Do you think that your LinkedIn profile is your virtual CV and nothing else? You couldn’t be more wrong. So what is it then? Social media, business contacts database or maybe an expert knowledge base? All these elements can help you build your personal brand on LinkedIn—this article will tell you how.
Whatever definition you use, it is a huge platform connecting over half a billion users in more than 200 countries. Imagine the opportunities arising from such a massive amount of potential recipients who could view a very important professional story: yours.
So let’s sign up, log in and make Linkedin your secret weapon in creating a personal or company brand.
Building your personal brand on LinkedIn is not that hard!
Originally, LinkedIn was treated as a tool for HR teams. Despite gaining other important features, facilitating recruitment processes remains one of the main applications of this platform.
A LinkedIn personal profile template is constructed similarly to a Curriculum Vitae. You can not only post a list of previously occupied positions, but also highlight your achievements. This form is easy, transparent, but unfortunately – terribly boring, and it’s hard to stand out.
So how can you attract the attention of other users?
TIP 1: Create your own custom address
When creating an account, you get an automatically-generated address, which is a collection of random numbers and letters. Create your own unique address and customize it to your name or the name of your brand.
TIP 2: Add the appropriate profile photo
Your profile photo is one of the basic elements of your LinkedIn account. Studies show that the presence of a photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be visited by others.
A profile picture is your first chance to tell the world that you are friendly and trustworthy. How do you master it for personal branding purposes?
- Choose a background that is not distracting
- Dress in an outfit that suits your job
- Make yourself look approachable
TIP 3: Set up an eye-catching, personalized background image
You can use your company’s colors, name and logo. This will make a connection between your personal brand and your employer in the minds of people visiting your profile.
Your work and career is a narrative that can be presented in an exciting and even inspirational way. In your story, be human and real. You will make an even bigger impression if you describe activities you are really passionate about.
TIP 4: Tell your story and the goals you want to achieve
Try to determine who should be the main recipient of your story. What are the most important values for this person or group of people so that you can be noticed?
Determine if you want readers to find specific information on your profile, or whether you want to give the recipient specific feelings about your person or brand.
Be professional, but also be social
Since the founding of LinkedIn in 2003, this site has successfully evolved from an online recruitment platform into a strong community of business-to-business social media.
According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 62% of people trust a brand’s social media communication more than its advertising. However, it’s important to remember that each platform has its own rules and structure.
Elements such as the length of posts, the type of images and vocabulary are different for each website. If you don’t take this into account, you will never be able to establish a positive interaction with your followers.
Content marketing and branding have become the two main tools needed to succeed on LinkedIn. A survey conducted among US marketers in November 2017 revealed that LinkedIn is considered as the safest platform for social advertising for brands when it comes to the issue of fake news.
For this reason, LinkedIn is an excellent tool for:
- lead generation
- raising brand awareness
- promoting career opportunities
- educating potential clients in the field of products and services
TIP 5: Post short status updates
LinkedIn status updates are a great opportunity to highlight your recent successes, share an interesting industry article, or promote your presence at a conference or event.
According to research by Buffer, the most optimal length of daily posts is 16-25 words for B2B marketing, or 21-25 words for B2C marketing. These are the updates that get the most shares.
TIP 6: Create long publications
Create rich and appealing pieces of content to help your brand become an industry leader. Give them an appropriate title, which should contain 40 to 49 characters.
Here are some examples of phrases that get more shares when used in the title:
Optimize the length of your publication. Look at the statistics of the shares depending on the number of words a post contains:
Add some illustrations. LinkedIn is not as visual as other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, but choosing attractive photos or graphics is a must on any social network.
Statistics indicate that adding 8 photos to the post results in the highest audience involvement.
TIP 7 – Optimize your profile for SEO
After you’ve invested the time and effort to create your profile and added some valuable content, it’s time to show it off! SEO is important not only in search engines, but also on LinkedIn.
Google determines whether a webpage is highly valued by taking into account the number of links to a particular site, as well as their quality.
In turn, LinkedIn offers the possibility of joining three high-quality links to a profile. Use this option and connect your LinkedIn account to your company website or your blog.
Insert keywords. Think about the words or phrases that a potential customer uses when searching for your product or service.
TIP 8 – Don’t treat expert content like a piece of advertising!
Be credible and write unique messages to avoid sounding impersonal or artificial. Regardless of how subtle your ad feels to you, people will be able to sense a lack of sincerity and your credibility will vanish. On LinkedIn, it’s not about selling your product or service (at least in any other way than regular ads). Sell your expertise!
Making a connection
One of the key elements of LinkedIn is establishing connections. In principle, this is the basic role of all social media, but in the case of LinkedIn, it has an added business dimension.
The value of your connections results from your commitment to the relationship and different ways of reaching potential recipients.
TIP 9: Join LinkedIn groups
Being an active participant of LinkedIn’s groups can help you and your business to network and meet people from the same industry or with similar interests, ask and answer specific questions and get involved in conversations.
This is a great way to present your specialist knowledge to the members of your industry. Participation in a group discussion can also attract customers to your company.
One way to really stand out is to focus your efforts on small local groups instead of larger ones. It is more likely that others will read your posts and react to them if they are part of a more intimate community where everyone associates with each other.
TIP 10: Involve your employees
Your colleagues and employees are the best ambassadors of your brand. Their involvement can help in gaining an audience and increasing your reach.
According to data from Statista, 42% of LinkedIn users have between 300 and 9999 contacts in the network. Multiply this by the number of employees in your company and you can see how huge your potential reach is!
TIP 11: Add a “Follow” button to your website.
This allows your website visitors to follow your LinkedIn company profile with a single click.
LinkedIn – use but don’t abuse
Even if you have a stable, satisfying job and you do not intend to change it, you should get involved in creating your profile on Linkedin.
It is a great way to present your professional experience and establish interesting business contacts. You can distribute your expert content and industry articles there and enter into discussions with other professionals.
However, be careful not to treat Linkedin too freely. Do not post photos of holidays or lifestyle themes there.
You’re an expert – show it.