Are you looking for tips on how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn? Do you know how to brand yourself on social media?
Whether you are looking to improve your social media presence or just looking for some LinkedIn brand guidelines, you’ve come to the right place.
“Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!” Dr. Seuss
What a great quote by Dr. Seuss.
If you are too old (or young) for The Cat in the Hat, then you might recognize the more recent version plastered on Facebook posts everywhere: “Do You.” When it comes to building a personal brand on LinkedIn, you really should Do You. (Do business you- but still, do you!) Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. The stronger it is, the more memorable you will be – and that usually translates into more business.
In fact, Steve Forbes said, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.“ So, let’s get started!Your brand is the most important investment you can make in your business – @SteveForbesCEO #PersonalBrandingClick To Tweet
Personal Brand on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great network for personal branding, especially in the B2B space. It’s not just for job seekers. Sales professionals, marketers, consultants and influencers have used the tips below to rock LinkedIn. Now you can too!
1. Get Focused
Can you help anyone with a face? Anyone online? If so, then you won’t help anyone at all! It would seem that the more people you could help with your business, the more successful you would be. But this is not the case. The more focused you can be on who you serve, what their challenges are and how you can help them, the better! Check out Priya Sachdev’s profile. Can you guess who his ideal clients are? Guess what – his prospects can too! They self-identify and can see themselves and their business problems (and how he can solve them) in his profile. Which drives a great deal of business his way.
2. Your Elevator Speech
So, who are you? Can you answer that question in a sentence or less? What is your elevator speech? What makes you different from the other person who does what you do, where you do it and with the same clients? Knowing that is the first key to successful branding. If you can make yourself stand out from everyone else, then your prospects will remember you. Who would you hire? Someone whose title was Jane Smith at Smith and Associates, or Shari Levitan, a LinkedIn Top Voice who delivers sales techniques that have generated billions in revenue for businesses worldwide?
3. Who Do You Serve?
Another important question is: “Who do you serve?” Being very clear on who you serve will help you to create the look and feel of your personal brand. If your client base is 50ish professional men, then a light pink and frilly logo with lots of touchy-feely languages might not be the way to go on your website or personal branding on LinkedIn. Take a look at our website. Take a guess at our demographic.
4. Get ahead by getting a “Header!”
LinkedIn now allows you to upload a background image on your LinkedIn profile. This is one of the easiest ways to emphasize your personal brand on LinkedIn. Use a background image or a neutral color on the whole header (1584 x 396). Backgrounds made of a single color or pictures that support your personal image are the best. And add your contact info! Check out the #SellingWithSocial Podcast where I discuss the small things on building a personal brand which makes a big impact.
5. Upload your Picture
Upload your image. And make sure it resembles you in this century. Don’t use a logo (that goes against LinkedIn’s user agreement). When uploading your image, make sure it looks enough like you so that when you jump on Zoom or (fingers crossed) go to a conference or a trade show you won’t get blank stares due to a complete lack of recognition. Looking like your LinkedIn photo engenders trust. If you are 20 years older, 100 pounds heavier and have no hair, not only will your prospect not recognize you when you meet him or her at their company, at a conference or across your desk, but the disconnect might result in immediate distrust – and that is an uphill battle you do not want to fight!
6. Naming Yourself
Please take a minute to make sure you have your name (not your company name) in the name field on LinkedIn. Make sure you spell it correctly. Unless you are ee cummings, please take a minute and capitalize your name! Also, add your name and ONLY your name on LinkedIn. You might see that some folks have their area of expertise in the last-name field (Viveka von Rosen: LinkedIn Expert.) That goes against LinkedIn’s User Agreement. Why care? LinkedIn might restrict your account – and that will restrict your business.
