Unlike most social networking platforms where people go for mostly entertainment, Linkedin is a professional networking site where recruiters and job candidates interact. And with over 87% of recruiters using Linkedin and 50 million people searching for jobs on Linkedin every week, it is important that you set up your personal brand to outclass the competition and attract the right recruiters to your profile. If you are looking to maximize and amplify your personal brand on Linkedin, then reading this post should equip you with all the details you need.
In this post we will take a look at the following topics:
- What is a personal brand and why is it important?
- How to build a personal brand on LinkedIn
What Is A Personal Brand and Why Is It Important?
A personal brand is an intentional way to communicate and market your value, skill, credibility, personality, and experience to the world to give people a positive impression about you based on the information shared.
So, Why Is It Important That You Brand Yourself On Linkedin?
People are going to connect with you on Linkedin based on your brand. This is most important when searching for a job. The first thing employers do when they receive your application is to go online and then extract any information they can get about you to ascertain if you are a good fit for their company or not. This makes personal branding a great way to show your credibility and value without having to speak. Therefore, you want to make sure that you do not just create a LinkedIn profile, but also, ensure that your page reflects your best and most relevant qualifications for the job you are applying for.
Another reason why personal branding is important is that it makes you stand out. Personal branding creates an opportunity for you to stand out among the competition and give people a sneak peek as to what makes you different from every other person. Leveraging personal branding can be a great way to add personality to your job application and boost your chances of getting employed.
Having a strong personal brand attracts recruiters to your doorstep without you having to proactively search for them. With your strong personal brand, you may get opportunities that you never might have thought of, giving you more options than the average Joe.
How To Build A Personal Brand On Linkedin:
1. Know Your Why
The first step to building your brand on Linkedin involves knowing the reason why you signed up to the platform in the first place. Is it to make new friends? To get more visibility for your business or self? To attract job candidates or to attract recruiters? Or is it to attract investors into your start-up?
Well, regardless of the reason why you might be signing up, knowing your why will give you a clear-cut overview of how to frame everything to help you build your brand. In addition, it will give you a clear path and give you an idea of the type of audience you want to attract or connect with.
2. Have An Ideal Audience Profile
The main reason why you are on Linkedin is to build a brand that can help you achieve a certain goal (“your why”). However, you cannot achieve this goal alone; you can only achieve this goal if certain people follow you or connect with you. Well, these people that you need to connect with to achieve your goal are referred to as the “ideal audience.”
The whole aim of building a strong personal brand on Linkedin is to be able to attract your ideal audience and have them take a specific action once they visit your page. However, for you to first attract your ideal audience, you need to be able to identify who they are and what they like or expect from you. By doing this, you should be able to tweak your profile to have the ideal content and ideal value that suits the expectations of your target audience.
Therefore, you want to know the people you are targeting, the type of content they like or expect, and how you can revolve your brand around them.
3. Optimize Your Profile
Once you know who you are targeting, the next step is to optimize your profile to help you maximize your exposure and visibility to enable you to reach your ideal customer.
a. Upload Professional Images
As the popular saying goes: “First impressions matter.” Therefore, if you are looking to leave a positive first impression whenever anyone visits your Linkedin page, then you want to ensure that you have professional photographs uploaded. The first thing people look out for when they visit your LinkedIn profile is your profile picture and any other pictures you’ve posted, yet it is the most underrated thing people do.
Professional photographs subconsciously influence people to view you as a credible individual, drawing them closer to your profile. A study done by Linkedin revealed that people who had profile pictures on their profile are 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Therefore, you want to make sure that you have a picture(s) that represents who you are.
Below are three tips to consider when uploading a picture:
i. Ensure The Is A Picture Of Yourself
One thing you should refrain from is posting stock images or random images on Linkedin that don’t represent you or have you in the frame, especially if it is a profile picture.
The last thing anyone wants to deal with is to go through your profile photo or cover photos only to find images of random things or pictures of flowers or pictures of motivational quotes; this doesn’t look professional. So, we recommend that you have your Linkedin profile mostly composed of images of yourself; doing this will make people feel a human connection to your profile.
ii. Let Your Pictures Reflect Who You Are
Well, the truth is that posting your pictures on Linkedin isn’t enough; you want to make sure that the image(s) you post best reflects what your brand stands for. This means you want to consider the niche you find yourself in and ensure that the pictures you post best reflect that niche and you. Doing this builds up some form of credibility and it creates a solid impression on people.
