Why (and how to) create a strong personal brand on LinkedIn

Why (and how to) create a strong personal brand on LinkedIn

Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!

Dr. Suess, Author

LinkedIn gives you the ability not only to be seen by the business world – but also to control how the world sees you. With more than 450 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe, LinkedIn gives you access to pretty much anyone you need to help you build your business – whether it’s new employees, vendors, clients, customers, VCs, Strategic partners, etc.

5 Personal Brand Development Tips Using LinkedIn

Don’t let a bad profile COST you business and money! When utilized effectively, LinkedIn opens the door to the people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that will increase your odds of success substantially. But a minimal and unbranded profile and lack of activity on LinkedIn might cost you credibility and business.  These tips will help you create a well-branded, active and credible profile.

  1. Choose Your Role Models and Mentors

    Mobile devices

    Reid Hoffman, co-founder and former CEO of LinkedIn says, “The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.”  This is step one in creating your brand.  Find role models.  Find mentors.  Create a community that understands and supports your brand. How are they using their profiles?  What groups are they members of (on LinkedIn).  Use your role models as road maps for success.

  2. Know your Keywords

    What “key words” are people searching on when they are looking for someone like you? What titles are they looking for?  What Industries? What certifications?

    Itried on all kinds of titles when I first started out on LinkedIn:  “Chief Social Media Officer” and “Social Networking Director,” and “Social Evangelist.”  But all people were really looking for was a “LinkedIn consultant”. It’s important to know what other people are searching for on LinkedIn.

    To find the keywords others are using, check out your competition on LinkedIn.  What skills are they listing on their profiles? Do they have specialties or interests listed?  There might be some keywords in there you hadn’t thought of.  Also, check job listings with titles like yours.  What are their requirements?  You will probably find some keywords and phrases you hadn’t thought of.

    Once you have your list of keywords, pepper them throughout your LinkedIn profile. Don’t stick with just one keyword – use an assortment in a variety of areas like the description in your Experience section, Interests, Publications and Projects.

  3. Skills and Keywords

    Make sure that you have your keywords and search terms listed in Skills too. If you don’t do it, LinkedIn will do it for you. And the skillsthat LinkedIn suggests to other for you are not always the most accurate ones. One week I kept getting requests to do YouTube marketing.  If you’ve seen my YouTube channel you’ll know it’s not because of my actual expertise!  What happened was that LinkedIn suggested people endorse me for YouTube Marketing, and I had unwittingly added it to my profile. Because of that my profile was showing up in the YouTube Marketing search.  Oops!

    Good news – skills and endorsements help you get found.  You just have to make sure you have the right skills listed.

    By the way, you can turn off those annoying Skill Endorsement notifications – but be careful with this. You might be doing someone else a favor in trying not to annoy them with constant endorsement requests through LinkedIn, but it also means that you’ll get less endorsements. And less endorsements looks like less expertise. It’s easy enough for us to say that we are experts in something. The strength of endorsements is that other people say that too.

  4. Show It – Don’t Just Say It.

    Another way of showing your expertise is to use the Media button to add examples of your work, interviews, Podcasts, newspaper, magazine, and blog articles. Anything that really showcases your expertise.

    All day long you can SAY you’ve been on Fox news or had an article in Money magazine – but if it’s true, then share a link to the interview or take an image of the article and upload it in your Summary, Experience or Education section.  Got your MA at Harvard you say?  Then take a pic of your degree and upload it under your Education.  Lots of folks say they are experts, gurus and mavens.  Prove it by showing it to be true and step up your media game.

  5. Add Publications and Projects

    Social media engaments

    Another section you might want to add to your profile is Publications and Projects.  I like these features because you can add links that drive traffic back to your published article or book, or back to your online project.

    With Projects and Publications you can also add people you’ve worked with, lending credibility to your work as well.  Make sure to fill out those description areas with keywords too, because those sections of LinkedIn are also searchable – meaning you are more findable!  I got my book deal because Wiley found me on LinkedIn and saw examples of my writing.

  6. Use Publisher

    Speaking of showing off your writing skills – start using Publisher!

    What I love about Publisher is that the posts show up under your profile and are searchable under the Articles search, which also lendsitself to visibility and findability.

    LinkedIn Publisher can be found in your profile once you have posted an article, or on your home page under “Write an Article.”

    Once you click on “Write an Article”

    • Create some new content or re-purpose an existing blog post
    • Add formatting, hyperlinks, images, bullets, media etc
    • Save it
    • Post it to your network
    • Share it on all your social networks

    Your articles will not only position you as an expert, but they give your fans a platform to reach out to you – even if you are not already connected on LinkedIn!  I also recommend adding your Bio, contact info and even a call to action in your article to more easily facilitate communication and engagement with your prospects.

In Conclusion:

Creating a personal brand on LinkedIn is not that difficult – if you know how!

With just a few tweaks to your profile, and some light but consistent activity, your profile – and your brand – will show up much more (and much better) on LinkedIn.  This new visibility and top of mind awareness can help to drive business on LinkedIn!  Give it a try and let us know in comments below what successes you have.  And of course, if you have any questions, let us know below as well!