But not everyone runs a multi-billion dollar company with instantly noticeable slogans and logos. Sure, maybe one day you will have a business like Nike or Apple, and maybe you’ve already thought about building your business brand, having invested in a great logo and website and style sheet with Lobster font. But what about folks who don’t own businesses or run marketing departments? What about the jobs seekers and employees? What do they care about branding?
The fact is, if you are in business, you have to think about how you portray yourself in your business, industry and to the world. You have to consider your personal brand, and if it is strong enough to guarantee you stand out form the competition.
Fortunately there is a free tool you can use to position yourself and your personal brand – and it is called LinkedIn!
This is where you can connect with possible clients to build your business, customers who are very much interested in what you have to offer, and even find the one great hire you’ve been searching for.
Branding on LinkedIn simply means knowing how to highlight what you have to offer. With millions of accounts on LinkedIn, without fine-tuning your “brand”, you might get lost in the crowd. Stand out from the pack by rocking your personal brand with these eight tips.
Eight ways you can build your personal brand on LinkedIn are:
- Design your narrative
- Add keywords
- Add your elevator speech
- Focus on your connections
- Use the Publisher tool
- Customize your URL
- Use a business photo
- Leverage other content
Design Your Narrative
When someone first comes in contact with your profile , they will make an instant decision to keep reading – or pass on to the next profile – who is probably your competitor. Because of this, you need to focus on optimizing your profile to make it stand out.
The problem many people face is that they just upload their resume or throw something together. Which means the profile is unfocused and unimpressive.
You have the unique position of standing where you are today, seeing how you got there, and focusing on where you are going. YOU get to create your narrative. You get to choose which jobs your put into your profile and which parts of those jobs to highlight. Everything you place onto your profile needs to be directed specifically towards the brand you are creating.
It might be old hat and time worn – but the fact is – keywords and the resulting find-ability – are what make the Internet world go round. Think about what someone might type into Google if they were searching for someone like you. What are your job titles or qualifications? Think verb, noun, synonym and acronym. Where do you live? What is your Name? What is your business name? All of these are keywords to use in your profile.
Add Your Elevator Speech
You need an elevator pitch/speech, and you need to add it to LinkedIn. An “elevator speech” is that super short speech you would give (pitch) to an executive during the ride up to his office or down to her car. You have maybe 30 seconds to pitch an incredible story, book or idea to them. Essentially you have no time to waste and need to hit all the exciting points. You need to do the same with your LinkedIn brand. If someone messages you or you want to talk to them about your brand, have a good elevator speech ready. If it is in online message form, you can use a one paragraph pitch in stead. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point. Your pitch is only as good as the weakest link.
Focus On Your Connections
Chances are, you’ve seen the accounts on Facebook where someone has several thousand “friends.” Do they possibly have this many actual friends? Probably not. Do they actually communicate with this many people? Again, it’s not likely. LinkedIn is a professional networking account, so simply going out and connecting with your friends really isn’t necessary. Sure, it can boost some exposure, which is fine, but you need to focus on the quality of your connections. Don’t just connect to connect. Seek out people in your field, look for those you admire or who represents their company in a way you like.
Use the Publisher Tool
One of the best ways to build your networking potential and to find new business partners is to use the publishing tool. Write content on the subject matter you’re interested in. Create a weekly or bi-weekly blog based on your personal brand. This will help boost your exposure and bring additional connections.
Customize Your URL
When you create a LinkedIn account you’ll end up with some garbled mess of a URL. Try adding that to a resume. Many companies actually want your LinkedIn URL listed on your resume. So make sure you customize your URL. It helps it stand out on a page.
Use a profile photo that represents not only your professional side but connects with the industry. Scratch the image of you hanging with friends for an image representing your involvement with the industry. Try to keep your branding images consistent across all of your online pages. This makes it easier to recognize.
Leverage Other Content
You don’t always need to create content to boost your personal brand. If you read something that represents your brand well, even if you didn’t create it yourself, share it and like it. Others will see this. This can bring about new connections simply for leveraging the other content.
It doesn’t matter if you are in the beginning stages of your company, are just starting to take off or if you are a steam train and nothing can stop you from success. Boosting your personal brand on LinkedIn has nothing but good attached to it. By taking advantage of these seven tips, you’ll see not only increased interest in your account, but you’ll elevate your profile above the competition, which is something you need to reach your set goals.