How to Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

I was an early adopter of LinkedIn. In fact, it was the first social network I joined. I saw it as a strategic way to staying relevant in an ever-changing business environment. Now I see it as the top B2B social networking destination. After all, LinkedIn has ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ Fast Tech 25 list of America’s fastest-growing tech companies for the past two consecutive years.

Why should you use LinkedIn?

  • Today, it is assumed you have a LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn profiles appear at the top of Google search
  • Right now, people ARE searching for you, your company and the services you provide
  • The network is packed with invaluable resources
  • It allows you to remain connected and stay ultra-current with today’s business news
  • LinkedIn is one of the most efficient ways to manage your database
  • Your profile is 24/7 representation of your professional knowledge and achievements

Why should every employee at your company use LinkedIn? The more visible your employees are, the more visible your brand will be. “Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates,” and every time they interact with your content, they make your brand visible to their connections.

That’s not all. LinkedIn is great for business development. So, what’s the secret sauce to an all-star personal profile and using the platform to generate leads? In addition to being active, building your connections and joining groups, you need to show evidence to position yourself as an expert.

Optimize your profile for search:

  1. Add relevant keywords and multiples titles to your headline.
  2. Sell yourself with visual content. Add links to content you have created, expert commentary and news about your career accomplishments.
  3. Beef up your summary with keywords and give people a glimpse into who you are, what your background is, and what you have accomplished throughout your career.
  4. Describe your past experience with keywords and add links to news articles, blogs, awards, etc. associated with the job.
  5. Use the “Projects” feature to show off your work and strengthen connections. Simply name your project, input a URL, assign it to a specific position, and add team members. This turns the title of the project into a hyperlink, leading the viewer to the project’s website. It also creates a hyperlink to team members’ profiles.
  6. Properly utilize skills, endorsements and recommendations. By adding skills, you are adding search terms to your profile. The number of endorsements and recommendations you receive will also boost your profile rank.
  7. Add certifications and organizations to your profile. This will allow you and your viewers to search for “users with this keyword.”

As you continue to improve the content within your profile, you will notice your rank, search results and the number of people viewing your profile increase. Want more? Here are three other ways to increase your personal brand awareness:

LinkedIn Contacts

This is an awesome tool for marketers to stay in touch with clients, potential leads and referral sources. It brings all of your contacts to one place and keeps them up to date. LinkedIn Contacts also allows you to add notes about your contacts, set reminders to follow up and save a history of your conversations/meetings.

Become an influencer

LinkedIn recently expanded its publishing platform to allow all members the opportunity to write and share long form content (blogs and expert columns). Click on the small pencil icon to the right of your share box. This will open up a compose screen, where you can edit and publish your content.

See who’s viewing your profile

LinkedIn also updated its “who’s viewed your profile” section, adding personalized tips for how you can generate more profile views. This feature provides key analytics about members visiting your profile page. Now you can see what industries your viewers work in, their job titles and more. This gives you data and talking points to strike up a social conversation.

Whether you want to build your network or learn more about your customers, LinkedIn has tremendous value. I am only skinning the surface on the number of business resources the network has to offer its members. In my next blog post, I will cover ways to build your company’s brand on LinkedIn.