Are you using your LinkedIn profile for personal branding? You should be. Here are some questions along with the answers to help you move forward with using your LinkedIn profile to reflect the best of your brand.
How do you determine what your brand is?
The best thing to do is to think about what you are known for. Maybe you are a project manager who has built a reputation for turning around failing projects. Or perhaps you are a sales person who is great at building a sales pipeline that continues to generate revenue year over year.
Everybody is good at something. If you think about it, you will probably be able to come up with specific examples of skills that you have been commended for. Past performance appraisals can be a good place to start.
Why is LinkedIn important as far as branding is concerned?
First of all, LinkedIn is the premiere site for professionals. It is where potential employers are and where your colleagues are. When employers are looking for new hires, they use LinkedIn to source and vet their candidates. Even when you send in a resume for a position, employers will regularly search LinkedIn to find your profile to see how you are representing yourself on that site. It is critical that your brand comes through clearly and that it represents you well.
How can you use LinkedIn to promote your brand?
LinkedIn has a lot of functionality that most LinkedIn users are unaware of. For starters, most people don’t think about making the professional headline a tagline that is a value added statement. The headline automatically defaults to your most recent job title and employer, but you can change that to whatever you want. Not only can you use your professional headline to promote your brand, but you can also upload PowerPoint presentations, video, audio, and documents to give visitors to your profile a better sense of who you are. Without multimedia, your profile will look rather bland because it will simply be flat text.
Another way to promote your brand is to obtain recommendations from colleagues and bosses where they reinforce your brand. Colleagues and bosses that you have a good relationship with will usually be happy to help you, but you need to give them guidance in terms of what they should highlight when they write recommendations for you that will appear on your profile. Let them know that you want them to emphasize certain skill sets so that your profile sends a consistent message about your brand.
How do you drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile so that others will be aware of your brand?
This is another critical piece that most LinkedIn users overlook. There is no point to having a wonderful profile if no one ever sees it. To drive traffic to the profile, you should incorporate keywords into the profile. Recruiters will search for their ideal candidates by keywords, just as they do with a resume database. That means that it is essential that savvy LinkedIn users find the types of keywords that recruiters are likely to use. I recommend that people analyze vacancy announcements to see what keywords come up over and over again and then use those keywords in their profiles. For example, you might see keywords like project management for IT, business partner for HR, wealth management for finance, or strategic planning for a senior level executive.
Above and beyond the keywords, you need to get involved in the LinkedIn community. Join groups and actually participate in the groups. Answer questions that other members have posed and ask questions of your own. Also, post information such as articles that other people in your field would appreciate. If you consistently provide good content, it will drive traffic to your profile and at the same time promote your brand.
*Need help with branding on LinkedIn? A LinkedIn expert is ready to help. Call 877-743-9521 today!