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With over 260 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for enhancing your personal brand. Your personal brand represents how you position yourself to those in the market and encompasses your reputation and how others view your expertise.
Whether we like it or not, our online presence can impact on our employability. According to a survey by Cross-Tab, 75% of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals reported that their companies require them to research applicants online. In the U.K. that number is slightly lower with 48% having a policy to research applicants online. The same survey also found that 86% of HR professionals in the U.S. stated that a positive online reputation influences a candidate’s application to some extent, and almost half of those asked said it does to a great extent. In the U.K., at least two thirds of those surveyed said it influenced an application to some extent.
Whilst building a personal brand takes time and effort, there are many benefits to doing it well. More and more people are using LinkedIn to build their presence online within their respective industries. With the opportunity to publish articles, join groups and connect with your peers, utilising LinkedIn well can help you build your personal brand and showcase your expertise.
Building a personal brand isn’t just for influencers! In many industries, people buy people. Business relies on building relationships and on your reputation. Whether your goal is to encourage people to work with you, to sell your company’s products and services, or to develop partnerships with other businesses, having a strong and positive personal brand can help you to achieve it all. By building your brand and showcasing your expertise, you can build your credibility and establish yourself as an industry thought leader, allowing you to create trust with your target audience.
Your personal brand also plays a part in your career growth too. With the increased demand for outstanding senior-level talent and the fact that tools like LinkedIn make it easier to access talent pools, competition for these roles is much more intense. By positioning yourself as an expert you can stand out from the crowd and open yourself up to the opportunity to be headhunted. Future employers or headhunters will explore your online profiles and quickly develop a perception of whether you fit the ideal candidate they are searching for.
LinkedIn is a useful tool for building a personal brand. Creating an All-Star profile is the best place to start. By re-evaluating various elements of your profile, such as your experience and adding recommendations, you can clearly demonstrate your expertise and the results you have delivered. We have created a useful LinkedIn Cheat Sheet Infographic to guide you through the process of making an All-Star profile.
LinkedIn is a professional, rather than, personal social network. It is much more acceptable to add people you have met once whilst networking or to add people you used to work with five years ago. The more relevant contacts you have, the more you can engage with the right audience for you. To interact with industry peers you aren't connected to, try joining relevant groups on LinkedIn and get involved in any conversations where you can add value.
Content creation is one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise, with 91% of executives using LinkedIn as a content source. By producing content that adds value to your target audience, you can become a thought leader. Documenting your day-to-day is a useful place to start. Photos from around the office, new products/service lines, thoughts on industry changes and pictures from events are all useful pieces of content to post to help build your reputation. Mohammed El-Erain, Chief Economic Advisor for Allianz, is a prime example of this as he regularly shares articles he has read, pictures from events he has attended and snippets of his thoughts on issues in the economy.
The next step is to produce thought-leadership content. Blogs can be posted on your company’s website, if relevant, or on LinkedIn through its articles feature and then shared from your profile. Video content is also worth exploring as it can result in higher engagement rates than blog posts on social media. According to LinkedIn, video is shared 20 times more often than other content formats. 30 seconds to 2 minutes is the most popular length of video with 80% of people saying they are happy watching videos of this length. When creating video content, consider adding subtitles to your videos to increase engagement as 80% of video views on LinkedIn take place without sound. Videos don’t have to be high tech and flawless as many users prefer relevant and timely reactions that add value, rather than waiting two weeks for a polished video.
Here is an example from Gary Vaynerchuk. The video isn't perfect, but the message in the content is clear and adds value to his audience. As a result, this post has had a high level of interaction.
Another useful example is Nicholas Thompson, Editor in Chief of Wired. He regularly posts about ‘the most interesting things in tech’. Many of the videos are self filmed without professional lighting, but again he imparts his knowledge, expertise and most importantly adds value.
Whichever content format you chose, remember to make use of relevant hashtags to help increase the reach of your content.
Posting content and sharing and commenting regularly helps to keep up momentum. If you only post once every three months, you won’t achieve the same awareness as posting regularly.
The CSG blog is regularly updated with relevant industry articles. Sharing content like this can save you time compared to producing it yourself. By adding your own commentary and opinion when posting you can still demonstrate your expertise in the sector.
In conclusion, building your personal brand can be hugely beneficial for your career and current business goals. LinkedIn enables you to position yourself as an expert and build a network of relevant connections. By authoring thought-leadership content and posting regularly you can help grow your personal brand and reap the benefits this brings.
If you need more advice on how to position yourself for your industry and the best ways to showcase your personal brand, ask our consultants as experts within their sectors.
For industry insights you can share and comment on as well as job-seeking advice and good practice from a HR perspective, follow the CSG company page on LinkedIn.
Foundation Inc, 48 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Statistics For B2B Marketers In 2019
Cross-Tab, Online Reputation in a Connected World
LinkedIn, Ready to get started with video ads on LinkedIn? Here are 9 things you need to know:
LinkedIn, Want to drive views for B2B video? Here’s what makes people watch
Business of Apps, LinkedIn Usage and Revenue Statistics (2018)