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LinkedIn Personal Branding: 10 Best Practices for Brand Growth

LI Personal Branding: Featured Blog Image

Key Takeaways/TLDR:

  1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile: Make your profile stand out with a professional and engaging photo, a headline that goes beyond your job title, and an ‘About’ section that tells your story and why you’re in the current chapter that you are. Sprinkle in keywords relevant to your industry to improve discoverability.
  2. Complete Your Profile: A fully completed profile can enhance your credibility and visibility on LinkedIn. Include all relevant details about your professional experience, education, and skills. Don’t feel the need to add every single volunteer experience, but choose the relevant ones.
  3. Engage Authentically: Regularly post valuable content, engage with other peoples’ posts, and maintain a genuine approach in your communications. Don’t spam.
  4. Build Strong Connections: Grow your network by connecting with relevant professionals with blank or non-sales connection notes, engaging in any groups that are tied to what you do, or leveraging LinkedIn’s ‘Alumni’ feature.
  5. Leverage LinkedIn Tools: Use Creator Mode, ask for recommendations from people that would recommend you, and try to acquire endorsements for skills you care about, to boost your credibility.
  6. Use Aware for Strategic Engagement: Track your performance, engage with your most active connections, manage comments, and integrate with your CRM using Aware. Take advantage of its custom lists feature to create a focused feed of relevant posts.

LinkedIn Personal Branding: Guide to Growing Your Organic Presence

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform, has become a go-to tool for growing personal brands. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, an industry expert, or a job seeker, LinkedIn provides a unique opportunity to establish your personal brand, engage with your target audience, and grow your professional reputation. But how exactly do you leverage this platform to its full potential?

This guide has you covered.

What is Personal Branding on LinkedIn?

Personal branding on LinkedIn refers to the process of demonstrating your professional reputation and capabilities. (That’s the key word, since you shouldn’t be trying to create the impression that you have capabilities you don’t.)

It’s about presenting yourself as the authority on whatever skills you have indeed built, showcasing your experiences, and establishing a distinct voice that reflects your personal values and professional goals. It’s not just about selling products or services; it’s about selling you.

What’s The Point of a Personal Brand?

It’s not about attention, and it’s certainly not about ‘bragging’.

A strong personal brand is a powerful asset in today’s online-centric age. It sets you apart in a crowded marketplace, helping you to stand out to potential employers, clients, and collaborators. By effectively managing your personal brand on LinkedIn, you can:

  1. Increase your visibility: A well-crafted LinkedIn profile can boost your online presence, making you more discoverable to the right people.
  2. Build credibility: Consistently sharing valuable content and insights can establish you as an expert in your field.
  3. Expand your network: LinkedIn’s networking capabilities allow you to connect with professionals around the globe, opening doors to new opportunities.
  4. Control your narrative: Your personal brand lets you dictate how you’re perceived professionally, highlighting your strengths and achievements.

Making Your Career Identity and Reputation

LinkedIn should not just be your digital resume that you dust off when you go to apply for a job; it’s a platform to tell your professional story. To make your career identity and reputation, you must communicate your brand effectively. Here’s how:

  1. Complete your profile: Fill out all sections of your LinkedIn profile – headline, summary, experience, skills, and endorsements. Be specific about your roles, achievements, and the value you bring.
  2. Update your LinkedIn regularly: Keep your profile up-to-date with your latest achievements and professional developments. This shows you’re active and engaged in your field.
  3. Share valuable content: Regularly post and share content that resonates with your target audience. This could be articles, blog posts, industry news, or – preferably – your own insights.

Monetizing Your Brand

Once you have built a strong personal brand on LinkedIn, you can leverage it to monetize your skills and expertise. Here are a few ways to do this:

  1. Consulting and freelance work: Showcase your skills and expertise on your LinkedIn profile to attract consulting or freelance opportunities.
  2. Speaking engagements: As you build your reputation as an expert in your field, you may be invited to speak at conferences, webinars, or other events. These usually won’t be paid opportunities, at least at first – but they help you multiply the effect of your commercial efforts!
  3. Digital products: If you can package your knowledge into a product, consider creating an online course, or creating a set of templates or other valuable downloadable, or writing an e-book. LinkedIn can be a great platform to promote these products. The “Featured Post” section can promote these in a static way to profile visitors, and you can also just plain Post about your products!
  4. Partnerships and collaborations: Your personal brand can attract partnerships and collaborations with other professionals or companies in your field. Opening up opportunities for you that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
Example "Featured" section where you can promote products or services to those that visit your profile.
Example “Featured” section where you can promote products or services to those that visit your profile.

