Developing a personal brand is vital to going the extra mile when representing your business online. Part of establishing a personal brand can be done through creating an effective social media profiles that will attract customers, employers and colleagues alike. Your profiles will help guide outside opinions about you and your company before anyone ever calls to discuss your product or solution.
Specifically, using LinkedIn is one of the best ways to build a personal brand, and there are specific ways you can leverage your profile in order to build your brand to your advantage.
What is a personal brand and why is it important?
A personal brand involves the idea of promoting yourself as being an expert in your specific industry. This is based on your personal skills, experiences and education. Ideally, your brand would be known through your personality as well as what you can bring to the table in terms of professional insight and opinions.
Your brand tells potential customers and businesses exactly what you can offer them. It’s a great way to communicate the contributions, performance and values a client or employer can expect from you, should they decide to work with you. It helps establish your reputation and marks your career as distinguished.
What is a “living resume”?
One of the best ways to showcase your brand is through your personal resume. It is important to constantly update your skills and proficiencies in order to make sure that you’re best represented – This is what makes LinkedIn such a great choice for your “living resume.”
To start compiling your “living resume”, build your LinkedIn profile. Add your skills, an interesting and informative description about yourself, your work experience, your education information, and all relevant skills and areas of expertise. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile in order to keep it up-to-date and personalized.
Customizations on LinkedIn that could help boost your personal brand
The more information on your profile, the more information you’re giving potential customers about yourself. Some of the ways you can customize your living resume include:
- Profile picture – Should be a professional photo and showcase your personality
- Description and headline – Should convey a bit about yourself that makes you sound insightful and interesting
- Search optimization – Include keywords related to your industry to give your LinkedIn profile a better chance at appearing in search results
- Endorsements – Don’t be afraid to ask for skill endorsements from colleagues!
When uploading a profile picture, it’s important to remember that being professional, while personable is key. Avoid using a selfie or a too-casual vacation or dinner photo.
Your description and headline are prime real estate! These are often the first areas that a prospect will read on your LinkedIn profile. You can use this area to craft a career brand statement, or something that differentiates you from the rest of your colleagues. Be sure that your description accurately reflects your own voice and character and while still aligning with your career goals and profession.
Finally, optimize your profile for search results. Use keywords in your profile where appropriate, provide internal and external links and even join networking groups.
Impact of participation
Participation is the second biggest aspect to building your brand. Interact with other users on LinkedIn by liking, commenting and sharing their posts. Generate content of your own by looking for or writing articles that are relevant to your product or industry.
The more active you can be, the better. Engage with like-minded professionals and don’t be shy about growing your network and sending connection requests. The broader your audience is, the bigger you can build your personal brand.
LinkedIn is a powerful networking and community or customer building tool. Establishing your voice and creating a powerful personal brand will only help you to stand out when using the platform.