LinkedIn is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal, and it’s also one of the most powerful branding tools you have. Many people on LinkedIn don’t really understand personal branding on LinkedIn and how to build it.
Without a clear and consistent personal branding on LinkedIn, you’re costing yourself opportunities to grow your network, increase your own brand awareness, and even grow your business.
In this post, we’re going to give you ten tips for building strong personal branding on LinkedIn.
Pick The Right Profile Picture
Your profile picture says a lot about who you are and how you carry yourself. In fact, it’s a crucial element for strong personal branding on LinkedIn. Most people pick a profile picture that is sloppy in appearance and creates a bad impression. If it creates a bad first impression then you can forget about growing your network or even using LinkedIn to generate leads.
People simply don’t want to associate with others who don’t take pride in their profession or appearance. Make sure you use a profile picture that has been professionally taken. You can go semi-formal if you wish but make sure it coneys professionalism, warmth, and trust.
This post by Lyn Calver goes into more detail about your profile picture and the impression it creates.
Create A Personal Branding Statement For Your Summary Section
Your summary section is a chance to shine and show what makes you a valuable asset to any company. To create your personal branding statement, think about the personal characteristics, abilities, and skills you have that make you valuable to a company.
Then start writing your summary section. Also, think about the vision you have for your company and any goals or aspirations you have. Make sure that you include these in the summary section.
This is a great place to show some authenticity and really inject some personality into your profile. Don’t forget to highlight characteristics about yourself you think that make you different to other people in your industry, therefore making you a valuable asset to a company. Your summary section should be considered as an invaluable tool for instantly recognisable personal branding on LinkedIn.
Background Cover Image
Don’t use the default background image because it won’t help build personal branding on LinkedIn.
Get a customised background cover image created that contains personal branding. Create a cover image that shows what is unique about you and the kind of work you do. A great idea is to get a cover image created that includes a tagline about key skills and results you can get companies you work for or clients you serve if you’re a business owner.
Make sure that your headline contains titles that pertain to your current job role. You should also include previous job titles in this section if you can. Also, you should look to add some personality here to make your headline stand out.
One previous client of ours included the title ‘Wine aficionado’ at the end of his headline, which resulted in him being introduced to a room full of strangers as an expert on the topic of wine giving him instant authority and credibility.
The lesson here is don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your headline because you never know what may eventuate because of it.
The biggest mistake people make with this section is writing it like a CV. Rather, you want to write about each of your previous roles and accomplishments in such a way that it’s like you’re telling a story of going from one role to the next.
Start off with your current role and tell a story about the accomplishments you’ve had so far before moving onto previous roles. It should read like a story of how you started from the bottom in your industry and gradually moved up to the point where you are now in your career and professional and personal development. This article by Sarah Santacroce will give you a good start for creating a compelling experience section that builds personal branding on LinkedIn.
Think About Tone Of Voice
What do you want people to think when they read your profile?
Think about your answer to this question and then write your profile from this mindset. A key part of this is knowing who your target audience is on LinkedIn first and letting that guide the way you write your profile.
Once you know who you’re writing for, make sure you stick with a writing style and tone of voice that your audience will resonate with, and be consistent. Don’t start your summary section with a formal tone of voice and then switch to an informal one throughout the rest of your profile. This article by Kat Karvess provides some important tips about brand tone of voice for social media.
Grow Your Network
The bigger your network then the bigger and better your credibility by association. The people you associate with on LinkedIn play a role in the kind of branding you present. Make sure that you connect with current and past work colleagues, and anyone you know in your industry.
Look at it this way, imagine a LinkedIn profile of someone who has 50 connections of people in their industry. The imagine someone with 500 connections of people in the same industry, with some of those connections being thought leaders.
Obviously, the latter is bound to create a much stronger impression and build personal branding on LinkedIn.
Show You’re An Authority
The thought leaders and influencers in any industry or organisation make sure that everyone knows they are authorities. How can you build such influential authority positioning?
There are numerous ways but one of the keys to their success in achieving this kind of authority positioning is using rich media in the right way.
You should be using rich media that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field. Create ebooks, case studies or videos that help your target audience with a specific problem and you’ll automatically be perceived as an authority.
Also, don’t forget to publish targeted content through LinkedIn content publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse. Content is a great way to reach your target audience and direct them back to your LinkedIn profile.
Join groups in your industry but don’t just join them, make an effort to contribute to them. The more you contribute in groups, the more you build your brand, and demonstrate you’re an authority.
Alternatively, you can even start your own group, which automatically positions you as a thought leader in your industry. When you have your own group, you can invite your current connections and any future connections to your group.
Endorsements And Recommendations
Endorsements and recommendations build your personal brand because they show that you can be trusted and relied upon. You should always try and get any of your connections to endorse you for your skills. Better still, try and get recommendations because this is just like getting a testimonial.
Aim for around 5 recommendations that show some kind of great results you got working on a project together.
Conclusion: Building Personal Branding On LinkedIn
These ten tips should get you moving in the right direction as you look to build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.
Don’t underestimate the power of a strong personal brand on LinkedIn because it will improve your ability to grow your network, connections, and your business.
If you’d like to learn more about growing a personal brand on LinkedIn then book a free LinkedIn Profile Analysis.