Setting up Your LinkedIn Profile for Growth

Your profile is the start of all of your personal branding efforts.

As an example, which LinkedIn profile would you trust more?

This one:

or this one:

You would obviously trust the profile that has everything filled out and credibility in his space. Therefore you should make sure that you have as much credibility and information about yourself on your profile as possible, this will result in more people trusting you and ultimately growing your network

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Maximum Engagement

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is akin to polishing a diamond – each facet contributes to the overall brilliance. Let’s explore how to make your profile truly shine:

Professional Headline: Your headline serves as your personal tagline on LinkedIn. Rather than simply stating your current job title, consider crafting a headline that encapsulates your unique professional brand. For instance, a software engineering consultant specializing in AI might use a headline such as “applying ML to practical business problems // ex-Airbnb, OpenAI”.

Here’s an example from the revenue industry:

Profile Photo: A professional and friendly profile photo can significantly boost your profile’s appeal. Dress appropriately and choose a clear, high-resolution image. That doesn’t mean “be formal”, it means to meet your ideal customers where they are in terms of how they walk and talk.

Banner Image: This often-overlooked feature offers an opportunity to visually communicate your professional identity or passions. For example, a freelance writer might use a banner displaying a creative workspace or a few selected portfolio clients, with another friendly image of them on the right side.

Custom URL: Customize your LinkedIn URL to make it cleaner and easier to share. A personalized, “vanity URL” can also improve your search visibility and establish trust with people that visit your page.

Creating a Compelling ‘About’ Section

Your ‘About’ section is essentially your personal elevator pitch on LinkedIn, offering a snapshot of who you are as a professional. It also ideally should sound a bit more like a “story” than a list of facts and figures. It should be compelling, genuine, and provide a clear insight into your professional identity.

Here’s an example of a well-written about page:

In this example, the About section begins with an introduction of their business, highlighting its core mission – assisting B2B companies in achieving organic, sustainable, and profitable growth.

The ‘About’ section then delves into their customers’ needs and the solutions provided, effectively showcasing their understanding of their target audience. They cater to B2B SaaS companies seeking to optimize their funnels, professional services firms desiring to enhance their deal flow, and individual sellers or business owners who wish to boost their pipeline through LinkedIn.

RevenueZen is then positioned as both a strategy consultant and an execution team, emphasizing their ability to collaborate seamlessly with existing marketing organizations. This message is strengthened by sharing their ranking as a top SEO agency and sharing testimonials from satisfied customers.

Finally, they call out their services and their SaaS platform, Aware, encouraging viewers to reach out for growth on LinkedIn or to improve their B2B SEO.

When crafting your ‘About’ section, start with a captivating opening line that encapsulates your professional persona. Then, delve into your career trajectory, key skills, and significant achievements. Remember to make your story engaging – storytelling can be a potent tool for creating a memorable impression.

Don’t shy away from showcasing your successes and testimonials. They serve as social proof of your competencies and the value you deliver. Also, make sure to include a call to action, encouraging viewers to engage with you or explore your services.

Boost Your Profile with Skills and Endorsements

Adding skills to your profile can enhance your credibility and increase your discoverability for specific roles.

First, list your core competencies. For example, a project manager might list “Project Planning,” “Risk Management,” and “Team Leadership.”

Next, seek endorsements for these skills from colleagues, clients, or mentors. This adds credibility to your listed skills. Here is a preview of a well-optimized skills section

Approaching LinkedIn Like a Living Resume

Unlike a static resume, your LinkedIn profile is a dynamic platform for showcasing your professional journey. Regularly update your profile with new roles, projects, skills, and accomplishments.

In addition, actively engage on the platform by posting industry insights, commenting on relevant discussions, and joining professional groups. This can keep you top of mind within your network and expose you to new opportunities.

Remember, your LinkedIn profile is more than just a digital resume – it’s a platform to showcase your personal brand, connect with professionals, and foster meaningful professional relationships.

⭐ Pro Tip: Remember that growth doesn’t occur overnight, you need to be consistent with your posts and engagement with your community for months in order to grow your brand.

