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Personal Branding on LinkedIn - Brand yourself before others do

Now more than ever, our LinkedIn personal brand is something we should all take the time to consider and invest in...brand yourself before others do! 

Last year, when Morgan McKinley invested in LinkedIn Recruiter accounts for our entire global business, we realised we needed to up-skill our people on best practice.  

Subsequently, in the UK we held a marathon week of specialist LinkedIn learning, created in-house by our leadership team. More recently, we have held some virtual refresher sessions.  

With over 200 million monthly active users, LinkedIn has the potential to take your personal brand to the next level. LinkedIn is an ideal platform to build industry authority and credibility. Your profile page is the equivalent of your own website; this is the platform which gives you direct access to your target audience.

A company brand can open doors for you, but it is the credibility you build within your own network that will continue to help you attract referrals, new leads and repeat business

You can see this shift on social media with the impact of influencer marketing on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Influencer marketing is effective because it makes an advert more personal through storytelling and experiencing real life.

“Leads developed through employee social media are 7x more frequently converted.”

Your personal brand is your most powerful marketing tool.

Your LinkedIn profile is your personal landing page, the equivalent of your own website, it gives you direct access to your audience, so you need to assure you make the best first impression.

First, you need to build an all star profile. Fill out your profile with details of your work experience, paid and voluntary, and your education. More importantly, you should draft a compelling summary - this is your ‘elevator pitch’ where you should focus on career accomplishments and aspirations (40 words+). Don’t simply copy and paste the blurb from your company website!

Remember, before someone decides to click on your profile picture, they can only see your headline, the first two lines beneath your job description, so make sure they count! 

Once you have your profile complete you’re now ready to start driving traffic to your page, in the same way a company steers its customers to their website.  

Ask yourself, what is it that makes your brand unique, compelling, and engaging? If you don't know the answer yet, that's totally fine. 

To make your personal brand unique, you need to build what is called a signature traffic builder. 

It is the content you commit to sharing on a consistent basis. Your signature traffic builder might be a few of the following:  

  • Articles 
  • LinkedIn group posting 
  • LinkedIn Story (mobile app only)
  • Polls/Surveys
  • Picture/Videos 
  • Share a company post with your comments
  • Comment on relevant posts in your network

Publish articles that speak to your industry, relevant, up-to-date insights with a summary of your views. This will showcase your knowledge and it will mean that people viewing your page will be more open to connecting with you.

LinkedIn stories (similar to Instagram) are available only through the mobile app and are a great way to draw attention in and back to your page. A great idea here is to show a behind the scenes glimpse of your working life, again, making you more approachable to network with your audience. 

I’ve found the polls feature to be a particularly useful tool as it allows you to gather first hand information from 1st and 2nd degree networks. You can track and view the votes and it could be a great source of information to generate a discussion point. 

Remember to also engage with your followers. If you want people to interact with you, the more you comment, like and share their posts, the further up the algorithm you will appear on their homepage feed.

Commit to one or two traffic builders and don't overdo it. This will become your signature, and it will force you to keep your content creation and messaging consistent. 

Collaborate and remember to share relevant content.

It’s important that you aren’t just continually selling your product or service. Your audience will become unengaged and are likely to unfollow (think about the annoying junk mail we all receive and end up unsubscribing to, even if it was a once loved brand!).

As a Recruiter, if all you do is advertise roles, it can become incredibly repetitive.

80% of content should be you liking, sharing and generating new content through the traffic builders previously mentioned. The other 20% should be you promoting your services 

So, remember to think about what you are posting. 

You want to be a valuable connection to your network and a go-to source for credible information.

A top tip is to also think about when your audience is most active. You can track the engagement on your posts to see what works best for you. 

To summarise 

  • Write a compelling summary to catch your audience's attention
  • Remember the 80/20 rule
  • Pick a few signature traffic builders and stick to them to strengthen your brand
  • Be consistent and share content regularly 

In today's world, be sure to publish content and be active. Be where your audience is.

  • Dec 01, 2020
  • Careers , UK
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Jabrien Bains

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