The days of using LinkedIn as your virtual CV are long gone. Today with over +500 Million LinkedIn users across the globe- comprising of businesses, experts, influencers, entrepreneurs, employees, employers, freelancers and professionals from all walks of life- it has become much more and much bigger than just that. Not only is it opening-up the doors to enormous knowledge, business contacts and renowned experts but it is also giving you the access to a melange of global opportunities by building your own personal brand—and this blog will tell how to do just that.
The powerful professional hub that LinkedIn is, imagine the massive opportunity that it presents to you to share your voice and share your professional story with the world and- be heard. Cultivating and building a credible personal brand on LinkedIn is exactly how you can do it.
A personal brand is essentially a promise that an individual or company stands to deliver as a brand- be it an expertise in a specific area, core competency in a specific domain, leadership or any other promising attribute. As a professional in this digital age, cultivating a cohesive and trust-worth personal brand is not just important, but critical. More so, it is of particular importance if you’re in the process of job search and want to attract the right opportunities your way because job searching in 2019 will be different and you need to know how. According to the recent stats as shared by Small Business Trends:
How to use LinkedIn as a powerful personal branding tool?
So now that you know why is it important to build a personal brand on LinkedIn, the next stepping stone inevitably is to find out how to build one for yourself like a pro and that is just what we are going to achieve starting with the below steps:
Pro Tip#1: Identify what are your key strengths and skills
How can you promise to provide something that you yourself not have? The simple answer is you can’t or shouldn’t. So in order to express what you can do professionally or what your expertise are, you first need to find out what is it that you’re good at and a good place to begin is listing what your key strengths and skills are because it is your key strengths and skills that is what you’re essentially going to offer. A simple way to find that is through your career stories. By going through your career stories, I mean by revisiting and detailing out all the professional incidents where you skills came to the forefront and courtesy to them, you solved that problem or managed that situation. Write it down, find out what made you stand-out. These are exactly what your key strengths and skills are.
Pro Tip#2: Identify your target audience
Next, now that you have your key strengths and skills identified, it’s about time to match these with the relevant employers and prospects. This very naturally makes up for the subsequent step to identify your target audience. As an example if you’re a job seeker looking to tap in to promising new job opportunities in UAE, then as a first step you need to identify your target audience and gain a fair understanding of the job market in UAE. This will help you figure the right direction for yourself and map yourself to the right opportunities. Questions such as- what are the most sought after skills in the UAE? What are the most booming industries? The major news and reforms that can or are in most likelihood going to influence the job market- are just a few valid questions just to give you a few prompts.
Pro Tip#3: Complete your LinkedIn profile covering all the details, with clarity
Finally here is where all the execution begins. All the exercises and blueprints that have been shaped up so far, it is here that it all comes to an amalgamation to set the tone for who you are, what you have to offer, your values, your expertise and what is it you’re actually looking for. Empower yourself to make the most of this platform as a powerful tool for a targeted and intentional job search or business. You can always take reference from how people are showing their unique attributes and make it a reference point to then decide how do you want to be seen. Though this is good as a beginning point but in the process of doing that, never should you miss out on project what is your original authentic voice. What I mean is that it’s good to be influenced positively in a way that helps you grow but don’t let that influence overshadow your own true authentic voice that you have, that every individual has. In the end, your authenticity is what will make you stand-out.
Pro Tip#4: Engage with the right people
After completing your LinkedIn profile and optimizing it with the right skill-specific, industry-specific keywords, it’s now time to get the ball rolling by engaging with the content and the people who will be your right audience. A word of caution, if you will randomly go about engaging with everything that catches your eye on LinkedIn then probably you’re going to send mixed signals to everyone who sees your activities (cookie point- it’s a unique feature of LinkedIn that it shows all of your connection in their feed about what content their connections are engaging with and how). Mixed signals in general can go either way however when talking in terms of your profile and activities, if that’s going to send mixed signals or confused participation, then that’s absolutely detrimental and damages your personal brand.
Pro Tip#5: Contribute through relevant posts, articles and comments
As next step, start writing posts and speak your voice to share your career stories. Be it day to day stories or how you have/ can help and how is it valuable. Write well-researched, well-crafted articles on LinkedIn and publish it. Try to establish a connect through posts and by engaging through comments. Sharing your professional experiences, views, opinions on the subjects that you specialise in, stories and ideas or content that aligns with the light that you want yourself to be seen in, while being authentic. A point that can’t be emphasised enough is that personal branding is an effort to best represent what you already are, who you are and what potential do you have. It in no way should be perceived as an image that you want to project.
Pro Tip#6: Share other people’s work, build your community
Focusing on yourself is good but just focusing on yourself without caring one iota about what people around you are doing, then you just sailing all alone with no one beside. After all as the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The same applies when you think in terms of creating a personal brand on LinkedIn since your LinkedIn engagements too are very much part of your profile. Going with this construct, try not to be overtly self-obsessed or too self-indulgent that you’re too busy just promoting your skills. It is highly recommended to share and engage on other’s relevant that resonates with you. This is the only way to built a community or become a part of one. Eventually people will start noticing your interest in them, they will start taking interest in you– what you are saying, what you are doing and what you can do.
Pro Tip#7: Be consistent
Building personal brand that’s well modulated for yourself takes time and this is where consistency plays a crucial role. Many people follow-through until the above but the fire somehow boils down by the time they reach this step. A good point to remember will be that good things take time and just like all good things, this will too. Persistence and consistency is the key. If you’re following the above steps then you should know that you’re pretty much on the right track and now all you got to do it to keep doing it. The needle eventually will turn towards you. So be patient and be consistent.
Pro Tip#8: Monitor people’s response and engagement and refresh your strategy
Post your following the above steps for a considerable amount of time, things should start to fall in perspective. Since you’ve been checking in all the boxes, it’s time to evaluate the response that you get after following these steps for a good six months. You need to discern if your content and engagement strategy is working rightly for you by the engagement and response that you are getting. If you’re receiving a positive response then perhaps it is working for you indeed, and if not then you might as well try tweaking your content and engagement strategy until you hit the sweet spot.
Building a profitable personal brand online is not a sprint, and something that happens over night. Don’t aim for perfection early on. Instead allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and focus on providing massive value and over deliver to your target audience. Then you will get more clear over your message and brand as well. Always remember that!” – Navid Moazzez
About us Agile Consultants: We are a talent solutions company that focuses on tapping into the complete potential of individuals and organisations, our expert team works closely with clients and candidates to ensure best results. With over 20 years in the region, we have built a strong network of partners and affiliates, allowing us to assist job seekers and employers with the same passion.