Building and Growing Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn: 10 Best Practices to Grow Your Account

While optimizing your profile is important to get people to connect with you, people aren’t just going to find your account, you also about actively engaging with your network, sharing valuable content, and positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Here are ten best practices to help you grow your account and elevate your personal brand on LinkedIn.

1. Make Meaningful Connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than just a professional networking site—it’s a platform where you can build and cultivate relationships that matter. The connections you make on LinkedIn can play an integral role in your personal branding journey, providing you with insights, opportunities, and a network of support.

To build meaningful connections:

Identify the right people: Understand who can add value to your professional life. This could be industry experts, potential clients, mentors, or even people whose career paths you admire.

Personalize your connection requests – or leave them blank: A generic connection request can often go ignored. Personalize your request by mentioning something you have in common, or a reason why you want to connect. If you don’t have a legitimately good reason to connect, such as a thoughtful insight or an actual friend/coworker that you both seem to know, leave the connection request blank! Don’t feel the need to pitch here, and you’ll be better off.

Nurture your connections: Building a connection is just the first step; nurturing it is what creates a strong relationship. Engage with your connections’ posts, share valuable insights, and occasionally check in with a personal message. Genuine helpfulness beats automation every day.

2. Network with Like-Minded Professionals

Just as in the physical world, networking in the digital landscape can be a catalyst for new opportunities. It can lead to new job prospects, collaborations, or even clients. But, networking on LinkedIn is more than just adding connections; it’s about building meaningful relationships with like-minded professionals.

So, where do you begin?

  1. Start with who you know: Your existing connections can be a gold mine for networking. Explore their connections and see who might be relevant for your professional growth. Don’t hesitate to ask for introductions – LinkedIn even has a feature for this!
  2. Engage with content: When professionals you admire post content, don’t just hit the ‘like’ button; leave a thoughtful comment to start a conversation. This will not only get you noticed by the poster but also by others who engage with the same content.
  3. Attend virtual events: LinkedIn often hosts virtual events and webinars. These are great opportunities to meet and interact with professionals in your field. You can ask questions during the event, participate in discussions, and connect with attendees afterward.
  4. Offer value first: Instead of reaching out to people asking for help or favors, try to offer something of value first. This could be a piece of advice, a relevant article, or even just a compliment on their recent work. This approach often leads to more positive responses and meaningful conversations.
  5. Follow-up: After you make a new connection, keep the relationship alive by following up. This could be a simple message saying it was nice to connect, a comment on one of their posts, or a message related to a discussion you had. The key is to show genuine interest and keep the conversation going.

Pro Tip: Networking isn’t about instant results. It’s about planting seeds and nurturing relationships over time. Be patient, persistent, and always approach networking with a genuine desire to connect and learn from others.

3. Build Relationships with Influencers in Your Industry

Influencers can be valuable allies in your personal branding journey. They are not just popular figures, but also thought leaders in their respective fields, and associating with them can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and credibility.

To build relationships with influencers:

Engage with their content: Thoughtful comments and shares can get you noticed by the influencer and their audience.

Reach out directly: A personalized message can go a long way in establishing a connection. Share your appreciation for their work, ask intelligent questions, or discuss their viewpoints.

Offer value: Whether it’s unique insights, a collaboration proposal that gives more than it asks for in return, or simply a different and thoughtful perspective on their ideas, offering something of value can make you stand out and make the influencer more likely to engage with you.

Remember that nobody is going to want to just work with you for free, you need to exchange some sort of value with influencers in order to build a connection with them. Give first, give again, give some more, then you might be able to ask for a little help in return.

This makes it super important to do research when reaching out to people to see what it is exactly that they may need that you can provide for them in exchange for a connection.

4. Use LinkedIn Groups to Expand Your Network

LinkedIn Groups are a good source of like-minded professionals and potential connections. They provide a platform to share ideas, ask questions, and form relationships.

To leverage LinkedIn Groups:

Choose the right groups: Join groups that are relevant to your industry or interests. Look for active groups with regular discussions, and those that aren’t simply spam-fests.

Participate actively: Merely joining a group is not enough. Participate in discussions, share your insights, and engage with other members’ posts. If you only join the group and don’t do anything, what’s the point?

Establish your expertise: Sharing valuable content and answering questions related to your field can help you establish your expertise within the group.

