Harnessing the power of LinkedIn to build your personal brand

Linkedin is a powerful tool to help you establish and maintain your reputation and develop your career and business. So, if you either don’t yet have a presence on Linkedin or suspect you may not be getting the best out of the platform, we’ve got a few tips for you!

Linkedin was created in 2003 as a way for professionals to network and has been around longer than many other social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Its popularity is one reason why it’s a platform you need to have a presence on. It hosts more than 900 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and opportunities.i

What are the benefits of Linkedin?

Establish yourself as the knowledgeable professional you are. One way to think of Linkedin is your digital business card. Unlike a business card, you can say a lot more about who you are, your strengths, expertise and experience.

Expand your network. Linkedin allows you to reap the benefits of engaging with others. It’s a critical tool for professional development and business development as you connect with those who could potentially benefit from what you offer.

Learn and grow professionally. Given Linkedin’s professional focus, it’s a great tool to build your knowledge and keep you up to date with what is happening in your industry. It features business news and educational articles on various topics. With a bit of regular scrolling, it’s possible to do a lot of learning.

How to master Linkedin

Power up your profile – It’s important to have a complete and compelling profile. If you’ve signed up with good intentions at some point and never got around to completing your profile, you are doing yourself a disservice. Linkedin’s internal search only ranks profiles that register as “complete,” and these can get more than 20 times as many views as incomplete profiles. Here are some things to consider doing:

  • Add a good-quality photo of yourself and a background image that reflects your personality and profession.

  • Mention your industry and location in your headline.

  • Include a summary of who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Include a call to action for people to contact you.

  • Build keywords into your profile so that they will come up if people search for a particular skill set. Also consider customising your unique link address so you can be found easier.

  • Describe your current position. Sharing samples of your work is a great way to demonstrate your skills and capabilities.

  • Add your previous work history, education details, and at least four skills or areas of expertise

And finally, when it comes to your profile and presence on Linkedin, there is nothing more powerful than an endorsement from a client or colleague. Be strategic about what you ask for and use on your profile to highlight your strengths and skills.

Connecting with others – This is what Linkedin is all about so make the most of your existing connections. It can be challenging reaching out beyond those to people you don’t know, and the most successful approach is always going to be a personal message rather than the default ‘I’d like to add you to my connections’. Think about why you’d like to connect with them, whether you admire their achievements or work in the same industry sector. Linkedin also offers interest-based and professional groups, which can be a great place to connect with others.

Engaging with others – This is a key component of leveraging Linkedin. If you are on Linkedin but do not engage with others, you are unlikely to generate many new connections. The beauty of social networks is they promote dialogue – so they enable you to demonstrate your expertise and position yourself without overtly ‘selling’ so you can have the conversations you would like to with the people you would like to talk to.

Sharing valuable content – Through sharing articles or insights, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable professional in your field. Think of what useful information for others would be and provide some commentary on content that you don’t generate or write.

Whether you use Linkedin and/or other channels to build and strengthen existing client relationships and to find and help prospective clients, the principles are the same: focus on the other person and their needs, be yourself and build relationships one at a time. If you do this, you’ll reap the rewards!

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