May 17, 2021

In 3 steps to a strong personal brand on LinkedIn

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You can get a lot out of LinkedIn as a person if you take the right approach. Look at yourself as if you were a brand, and then ask yourself how you would "sell" that brand. The technique for this? Creating a strong personal brand. Personal branding, yet another anglicized term? Or is it worth it?

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A solid personal brand provides many benefits, also for entrepreneurs. Your professional development can be put in the spotlight according to your personal values. In addition, you can emphasize your distinctive character, radiate authority and thus gain a competitive advantage.

This blog gives you three valuable tips to help you use LinkedIn to your professional advantage. Personal branding, here you come!

One of a kind

Counting 4 million users, LinkedIn is one of the three most used social media channels in Belgium. But how can you stand out among them? We've got your back!

If you want to distinguish yourself and make an impact, you have to show your true self. Unique messages are no strict requirement, but a unique messenger is. Show yourself by creating an authentic personal brand. This will help you build a solid and distinct online image.

"You don’t have to be better, you just have to be different.”

Personal what?

Personal branding is a fancy term for the authentic image you create and send out into the world. You do this by determining your PUSP, a Personal Unique Selling Proposition.

Some questions you can ask yourself to help to identify your PUSP’s:

  • What is the purpose of your profile?
  • To whom do you want to connect?
  • How are you going to find connections?

Three steps help you reach your LinkedIn goals:

  • Start: begin with your profile and accompanying portfolio
  • Join: expand your network
  • Speak: share your knowledge, vision, and feelings

Step 1: who are you?

What’s a good LinkedIn profile? It’s complete, that’s all. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your business card. Fill it with correct and personal information that is relevant to the people you want to connect with.

Do you want to complete your profile to get started? Use this checklist:

  • Upload a profile picture: look straight into the lens and smile naturally. Not sure if the photo is right? Check out photofeeler.com.
  • Upload a banner: think of a quote that typifies you, a passion you can portray, a company logo, and more.
  • Add a headline: don't just opt for your job title, but instead mention some attractive key terms about yourself and your abilities.
  • Write a summary: keep it short but sweet. Who are you? What do you do? What value would your profile bring to visitors?
  • Determine your skills: At what do you excel? Add your skills and let people from your network endorse you. Ask your colleagues or fellow entrepreneurs to back your statement. Also, update your skills regularly. After all, we are constantly learning! #nevernotlearning ;-)
  • Supplement your work experience: Don't just focus on your job title, but add extra information. What does your job entail?
  • Provide and ask for references: Do you have a satisfied employer or colleague? Ask them for a reference. You can also use this reference later when applying for a job.
  • Add a personal URL: Click on 'Edit public profile & URL’ at the top right of the page to add your name to your profile URL. Bonuspoints from Google? Check!

By the way, did you know Google also includes your LinkedIn profile in its search results? You pop up in the search engine faster than you would think. That’s just one more reason to invest your time in LinkedIn personal branding.

Is your profile complete? Does it show who you are? Great, you're almost ready for launch! Now you can start working on your own 'featured' portfolio, popularly known as a brag book 😊.

You can add posts, articles or blogs you have written, or other media which can stress your experience or personality. You could also highlight documents or presentations that make you proud. Show us what you’ve got!

Step 2: build your network

You can expand your network by connecting with others. The purpose of connecting? It’s to build professional relationships, not to gather as many connections as possible. Look for like-minded people, (former) colleagues, or fellow entrepreneurs and invite them to connect. Go to www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/ to find relevant profiles.

Another tip: add a personal message to the invite. Doing this increases the chance of acceptance. Your network will grow faster, and your message will continue to show in LinkedIn Messaging. This will encourage and facilitate further interaction. Besides, a personal message indicates that you are making an effort. You don't just hand out business cards at network drinks, right? 😊

Step 3: Share updates and comment

Speak up! By speaking your mind, you open the door to interact with your connections. The result? An increase in the number of profile visits, thus more visibility. That’s a win-win!

Maybe you’re not ready to send updates to the world? Or perhaps you have no idea where to start? In that case, start responding. This way, you stay connected, but you don't have to go all the way just yet.

Some examples:

  • Congratulate your connections on a work anniversary or birthday.
  • Are your connections taking on a new challenge? Wish them luck.
  • Has one of your colleagues accomplished something? Share it with pride.
  • Is there a new colleague on your team? Announce it and welcome them!
  • Did you see an exciting article? Like it, and comment too.
  • Did you notice an interesting opportunity for someone you know? Tag this person and explain why it might be a match.

Are you ready for the next step? Profile yourself as an expert and launch updates yourself.

Some examples;

  • Is there a new trend in your field? What do you think? Share your thoughts and show your expertise.
  • Is there a subject you know a lot about? Write an article/blog about it and share it with your connections. You can add much more value to an article than to a regular update.
  • Have you experienced something on a personal level that you can defend professionally? Share it! These days, many stories about personal growth and development star on LinkedIn.

Your time to shine

Do you feel like getting started with LinkedIn branding after reading this blog? Don't be afraid, just do it! Always be yourself. The unique you, the one of a kind. It’s your online image that you’re building on.

Could you use some more help or do you want a more in-depth session such as a LinkedIn deep-dive? Don't hesitate to get in touch with me, I’ll start the kettle!

"One of the great things about LinkedIn is, it isn’t the same kind of networking that happens at conventions. The ones where you’re wearing a name tag, trying to meet strangers, and awkwardly attempting to make small talk. LinkedIn is networking without the pressure.” - Melanie Pinola

Carmen Du Tré

Digital Marketeer

marketing@unikoo.be

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