your network receives an alert about your activity. That’s a great way to promote your expertise.
Extend a helping hand
People will remember you more if you provide value for free. Giving away free information is a great way to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if your network remembered you for providing help rather than annoying them with endless promotions?
In the past, building a personal brand required a lot of resources. You needed to invest huge amounts of money to get it right. But with LinkedIn, personal branding becomes an easy and enjoyable endeavor, and it enables you to connect your personal brand more easily with people that matter the most.