LinkedIn is one of these social media platforms that everyone knows, but most of them don’t know how to use it properly. LinkedIn is the perfect tool to create your personal brand and use it as a platform for sharing your ideas, thoughts, and values. A successful personal brand should be based on the principles of authenticity, sharing, and thought leadership.
LinkedIn is not solely a platform to showcase your resume and achievements, but a space to connect, communicate with other people of your niche. You can create your own content, share your thoughts on news and recent development. You can join groups in several fields and discuss issues with people globally. Also, you can endorse people’s skills, run targeted searches, create a network of people that know you, trust you, and follow you.
After reading this article, you will know tips and how to use LinkedIn basic features for your personal branding. We will not talk about creating your LinkedIn profile, but how to utilize LinkedIn for your personal branding and purposes.
The first task you have to go through is building your network. Firstly, you should connect with people from your college, university, company that you already know. This provides you a sense of credibility by having people that already know you and recognize you and wish to interact with you.
After that, you should start finding people you really wish to connect with. There are a lot of people that are considered “masters” in each niche and you should connect with them. Also, you have the option to follow them, at least, so you can be updated on what they share. You should also search for people that work in companies you admire and connect with them.
Pro Tip: Then, based on your network’s interactions, your LinkedIn homepage will include several posts of people that you are not connected with. You can check these profiles and see who you would like to have in your network. So, the first thing to build your brand on LinkedIn is to have a network of people that will see your brand and what you have to share.
As building your network is an ongoing process, you should start engaging with your connections. There are many ways to connect with your network on LinkedIn. One of the most effective ways is to react and comment on their posts. But let’s be clear, you shouldn’t just react. Would you ever have someone in the same table with you saying something important and just “thumb up” them?
I am sure the answer to this one is negative. So whenever you read a post that is interesting, you can react and comment. Your comments should be short, but still, bring value to the discussion. You should write your own point of view, personal experience on the matter, or provide a resource on the matter that gives another perspective.
Such comments provoke an interesting discussion and make you more memorable to your network. Then, they will be more likely to engage with your posts and write comments; as such, your posts will be shown to their connections and so on.
The best part of LinkedIn when it comes to engaging: sending personal messages! But be careful on this one, as you do not want to be “the creepy guy”. You can start conversations based on one of their latest posts, on a common experience you have (based on the resume) or an anniversary.
Pro Tip: When you have created a good connection and mutual respect, you can ask for their email address and build your own contact sheet. Especially if you are a freelancer, a blogger, or a start-up founder, you can leverage an email marketing service to create a regular channel of communication and information.
As we all know in the marketing world, content is king! Regardless of your field, creating authentic, original, high-quality content can increase your virality and visibility. LinkedIn’s algorithm works differently than Facebook or Instagram, and your posts appear to the networks of your connections, once they interact with your posts.
First of all, you should write general posts about your life, experience and background. These generic posts are more likely to be relatable with your connections and prompt them to interact. This kind of post is usually based on storytelling, the form of content creation that creates and maintains an emotional connection with your audience. As no one wants to be related to a cold-hearted robot that is only successful, writing stories of “failure” and how you overcame these challenges can be your check-mate.
Secondly, you should write specific niche-related posts about your employment, business experience. Such posts will create field-specific discussions with people who have the same interests as you. If you create short posts that bring your point across successfully, then your connections will be more inclined to share them.
Another aspect of creating content is to intrigue discussion, challenge them to comment in your posts. You can ask questions and ask them to contribute with their own opinion on the matter.
Pro Tip: You can use SlideShare (owned by LinkedIn) to upload visual content and graphics. You can use SlideShare to create your content or create presentations on other platforms that you know how to use. This will increase your credibility, boost your posts, and make more people trust you and engage with your content.
It is crucial to understand that you do not create, design, share content to meet your own needs and expectations. You should make clear to yourself that you write content for your audience. If you had a brand manager, this would be easily understood and put into a context.
However, when using LinkedIn, you are your own manager and you are responsible for what you share. If your content is not engaging, then your efforts will have no fruitful results.
You should keep in mind two things: firstly, share content that you can actually discuss and engage in productive conversations; secondly, follow a narrative that matches your personal brand and aspirations.
With these two principles, you will be able to share content that is interesting, authentic, and screams your personal brand.
As you grow your network and become a thought-leader and create thought-provoking content, more and more people will ask for related information. The steps here are simple.
Firstly, you should provide them with links, resources, and documents on the issues that they are interested in. Being on top of your game means that you are not afraid to share your sources of knowledge and information. Being informed doesn’t guarantee that you will be thought-provoking. So, it’s ok for you to share everything you might have, as “greedy” is not something you want your personal brand to be related to.
Secondly, you can make recommendations, suggestions about news outlets you trust, online platforms you use, and also promote LinkedIn courses that you have taken and proved useful. LinkedIn Learning is a great source of knowledge and experience, but people are not that familiar with it, as it is a premium feature. But it's worth every single penny. Trust me!
Pro Tip: If you feel confident enough and are considered an expert in your field, you can even create online courses to promote your work and expertise. You can either create such a course on a platform of your own choice or you can apply to become a LinkedIn contributor.
The process of building your personal brand is not easy, but rather needs a lot of work and persistence. When you finally realize and recognize that LinkedIn can be your platform to achieve your goals, then everything will become easier.
LinkedIn is a great tool for two main reasons: you can build a professional network without the expectations of being 24/7 present like in other social media; you can create content to become easily viral as the platform’s algorithm makes it easy.
So, take the chance and start creating an engaged network and interact in your posts to bring extra value to your audiences. This will improve your personal brand and help you differentiate yourself from the rest.
Let me know your thoughts, what you would do differently, and your opinion on the matter!
About the Author:
Christoforos Zafeiris works as the SEO Copywriter for the email marketing software company Moosend. He has always been eager to change the narrative and influence trends with his words; thus, copywriting is the only natural choice for him. Besides that, he has been an enthusiast of human communication, long walks, and emotional storytelling.
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