Let’s take an example of three different professions– a banker, a programmer, and a public speaker– to understand what I mean. The pictures of a banker will be different from that of a programmer or a public speaker. For a banker, posting themselves in a good-looking suit and tie-in simple background will be credible enough. However, a programmer can post a picture of them in a simple t-shirt with jeans, and that will be okay. Similarly, a public speaker cannot just post themselves in a suit and tie or a simple tee-shirt–that wouldn’t be enough. Public speakers would have to post images of them giving a keynote or talking to a group of people while in professional attire.
Assuming you visit the page of a banker and you see them in jeans and a t-shirt, chances are you aren’t going to see them as who they say they are, right? This is why you must upload pictures that best reflect your profession.
A quick way to know what to post is to go through the Linkedin profile of reputable people in your industry or niche, to have an idea of the kind of pictures they post, the dresses they wore in those pictures, the settings they chose, and even their posture, and then try to recreate such images as best as you can.
iii. Let A Professional Do The Job
Yes, I know that modern mobile phones have powerful cameras, but trust me, nothing beats the camera of a professional photographer. Photos taken by professional photographers are of high quality, and high resolution, bringing out the best representation of you, and when people see professional photos, they automatically tend to be drawn to you, and they attribute positive traits to you.
Another reason why we recommend getting a professional photographer is that they can give you tips on how you can make the picture better, and they will know the best shot, lighting, and angle to take the picture.
If getting a professional might sound a bit expensive, then we recommend you get a phone with a high-quality camera; however, you must spend time and then research how you can use that phone to take a high-quality photo.
iv. Follow The Rules
There are certain laid down rules that everyone must follow when posting a picture on Linkedin, these include:
- Ensuring that the image size isn’t above 8 Mb
- Ensure that you have a profile photo and banner photo
- Ensure that your face is prominent in your profile photos (about 60%)
- Your banner photo shouldn’t be too distracting
- Ensure that the resolution is at least 400×400 megapixels.
b. Your Headline Matters
You must write a catchy and compelling headline that will attract people to your profile. Remember that you only have 220 characters for your headline, so you want it to be as straightforward and engaging as possible.
Below are some tips to help you write a compelling headline:
- Communicate your value proposition or skill
- Write it as if you are speaking to the person reading it.
- Include keywords to boost your ranking on search results.
- Be creative and straight-forward
Example: With over 8 years of experience in marketing, I can help your business increase your ROI by 50%. Alternatively, you can list only your skills and that should be fine.
c. Your Summary
Once you can reel people in with your summary, you want to ensure that you have them take certain action with your summary. Your summary allows you to tell people about you in 2600 characters. Therefore, you want to ensure that you are including your most relevant skill, experience, or expertise.
d. Keywords and Descriptions
Linkedin is a search engine like Google and YouTube; therefore, you want to ensure that you are integrating relevant keywords into your profile to make you appear higher on relevant search queries. Therefore, you need to be able to identify the keywords and phrases that matter the most to your niche or industry and then find a way to seamlessly integrate them into your profile.
Using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and MOZ, just to name a few, can help you boost your ranking. Besides that, you want to implement other SEO techniques to help you rank higher. This article should give you insight into the other SEO techniques you can implement to boost your ranking.
4. Provide Value
If you are looking to set yourself apart and appear as a credible brand, then you need to provide some sort of value. Besides your friends and family who will connect with you on Linkedin because they know you, random strangers or your ideal audience will only connect with you if only you provide them the value they are searching for.
There are numerous ways to share value on Linkedin; however, you want to ensure that the value you are providing is in line with your why, and also, ensure that it is beneficial to your ideal audience.
Below are some forms of value you can provide:
- Post relevant achievements: Posting your achievements is non-negotiable, especially on Linkedin. Doing this will let people know what you’ve done, and give people an overview of your experience.
- Try Publishing Your High-quality content: We recommend you write up and post articles on subjects you are knowledgeable about. However, you need to ensure that what you are posting is in line with your goal and appeals to your target audience.
- Share Relevant Post: If writing content seems tedious, you can also share posts such as articles, videos, or images that are in line with your goals.
- Engage In Other’s Posts: You want to find posts that are relevant to your brand and then comment on them or help people in the comment section of those posts.
5. Follow People
Once you are done optimizing your profile and providing some sort of value on your profile, you can now go ahead and then follow people that are relevant to your brand. I mean, when starting, you do not expect people to automatically know who you are; you need to put yourself out there. So, if you have an idea of your ideal audience, then you can go ahead and follow them.