A guide to creating a personal brand on LinkedIn
A personal brand has been an important part of the digital marketing conversation since 2008. And there’s a pretty good reason for it: people don’t like to do business with other companies, people like to do business with other people.
A study shows that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over companies any given day.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an entrepreneur or a business owner; it is important for you to create a personal brand that can be leveraged to increase the likelihood of success of your marketing efforts. I will briefly mention some of the benefits a strong personal brand can bring your business:
- It helps you grow your pipeline and get more attention to your offers and services.
- It allows you to create a following (your online tribe!).
- Supports the development of a long-term business.
Even with all those benefits, people still don’t take advantage of this foundational strategy. There is a huge misconception that personal branding is something limited to companies with millionaire budgets in advertising.
Luckily for you, there are lots of free tools at your disposal, such as social media, videos, blogs, webinars, and much more. Among them, the most important platform to create personal brands in the B2B world (and depending on the circumstance, the B2C world) is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn creates the opportunity to build a solid personal brand allowing its users to portray their skills in an online resume format, providing social media capabilities like image and video sharing, and even allowing users to engage in huge groups all geared toward one specific topic or industry.
To leverage LinkedIn, we have created a small guide that will assist you in your path to create a memorable and compelling personal brand using the platform.
Steps to Building a Compelling Personal Brand in LinkedIn
Identify your Target Audience – The audience is the center of your personal branding development. It doesn’t necessarily need to be clients or potential leads.
Gary Vaynerchuk (the grandmaster of digital personal branding) has created a huge audience composed mainly of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and everyday people, even though his company Vayner Media only works with multimillion companies.
Vaynerchuk uses his audience to create authority, which eventually leads to big companies being attracted to the way he manages himself on social media. In other words, by doing great marketing for himself to an audience filled with consumers with very different interests, he is showing big companies he can do the same for them.
So, your audience doesn’t need to be necessarily your client base. You need to choose if you will be creating content for other professionals, for an industry in general or consumers, depending on the niche.
Create and Execute a Video Content Strategy – Video is the way to go on LinkedIn. However, it’s not just any type of video. There is a specific video content type that is beginning to emerge in 2020 and it’s slowly increasing its effectiveness.
People usually think that by doing educational videos and ‘how-to’ guides, they are connecting with their audiences. This can be true in some instances, but the reality is the tides are shifting. People are growing tired of educational videos as a way to get to know someone. People are craving for a more personal and intimate connection.
When publishing videos, try to give your personal opinion over an issue related to your target audience. It needs to be convincing, sincere, and honest.
You can follow the following template when creating your videos:
- Begin with a question to the viewer (the hook),
- talk a little about the background and why you are asking that question,
- share your own opinion about it (this is the real value), and
- ask them to give their own opinions (call to action).
Post Consistently – Consistency is key for any personal brand. If you are not consistently publishing content, you will have a lot of trouble creating a loyal following. Your tribe must expect to hear from you at a specific time of the week. They will make room in their very busy agendas if they know you will bring value to the table.
There is no limit to the number of pieces of content you can publish each week; it’s going to be entirely up to you. Just keep in mind to be realistic with your expectations and try to establish a routine that your audience can adapt to.
The two things you should avoid:
- Self-Promoting Cold Outreach – Have you ever received a call from a medical insurance provider urging you to change your insurance to a better one (which happens to be theirs) out of nowhere?
That call probably interrupted something you were doing or worse: it interrupted a well-deserved nap.
Doing cold outreach on LinkedIn has the same effect on your potential clients. Each time a person goes to his or her inbox and finds your unsolicited business offers, you are losing a client.
Personal branding is all about attracting customers towards you, not pushing them away.
When you cold outreach, you are giving up on two pillar benefits personal branding will convey to you and your business in the long run: authority and positioning. If you seem like you are begging for attention and sales, it will be almost impossible to create a personal brand.
Spamming connection invites – LinkedIn is all about connections and sharing content that matters to those connections. But what happens when your network is full of people that you barely know, who happen to work on industries that are not even related?
One of the effects of sending random invites to strangers is it also diminishes authority and positioning. Not at the same degree as cold outreach, but you get the point.
What is worse is that if you decide to spam connection invites, LinkedIn might flag your account and considerably limit the number of invites you can send per day.
To evade this, try sending invites to people that share mutual connections.
LinkedIn is a great way to create your brand, even if you are in the B2C world. The sooner you enter the LinkedIn scene, the better for your business in the long run!