Today, the concept of branding can be applied at an individual and personal level. You can shape your image to stand out online and build an audience.
There are several ways that building a personal brand online can help you:
- If you're a job seeker, you'll stand out and improve your chances of getting found and hired.
- Leaders can create a strong personal brand to attract partners and clients, and boost their followership.
- Your activities on social media can impact your website SEO. Building your personal brand via social media will direct traffic to your site.
- Personal branding can also create lead generation opportunities.
Having looked at how a personal brand can help, here's why you should focus on LinkedIn as a major platform to leverage. Marketers and business leaders seldom use LinkedIn effectively. It's thought of as a B2B networking platform only or as a way for people to find new jobs.
But let's look at some LinkedIn statistics to understand the potential it has and how your personal brand has a solid chance to grow using it.
- LinkedIn is a rapidly growing platform; it has two professionals signing up every second.
- Its community consists of more than 500 million professionals. Of those, 61 million are senior-level influencers, 22 million people form mass affluent members, and it has 40 million decision-makers.
- Ninety-two percent of Fortune 500 companies say these use LinkedIn.
- B2B businesses get 50% of their social traffic from LinkedIn.
There are tremendous opportunities on LinkedIn, especially if you know how to build your personal brand and leverage it. Let's take a look at ways to shape your personal brand image so that you create a positive impression on your audience.
Most people do the bare minimum when it comes to building their profiles, or if they do create one, they fail to use their profiles in a creative manner, instead making it look like a resume.
It's helpful to remember that ranking well on LinkedIn for specific keywords can open up opportunities for your business to grow.
Just as you work with keywords and create helpful content to improve your SEO, you can boost your personal brand and visibility by using the right keywords in your profile and posts.
If you appeared as the top person for "content marketer" or "financial consultant" in your area, you would create a powerful impression and build trust immediately.
Let's look at features on your profile where you can add keywords to improve your ranking on LinkedIn.
Leverage your headline.
When LinkedIn shows a user results for people, the headline forms an important part of the result. You can insert the keyword for which you want to be found in your headline. This helps make your profile show up when visitors to LinkedIn enter that specific keyword into the search bar.
Create a thorough About section.
LinkedIn's About section is where people can read what you have to say about yourself. You have a 2,000-word limit of which the first sentence or two appears as a preview.
This means that the first two sentences of your About section must pull people in right away. Use a good opening and "hook" people in the first five words. You could pose a question or start a personal story that leads to a positive description of your work, experience and interests.
It's also important to use the keywords you want your profile to rank for. If you're trying to build a personal brand so that you can find more clients for your freelancing business, use the term "freelance writer" in a natural way in the About section.
Unless you can make a 2,000-word description compelling, limit this part of your profile to a few hundred words.
End your About section with a clear call to action. Ask your audience to connect with you, send you an email or go to your website.
Make your current position and experiences relevant.
Another clever way to use keywords in your profile is to make it appear in your current position description and in your past experience. Of course, it's vital that you don't force it into a role where it isn't relevant. For example, if you want your profile to rank for financial analyst, don't stuff it into your previous experience as a retail employee. Add your keywords and phrases only where they fit and reflect your real experience.
Approach your profile-building the way you would SEO. Provide accurate information, create good content, and use natural language to populate your profile. Let's look at more ways to boost your branding.
Apply content writing principles
When creating content on LinkedIn, keep content-writing principles in mind. These principles are proven ways to engage your audience. Here are some helpful tips to draft good content:
Avoid writing in a formal tone. Even though LinkedIn is a professional networking site, your content will be read by humans who respond better to conversational content. Write as if you're penning a note to a friend, but use a clear, well-organized structure, and ensure it's grammatically correct.
Make your posts and profile content scannable. This involves using short sentences and breaking up your content into small paragraphs. Your content will be easier to read, especially on mobile devices.
Use emotions to hook people into your content. Try to tell a story and build your personal brand image in the process. Sharing your wins and challenges typically gets a response from readers.
And remember to keep your audience in mind when you write. Rather than trying to sell yourself, make content that helps people.
Create regular posts
So, what kind of content gets you the most views and engagement? Like any other social media platform, LinkedIn wants to keep people on their site. Linking to your blog, company website or any kind of external link will not serve you.
Focus on creating text posts on a regular basis. You can use a social media management tool, and schedule posts for every workday.
Use the content marketing tips we just covered to make interesting posts. Here are a few other pointers to boost impressions on your posts:
- Try to share authentic and meaningful content that resonates with you at an emotional level.
- Create line breaks between sentences to make your post readable.
- End with a call to action by asking people to comment or discuss your post.
Use hashtags so that your post appears when people look for content on specific topics.
Connect with relevant people
LinkedIn is primarily a networking site, so connecting with relevant people should be a key activity. The value of your brand image is ultimately determined by how people perceive it. So, to begin with, have a clear understanding of your audience. If you're an SEO expert, your target audience will be digital marketers and other SEO experts. Use LinkedIn's search tool to find people in your target audience industry and connect with them.
Send a personalized note and add connections who are likely to care about your content so that when you do make posts, the people who see them will be people who are likely to engage.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with 30,000 people from your account. Reach out to people and try to make meaningful discussions with them. Comment on posts by people in your network, and engage with their anniversaries, celebrations and other news.
It's when you build a solid network consisting of relevant people that you have the best opportunity to showcase your personal brand, so reach out and engage.
We've looked at some top ways to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. Now, the key is to put these tips into action. When you use the ideas in this article, you should see a boost in your profile visits, post impressions and more. Take action today and build your personal brand to achieve any goal you have in mind.