Perhaps one of the most underrated glow-ups of the last few years is LinkedIn. Spoiler alert: It’s not just for sales and marketing anymore. The social networking giant has finally evolved into just that — a place where professionals can engage with industry peers and brands, socially.
Gone are the days of LinkedIn profiles as online static resumes. With networking taking first place in business trends for 2022 and the platform supporting 830 MILLION users, LinkedIn will boast plenty of conversations you can’t afford to miss out on.
Nobody likes #FOMO, so here are 5 key elements that signify and help build a strong personal brand.
1. You know how to make a good first impression.
We all know not to judge a book by its cover. But in practice, this can be challenging, especially considering that we all bring our own unconscious (and conscious) biases to the conversation with us.
Another big truth: first impressions are a big deal. Your run-of-the-mill LinkedIn tips will tell you to have a professional headshot, a bio and updated work experience. These are good tips, but once again, we come back to the statement, “Gone are the days of LinkedIn profiles as online static resumes.” A professional that has established a strong personal brand knows that just doing the bare minimum will NOT separate them from the crowd. (Want Priscilla's top tips for LinkedIn success? Grab them here!)
Utilize all your LinkedIn profile tools! Brainstorm a creative tagline unique to you. Talk about more than just work in your “About” section. When you post, be mindful of the messages you share and the people and businesses you follow. As a general rule of thumb: be pleasant to engage with. Your personal brand lives at the intersection of how you see yourself and how you're seen by others. It's that shaded triple intersection of network, visibility and frequency.
2. You lead by giving.
Anyone who has established a strong personal brand on LinkedIn can attest that comments are king. Comments are currency. Comments are THE quickest way to build your brand presence and scale your reach on LinkedIn. Of all the LinkedIn tips and social selling tricks available right now, emphasizing the importance of actually taking part in conversations could be the best advice on the market.
Give 'em something good!
There’s a cliché, but true saying that goes, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” So, contribute to meaningful conversations! Your personal brand will strengthen and the LinkedIn algorithm will reward you by bumping you up and onto new newsfeeds.
3. You try to #AlwaysBeHelping.
Lean into your personality, whatever that may be. Standing out in an ocean of 830 million requires some degree of individuality. The best way to do this? Show up authentically.
Build your brand by telling your story. Be real and be relatable. Get used to the idea of taking off the corporate mask and letting your hair down. On the flip side, there is a fine line between sharing personal information and sharing private information. Overshares can impact how others experience your personal brand.
Storytelling is both an art and a science.
Being vulnerable is a good rule of thumb but say less about YOU and more about who you want to help. When building a strong personal brand, it's crucial to #alwaysbehelping. Get started by identifying who you are trying to inspire, engage, educate or entertain with your stories. Then ask yourself, "What about my experience/knowledge will resonate with that person?"
4. You commit to consistency.
There is a lot of noise on LinkedIn. Like, a lot.
Posting sporadically will be a waste of your time and energy. You know what they say, patience is a virtue. Results will come with consistency. Just like working out, 15 minutes every day is better than 1 hour twice a week.
Limit your time spent on LinkedIn and practice consistent posting to stay productive and intentional. Follow this structure and those 15 minutes quickly becomes the most valuable 15 minutes of your day. The effort-to-impact ratio is ginormous!
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.
Everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re ready to build a strong personal brand, then try connecting with 5 industry thought leaders and peers with who you can engage and learn. Lean on your socially active peers when you’re just starting out and develop the habit of being active every day. You’ll likely find people who were in your shoes not too long ago, and you’d be surprised at how eager they are to help.
5. You are strategic about content creation.
We have an easy-to-follow rule for strategic posting on LinkedIn: The Rule of 15. For every 15 posts that you post online, 10 of them need to be interesting and thought-provoking. The next four should show that you are interested in others, whether that be your ideal client or connections.
This strategy allows you one post where you have earned the right to talk about YOU. Maybe that post talks about your expertise and why you love working. Maybe it’s about where you work or why you love your coworkers. Maybe it’s a recent success you've had. Whatever it is, it can be about you.
Spoiler alert! It will pay off.
For those other 14 posts, you’ll want to identify umbrella themes and pillar topics. Schedule longer time blocks into your calendar for writing posts in batches. Looking at posts and interactions through a strategic lens of “helping others” can make content creation a whole lot easier. Ask yourself questions like “who does this help?” and “how does this add value?”
The point is not to sell to your network; it’s to sell through your network. Make sure to keep a close eye on your LinkedIn SSI score — it’s updated daily! This is a great tool to evaluate or keep tabs on how well you're building a brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights and building strong relationships.
P.S. When all else fails — authentic selfies, cute babies, a colorful sunset or a puppy should get the conversations started.
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