Unlocking LinkedIn’s potential
In a social media-obsessed world, LinkedIn has become a key tool for advancing your career.
With over 875 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. From discovering new career opportunities to discussing the latest industry news, LinkedIn helps people around the world to connect and build professional relationships.
Whilst LinkedIn is an invaluable professional tool for those who use it strategically, if you created your profile hurriedly several years back and haven’t touched it since, you’re not leveraging the platform’s full potential.
To get the most from LinkedIn, you need to be strategic, intentional, and consistent in how you use it.
Establishing your personal brand on LinkedIn can help you stand out from the crowd, build your reputation and credibility within your industry, and, ultimately, achieve your business goals.
In this article, we’ll learn more about how to create a unique personal brand that will help you to stand out on LinkedIn and achieve your career goals. Get ready to take your professional image to the next level!
What is personal branding?
You could think of your personal brand as your professional alter-ego.
To create your personal brand, you should take your professional skills, experiences, values, and personality and mix them together to forge a unique brand voice and design style. Your professional branding should celebrate your individuality and highlight what makes you different or valuable to clients and potential employers to help you stand out.
If you’re successful, your personal branding will build a distinctive and memorable image of you that people will remember, trust, and want to work with.
What are the benefits of building a personal brand on LinkedIn?
Now that we understand personal branding, let’s find out how investing time and energy into building your brand on LinkedIn can support your professional growth and development.
Build your LinkedIn network
People are more likely to connect and engage with you on LinkedIn if your profile and posts stand out or resonate with them. Building your LinkedIn network will help you hear about new opportunities first, sometimes before they are advertised to the public. It can also help you to stay informed about industry news, insights, and information.
Establish yourself as a thought leader
Consistently creating and sharing relevant and valuable content on LinkedIn and engaging in debates and discussions within your network can establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Building an audience on LinkedIn and gaining thought leadership status will boost your professional reputation.
Enhance your online reputation and credibility
A strong personal brand helps to shape how others perceive you. By using your personal brand to showcase your strengths, knowledge, experience, accomplishments, and values, you can stand out and build trust with your audience. Other professionals are more likely to employ you or use your services if they perceive you as trustworthy and credible.
Increase your visibility on the platform
If you’re not active on LinkedIn, it is much more difficult for people to discover you, resulting in missed opportunities. Optimising your LinkedIn profile, consistently sharing valuable content, and engaging with your network can significantly increase your visibility on the platform.
Achieve your goals
Whether you’re seeking employment opportunities, professional partnerships, or the chance to speak within your industry, building a credible and memorable personal brand on LinkedIn can help you to unlock new opportunities and achieve your professional goals.
How to build your personal brand on LinkedIn
Are you ready to find your voice and start engaging more on LinkedIn? Follow these steps to build a successful personal brand on LinkedIn.
Define your goals
Before you can begin to build your personal brand, you need to define your goals.
How do you want to be perceived on LinkedIn? Do you want to be known as knowledgeable, approachable, friendly, quirky, professional, liberal, compassionate, driven, loyal, or forward-thinking?
Now consider what you want to achieve by using LinkedIn. Do you want to find employment, become a thought leader, attract new clients, attract top talent, or expand your professional network?
Your goals will help steer the direction your professional branding takes.
Research your target audience
Once you’ve defined your goals, you must figure out who can help you achieve them. This is your target audience.
Identify your target audience’s typical characteristics, including job title, industry, and location. Next, research their demographics and discover their interests and pain points. This will help you to create a voice that resonates with them and publish content that is interesting and of value to them.
Define your voice
As well as being a valuable resource for researching companies and reading industry news, LinkedIn is also a busy social media networking site where professionals chat and share their opinions.
When participating in LinkedIn’s more social side, remember that you are showing up on the platform as a representative of your business and industry. What you say and how you say it should reflect this.
On social media, an essential aspect of branding is voice. Consider the tone of voice that best resonates with your target audience while reflecting your personality and values.
Set up your profile
You can (and should) use your LinkedIn profile to showcase your unique skills, experiences, and accomplishments to a global audience. Take your time filling out your profile as thoroughly as possible. Consider it a long-term investment of time for your career rather than a box-ticking exercise. Use the job description section as an opportunity to sell yourself and your achievements, using specific examples wherever possible.
Having a clear and professional photo on LinkedIn helps your audience to perceive you as trustworthy and credible. So, if you don’t have a professional photo yet, it’s time to get behind the lens!
LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements can be used as social proof of your skills, expertise, and accomplishments. Asking clients and colleagues to give you LinkedIn endorsements or recommendations can help to build your professional reputation on the platform and give your profile credibility.
Optimise your profile
LinkedIn is essentially a search engine for people. Businesses use LinkedIn to explore potential business partners, employees, and individuals to collaborate with. Meanwhile, job seekers use LinkedIn to search for employment opportunities. To ensure your profile appears in relevant searches, you will need to optimise it effectively.
As with any search engine optimisation, you should start with your keywords. Which search terms do you want your profile to appear for on LinkedIn? Your keywords should focus on your job role, industry, and any fields you specialise in.
Once you’ve identified your keywords, incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile’s headline, job role, summary, and job description sections.
Develop a personal branding design style
Consistently using the same design style across all your visual assets on LinkedIn will help your profile and posts stand out and increase brand recognition. Use a consistent colour palette and incorporate your brand logo or tagline if you have one to make your personal brand instantly recognisable. Use the same design style consistently across your profile photo, banner image, and posts to establish a strong LinkedIn presence that reflects your professional identity.
Create a LinkedIn content strategy
For many people, not knowing what to post on LinkedIn is their biggest barrier. Figure this out, and you’ve won half the battle already!
The best way to figure out what to post on LinkedIn is to consider your goals and identify the type of content that will help achieve them. Begin by brainstorming potential LinkedIn content ideas and thinking about the content formats that resonate best with your audience and align with your objectives. Popular types of content to share on LinkedIn include personal stories, thought leadership articles, motivational posts, and industry-specific news. Finally, you’ll need to keep a content calendar to get organised and maintain consistency with posting.
Regularly review and update your profile
Your LinkedIn profile acts as your digital resume. Unlike a traditional CV, it is accessible to anyone at any time, making it very important to keep it up-to-date with current employment information and your latest professional achievements.
Keep testing, auditing, and refining your personal brand
Building a solid personal brand is an ongoing process that requires continual testing, auditing, and refinement to maintain and improve performance over time. Continuing to test new ideas and track the performance of your personal branding efforts using LinkedIn’s analytics tools can help you to identify your top-performing content and optimise future posts according to what has been proven to work.
Our Pete’s personal branding journey
Create8’s Creative Director, Pete Screeton, recently embarked on his own LinkedIn personal branding journey to revitalise his profile and presence on the platform.
He started by auditing his existing LinkedIn networking connections to learn more about the demographic he was creating content for.
Next, he created a tone of voice and visual style that he felt would resonate with his audience. He also reviewed his LinkedIn profile, rewrote everything in his new personal brand voice, and optimised the page to accurately reflect who he is and what he does.
Once satisfied with his profile, he started creating and posting content. He tested many different content formats in the early days, including photos, graphics, videos, and polls.
Here are some examples of the content he posted during this time.
Once Pete got into the swing of posting, he used LinkedIn’s analytics to discover the type of post that got the best results and used this information to help him refine the style of his posts further.
He now continues to post around six to seven times a week.
And what has Pete learnt so far? He has found that LinkedIn is a pretty positive space where people love celebrating each other’s achievements, creative ideas, and dogs… Who doesn’t love posts about dogs?