Using groups allows you to reach an audience you might not otherwise have access to and generate clicks to your profile, this is especially useful when you are first starting out and your account is smaller since you will need all the profile visits you can get.

5. Share Quality Content to Establish Your Expertise

On a platform swarming with professionals and experts, how do you stand out and prove your expertise? The answer is content.

High-quality, relevant content is a direct reflection of your knowledge and skills. It shows your connections and followers that you know what you’re talking about.

But remember, quality trumps quantity. Instead of focusing on posting frequently, concentrate on sharing content that provides value. This could be an insightful article related to your industry, a how-to guide, or even your own take on a trending topic.

Not only will your network appreciate the knowledge, but they’ll also be more likely to engage with your posts and share them within their own networks, further amplifying your reach.

6. Share Posts and Updates Regularly

Consistency is key in building and maintaining your personal brand on LinkedIn. Your network is more likely to engage with your content if they see it regularly.

To share posts and updates regularly:

Establish a routine: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or biweekly, determine a posting schedule that works for you and stick to it. Regular posts can keep you at the top of your connections’ feeds and help you establish a consistent brand presence.

Mix it up: Don’t limit yourself to one type of content. Share industry updates, personal achievements, thought-provoking questions, and interesting articles. A variety of content can keep your audience engaged and give them a fuller picture of who you are as a professional.

Engage with your audience: Your posts are a starting point for conversation. Encourage your network to engage with your posts by asking questions, soliciting feedback, or initiating discussions. Respond to comments and messages promptly to keep the conversation going and build stronger relationships with your connections.

7. Engage with Your Connections and Followers

Building a robust LinkedIn network isn’t just about making connections and gaining followers—it’s about engaging with them. Engaging with your LinkedIn network is a two-way street that can lead to meaningful conversations, stronger relationships, and even new opportunities. So how can you engage effectively with your connections and followers?

React and comment on their posts: When your connections and followers post content, show your interest by liking or reacting to their posts. But don’t stop there. Go the extra mile by leaving thoughtful comments. This can spark meaningful conversations and make you more memorable.

Share and tag them in relevant content: If you come across an article, a post, or a video that you think would interest some of your connections or followers, don’t hesitate to share it and tag them. This shows that you value their interests and are keen on sharing beneficial resources with them.

Send personalized messages: Every once in a while, reach out to your connections with a personalized message. This could be a congratulatory note on a recent achievement, a question about their work, or even a casual check-in. Personalized messages to your prospects can strengthen your relationships and keep you on top of their mind.

Respond to comments on your posts: If people take the time to comment on your posts, make sure to respond. Whether it’s simply thanking them for their input or engaging in a deeper conversation, your responsiveness encourages further interaction and strengthens your relationship with your audience.

Participate in relevant discussions: Look for discussions in your feed or in LinkedIn Groups that align with your expertise and interests. Participating in these discussions can showcase your expertise and make you visible to a wider audience.

Pro Tip: Make sure to try and reply to all the comments that you get, engaging with the people who interact with you is the fastest and easiest way to build relationships with people on LinkedIn.

8. Comment on, React to, and Re-share Others’ Posts

Interaction is a two-way street. Engaging with other people’s posts not only shows your interest and keeps you in the loop, but it also makes you more visible on the platform.

Here’s how you can actively engage with others’ content:

Comment thoughtfully: Don’t just comment for the sake of it. Instead, add value to the conversation with thoughtful, insightful comments. A well-written comment can spark further discussion and make you more noticeable.

Like and share judiciously: Liking and sharing are powerful tools for engagement, but use them wisely. When you like or share a post, it reflects on your personal brand. Make sure the posts align with your values and professional image.

Engage regularly: Make it a habit to spend a few minutes each day browsing through your feed and engaging with posts. Regular engagement can enhance your visibility and strengthen your relationships on LinkedIn.

Pro Tip: When you comment on someone’s post, make sure to add value on top of the post rather than just rephrasing what they said. By providing a fresh perspective on someone’s post you can get seen by a new audience that would otherwise not know about you, make the first impression memorable.

10. Ask for Recommendations and Endorsements

LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements can significantly boost your credibility and reinforce your personal brand. They provide social proof that you possess the skills you claim and are valued by your connections.

Here’s how to approach this:

Ask for recommendations: Don’t be shy to ask your colleagues, clients, or superiors for a recommendation. People are often happy to help, especially if they’ve had a positive experience working with you.

