Your brand is everything about you, your professional reputation, your online image, your offline image, your work style, and how you engage with everyone. To develop a personal brand, consider this. What do you want someone to think of when they hear your name? What particular skills and talents do you want people to think about? What are the stories you want them to remember about you?
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Right now, how do you think people would describe you? Does their description sync with what you want people to see you as? If not, you can use social media platforms like LinkedIn to help develop your personal brand increasing the chances that others view you how you'd like to be viewed.
Once you've decided how you'd like to be known, such as "The Go-to Person for All Things Real Estate" or as the "Online Information Marketing Content Expert" or "The Keto Nutritional Expert" then you need to formulate a way to let that be known to the world. It will show up in the activity you participate in, and the information you share and create. Regardless of what you want should evolve into your personal brand, it's important to use LinkedIn in the right way.
So here are a few helpful tips to set you in the right direction.
1 - Be Yourself
The very best way to develop a personal brand is to be yourself. If you're promoting a personal brand that you have no experience with, it will be difficult. Instead seek to find a personal brand that is truly authentic. Include on your LinkedIn profile those things you want to be known for in the most honest way possible. If you're a newbie, it's okay, you won't be an instant hit but you will be that authority you aspire to be someday. But, be consistent within your profile to demonstrate stability.
2 - Focus your Headline
On LinkedIn the headline is a very important focal point for how you want to be seen. Use it well because some people may never go past the headline when conducting a search for people with your expertise. Use keywords and keyword phrases instead of your job title which is extremely lazy. Let’s face it, how many VPs or Marketing or CEOs or Sales Managers or website designers do you see on LinkedIn on a daily basis? On the other hand, if you describe the problem that you solve, there are chances that more people wanting to solve the particular problem will reach out to you. For instance if you’re a graphic designer your headline can read “I help organizations get more visibility for their content by providing creative inspired graphics” or something similar, you get the picture...
3 - Let your profile summary speak to people simply.
One big mistake I see people making is they copy the summary on their resume or CV into their LinkedIn space and that is just wrong on many levels. CV. A LinkedIn summary should speak to people, showcase a bit of your personality, demonstrate your capabilities and tell them about what you've done - in plain simple English. So avoid phrases like "I am an honest, hard-working and reliable individual....." By default, we should assume that you are all those things but merely saying you're all those things doesn't change people's perception of you.
4 - Brand Your LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn allows you get to choose a unique URL to point to your profile. Most people use their name, which is a great way for people to find you if they are searching for your name. But, if someone is searching for a Keto Nutrition Expert, will they find you? Consider using a keyword in the URL, but only if you are sure that you're always going to be doing this. Otherwise, choose your name if available.
5 - Contribute Your Knowledge Regularly
Participate in groups, like, share and comment on things that your connections have shared on their status updates. If you have created a white paper, eBook, or blog post about your niche, share it on LinkedIn.com. Share other people's work (with your added commentary) within your niche as well. By curating other people's work, if up to your standards, you will get a reputation as the go-to person who can find the information people want about that topic.
6 - Publish your own content regularly
Building your personal brand means positioning yourself as a thought leader. One key aspect of being a though leader is amplifying your thoughts and opinions on your business, your industry etc. Keeping this in mind, it’s important that you publish your own content regularly that reflects your thoughts. Long form posts are great and are ideal to publish a few times a week or every day if you can. These can be stares about your past experiences, motivational stories etc. Anything to get people’s attention and get them curious about you and what you do. Another thing you can do is write articles and publish them on LinkedIn blog. This will go a long way in positioning your authority on your domain of expertise.
7 - Try video – it really works
Writing long form posts and articles on LinkedIn is great but do you know what’s even hotter right now? Video! Video is one of the fastest ways to reach your target market because it helps people put a face and voice to a name. It helps communicate your personality better to your audience which in turn makes it easier to sell to them once you’ve established a relationship. For a lot of us though, video might be tough to start with and that’s not totally a wrong notion. But you don’t have to have the skills of an experienced TV presenter or the equipment of a Hollywood studio. Just a decent smartphone and a few basic pieces of equipment and you’re good to go. Just two things to keep in mind – be extremely knowledgeable about what you’re talking about and be authentic.
Remember, establishing a personal brand takes time, consistency, and true knowledge of your niche. But, LinkedIn is a great way to be noticed if you use it regularly and use it honestly.