Developing Your Personal Brand, Tips to Help You Stand Out in LinkedIn
The process of developing your personal brand and then building on it is an ongoing work-in-progress. It can change as you change. Just as much as being an aid for internet search purposes, a personal brand is about being remembered for your expertise and understood for what you can offer. Think of it is a relationship building block.
The question is, how do you make it easy for people to find you? How do you make yourself more “searchable” and “discoverable” so the world knows all that you have to offer?
A good place to start is with a strong personal brand, a statement that showcases your unique set of skills, talents, and experience that appeals to people looking for someone just like you. In the online world, where search engines rule, your brand is your marquee statement that can act like a magnet for career opportunities and connections. Its keywords comprise the framework for boosting your chances of being found.
Nurture Your Personal Brand
A word to the wise: You can either ignore your personal brand and let it develop organically, possibly chaotically, or you can seize the opportunity to use it as a powerful way to drive your employment and professional passions. Happily, it can be anything you want it to be! However, when crafting your brand statement, the answers to three basic questions must be a “yes.”
· Is it truthful?
· Is it compelling?
· Is it differentiated?
Take your personal brand seriously. As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
A succinct personal brand summarizes your most outstanding attributes. For instance, my story is that I became a chemical engineer because I loved understanding how things work. Chemistry allowed me to understand things all the way down to the atomic level. I carried this “need-to-know” into the realm of technology. Then, while pursuing my MBA, I fell in love with marketing. Today I am blessed to combine my knowledge of technology with my skills in marketing. My personal brand statement is, “My passion is to help technology companies communicate their innovations and help shape tomorrow’s world.”
Some other examples of brand statements are:
“Delivering Happiness to Our Users. Your Happiness is My Happiness.”– Eric Yuan, Founder & CEO at Zoom
“As Hershey’s first female President and CEO, I have more than 30 years of consumer packaged goods experience…with a successful track record of building brands consumers love, developing high performing teams and creating sustainable businesses in a rapidly evolving economic and social marketplace.“– Michele Buck, President & CEO at The Hershey Company
“As CEO of Microsoft, I define my mission and that of my company as empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”– Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft
One of the keys to developing your personal brand statement is to go beyond your job or career into your calling. One entrepreneur publication says the formula is: purpose + data = personal branding statement. Another way to craft it is by using the template, “I help X (people, industry, market) to do Y (their mission or goal) by leveraging my Z (the skills, knowledge and experience you bring to the table).”
Why Use LinkedIn for Personal Brand?
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn dominates the employment-oriented online world. As of December 2020, the platform had 760 million registered members from 150 countries. It is the first step to putting your personal brand to work.
Start by carefully crafting a personal headline. This headline defaults as your most current job title; learn how to edit it here. It shows up with your name each time you post, share or comment on LinkedIn. Both your headline and the ABOUT summary on LinkedIn should contain the key words that are found in your professional brand.
The next step is to build your brand by posting. For instance, since I love technology I post information about the latest tech trends. By posting and sharing other posts on topics you are passionate about, you can be useful to your connections while boosting your name recognition as an authority in that area. Your brand becomes identified with your particular area of expertise.
The last tip is to make new connections and grow your following. There is a magical threshold with LinkedIn when you hit 500+ connections. The platform is signaled that you belong to a more conspicuous group. Aim to achieve that threshold. I recommend connecting with anyone you meet on LinkedIn, both to stay connected with them and to stay engaged on LinkedIn.
Importantly, the strength of your brand is dependent on the most common algorithms used by search engines. The LinkedIn algorithm is based on the formula Engagement = (Likes + Share + Comments + Clicks) ÷ Impressions. Other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram have their own proprietary algorithms.
Remember that when you follow someone you will receive their posts in your feed. If you don’t like some else’s posts be sure to unfollow them so you don’t help spread those viewpoints.
Do you want to learn more about creating your brand and optimizing your LinkedIn profile? Feel free to listen to our webinar on Build your Business and Manage Your Own Brand. We at Forward Vision would love to do a Personal Brand LinkedIn workshop to further help you become recognized in the virtual world. Contact us to setup a time.