Be specific: When asking for a recommendation, guide the person by mentioning specific skills or experiences you’d like them to highlight. This can make it easier for them to write the recommendation and ensure it’s aligned with your personal brand.

Endorse others: Endorsing your connections for their skills is a great way to encourage them to endorse you back. However, ensure your endorsements are genuine. Endorse only for the skills you’ve seen them demonstrate. That goes likewise for you: if you haven’t demonstrated the skill, don’t ask for a recommendation in it.

Using Aware to Elevate Your LinkedIn Engagement and Personal Brand Growth

Traditional LinkedIn usage often falls into a pattern of inconsistent posting, liking a lot of posts, and endlessly scrolling through a feed that isn’t tailored to your business goals, but rather optimized to drive ad revenue. This can lead to distracted, unfocused engagement from you that doesn’t necessarily align with your strategic objectives.

Aware is designed to fundamentally transform this experience. It empowers you with tools to track detailed performance metrics, not only regarding your content but also your engagement activities like connection requests, DMs, and profile views. You can see who’s been interacting with your posts the most, which can inform your engagement strategies.

Here’s how Aware can amplify your LinkedIn engagement:

1. My Lists: You can create custom Lists of people you wish to engage with. The lists can be highly personalized, like ‘My Favorite Creators’ or ‘Potential Clients.’ Every time individuals from your list post, Aware presents you with a concentrated feed of their content, allowing you to comment quickly and efficiently without distractions. You can also create dynamic lists based on keywords, where all posts containing specific terms are displayed.

2. Community: This feature shows you the posts from people who’ve engaged with you the most, enabling you to maintain momentum by interacting with their content. This reciprocal engagement can increase the visibility of your content to them and their network.

3. Influencers: If you’re unsure whom to add to your custom lists, Aware provides pre-curated lists of influencers from various industries like Venture Capital, Sales, Marketing, Finance, etc. This feature gives you a head start in engaging with the right people.

4. Replies: This feature is a game-changer for high-engagement users. It collates all the comments on your posts in one place, ensuring you never miss the opportunity to respond and engage with your audience. This is especially useful for influencers and users who receive a high volume of comments.

5. CRM Integration: All your LinkedIn activities can be pushed to CRM platforms like Hubspot or Salesforce. This creates a comprehensive record of your LinkedIn actions, which can be particularly beneficial for sales teams to track their LinkedIn activities and see how these translate into meetings, pipelines, and closed deals.

The key takeaway here is that, with Aware, you can keep track of your engagement and stay focused on your LinkedIn goals, enabling you to grow your LinkedIn brand a lot more easily than you would otherwise.

🚀 Click here to start your free trial of Aware todayPower up your analytics, engagement, and sales game on LinkedIn.

Conclusion

LinkedIn offers a unique platform for professionals to build their brands, connect with potential clients, and foster meaningful relationships. With a user base of millions from diverse industries, it’s a playground for anyone looking to make professional connections, grow their business, or advance their career. However, to truly leverage the power of LinkedIn, one needs to understand and implement strategic actions.

Starting with a well-optimized profile, one can set the tone for their LinkedIn presence. A complete profile, packed with relevant keywords and a compelling ‘About’ section, not only improves visibility but also enhances credibility. The journey doesn’t stop at profile completion; instead, it’s just the beginning. Regular, authentic engagement with the LinkedIn community is vital, be it through posting insightful content, commenting on others’ posts, or simply sharing industry-relevant articles.

Building strong connections is another critical facet of LinkedIn, whether it’s through connecting with professionals in your field, participating in groups, or seeking recommendations and endorsements. The key is to remain genuine, provide value, and establish mutual respect in all interactions.

The path to LinkedIn success isn’t always smooth, and it requires consistent effort and patience. Leveraging tools like LinkedIn Publisher for long-form content and utilizing platforms like Aware can significantly streamline your LinkedIn journey. With features that help track performance, engage with the right audience, and integrate with CRM, Aware can potentially accelerate your LinkedIn growth.

As you embark on or continue your LinkedIn journey, remember that each interaction is an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to add value. Implement the strategies shared in this article, stay consistent, and don’t be afraid to try new approaches. Consider exploring how Aware can support your LinkedIn strategy, helping you engage more effectively and keep track of your activities. Start today, and watch your LinkedIn presence transform.

Nik