When I share stories of famous personal brands in my workshops and presentations, I don’t often refer to social media. Now that may surprise you because personal branding is inextricably linked with social media. It is one way to stand out. Having started with personal promotion and self-marketing many years ago from a background in public relations, social media was just an add-on to mainstream media. Now if I still had that view I’d be kaput like Kodak and countless other brands that didn’t keep up with the times.
A strong social media profile that showcases your expertise, thought leadership and shines a positive light on your personal brand is vital to standing out in a crowded marketplace.
When I get enquiries for my services, like most business owners I ask where they heard about me. Increasingly these days the initial contact has been made through LinkedIn. You could choose to be across a number of social media channels depending on your particular job or business situation. However, for most professionals working in a business environment and for emerging and established business leaders, LinkedIn is the “go to” social media channel of choice.
One common misconception of LinkedIn is that you are only on the site if you are looking for a job or looking for a candidate. Yes, there are many job seekers and recruiters but anyone in business who wants to succeed should also be showcasing their brand and what they do. Whether you are a CEO or a new starter, stating your brand position can open up possibilities and lead to new opportunities.
Here’s five quick tips to help your LinkedIn profile – shine.
S – Summary. This is the first part of your content that is read by others and should sum up who you are and what you do in a compelling way. It is what you are doing now or have done most recently and put forward with personality to your target market. To make it stand out use paragraphs with headings and/or bullet points. Include all your specialties using your key words and include contact details.
H – Headline. Say what you do. Use four to six words that sum up your unique expertise. E.g. Senior Product Specialist u Business Development Executive u Event ManageruTravel Editor u Best Selling Author – play it big. Headshot is also very important – make sure you definitely have one and it is professionally photographed. Read my blog on Personal Brand Photos.
I – Interesting. Include elements that will help your profile stand out. Include updates on items of interest to you and your target market. Write LinkedIn posts. Visuals are eye-catching. Videos, copies of publications, articles or books you have written, examples of certificates or awards. Include logos of companies you have worked for.
N – Notoriety. Back up your experience and expertise by including valuable third party endorsements. Include recommendations from clients or former employers. Make sure your recommendations are relevant and only include endorsements of skills that you want to include. Don’t have too many – just the ones you want to be known for. Use keywords in your summary and descriptions that you want to be known for – this will help optimize searches.
E – Experience. This is the part that looks more like a resume and details your experience and timeline.Include everything that is relevant to you from your past that highlights your knowledge, background and expertise. Factor in education, qualifications and additional experiences such as being involved with associations or boards. Don’t just upload your resume – consider that LinkedIn is really a self-marketing tool. What do you really want to be known for?
A thorough LinkedIn profile will take time to write so I suggest doing that offline and only update once you are completely satisfied. By the way you can turn off your activity settings in your privacy controls so people will only see your updated activity when you are complete.
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Read last week’s blog How to Take a Step by Step Approach to Standing Out