Personal branding on LinkedIn isn’t something you can do in five minutes. You need skin in the game. You also need personal motivation and genuine enthusiasm to create an effective brand which pushes the right buttons for your viewers. Branding is not a hobby. It is a true vocation in many ways.
The core issue in branding of any kind is creating a brand image and backing up that brand image with quality and performance. On LinkedIn, the ultimate brand is you. LinkedIn personal branding is based on creating a very strong personal Linkedin profile views and supporting it with your activities and achievements.
We’re going to go through some of the issues related to creating a LinkedIn personal brand and customising it to your purposes. If you’re new to branding, you may be new to some of the concepts, so we’ll walk you through from start to finish.
Branding basics – Expectations and promises
Think about one of your own favorite brands. When you look at that brand, you expect certain things, and the promise of getting what you want is why you buy that brand. This type of branding applies to everything, whether it’s a drink, a book, or entertainment.
A few points at this stage:
- Your own personal brand works on the same basis. What do people expect from you? What can you deliver? What are your strongest “products”?
- Whether you’re an accountant or a lion tamer, the bottom line for personal branding is personal performance. Your branding therefore needs to point people at your best products.
- Brand quality is always a key issue. Think about the times you’ve been disappointed in a brand, and why you were disappointed in that brand. That’s another realistic situation that your branding needs to avoid at all costs.
Your brand and its audience
The next element you need to address is your brand audience. Who is interested in your brand? Why are they interested? What’s in it for them? What are their expectations?
As you can see, this information relates directly to the branding basics above. Remember that your audience are your customers. What they like, and what they don’t like, really matters to your branding.
How much do you know about your audience? If you’re a professional working in your comfort zone, you should know a lot about your audience. You should also be thoroughly familiar with the expectations of professionals in your field.
If you’re working in a new venture, and finding a way through a new product range, however, you need to be very mindful of audience perceptions and sensitivities. Best practice in branding is to test brand products, one of the time and check for response or lack of response.
Branding on LinkedIn
On LinkedIn, you are dealing with a very broad range of market interests. This website has just about every known profession on Earth, and you may be surprised at overlapping interests. A person in games development, for example, may be interested in scriptwriters, or a person in IT may need sales people.
Bear in mind that your brand relates to a lot of other brands. On LinkedIn, this is practical networking and practical business. Where do you find the people you need to find? On LinkedIn, of course. It’s that simple.
People who are adept at using LinkedIn know how to use it to get the best results. You can do more business on LinkedIn with a couple of messages and a phone call than you can with a full scale business presentation.
The key issue is this – Your brand is a business proposition to other people. You need to make your brand look good, and show strong indicators of high performance. That’s the absolute bottom line, and the better you do your branding, the more successful your LinkedIn brand will be.
A few tips
When creating your LinkedIn brand, don’t get sloppy.
Take the time to do a complete professional analysis of what your brand needs to be effective in the LinkedIn marketplace.
If necessary, get professional help with presentation materials and marketing, but get it right.
Don’t allow your LinkedIn brand to go stale, or look messy. Unless you can afford luxury of doing what you like, stay sharp and stay focused on brand image and management.
Image credit: http://jamesfgibbons.com/social-media-personal-branding-101/