No other tool ever invented on the internet has proved to be as powerful as LinkedIn when it comes to networking and expanding professional circumference. Research shows that 48% of employers hire using LinkedIn and out of them, 68% actually do hire using this platform. Just these facts make LinkedIn a perfect place for building ideal professional relationships.
You can be looking for a job, working as a freelancer or have your own business, LinkedIn is unavoidable these days. It takes your career forward. Having an online presence means you have a personal brand. Now all you need to do is make it powerful. Here are some of the tips which you can use to leverage LinkedIn and create your own personal brand.
The perfect LinkedIn profile
The first step towards creating a personal brand is optimizing your profile. It is a key component in your branding strategy. A thorough profile means you are an active citizen of the LinkedIn world. Every component of a LinkedIn profile has its power to make you more visible in searches. You can perfect things like:
- Photo: The profile picture is like a virtual handshake on LinkedIn. So make sure you use a picture that represents your role. It cannot be funky but at the same time, it should not be forced-professional. Select a square picture where you are at the center. It should be a close-up but do not think that your passport photo will do the trick. You should look approachable and professional at the same time.
- Headline: The next stop is the LinkedIn profile headline. By default, it is your current occupation but it can be customized. You should have a headline which clearly demonstrates your vision for the future and your expertise in your field of work. Your LinkedIn headline is just like a brand tagline. It has to be explanatory and quirky. Be sure to add relevant keywords.
- Background: To convey about you and your work in a better way, use your background photo. Most people use generic pictures like landscapes and sky in this space. But these are just missed opportunities. Instead, you can utilise this space to show off your skills, portfolios, content promotion and influence others. You can also select a photo that expresses your work ethic or even your secondary interests.
- Customized URL: You have to share your LinkedIn URL everywhere. This URL can be used to climb pretty high on the search positions. Because the URL is used in ‘linkedin.com/in/yourURL’ format, your name can come up at the top of Google search. The sole reason is that LinkedIn is a prime website and has its own high rank. You can use this opportunity to come up with a proper personal brand name and generate a lot of traffic on your profile.
- Summary: Your LinkedIn profile should not be a copy-paste of your CV. The summary and experience section of your profile allows you to add more weight to your LinkedIn profile. You can expand on your role, your vision, and your ethics. A list of roles held, content created by you and rich media on the educational and professional background can help you take your profile to the next level.
After your profile is impeccable, launch it into the LinkedIn world full-fledge. Go to the “people you may know” section and you will see that LinkedIn has done a very good job of listing all the people you might know. Look for their photo and titles and connect with everyone you know. You can also import your connections from your email and add them to LinkedIn by sending an invitation request. This way you can reach the targeted audience and build a strong relationship with them. Every person on LinkedIn is a potential client. Make a list of brands and people that are related to your niche and create an involved connection with them.
Join the groups
One more way of building strong relationships is by joining all the relevant groups and being an active participant. LinkedIn groups are a fine way to raise your profile and expand your network. Aim to achieve the status of “top contributor” in at least 2 groups and take intense part during the discussions. Getting involved and sharing your expert knowledge will help create an impact on other group members.
Tailor your feed
The social media world is feed-driven. It is difficult to keep track of what is relevant and what is not. The best way to capitalize on LinkedIn is to customize the feed so that it gives an opportunity to learn something every second. Follow the topics and people that matter to you the most and have the ability to teach you something. Unfollow everything else.
Become a publisher
Publish the content that mirrors your personality and expertise. Let someone have a chance to learn something new from you. As soon as you start publishing relevant content regularly, you will see that your profile views will spike steeply. You can also create strong publications with attractive titles and infographics.
Recommendations and endorsements
Never forget the fact that in an online world, social proof can make or break your brand. A stamp of approval is what everyone is looking for. It is an understood fact that when somebody is scouting your profile, they are actually looking for testimonials from your previous connections. People make subconscious judgments if your profile has a lot of connections but no recommendations or endorsements. To start this loop is by writing recommendations for others and endorsing people you know. In return, you will get many recommendations and endorsements back. And every new one you get, be sure to return the favour.
The biggest mistake people make is rushing on LinkedIn. Never think that you will convert your connections into clients immediately. No need to spam your connections. In fact, just let the naturally shared interests spike interest and then respond favourably to that interest. There’s a tip that will work almost every time.