7. Feature Media
The Featured section on LinkedIn allows you to share links, upload media and feature LinkedIn content. What can you add? Video testimonials, product demonstrations, speaker’s sizzle reels, product offers and specs, sample chapters of your eBook. Spend time thinking about the type of media your audience is hungry for. Do you have a white paper that solves a problem for them? Maybe a checklist that makes their job easier. Add helpful relevant content to the featured section and don’t forget to update it as you create new and even more relevant media.
8. Your Professional Headline
Take a minute or two to think about how to customize your LinkedIn Headline (that section right under your name) on LinkedIn. You have 220 characters to describe who you help, how you help them, who you are and who you work for.
In that order: “Helping #SalesProfessionals Create More QUALIFIED & QUALITY Conversations | @LinkedInExpert & Speaker | Forbes Top 20 Most Influential | #PersonalBranding | #LinkedInLearning & #VengresoLive | FlyMSG.io | Vengreso.com”
9. The Crucial About Section
Another forgotten but crucial section on LinkedIn is your About Section. You have 2000 characters to describe in detail who you are, what you do and whom you serve. I know this article is about YOUR personal brand, but to really be successful, it needs to be all about your audience! Make sure the first 200 characters (70 on mobile) are strong, since that is all people will see until they click on See more (we call it a CTR, or “Call to Read”).
See these two profiles for good About Sections:
10. Add Your Skills
You can list up to 50 skills. Make sure you add keywords as skills. And yes, while you will get endorsed for skills you don’t have by people you don’t know, it’s still good to list them. If you have your skills listed—the ones you chose—LinkedIn will suggest to others that they endorse you. And the more endorsements you have, the more findable you are on LinkedIn. Read this article on how to add (and get more) endorsements. Once you do that, remember to pin the three skills you want to get the most endorsements for to the top of this section.How did I create the brand @LinkedInExpert? I claimed the name then spent the next 10 yrs proving it!Click To Tweet
11. Customize Your Public Profile URL
Speaking of names, make sure to customize your Public Profile URL so it reads: LinkedIn.com/in/yourname. Not only does it look better on LinkedIn, it helps to get you found on LinkedIn. If you Google “LinkedIn Expert,” my LinkedIn profile is usually the first link! These are unique URLs, so get yours before it gets taken!
12. Let Others Prove Your Personal Brand
It’s all well and good to tell people how awesome you and your brand are, but it’s even better when others talk about how great you are! Encourage positive brand sentiment with skills endorsements, posting testimonials as media (PDF and/or video) and asking for recommendations!
13. Add Your Publications
If you write a blog or a newsletter or have an eBook, consider adding them to the Publications feature. While you probably don’t want to list every blog post you ever created, I do recommend you choose a few that really support your personal brand.
14. Use LinkedIn Articles and Newsletters to Establish Your Expertise
Use LinkedIn Articles to increase your visibility, establish yourself as a thought leader, gain engagement and drive traffic to your website (or landing pages). Articles allows you to publish blog length posts, which are “sticky” and easy to find on LinkedIn by your followers. And as a bonus, if you want real visibility, consider investing your time in LinkedIn newsletters, found in the same section.
If people like you, they'll listen to you. If they trust you, they’ll do business with you. - Zig Ziglar #SalesClick To Tweet
“If people like you they will listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” Zig Ziglar
15. Post Updates
Sharing even one update a day will increase the visibility of your profile. And since your profile is your brand, increased visibility will increase your prospect’s sense of knowing and liking you, which should increase business! If you are reading a blog you think your tribe will like, then just share it on LinkedIn.
More Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
Creating a powerful brand is a little bit business strategy and a little bit law of attraction. Create your brand on LinkedIn and then work diligently to prove it true.
Let’s face it, business may come and go, but your personal brand can make or break you—so you’d better create a strong one. And LinkedIn is one of the best and easiest ways to establish your personal brand and grow your visibility online. By following the LinkedIn tips above you will create a better presence and a better brand online. And that means more business for you!
Need help establishing a strong brand on LinkedIn? Check out our LinkedIn Profile Makeover service.