How to Establish your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has been around for almost two decades now and yet certain jobseekers are still hesitant to use it. Some fear getting spammed by recruiters; others are simply unsure about how to make the most of the platform.
Are you feeling unsure about LinkedIn? Here are some top tips on how to establish your personal brand on the platform and use it to get noticed. After all, it’s a useful tool for building your network, promoting your skills and finding work.
1) Create a snappy and succinct profile headline
Your profile headline is the first thing that all recruiters and prospective connections will see, so you should make sure that it stands out. A strong headline includes the keywords that people will be searching for in your field. It’s also unique and eye-catching. It’s worth separating out your experience and skills with vertical pipes to keep it clean. Note that if you leave your headline blank, LinkedIn will create it for you automatically based on your most recent job title but relying on this default headline is a wasted opportunity. If you’re a graduate looking for your first job, state this in your headline.
Examples of good headlines include:
Digital Marketing Manager | Charity Product Marketing | Digital Transformation Specialist
Software Development Student | Seeking fulltime role in a charity | Confident in Java, Python, PHP, C++
2) Be visible and current
Keeping your profile up to date by adding new skills and experience, as well as posting about the events and training that you’re attending will make you more likely to get noticed. Building your brand is not just about who you are, but also about what you do. If your company is taking part in some great events or doing something new and innovative that you’re part of, be sure to share this on your profile. If you can write a little introduction to showcase your input, all the better. Keeping a well-completed and up-to-date profile doesn’t just look good but helps boost your profile algorithmically. It’s particularly important if you’re the admin for a LinkedIn page or group—your own profile will have an effect on the group’s visibility.
3) Select the right profile photo and banner
You might be tempted to upload a hilarious photo of you on holiday, but LinkedIn isn’t the platform for this. Here are a few things to note when selecting the photo for your profile:
- Make sure you include your head and shoulders
- Ensure your photo is clear and sharp
- You should be smiling in your picture
- You should be dressed appropriately for your job role
- Avoid selfies
LinkedIn also offers you several options for standard size banners, but to really stand out to your target audience, it’s worth creating your own, which is meaningful to your target audience. If your charity doesn’t have a branded one, or if you’re not currently employed, have a go at creating your own one in a free tool like Canva.
4) Post regularly
Building your personal brand requires effort, and content is king in this regard. Keep your headlines snappy and on-point, and your language straightforward. An article published by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that shorter content of 1,000 or less tends to dominate LinkedIn. But surprisingly, it’s not the content that readers want most, as it’s posts with 1,000 to 3,000 words get the most shares.
The trick behind writing some longer-form posts is in the art of storytelling. Try recounting a recent lesson learnt in your career, an observation that you have on a matter relevant to your sector, or a piece of advice. Tell it in an earnest, down-to-earth (or even humourous) way. And break up your story in micro paragraphs, no longer than two lines at a time. Strong content, posted twice a week is an easy recipe to quickly establish a personal brand on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn algorithm rewards posts with engagement, but to really work the algorithm, comments are the main capital! So ask a question at the end of every post—and be sure to reply to those comments to double them up.
4) Build your network
Creating a broad network is the best way of increasing your reach on LinkedIn. First, search for and connect with all your current and former colleagues. Second, consider reaching out to your colleague’s connections, particularly if your work is relevant to theirs. Third, reach out to any connections that you’ve met with in person or via virtual events.
The key here is to make it personal. Go to each prospective contact’s profile page and click the ‘connect’ button there. This will then allow you to add a personal note with your connection request, where you can write a message, such as: ‘Great to meet you at X Charity Event last week. Let’s keep in touch.’
5) Interact with others
When your contacts engage with your posts, it boosts your visibility, so remember to return the favour. Scroll through your feed at least a few times a week and comment on any posts that are relevant to your role and sector. That way, you’ll also be establishing yourself as an important voice in this field. Remember to be authentic and honest at all times.
6) Avoid links
LinkedIn wants to keep you on its platform which is why its algorithms penalise links, particularly those leading to blog posts. But if you want to include a link, you can include it in the comments of your main post.
Regular updates are key to nurturing your personal brand
And there you have it! All the essentials for building your brand. But note that you’ll have the best chance of getting noticed if you regularly update your profile and add new content. Finally, with the new functions introduced on LinkedIn last year, you can now share information about the services you provide or inform recruiters that you’re actively looking for work. Just make sure to update this information once you’ve found a new job!