Everything you need to know about personal branding on LinkedIn
We keep hearing from people that LinkedIn is emerging as the best platform for branding and B2B (or B2C) marketing. But do we exactly know why? As Gary Vee says, "LinkedIn is like Facebook 2012," which means that the organic reach of LinkedIn is very high, just like Facebook had in 2012.
The reason is that LinkedIn's user base is 722+ million, and its goal is to stretch this number to 3 billion people. So, to invite more and more people to the platform, LinkedIn has dialed up its organic reach. It's an enormous opportunity for anyone who wants to build their brand around their specialized skills.
Why is branding on LinkedIn important?
A report says that LinkedIn is the most used social media channel among fortune 500 companies, and more than 40 million LinkedIn users are in decision-making positions. These are the people who keep looking for passionate individuals who can contribute positively to their firms and increase their profits.
They look out for people with knowledge and character. If you can build a brand that reflects your expertise with a vibrant personality, opportunities will come to your doorstep, and you don't have to search for them.
In this blog, we'll discuss everything about personal branding by covering all the LinkedIn components so that you can effectively generate quality leads for your business, get a job, or become an influencer.
1. Upload a professional Banner and Display-picture
Your display picture is the first thing that people will notice before they even read your name or title. It is also visible in your posts and stories. It's your brand logo through which people recognize you. That's why people don't change their LinkedIn DP too often. When people click on your profile, they see your banner at the top. It should reflect your skills, expertise, and experiences visually.
Make sure your display picture is a nice headshot and not a casual pose at any hill station. Include a background in your picture; make it look professional. The same thing goes with your banner. You can be a bit creative while making it, but make sure you don't stuff too much text in it. Add a few words about yourself, your services, and your experiences. You can also attach logos of brands you've worked with before. Many people make their profile look theme-based by using the same colours in both DP and banner. It makes their profile look classier but be very careful while doing this. Otherwise, it may backfire too.
2. Add a crispy Title and Summary
The LinkedIn title is a 120–220-character headline that talks about you briefly. It is where you can add your professional identity. For example, "Social media marketer at Zomato." It also serves you when someone searches for a keyword you have in the title. For example, if you want to rank for a keyword "copywriter," then include it in your title and summary a couple of times, and you'll most probably come up when someone searches for it. Make sure you have a keyword 3-4 times in your title and summary.
The summary is detailed information about your skills, services, and experiences. Make sure you don't talk about irrelevant things like your school's experience, which has no connection with your profession. Focus on showing how well you know your market and how efficiently you can solve your prospects' problems. Make your potential clients believe that they are in the right place. You are the one with the necessary skills and experience who can help them achieve their business goals. Talk about how you have helped your previous clients reach their targets. If you have no previous work experience, show them the sample of your work and impress them with your knowledge. Don't forget to add keywords at least 3 to 4 times in your summary.
3. Update your experience and education
Now is the time to tell people about your work experience. The best thing is that you can include your internship, contract-based, part-time, and freelance experiences too. You can also write the details of your experience in the firm you've worked in the past. The keywords you'll add in the title and summary of your work experience will also contribute to your rankings.
Now in the education section, add details about your high school, college, etc. To make your prospects know about your educational qualifications. Although it doesn't play a significant role in closing clients or getting jobs, it's always better to complete your profile 100%.
4. Build relevant connections
Connections play a significant role in building your brand because your brand building is ultimately people's choice. If your contacts choose to consume your content over anybody else, you'll eventually be the most prominent brand. So, be very careful while adding people to your connections.
Make sure they belong to the same niche and share similar interests like you. For example, if you want to build a brand as a social media marketer, your connections should also be social media marketing freaks and handlers. People who share social media-related content and engage with such content. It is also crucial to check people's activity before adding them because most LinkedIn users aren't very active on the platform.
5. Publish valuable content regularly
You need to create valuable content that can help people solve their issues. Post whatever you've learned through your experiences, share your stories to inspire people, motivate them through your words but more importantly, give them something that they can practically apply and bring results in their life. You can only create an impact by taking people out of their problems. Your content should reflect your personality and expertise.
There are various people on LinkedIn who post content that inspires other people to change their lives. Make sure you are consistent and posting regularly. Otherwise, you might disappear from people's feeds. Maintain the relevancy of content by ensuring that you are writing something that connects with your target audience very well. A report says, only 1% of the total LinkedIn users create content, which means that only 1% gets all the 99% attention.
6. Engage with other people's content
Engaging with other people's content is as vital as creating your own. If you want others to engage with your content, then you have to do the same. But it's not just that; by adding valuable comments, you can invite people to follow you as well. For example, you saw an idea being discussed in a post, and you added a comment where you modified and sharpened that idea. Those who feel fascinated by that idea won't think twice before hopping on your profile, and if they find it worthy enough, they will follow you too.
Engaging with others increases your activity and lifts your profile. Human beings have this deep conditioning to pay back to those who give them something, so it is essential to provide as many comments as possible and eventually enjoy the results.
7. Your network is your net-worth
The best thing about LinkedIn is that you can connect from Google's CEO Sundar Pichai to an ordinary HR executive in Mumbai. But the acceptance of your connection request dramatically depends upon your approach. You can form connections with your dream firm's founder and build a good network with them. But the question is how to take that first step right and get accepted?
Firstly, you have to study that person thoroughly, not only his past but his present too. For example, which event he attended recently, his company hit 10X sale this month or anything like that because even small things like such can significantly impact someone's mind. Secondly, send an invite with a tempting first line. Don't make the mistake of bragging about yourself, and never pitch yourself in the first message. Network building is a gradual process.
8. Help those who reach out to you
When you start getting noticed by the people, you'll see so many of them reaching out to you asking for your guidance. Don't hesitate to help those people out. Answer their questions with utmost sincerity and generosity. By doing this, you'll build a fan base of people who will be your brand advocates, and it will also enhance your credibility. Whether it's in the DMs or comments, help those who reach out to you.
9. Collect endorsements and quality recommendations
The best way to get endorsements and recommendations is by simply asking for them. Now don't get us wrong. That doesn't mean you DM every single person in your connections and ask for it. These people should either be your past clients or those who know you very well.
You can ask for recommendations by sending a request link. After which, you'll have a choice to either add that recommendation to your profile or not. Endorsements and recommendations enhance your brand by showcasing what other people think about you. And how many people think your skills are worth it.
10. Keep updating your LinkedIn profile
Just like you update your CV before sending it, you have to keep updating your LinkedIn profile because you never know when an opportunity can knock on your door. Make sure you add that job you've recently joined or that freelance project you are working on. You can also update your promotional details.
LinkedIn also asks you to share it with your connections. For example, suppose you get promoted to the CEO position in a company. In that case, LinkedIn will send notifications to your followers saying 'Congratulate X for getting promoted as a CEO in Y company.' Similarly, you can also update your LinkedIn title, summary, banner or display picture if you want.