How Can I Effectively Use LinkedIn to Build My Personal Brand?
This might sound surprising, but I believe LinkedIn is one of the most misunderstood, underutilized tools today. It’s not just for job seekers, recruiters, and people who are obsessed with sharing motivational quotes.
Building your personal brand is something you’ve probably been told you must do by every freelance pro around. LinkedIn is an easy yet powerful way to make it happen. It’s all about finding or developing the right branding strategy. Start with these top-notch strategies anyone can handle.
Customize Your LinkedIn Profile
Many personal branding strategies on LinkedIn aim to pull people toward your profile. When they arrive at that profile, it should be prepared in a way that puts your personal brand forward.
Update your profile so it’s just as brand-specific and personal as your business website or similar mediums. Invest in professional headshots that boost your personal image. Upload a banner image that’s on-brand. While writing your profile’s content, stick within your brand voice too.
Post Content Regularly
As on any social media platform, LinkedIn users make themselves known by posting content. Every post should further develop and spread the brand you’re cultivating.
Create content that focuses on sharing your expertise while relating to your brand. It should focus on the niche you’ve chosen while writing in an on-brand voice.
To make the most of each post, keep posting often. Add recurring tasks to your task manager as reminders about posting regularly, ideally once every day. Not every post needs to be groundbreaking but keeping your name on people’s news feeds will further develop that all-important personal brand.
Network with the Right People
LinkedIn is pure gold for business networking. Everyone’s there for the same purpose: building their careers through social interaction
New to networking for freelancers? Start with LinkedIn groups. Find groups related to your industry, niche, skill, or other specifics. For example, as a writer who specializes in business as well as health and wellness, I find healthcare industry groups and entrepreneurship groups are the most helpful.
In those groups, start interacting, getting to know people, and building relationships. Don’t be shy about sending connection requests. The key is to interact publicly in the group to build your brand on top of doing more personal networking in the background.
Cross-Market Branding Efforts
As great as LinkedIn is, it shouldn’t be anyone’s only brand-building strategy. Keep up with updating your website, posting new videos, posting on other social networks, and so on.
To make all those marketing efforts more productive, cross-market them. Post on LinkedIn about your latest video, new venture, website addition, or other developments. In the meantime, include LinkedIn links on your site and social media profiles to drive traffic there too.
This does more than pulling more traffic to each of those brand-building channels or platforms. When people see your content in multiple sites or venues, it gives them a stronger impression of the brand and forms more of a personal connection. They feel like they know and trust you, which could lead them to become a client.
Engage with Influencers
There are influencers on every social media platform; LinkedIn is no exception. Personal brand building is the crux of what these influencers do. Not only can they serve as inspiration for your own brand-boosting content, but they offer interactive opportunities too.
Start engaging with their posts, especially commenting on them. This gets your name in front of more people (i.e., the thousands of followers that influencer has reading their comments). Be sure to keep writing in your brand voice while interacting and engaging, though, to further reinforce your image.
Publish External Blogs
Unless this is day one of business development research, you’ve heard how beneficial external blogs can be. It’s great to post blogs on your own website but publishing guest posts on other sites really boosts that online reputation, developing a more widely-known brand.
Not sure where to publish those external blogs? Start with LinkedIn. The platform’s “Publisher” feature lets anyone post an article.
Writing blogs like this in your brand voice spreads that brand even further to wider audiences, all while enhancing your site’s search engine optimization with a backlink and enhancing the brand’s online presence.
Rule #1 of writing for marketing, though: don’t forget call-to-actions. Always end each blog inviting readers to explore your website so they get a better feel for the brand and the services you offer.
Developing a Personal Brand on LinkedIn
Most people have only used LinkedIn here and there, looking for jobs on occasion. Sure, it helps employees find their next adventure, but it holds just as much benefit for freelancers too. It’s a place to develop your personal brand while forming connections with potential clients, cultivating an online presence, and becoming an established expert in your field.
If you haven’t used the platform to the fullest yet, now’s the time to start, especially now that so many people are spending more time online thanks to COVID-19. Begin with the tips above and build that brand!