Although all social media platforms are essentially designed to help people network, and connect with friends, and family, LinkedIn has a whole different personality. As a social media networking platform, LinkedIn focuses on professional networking.
This is not to say that you cannot connect with friends and family, but LinkedIn is like an online resume, and we all want to make sure our best foot is out there when it comes to our resumes.
LinkedIn is home to business owners, entrepreneurs, working professionals, and job seekers.
Today, LinkedIn has over 760m users with 260m monthly active users. And as it continues to grow, more individuals are beginning to transform their interest in LinkedIn and finding it to be a great platform to build a personal brand.
However, it is not as easy as it may sound.
Similar to other platforms, not all strategies work on LinkedIn, but that is exactly the purpose this guide fills! Throughout this LinkedIn Strategy guide, we will look into different ways of skyrocketing your personal brand on LinkedIn.
History of LinkedIn
Although LinkedIn’s popularity has increased over time, especially in recent years, it is noteworthy that LinkedIn has been around for a long time. How long? Well, let us think of it this way. LinkedIn has been around since before Facebook, YouTube and Twitter made it to the social networking map.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, a former board member at Google, eBay, and PayPal in his living room. Along with Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant, LinkedIn was made live a year later in 2003.
In the first month, the platform only had 4,500 members, however, it was enough to validate the need for a platform like it.
Over time, LinkedIn started to introduce new capabilities, including letting companies post jobs, further allowing them to advertise on the platform. This led to LinkedIn finally being profitable in 2007, and in 2011 it went public with an IPO raising $353 million.
Today, as the landscape changes, LinkedIn is becoming a more commonly used social media platform for professionals, and entrepreneurs. Using content marketing strategies, individuals can gain a significant following on the platform leading to profitable businesses.
But not all are succeeding at it.
That is why we are here.
What is LinkedIn used for?
Although LinkedIn is considered a professional networking platform, its usage can vary. As entrepreneurs build personal brands to generate leads, job seekers interact with companies to get their next dream job. However, in either case, personal branding and having an effective LinkedIn strategy are becoming essential.
Many companies today require candidates to submit a link to their LinkedIn profile, and some may get passed on depending on their engagements and set up on the platform.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs like Hayden Humphrey are providing value to an engaged audience.
With such diverse use cases, the misconception about LinkedIn only being for those who have a job, or those who are not trendy enough is irrelevant. You can find a way to use LinkedIn to your benefit, no matter what you do.
4 Benefits of LinkedIn
But with all that said, why is LinkedIn even important?
Benefit #1: Decision-makers are on it.
Whether you are looking for your next job or finding a client, LinkedIn is where all the decision-makers are available. When you apply for a job, you are likely to find the hiring manager for that position on LinkedIn. In the process, you can connect with them, and build a strong relationship. While on the flip side, if you are selling a service, you can find CEOs of almost all companies on LinkedIn, and that individual is your decision-maker.
Benefit #2: Helps Build Credibility!
If you were to meet someone today and talk about your experience, and profession. What will Google show when they search you?
LinkedIn is likely to be one of the top results when anyone searches you by name. Any visitors to your LinkedIn profile after a detailed conversation can find you more credible than during the meeting. And that is why it is crucial to have a great LinkedIn profile.
Benefit #3: Networking Opportunities
Whether you are a business owner or a job seeker, one difficulty we have all faced in 2021 is networking. And since the pandemic, LinkedIn has filled a massive void. We have all turned to LinkedIn to network with others and build better relations.
Benefit #4: Build a Brand on a Less Saturated Platform
Although LinkedIn has over 760 million users, it is still not as saturated as other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As a result, it is still very possible to create a personal brand if you build the right LinkedIn strategy and have yourself heard (more on this later).
Where to Start on LinkedIn?
So, now that you know why LinkedIn is so important, it is time to dive into crafting your LinkedIn strategy to help build your personal brand online.
Although LinkedIn comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on what you are marketing, we are going to focus on your personal brand on LinkedIn step by step, and how can you build a presence which everyone loves.
1. LinkedIn is for Everyone
If you are considering LinkedIn for the first time ever, you might end up asking yourself whether you have enough experience to build your personal brand?
Firstly, you are not the first to ask this question.
But more importantly, this is when you realize what an amazing platform LinkedIn is.
Using LinkedIn to build your personal brand does not require you to be a founder of a company or be employed by companies like Facebook or Apple. On LinkedIn what matters is YOU.
To succeed on LinkedIn and build your personal brand, the most valuable asset you have is you and your expertise.
2. Optimize Your Profile
First things first! Your profile.
Profiles on LinkedIn are canvases. It is a space where you paint the picture of yourself for others. You add your profile image, professional experience, and fill out the about section to talk about yourself.
But that is the basic part.
You may already have it.
However, LinkedIn is a search engine within itself. When people on LinkedIn search, they mostly search for keywords like, ‘Digital Marketer’, or ‘ICF Certified Coach.’
Incorporating these keywords in your profile helps you get found.
However, keep in mind that you are building a personal brand, and you would want to sound human.
3. Research on LinkedIn About How to Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to find inspiration. No matter what industry you are in and what your profession is, there is someone out there who has used LinkedIn to build their personal brand.
Find and connect.
As they say, ‘hang out with people who force you to level up.’
LinkedIn is a great place to connect and learn how others are building their personal brand and what kind of content are they posting.
4. Understand LinkedIn’s Algorithm
LinkedIn’s algorithm is based on a ripple effect and the faster you understand its algorithm, the better it is for your LinkedIn Strategy.
The more others engage with you, the farther your reach. Your posts bounce from one circle to another and the more engagement you build, the better your reach.
But how do you get others to engage with you?
To gain engagement, you need to engage with others.
Engaging with others is critical in the process of building your personal brand.
LinkedIn Strategy to Build Your Personal Brand Online
Content is the bread and butter of any social media platform, but more importantly, it is also what differentiates you from the rest of your colleagues and peers.
Creating valuable content is critical to incorporate in your LinkedIn strategy in order to build your personal brand.
So, to build your personal brand, what kind of content do you create?
Establishing what you want to be known for, your content needs to be in-line with your expertise. The moment you begin to focus on content, which is from another industry, you are putting your brand in danger.
If you are an accountant, talk about taxes, setting up a company, and managing your finances.
Because you know that best. Better than others.
However, if you are an accountant and start talking about biology, you will create a disconnect between what you want to be known for, and what you really know.
LinkedIn allows you to publish your content in various forms. You can post images, have polls, create text-based content or blogs. But not all work equally.
According to Agropulse text-based content received far more views compared to links and photos. And that is true in our experience as well.
When it comes to text-based content you will often notice that LinkedIn has a very particular format to it. They are usually not paragraphs piled over each other. Most of the successful text-based posts are broken down into one sentence per line.
This is often done to increase readability and make the most understandable.
Now, we are not discouraging you from posting pictures, or gifs. Sometimes, they work too. But focusing on plain text LinkedIn posts will help generate more views.
LinkedIn is a give-and-take platform focusing on building relationships. When you start posting on LinkedIn, you would want more people to engage with your content.
No matter how much content you produce, you want it to be seen, and engaged with.
But the only effective way to generate more engagement on your post is to engage with others.
Engagement comes in different forms. You can like someone’s post, or comment ‘agree.’ But that is not going to get you far.
What you want to do is become an active member of the platform adding meaningful and valuable thoughts to others’ posts. However, this also would not mean that you become an attention seeker.
If you see a post on LinkedIn which you believe you can add to, go ahead and add your thoughts to it respectfully.
At the same time though, there is no need to comment on every post you see. Eventually, you will end up with connections from different industries. In that case, you will not have knowledge of those industries, or at least every industry.
However, no amount of engagement is enough so be sure to keep it as part of your LinkedIn strategy.
3. Personalize and Humanize
When it comes to connections and content, LinkedIn is a bit different.
Although you can connect with almost anyone without knowing them, you want to build relationships like you would in networking events.
You want to introduce yourself, learn about the other person, and understand what they really do.
When it comes to creating content on LinkedIn, you do not want to sound like a robot auto-blogging. You want to ensure that you come across as a human. That is when your audience will connect with you.
4. Be Consistent
Finally, LinkedIn is about consistency.
Why? Because when you are building your brand out, you need to stay around in front of your audience as consistently as you can. However, we also understand that you may not be able to do so as regularly as you may want to.
This is where automation comes in.
Putting together a meaningful post for your audience can take significant time.
At MYCRO, our recommendation to entrepreneurs, coaches, and founders focusing on personal branding is often to subscribe to automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to be able to schedule their content.
This consistency helps your audience continue to engage with you even on your busiest days.
Establishing a brand around yourself is a great way to pave way for your audience to discover your business. Today, marketing has changed, quite a bit. Your audience is likely to support a business that has a concrete story behind its establishment.
We know VaynerMedia because we know Gary Vaynerchuk.
We know SpaceX because we know Elon Musk.
Personal branding is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. While other CEOs and Founders may be too busy to interact with their audience and get to know them, you will be right there in the middle of your audience, facing tough questions and adding value to their lives.
LinkedIn is a great way to establish your brand. It is a network with no other distractions and far less judgment than any other social media platform.
If you want to start focusing on your personal brand, start with LinkedIn and build a LinkedIn strategy that you are comfortable in executing. As a solopreneur, establish a strategy fit for your audience.
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