What comes to your mind when you think of Oprah? – Philanthropy, counselling, social Welfare and so on. Let’s pick a non-television star like Neil Patel All though his site is literally his name, most of us in digital marketing know him for SEO tactics, tips and statistics.
Personal branding is when you promote yourself, or you market people and their careers as brands. It is a continuous process of creating and moulding an impression and establishing a reputation of an individual, group, or organization.
Your personal brand is how you promote yourself – how you stand out from a crowd, how you are unique and why would people pay attention to you. How your personality, beliefs and interests influence your conduct, behaviour, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.
Now, why should you invest in a personal brand?
Professionally, your personal brand can be vital. It is essentially how you present yourself to current and potential clients. It lets you define the way you want to be perceived and not in an arbitrary way that could possibly be detrimental.
You can highlight your strengths and your passions and even downplay your weakness or celebrate it even. You essentially mould how people ‘understand’ you and make them believe in your ideas, beliefs and thought processes. People believe those who they believe they know, even public personalities they have never met.
Building Personal Branding
The first step to building a Personal Brand is extensive self-reflection and deep introspection. You understand yourself, your beliefs, why you have those beliefs and what you place importance on and so on – which surprisingly very few people do.
While most people find it easier to describe who or how they want to be, most find it extremely difficult to describe how they are now.
If your goal for personal branding is to improve the performance of your business, you first need to ensure that you know who your target customers are and ensure that your personal branding matches your targeted client.
Your Actions Need to Match Your Personal Branding
The secret of successful personal branding is an underlying consistency. You are trying to establish an external depiction of “you.” This means that you need to act consistently with that depiction.
This is also the reason why the public can react very differently to the news of two people doing the same type of behaviour. It is possible that an act that would shock them if done by the first person may be entirely consistent with the expectations of the second.
Now you all know why personal Branding is important in everyone’s life. We will now see how we can influence social media (especially LinkedIn) to improve your personal branding!
How to use LinkedIn effectively for Personal Branding
For Personal Branding, LinkedIn is the most important social network, especially for clarity. You may as well be non-existent or invisible to your target customer base if they can’t find you on LinkedIn.
If you have a minimal, mediocre presence on LinkedIn, they’re going to wonder whether you know how to navigate the new world of work, which includes being social media savvy.
If you have a strong and active presence on LinkedIn, and your personal brand is evident, you’ve probably upped your chances of being a candidate of interest.
The things you can do on LinkedIn for your personal branding are:
· Optimize your profile
· Make connections
· Post consistent, quality content
LinkedIn is a social media platform where businesses and professionals can network freely so it can help with your online branding primarily through visibility and recognition in a place where your reputation is at home with other like-minded business people..
Optimize Your Profile for Search
LinkedIn is just as much of a search engine as it is a social media platform, so the words you choose matter immensely. What keywords do you want to be found for when potential clients or employers search LinkedIn? Use these keywords in your headline, job title, summary, and job descriptions. Your Profile’s visibility depends on choosing the right words – it makes the difference between your profiles being found or being invisible.
Approach LinkedIn Like a Living Resume
You are not ‘done’ once you have set up your LinkedIn profile. It isn’t a one-time thing. You have to update it whenever you make a career move or speak at a conference maybe even publish a new article, or you take a new course.
Think of LinkedIn as your living resume.
Use Your Description to Sell Yourself
You read that right, Personal Branding is essentially ‘Selling Yourself’. Use the nitty-gritty details, include all the facts and figures that you have, get really specific wherever you can. Highlight your greatest accomplishments that will be relevant to the clients and/or jobs you want to attract.
Avoid jargon at all costs. Your profile description functions just like a cover letter – keep it concise and clear, and don’t shy away from selling how great you are.
Reconsider Your Profile Photo
You’d be surprised at some of the profile photos that make their way onto LinkedIn.
Here are the things to keep in mind when selecting your profile photo:
- It should include your face and/or shoulders – don’t use any extreme close-up of your face or a zoomed out full body shot.
- Your photo should be crystal clear and not pixelated.
- No hats, sunglasses or other obscuring accessories.
- Have great lighting.
- And for the love of God, Do NOT use a selfie (especially something you can tell is a selfie).
- Don’t have anyone else in your picture.
- Dress professionally.
You can get all this without an extravagant professional photoshoot, just plan ahead.
Get Creative with a Cover Photo
LinkedIn also allows you to add a cover photo to your profile. It’s a great way to stand out and add an extra element to your profile.
Consider incorporating your company’s logo, or an image associated with your profession (for example, a novelist may choose a typewriter or ink pen or a quill and a notepad while an accountant might choose a spreadsheet.
The dimensions should be 1884×396.
Customize Your LinkedIn Profile’s URL
Take the time to customize your LinkedIn profile’s URL. Ideally, you’ll be able to change it your name. If, however, the name is already taken, consider adding your middle name or using your profession.
For example, if “/Manoj-Chandrasekar” was taken, try things like:
If at all possible, use dashes in these URLs, as seen above as Google reads dashes as spaces, and, accordingly, recommends their use over underscores.
Keep in mind that you can only change your URL once every 30 days, so make sure you 100% committed to the URL you’re about to submit since you’ll be stuck with it for at least a month!
Write Articles for LinkedIn
Consider publishing articles directly to LinkedIn. You might wonder why should you post an article to LinkedIn rather than your own blog?
The advantage of posting on LinkedIn is that when you hit publish, all your connections will be notified and it will show up in their feed. This increases your chances of your LinkedIn audience reading it. You can also publish an excerpt of an article already on your blog or site, and direct your LinkedIn audience to read the rest on your blog and increase traffic to your site. You can also create exclusive content for LinkedIn and post it.
Choose Your Skills Strategically
A LinkedIn profile can list up to 50 skills! So choose relevant skills to fill all 50 slots, and ensure you think strategically about what skills to include.
Fifty might seem like a lot, but it’s once you start adding skills you’ll find it’s actually not that many (especially considering skills can include things as generic as “writing” and “editing.”)
Accept All Connection Requests
There’s literally no reason not to accept a connection request, whether you know the person or not.
Given that your profile is a professional, public-facing component of your personal brand, you should welcome any and all connection requests.
Growing your connections will only lead to a wider network and more opportunities. Plus, you’ll show up more.
Every time you accept a request, you’re now going to be part of that connection’s network, and accordingly, you’ll show up as a second-degree connection in their network.
Obviously, there’s one exception to this rule: if someone is harassing you online, you shouldn’t accept their LinkedIn request. Other than that, however, accept requests – they’re a good thing!
LinkedIn shouldn’t just be a platform for your own posts.
Set aside time to go through your LinkedIn feed and find opportunities to share, like and comment. This is key to building relationships over time.
That way, if you ever are in a position to partner with them or pitch to them, they have a background with you – you won’t be just another connection, but someone they actually interacted with.
Personalize Invitations to Connect
Taking the time to write a personal note along with an invitation to connect will boost your chance of acceptance and also open the door for further communication down the line.
Write a brief message (even a paragraph is fine!) and mention how you met, why you want to connect or something you admire about their business.
Keep Your Content Positive and Helpful
LinkedIn is your professional calling card – don’t comment/share/publish anything that you wouldn’t say to a client or employer.
Keep your posts and comments positive, thoughtful, and encouraging, and always treat LinkedIn like a professional workspace, rather than a personal social media profile.
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