Launched in 2003, and with over 830 million global members, LinkedIn is a valuable platform for bringing professionals together.
LinkedIn enables you to make connections, keep up with the latest industry trends and events, and establish yourself within the industry or area in which you specialise.
When building your personal brand, you are creating an image of yourself to be noticed by other professionals who share similar interests with you, as well as opportunities to cross-promote your business.
Like with any other social media platform, the first thing you need to get right is your profile, so other members know who you are, and what you are all about. This will help improve your visibility and ranking on the platform.
It may sound simple, but a good quality headshot is vital. You should also consider a branded or professionally created banner which shows what you do (text or image based).
Instead of just adding your name, consider adding an emoji at the start to help you stand-out, then add a descriptive headline which could include your job title, and a brief description of what you do.
Next comes your profile summary. Here you have 2,000 characters to really sell yourself. Try to focus on who you are, how you help people, who you help, examples of what you’ve helped customers/clients achieve, and how people can contact you. Consider breaking the content down into easy-to-read sections.
Make sure you include your contact details in your profile to make it easier for leads to contact you such as your email address and mobile phone number.
Then it’s time to list your skills. Are you endorsed by others for your top 3-5 most relevant skills? If not, ask for a recommendation from others, aiming for 3 at a minimum.
There’s also the ‘Featured’ section – you can use this to promote relevant LinkedIn articles that you have written, or upload presentations/media you are happy sharing publicly.
Growing your network of LinkedIn connections means that you’re connecting to a wide audience. When any of your 1st degree connections engage with your content, it could potentially be seen by any of their 1st degree connections, so you could increase its visibility by up to 30x!
Remember that contacts don’t all need to be prospects, you can choose anyone as long as they are useful and relevant to you and your business.
Tip: Don’t try to grow your network too quickly, it needs to be organic. You also
run the risk of getting punished if LinkedIn consider you spamming new connections.
It’s ok to add a few new connections each day but avoid going over 20.
When sending a connection request, data shows that it doesn’t make a huge difference
whether it’s personalised or not. If you do decide to personalise connection requests
(or at least some of them), don’t add a sales pitch - this will seriously reduce the number
of people who want to connect with you.
Once you’re connected, you can use messaging to build a relationship with that person.
If they are a prospect, don’t jump in too soon with a sales pitch though, take time to build rapport by finding common ground, complimenting some content you’d seen them post, offering help, asking their expert opinion on something - anything that you’d use in a real-world conversation.
The important thing is to be authentic and follow up consistently.
People buy from people they know, like and trust. Storytelling is a powerful way to be remembered. Some ideas on stories you could post about include:
If you’re creating your own content, this can be done very quickly – it can take as little as 30 minutes to write a LinkedIn article and share it.
Remember to use images so people see you and feel like they get to know you. You can even share personal photos on LinkedIn if the post you’re sharing has a business or professional context. Again, this all helps with the storytelling.
Think about other types of media you could share – for example, a few slides which appear as a slideshow format in the post, or even a short video clip of you talking about something relevant to your audience. None of these need to be long, 3-4 slides or a 30-second video clip of you sharing an idea or talking about an event you attended can be all you need to get your name and profile out there.
Tip: If you’re posting a video, remember that around 80% of people view their social feeds and videos on mute. There are lots of closed captioning/subtitling tools out there that add subtitles easily and including captions significantly boosts engagement.
The 4 C’s to success
When building your brand on LinkedIn, remember the 4 C’s: