Since its inception in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to become the central online community for business professionals, with more than 700 million members seeking to connect, network, grow personal brands, and further their careers.
On LinkedIn, your personal profile and content you share can serve to help people understand who you are and what you’re about before their first interaction with you. It’s your calling card, and your chance to virtually look someone in the eye and give them a feel for your skills, experience, career goals, personality, and professional journey.
Here we share five tips to help boost your professional brand, increase visibility, and improve your marketability in the new world of work.
5 Tips to Boost Your Professional Brand on LinkedIn
#1: Power Up Your LinkedIn Profile
First impressions are made in just a few seconds, but last far beyond.
Starting with a proper profile picture has been proven to help garner 14x more views. Choose an image that looks like you, taken recently (or at least within the past couple of years) that personifies your vibe — friendly and likable, focused, etc. For clarity, be sure you’re the only person in the image, and that your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. Also, don’t forget to say cheese.
Take the visual appeal of your profile one step further by incorporating a strong background photo (the banner image landscaped behind your name). This space is ideal for highlighting a hobby, sharing work from your portfolio, or featuring images of you interacting with others in a professional setting.
Next, optimize your profile for search. Let visitors know who you are and what you do — and help them find you in the first place. Include terms and phrases in your headline, summary, and skills that will draw in searchers with similar interests. What do you want people to know about you — or know you for — before they even meet you?
Be sure all of the sections in your profile are filled out — education, skills, credentials, and recommendations. Don’t leave anything left unsaid and leave it to chance: assume people read it all.
#2: Get Creative With Your Brand Story
When building your personal brand, authenticity is key. And that means adding the human touch.
Creatively spicing up your LinkedIn profile is your best bet to go beyond the rigidity of the “résumé as usual” must-haves like past experience and work history to give people a small sample of who you are, in your own words.
How did you get to this point in your career? Who did you learn from? What insights have you gleaned along your journey? Separate yourself from the crowd in the Summary and Experience sections with details, stories, goals, opinions, and humor. Don’t be shy about sharing your accomplishments and accolades.
Paint a picture of your professional makeup by highlighting skills — you can list up to 50. Be sure to align the skills you want to be noticed for with the skills employers are seeking. And ring that endorsement bell: Favorable recommendations from colleagues and past associates can carry significant weight for your future work relationships. Being generous in recommending others can often lead to reciprocation.
Bring your description to life with more than words: add videos, images, presentations you’ve worked on, or content you’ve created as part of a team.
Your value proposition can only be seen if people find you, so customize your LinkedIn profile URL to match to your full name. If that’s already taken, add qualifiers such as your position or specialty (Becky Smith, SEO Expert), or some other distinguishing label.
#3: Create And Share The Right Content
The phrase, “content is king” is no longer simply about the frequency with which you post. Because so much content is shared daily across LinkedIn and other platforms, enhancing your personal branding is about improving the value and relevance of your content to others you wish to reach. Frequency does still matter — you want to be a steady and consistent voice for your followers and connections — but it’s about quality over quantity.
Make the time to engage in meaningful ways through the lens of motivating, inspiring, or informing about industry trends. Think about ways you can be a source of value for your network. In our current business landscape, many LinkedIn members are seeking ways to upskill, reskill, or even simply educate themselves to leverage new opportunities in an evolving digital environment.
Stand out by not only creating content in the form of articles, videos, or blog posts, but by finding, sharing, and commenting on thought leadership posts by influencers and other respected professionals. This will help you spark and join conversations with others who follow these folks and likely share similar pursuits.
#4: Join In And Engage with LinkedIn Groups
There’s power in community. Join groups relevant to your industry or specific role by joining LinkedIn Groups to meet and interact with professionals whose interests and goals align with yours.
Of course, it’s not enough to merely join and observe: come ready to participate with comments and feedback on trending topics. Add valuable input and insight where you can. Share posts and tag appropriately to further engage members. Remember to keep your messaging positive and professional, even if you have an opposing take on a subject.
#5: Personalize Connection Invites
When you take the time to personalize connection requests, you’re displaying a level of thoughtfulness and opening the door to further communications down the line. Keep it simple and succinct, but include details about why you believe it would be mutually beneficial to connect.
Familiarity helps. If the person you’re connecting with doesn’t yet know you, help create context by referencing a mutual acquaintance or a motivation for the request (e.g., “I’m looking to add more local creatives to my network for inspiration on the feed”).
Elevate Your Personal and Professional Brand on LinkedIn
How you handle your LinkedIn profile, who you connect and engage with, and the content you share can all play vital roles in shaping your personal brand. Increase your visibility — and your marketability — by putting the time into refining and customizing your presence on the world’s largest professional network.
Looking for more insights and information about taking your personal brand to the next level? Be sure to subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog.