by Donald Chan, founder of IMPACT! Brand Communications
The global workplace has changed significantly since the onset of the great pandemic. While many businesses have started returning to the office, there are also many companies who have chosen to continue with work from home (WFH) or hybrid working.
Amidst this business new normal, many professionals have started to realize the importance of building out their personal brand and increasing their visibility on LinkedIn. After all, LinkedIn is today the world’s largest business social network and increasingly where most business networking is conducted
So if you’re looking to get ahead in your business or professional career, the best time to get started is today. Here are the 10 things you can do to kickstart building your personal brand on LinkedIn.
1. Start by optimizing your Profile Header.
If you want people to notice you on LinkedIn, you should start by optimizing your Profile. The Profile page consists of the following sections:
- The Header
- Awards and Recognition
We shall discuss these sections later. But let’s start with the Header because this will serve to attract people who would want to get to know you more.
To make an appealing header, you should post a professional, but friendly profile photo of yourself. Take several photos of yourself and determine which one shows you off at best. Basically, your photo should project you as a professional but at the same time charming and approachable.
Use the background of your header as a visual portfolio. Yes, you may choose to use a photo of your hometown, your family, or even your dog in the background.
But a more effective use of the background is by showcasing thumbnail images of work and accomplishments that you are particularly proud of, whether you’ve written a book, research paper, etc.
You can also choose to post another photo of yourself in action, such as when you’re conducting a lecture or doing work on-site with colleagues.
Last but not least, you have the headline.
While the default is your current employment position, you can add descriptive phrases that friends and colleagues have used to describe you and the work that you do.
For example, you may describe yourself in the headline as “Writer | Author | Editor”, but you can also add “Copywriter That Brings In Sales”. Such self-promotion tactics can draw people to your LinkedIn page.
2. Optimize your About section.
You don’t have to cram all your accomplishments into your About section. You have the Experience, Education, and Awards and Recognition sections to do that for you.
Use your About page to write about your goals, mission, and vision for your work, and how these are aligned with the services that you will provide people.
Add a personal touch by writing about your interests. Take note that LinkedIn ranks high in search engines so make sure to add some keywords that will enable people to find you via Google.
3. Utilize bullet lists for your Experience, Education, and Awards & Recognition sections.
It is best to note down your achievements and accomplishments as bullet lists in your Experience, Education, and Awards & Recognition sections for easy reading.
To further enrich these sections, you can also add visual media, such as photos and videos. Again, like your About section, add keywords for convenient searching in online search engines.
4. Publish Articles on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to share your opinions, professional advice, and even personal thoughts as articles. Publishing articles on LinkedIn not only helps you to reach out and engage with audiences in your field, but it can also help in raising your credibility and, ultimately, build your personal brand as well.
Don’t forget to link any articles that you have written in the Articles section of your Profile page. Make it a point to post one to two articles per day.
5. Build a LinkedIn network.
Once you have optimized your Profile page, the next step is to build a network on LinkedIn. Start by connecting with relatives, friends, former classmates, and colleagues who also have LinkedIn accounts.
These people can help introduce you to their friends and contacts who are also working in your field. You can also connect with industry leaders and other reputable individuals on LinkedIn. Always make it a point to send a personal message, which includes a brief introduction of yourself and why you want to connect with them.
6. Personalize your LinkedIn experience.
To build your personal brand, you need to learn from other individuals via the resources they share on LinkedIn. You can choose to share these resources in your own LinkedIn page and/or express your opinions.
If a person in your LinkedIn network does not post articles and other media related to your field, you may decide to unfollow them so that their posts don’t clutter up your news feed, but still remain connected to them in your network.
7. Join LinkedIn Groups.
Joining groups on LinkedIn enables you to connect with people outside of your network, but belong in your field of work. Groups can serve as a venue for learning from established people in your field. With greater engagement, these same people can also help you in building your personal brand.
8. Join SlideShare.
Build your personal brand by promoting and sharing your content outside of LinkedIn via SlideShare. With SlideShare, you can not only engage your audiences with articles and PowerPoint presentations. You can also share infographics and videos.
9. Utilize basic analytics for progress tracking.
You need to know if you are making progress in your efforts and strategies in building your personal brand. Thankfully, LinkedIn has basic analytics in place so that you can track the progress and engagement of your posts and other content with your target audience.
10. Leverage video content or live streaming.
If you’re comfortable with getting in front of the camera, one great way to boost your personal branding is through video content or live streaming. If you’re just starting out, you can simply use your mobile phone camera to record yourself sharing thoughts and ideas for your LinkedIn network. Another way to record yourself is through video recording tools such as Loom.
Once you’re more comfortable with video and being on the camera, you can look into tools such as Streamyard which lets you live stream to platform, while creating a studio live experience. You can even invite guests to join you on your live stream.
While there are many ways to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, we recommend just picking one or two to get started first. As you implement them or start finding success with them, you can move on to more of the strategies we’ve shared.
The most important thing is to get started with something today. Then you can look forward to strong personal branding and thriving professional networks on LinkedIn.
Donald Chan is the founder and Business Director at IMPACT! Brand Communications, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses grow through content marketing, online lead generation, SEO and marketing automation. IMPACT! specialises in helping clients in the Technology, Healthcare and B2B sectors increase their revenue and profitability.