5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Build Your Brand
Building your personal brand is the process of creating an online presence that acts as a portfolio of who you are, and what you can do. LinkedIn is a natural tool to showcase your experience, talents, and connections. By consciously using LinkedIn to build your brand, prospective employers, potential clients, and even dates can get a clear picture of your reputation. Whether you intend for them to or not, the way that others view your online reputation will influence whether they buy into your brand. Research shows that 95% of employers use LinkedIn in their hiring process, with 68% of them selecting a candidate because of what they saw on a social platform. Think of your LinkedIn profile not just as a networking tool, but as an opportunity to hone your overall internet presence. Spend a little time fixing up your profile page, and watch how it can help you achieve your goals.
Here are 5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Build Your Brand:
1. Get a professional headshot.
If you are going to invest in your profile, your picture is the place to do it. Having a photo from a professional photographer will make a huge difference in your profile. Select your wardrobe to be consistent with your brand – if you are an artsy event photographer, you don’t necessarily need to be in a suit. Just make sure that you look professional and pleasant. If you can’t afford a photographer, have a friend take a photo of you in good lighting. An iPhone camera can work wonders! The goal is a clear, high-quality photo that matches your level of professionalism. If your picture is a mess, people will assume that your business is too.
2. Pitch yourself.
Now isn’t the time to be humble. LinkedIn is a place to pitch yourself. The summary section of your profile should be your elevator pitch. Imagine that you have three sentences to sell your brand to the world. You need to craft those sentences carefully. Your elevator pitch is an invitation for those viewing your profile to read further. Share your talents, but also let the reader know how you are going to solve their problems. Do you have a product that will change their life? Are you the perfect hire to improve their sales? Use what you have to offer to hook the viewer.
3. Make sure that your profile is 100% complete.
When you have fully completed your LinkedIn profile, you increase your search engine rankings. Don’t skip around! Being thorough with the information you provide gives both employers and clients what they are seeking, without them having to dig. Enhance your history by further explaining your work experience in detail. You can include volunteer history, recognition and awards, and new and press appearances. Think of the questions employers or clients may be asking about you. If you can anticipate their needs, you can provide them with the content they need to hire you or implement your services.
4. Get involved in groups.
Participating in groups can increase the ranking of your profile and improve your social network. After all, you came to LinkedIn to network, so utilize its networking features! Get involved in relevant groups and become a “top contributor” when you can (a status awarded to people who are regularly participating). These groups are a great place to share the content that you create for your blog or to start in-depth conversations about your niche. Don’t forget to add other members of the group to expand your network. You’ll be top of mind when they need someone with your expertise.
5. Customize your URL and make sure your profile is public.
It may sound obvious, but check your profile settings to make sure they are public! Make it easy for people to find you. Many users don’t realize that they can also change their public profile URL. It will be much easier for potential clients to find you if your URL is “linkedin.com/YourName” instead of “linkedin.com/3ngsi4sh0le9ng”.
LinkedIn was created to connect professionals, and with some proper optimization, it really can take your branding and networking games to the next level. Using LinkedIn to build your brand is a winning strategy. Just remember, authenticity is key. Be honest about your skills, experience, and references. To build a positive reputation on LinkedIn, genuinely showcase your brand in its best light – the opportunities will follow.