Are you ready to build your personal brand? One of the most effective methods is to use LinkedIn – and by use, we don’t just mean “have a profile.”
LinkedIn provides a helpful array of tools to build your own personal brand, reach more people, and even drive traffic to your site or blog.
Here are several of the key building blocks to pay attention to when building your social identity.
1. Building Up Your Profile
The LinkedIn profile creator is much more in-depth that profile makers on other sites – even networks like Facebook.
This throws many first-time users off: They often put down the bare minimum and then ignore this section for some of LinkedIn’s flashier possibilities.
This is a mistake – your profile is the heart of your experience, and the primary driver for a large number of LinkedIn advantages, like who notices your profile, what groups are recommended, and of course which clients decide to contact you directly.
Building a proper profile takes time. You should go into more depth, not only about your work experience, but about the precise projects, recommendations, and awards that came with it.
LinkedIn has excellent tools for displaying your portfolio online, but if you don’t use them then people cannot see what you have done.
Get ready for a lot of uploading, and set some time in your schedule every few weeks or months to update your profile with the latest.
2. Networking And Groups
Obviously, you should work on connecting with as many people as possible over LinkedIn: While other social media networks appeal to broad demographics, LinkedIn is strictly professional, so every contact you make is worthwhile – there are no “meaningless” friends here.
You have several options for connecting to specific people: Start with searching for potential business contacts and alumni that you may know.
LinkedIn pulls this info from many different sources and gives you many connection opportunities. If you would like to know a particular contact that you’ve never worked with professional, you can also ask for a digital introduction!
The other side of this process is Groups. LinkedIn Groups form around a particular business field, effort, project, or interest.
Needless to say, there are a lot of them, and the best ones provide many connection possibilities. Join groups that look well populated and active with interesting discussions.
3. Starting Conversations
LinkedIn is not the place to stay silent. In fact, one of its best tools is the ability to start a conversation. You have several tools to do this. One is the typical “update” which acts a lot like a Facebook post.
Another is a group discussion, a more useful tool for your active groups where you can categorize the discussion and have many people comment at once.
Finally, you can also publish your own blog posts on LinkedIn, which can be the center of comments or group discussions of their own.
These tools – especially the last two – are an excellent way to start building your personal brand and learning a lot of great customer service tips along the way.
4. Participating In Discussions
We didn’t mean to insinuate that you always have to start conversations. Another excellent tactic is finding group discussions that are already ongoing.
Pick discussions that are you are interested in or that play to your strengths, and add your voice. Remember to be polite and to say something worthwhile in these discussions: Linking to your own articles or discussions is all right on occasion, but don’t do it every time.
5. Following Your Industry
On a more conceptual level, LinkedIn is great for following your industry and learning more about the latest trends – fuel for your own blogs, projects, and ongoing expertise. One of the best tools here is Pulse, LinkedIn’s own professional, magazine-like news aggregator.
Your end goal should be to eventually be featured in Pulse, but this can take a lot of work! For now, just keep up on what people are saying in your industry.
6. Paying Extra
There are options to pay for extra LinkedIn services, like Premium accounts and on-site ads. Are these worth when building your personal brand? It depends…but probably not at first.
Your first goal should always be to build a localized, personal community of friends and fans who can help you out. Later when, you are ready to expand your network in new ways, hire employees, or enter more professional relationships, considering using the more elite services.