Using LinkedIn to Develop Your Personal Brand
Your brand is everything about you, your professional reputation, online image, offline image, your work style, and how you engage with everyone. To develop a personal brand, consider 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?
Right now, how do you think people would describe you? Does it jibe with what you want people to see you as? If not, you can use social media like LinkedIn.com 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 WordPress” or as the “Online Information Marketing Content Expert” or “The Paleolithic 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 to become your personal brand, it’s important to use LinkedIn in the right way.
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 someday. But, be consistent within your profile to demonstrate stability.
Focus the 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 rather than sentences separated by the pipe “|” symbol. It looks better, and differentiates each word. Don’t be shy on the headline. If you are a Paleolithic Nutritional Expert, say so.
Brand Your LinkedIn.com URL
On LinkedIn.com 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 Paleo 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.
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.
Establishing a personal brand takes time, consistency, and true knowledge of your niche. But, LinkedIn.com is a fast way to be noticed if you use it regularly and use it honestly.