Scope for personal branding is increasing by the day. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, influencer or professional, investing your time to create the right online persona is very critical. When personal branding is effective, the chances of you landing the right job, networking with the key stakeholders and bagging perfect business deals become much higher.
Over the years, LinkedIn has proven to be a perfect choice while setting personal branding strategies. Let’s look at some of the easy but effective ways in which you can achieve this:
1) Optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Like any other social media platform, Linkedin also has its own algorithm- which means you must follow optimizing strategies to rank on the right searches. Though it might sound complex, here are a few basic steps to guide you through this:
a) The Right Headline: Craft a headline that stands out, resonates and sticks with your target audience. Here’s an example of how a creative headline can help you garner attention at the first go :
Lisa Banks Paranjpe uses catchy and out-of-the-box statement lines and descriptions.
b) The correct settings: It’s important to ensure that your target audience finds you and the content you’re putting up. It is a good idea to make your profile and posts public. If you’re posting something that you want to keep for an audience of your choice, you can always change to customised settings.
c) Use specific keywords: Incorporating a few keywords that are important to your niche will help you rank higher. Here is how the best-selling author and psychologist Adam Grant uses his Linkedin effectively by using the right keywords.
You may also wish to add relevant keywords to your job title, summary and descriptions.
2) Use attractive description
A very critical but often forgotten step is to write an effective description. A well-written description can not only make your profile stand out, it can also help you rank when someone is searching under your category. Here are some tips that will come handy as you embark on this step:
- Be to the point and focused. Give out only the relevant information
- Stick to the character limit. Currently, LinkedIn allows upto 2000 characters for descriptions
- Use a call to action for your audience. Some examples can be as simple as ‘call me at’, ‘order from’, ‘follow me’, ‘click here’ etc.
- Add your skills, interests that might add value to to your target group
- Humbly highlight your achievements and accomplishments
3) That perfect profile picture:
A picture speaks a thousand words and it’s true Linkedin as well. A list of Linkedin profile picture thumb rules follows:
- Use pictures that can qualify as profession pictures. Avoid using casual and candid shots
- Do not use group pictures
- Avoid using extreme close-up shots or full body shots
- Click profile photos under well-lit conditions
- Use confident, assertive moodshots
- Avoid using selfies
- Follow the correct dimension set by Linkedin so that you image doesn’t get cropped
4) Use an appropriate cover banner
When people land on your profile, the profile banner occupies a considerable proportion and it’s obvious that it should be given enough weightage and must be planned accordingly.
Things that you should keep in mind while putting up a Linkedin banner:
- It should conform the dimension guidelines set by Linkedin
- Choose colours, fonts and design language that justifies your niche. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, create a banner that portrays your creativity
- Add logo, nemonics etc. if you’re representing any organisation, community etc.
- You can also incorporate infographics to create a professional design language for your profile
5) Customize URL: Another really cool feature that Linkedin brings to you is Custom URL. This allows you to choose your profile’s URL. You utilize this feature judiciously as it has to be between 30-100 characters only. Alongside your name, you can include some keywords or skills that serve the purpose. Be careful and don’t use words that might go against Linkedin’s user policies as it may even result in blocking your profile. You can change the URL only in 30 days.
See how Iniyan G, a Life a Health Coach, has effectively used his URL to draw attention to his profession:
6) Effective content strategy: Content strategy is, perhaps, the most important step for anyone. Before you embark on this journey, fix your basics like:
- whom you’re speaking to
- how often can you create or post
- what is your brand language- formal, fun, authoritative
Linkedin allows us to post and use varied types of content. Let’s take a look at the broad content types and how you can leverage the most out of them:
a) Posts: The very obvious choice for anyone who is using Linkedin for personal branding. You can post photos, videos, create an event, post a document- options are varied. As a personal branding exercise, you should also post special achievements under ‘Celebrate an occasion’ option. This would definitely give you an edge by creating a positive outlook for your personal brand in the minds of your target audience.
b) Linkedin Articles: Linkedin articles are also a great way to connect with your audience. Write long-format content that can include links, images etc. Articles help your profile to show up when someone is searching for them. Whenever you post an article, Linkedin sends out a notification to your entire network, which helps in bringing in more and more traffic onto your profile.
c) Linkedin Live: If you’ve activated the creator mode, Linkedin will allow you to go Live. This feature requires ensuring the following:
- you must have more than 150 followers
- you must post original content
- your country must allow this feature
- you must abide by Linkedin’s content policy guidelines
Linkedin may also ask for your ‘Live’ references, so it will be a good idea to create some good quality live content for other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc.
7) Engaging and connecting with the community:
Never underestimate a good engagement strategy- and it goes deeper than just sticking to a good content strategy.
- Move further from just liking someone’s posts; comment, share and be active
- Join relevant groups and be an active participant
- Accept connections as much as possible
- Support communities by answering their queries in Linkedin Answers. This will also show you as a knowledge driven industry leader
- Follow and engage with industry influencers. Share their posts, offer shoutouts which may help you get noticed
- Ask for recommendations from your network
8) Creator Profile: Like most social media platforms, Linkedin has extended a lot of useful features for the influencers and content creators. This would include free access to creator tools and analytics, adding the topics you create your contents on, making follow button as the primary call to action and many more. You can easily switch to this mode by choosing creator mode from the Resources tab in your profile’s home page.
9) Public Profile Badge: Linkedin also has a special badge that you can use to cross-promote your profile onto your blogs, online resume, or website. You can get the same very easily by visiting https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings , under the Public Profile badge.
10) Gather insights from analytics: Last but not the least, as you continue to build your personal brand, it’s critical to learn on the go. Linkedin provides a robust analytics platform that helps to monitor and course correct. Gather insights on who are visiting your profile- their seniority level, location, industry, pages they are visiting and so on. This should help you make informed adjustments to your content strategies.
While it takes effort, resources and time to create your desired persona, but it bears the fruit of success. It can definitely help you touch high grounds. Over to you!
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The content marketing team at Vidooly publishes articles and blogs on current and relevant online video industry related news.