Building a strong personal brand on LinkedIn is mostly about visibility and credibility. Try these 9 tactics to boost your profile and make a name for yourself on the network.
THINK AUDIENCE, NOT NETWORK
The more connections, the better. The quality of the network should prevail, though. Think of your contacts as of an audience you build for your voice. You need to be heard, seen and acknowledged as a highly accomplished, well-established professional in your field. Ask yourself who is your audience and act with this strategy in mind.
YOUR CONNECTING STRATEGY
Connect with peers – contacts having the same expertise or activating in the same industry are more likely to be interested in your content, react to it and even distribute it to their networks.
Liaise with professionals that are subject matter experts – some of them are available for advice in case you want to grow in the same direction.
Watch for industry and profession-related events and conferences (both locally and internationally) and connect with speakers you find interesting. Do the same for professional organizations. By doing that, I found myself exposed to the latest updates in my profession, different opportunities and resources I was not aware of. Moreover, some speakers would share their presentations if you show interest.
Send connection requests to LinkedIn users who distribute content that is of importance to you. Send a note on why you liked that alongside a question or comments of your own.
DISTRIBUTE QUALITY CONTENT
Use LinkedIn Pulse platform: it’s free and user-friendly. The content is automatically made available for your connections on the feed. Use it to publish somewhat consistent pieces of content.
Not everyone is a natural born storyteller, I agree. You can still distribute content that is appealing to your audience. What can you do?
Once you get your eyes on resources that can make a difference in people’s work and professional development – share them! Case studies, research, and white papers, online training, events, etc. I attended various marketing events based on my connections’ recommendations, and I am grateful for that.
If you happen to be the lucky professional who attends conferences and training that cannot be accessed by many, do share exciting and actionable insights. It is much appreciated. And it may get you great engagement, too.
Don’t be shy if you don’t write in general, present everything using bullet points. In this case, information is essential.
Last, but not least, check with your marketing/communication team, they may be able to help. Many companies signed up for employee advocacy programs: valuable content (branded or not) is available for employees to share on their social media channels to boost their profiles, grow their network and become visible to professionals who matter. The content library is curated by a communication professional to be handpicked by anyone who wants to distribute it.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
One way to make yourself visible and be helpful to your connections is to contribute with comments on their posts. Identify those topics related to your expertise and offer insights they can use right away. Ideas and tactics you already implemented, for example.
I often comment on posts related to LinkedIn advertising when I spot young professionals and entrepreneurs discussing how to use the channel. I join the conversation to offer counseling and practical advice for them to make the right decisions and avoid mistakes.
Do the same in LinkedIn Groups, join those that are relevant to you: share knowledge and join any meaningful conversations. Contribute.
Building a strong personal brand on LinkedIn is mostly about visibility and credibility. You need to establish yourself as a trusted professional who is open to help others grow.
Think mentorship, LinkedIn makes it possible for you to offer advice via their “Career Advice” free feature. You can access the “Career Advice Hub” from your profile, make yourself available and LinkedIn will match you with those who want to receive advice.
I’ve offered my opinion and guidance to a lot of people so far, and I connected with most of them.
It is a gratifying experience.
MAKE YOUR SUMMARY WORK FOR YOU
My take on the LinkedIn profile summary info changed when I realized that the storytelling approach did not serve me well. Very few people have the time and the patience to read.
I asked myself – what do I want them to know about me? I needed to be very clear about my expertise, skills, the areas I can deliver results for businesses and the marketing platforms and programs I master. So, besides a short introduction, I made it about a keywords line-up to include all the above.
That should help me with the searches, too. Many people will do a “Ctrl + Find” type of screening of your profile, and you better show up for what is that they are looking for (this is a tip I got from a headhunter).
MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS
Building a personal brand on LinkedIn, it’s not going to be an overnight success. On the contrary, it’s hard work. But will pay off eventually. Be consistent and monitor your progress along the way. Count (on a weekly basis) the new connection requests and followers, number of people looking at your profile. Look at impressions for the content you post, comments and shares, career advice requests and any opportunities you may receive as a result of your efforts.
A handy LinkedIn tool to consider for monitoring your success is the Social Selling Index. By LinkedIn’s definition “Your Social Selling Index (SSI) measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. It is updated daily.”
You can read more about the factors considered for this metric here and here. Investigate the SSI, it’s quite complex, especially for salespeople – it integrates with various CRM platforms for them watch leads advancing through the funnel.
For the rest of us, it’s an excellent barometer to measure progress. I can confirm that it does fluctuate depending on the efforts you take towards building your brand. I managed to go up to 78% – that is within the top 1% industry SSI rank. Not bad, right? The hard work paid off. It went down to 70% when I was less active for a couple of weeks.
Why don’t you check yours here and start working on it?
BE WITHIN REACH
Looking available is essential. People should feel they can reach out to you for advice, questions, etc. Encourage others to react, engage with the content and approach you if they want to.
If you require an email address to be included with the connection request, you may lose the opportunity of meeting interesting people.
When it comes to people sharing countless pieces of content and links, LinkedIn is no exception.
Keep in mind that your objective is to contribute to your audience, not annoy it.
“How others see your LinkedIn activity” is a setting you can use to notify your network when you edit details of your profile or publish something. If you’re hyperactive, set it on and off to focus your network attention on valuable content. Share too much, and no one will be looking.