The recipe for elevating your personal brand, allowing it to tower over the competition, exists in its entirety on LinkedIn.
You will never be more fortified with the essentials for your personal brands ascent, than on the business and employment-orientated online service, where you are able to: meet people online, establish and build business relationships, as well as share content. So really, what is stopping you from fuelling your personal brands rise?
Your personal brand is the image that other people perceive of you. This definition appears quite basic, but it is actually is much deeper, because personal branding brings together all the elements by which people remember or recognize you. Branding in a global sense, plays its part in how you know the world around you.
Social media networks have reshaped the human understanding of what it means to engage with this world, and resulted in the unprecedented cultural shift of even the buttoned-up corporate world seeing the value of social media, for brand profits and public relations. The blossoming of new digital career avenues, and the worlds expansion of traditional institutes in virtual spaces, subsequently ushered in the incredible opportunity for employment and business-orientated online services to be zoned somewhere available to all – and now we have LinkedIn.
According to Feldman Creative operator Barry Feldman, rated as one of the Top 40 Digital Strategists, “LinkedIn has more than 575 million users from 200+ countries” and “40% of LinkedIn members check in daily”. These are quantifiable numbers of people that you could be engaging on a very real level which benefits your personal brand, and their lives. On the LinkedIn platform, people all around the world have the opportunity to network professionally, post job prospects, and seek jobs with their resumes loaded in a standardised format.
Managing director of PurpleRoom Communications Thandi Chaotsane-Moticoe, says that LinkedIn is her recommended platform for business, as it is unparalleled for its business leads. Additionally, LinkedIn has a world of unique opportunities and resources to capitalise on professionally and personally, beginning with tools to build your personal brand substantially. Your personal brand, is you – but its value is in its ability to connect and result in something positive and actionable, and that is where LinkedIn comes in.
Do you want to build credibility, and substantiate your employability? Do you want to distinguish yourself as being a thought-leader?
It is time to unlock the perks of LinkedIn, so you can tip your personal brand towards an excess of success. Here’s 6 tips to develop your personal brand on LinkedIn:
Tip 1: Update your LinkedIn banner image
Those billboards you see during your commute to work, or during an essential’s run, are memorable. You know their placement, and they catch your eye long enough for you to read the brand name, ascertain the message, and process whether it appeals to you, before you move on – this is what your LinkedIn Banner Image also does.
Updating your banner image with visuals that speak to who you are, and what you are about, are as good as the text your LinkedIn page’s visitor may choose to scroll down to read.
As a respected member of the PR & Communications industry, Chaotsane-Moticoe knows the factors which guide and influence peoples online habits, so her advice that your page “must be a representation of who you are. Have your logo there…Have a clear description of what you can offer”, is valuable insight from an industry expert. Make your banner image relevant, vibrant, and clear.
Tip 2: Company profiles and personal profiles are different – update them differently
The number one most influential sales expert on LinkedIn, Daniel Disney, recently broke down the mistakes people and businesses make on LinkedIn, in a podcast interview with serial entrepreneur and leadership trainer Spencer Lodge. He highlights that the many profiles he sees “have missing information. They’re poorly put together, disorganised, cluttered, or they’re self-focused”.
This sales experts tip is that you update your profiles and do it well. Your efforts on LinkedIn need to be done with the purpose of establishing and growing your presence, and your networks. Make sure to include relevant information, which speaks about your personal brand, skills, experience, and qualifications, like: full name, the correct company names, accurate dates, and do not forget to update the profiles with regular engaging content which you respond back to when engaged with!
Tip 3: Personalise your LinkedIn URL (uniform resource locator)
Very few people can remember website addresses that aren’t snappy, so consider, the hundreds of introductions you will make in your lifetime, as well as the human ability to remember – you realise that you need to customize your LinkedIn address/URL with something memorable.
Use LinkedIn’s free option to include your name in your public profile address/URL, so that instead of a series of numbers and letters (like linkedin.com/67w84rj32wef09) you can change your LinkedIn profile address/URL to linkedin.com/in/liezelonline.
This too, will make it easier for you to be found both within LinkedIn and Google searches.
Tip 4: Create a compelling tag line
Products have it, as do television programs; Oprah has an iconic one, and your business services may revolve around it. Sometimes even your friends have funny ones – it’s a tag line, and it sticks in people’s minds.
A catchy tag line, which should be placed in LinkedIn’s “current job title” field on your public profile, is another opportunity to grab your readers attention. When searching for candidates, recruiters are said to often look at the tag line, to parse out whether they are feeling compelled to read on. Whoever visits your LinkedIn page, should never be in doubt about who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Your concise LinkedIn tag line will keep them intrigued enough to seek out even more about you. When crafting this tag line, make sure to use the few characters you have available for this, to include relevant and specific buzzwords, which also have a value proposition.
Tip 5: Join Groups
Futurist and noted speaker Charlotte Kemp, said it best when she said: “Your connections are like a field of diamonds. You need to mine them. Get to know your connections. Offer value. Introduce them to each other. Share their work as well as your own. Have conversations with them in private on LinkedIn, but boast about their achievements publicly. That network on LinkedIn that have could be the source of all the business and professional introductions that you need. But you need to nurture it, not just take advantage of it.”
Joining and participating in groups, is a sure-fire way to raise your profile and expand your network. “You can have a big network of good prospects…you don’t need to choose quantity or quality – you could do both. You’ve got a good opportunity with LinkedIn,” says Disney. So do not be afraid of having hundreds and thousands of LinkedIn connections. You should be aiming to be active in at least 1-2 relevant groups, as a “top contributor” – a status awarded to people who are regularly starting, and being involved, in group discussions. However, if creating content is not quite your thing, you are still able to get involved in groups, by commenting on group discussions, as well as sharing your expertise and knowledge.
To help you decide on the usefulness of a group, check the group statistics feature, which gives information about demographics, growth, and activity.
Tip 6: Post valuable video content
Serial entrepreneur and leadership trainer Spencer Lodge shares this valuable tip” If you want to grow your brand on LinkedIn and build rapport, then you need to start with posting thoughtful content that is valuable to your audience. It isn’t enough to simply share updates from other people, or share a meme if you want to solidify your personal brand – you MUST consistently share content that adds value to your audience and establishes you as a thought-leader in your field.
Video is the fastest growing format on the platform right now, so it’s incredibly important that you get comfortable being in front of a camera – whether you can do this or not will make the difference between being known by few or being known by many. Think about how you can generate ongoing valuable conversation with your audience. If you can master doing that, then you’re onto a winner.
If you are nervous being Infront of a camera, prepare a script focusing on what you want to say. Do several runs in front of the camera before committing to your final video.
LinkedIn is too great and valuable a platform to be squandering for your personal brand’s growth. If you want to tower above the rest, you have got to use the perks that LinkedIn so freely offers up to brands and businesses alike. Abongile Nzelenzele, managing director of Nzelenzele Communications, articulates the gravity of LinkedIn’s value for your personal branding, in a recent interview where he said “It is amazing…the branding output you can put out there on that platform. And sometimes, you don’t even need to pay for it. Sometimes it’s just putting in the right message”.
So, who is getting your message?
Liezel van der Westhuizen is an accomplished presenter, adaptable virtual emcee and Personal Branding Specialist, Liezel (Masters graduate in Business Communication) is also owner of The Giraffe Academy, which is dedicated to a mission of personal brandbuilding – assisting clients to stick their necks out and cultivate their power to stand tall and be unique. This, she believes, is the key to marketplace success.