People often think of brands in relation to products or companies, but did you know branding is important for individuals too? Whether you are a fresh graduate or seasoned professional, there is likely someone who has looked you up on the Internet at some point in time… And your LinkedIn profile may just have popped up as one of the top results.
Google your name! Fingers crossed, no drunk photos. (Source: Google)
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 645 million users in over 200 countries. If it’s a platform you don’t use often, you should reconsider your approach: defining and developing your personal brand on the platform will help you level up your game and land opportunities like clinching an interview or job placement with that company you have always dreamed of working for, landing a speaking engagement or gaining a profitable business partnership.
But before you can reap all the aforementioned rewards, the first thing you need to do to build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn is add some style and substance to your profile.
Optimise your LinkedIn profile
First impressions count. Use a professional and approachable profile photo, and pair it with a background photo that helps to increase your credibility. Your choice of background photo largely depends on the work you do, and could range from a candid shot of you speaking at an event to artwork you have designed for clients.
When you have 22 million followers and probably as many photos to choose from, a collage could be the answer. (Source: LinkedIn)
Next, consider your successes and experience, and distill that into a distinctive profile headline that highlights the essence of what you do.
What’s your claim to fame? (Source: LinkedIn)
While the profile headline should be short and snappy, make use of the summary section to tell your story and let your personality shine through. Update the experience section as well, detailing the previous roles you held and including links to articles, presentations or videos that showcase your achievements. Remember to use buzzwords sparingly if you want your profile to stand out from the highly “experienced” and “strategic” LinkedIn crowd.
To give your credibility a further boost, add relevant licenses and certifications that you possess, and request for skill endorsements and recommendations from your bosses, colleagues and clients.
The list goes on… that’s why he’s the boss! PM if you need PR or content marketing counsel. (Source: LinkedIn)
Add a final flourish by customising your profile URL. This isn’t the time to be creative – keep the URL short and simple so people can easily connect with you on LinkedIn when they see the link on other material such as your business card or a presentation slide.
This article is the first in the three-part series about personal branding on LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more! And if you need help crafting a strong LinkedIn person which will help you stand out, you know the drill – say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org