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A guide to using LinkedIn for personal branding

  • GUIDES

LinkedIn gets a lot of attention as a marketing platform for B2B businesses and network-building tool for individuals. But it’s just as well-suited to people looking to grow a personal brand. 

 

Whether you’re a business owner looking to position yourself as a thought leader, an entrepreneur aiming to get more value from LinkedIn, or a content creator making the most of one of the world’s largest social media networks, a LinkedIn personal branding project is well worth considering.

 

Here’s our complete guide to using LinkedIn for personal branding, broken down into three simple stages.

 

Build a strong foundation

 

The first step in any LinkedIn personal branding project is to do the groundwork that will help you stay on track. Building a foundation of research and optimisation to work from means you’re more likely to find success as you start to roll out content. 

 

Develop your unique value proposition

 

The strongest personal brands are built on unique value propositions. To stand out and get the right attention, you need to decide what unique value you can deliver to your audience. 

 

That means you first have to determine who your audience is. This might be based on personal demographics, interests, job roles, or other identifying characteristics. When you know who you’re targeting, you’ll be an important step closer to figuring out how to target them. 

 

To arrive at the right personal brand value proposition, look for the crossover between your expertise and the needs or wants of your target audience. That’s where you’ll be able to deliver the most value – speaking authentically about something that your chosen audience cares about.

 

Optimise your LinkedIn profile

 

In the same way that a company’s website is the centre point of its marketing campaigns, your LinkedIn profile is the face of your personal branding efforts. Optimise it accordingly, making sure it represents your value proposition and is tailored to suit your specific aims.

 

There are a range of LinkedIn profile best practices to follow if you want your profile to perform to its potential, including:

  • • Writing a creative and well-optimised headline
  • • Using your summary to tell a compelling story
  • • Highlighting your key skills and examples of your work
  • • Building a strong collection of endorsements and recommendations
  • • Making your profile public to encourage more connections

 

A complete and comprehensive profile will ensure that any visitors can learn everything they need to know about you. 

 

And you can make use of LinkedIn creator mode to further improve your chances of success. Creator profiles have some key differences, including a reordered profile page, improved visibility across LinkedIn, and access to unique content mediums like newsletters.

 

Cultivate a consistent brand voice

 

Before you can get started writing and posting content for your personal brand, you’ll need to do some groundwork to establish a brand voice. This means figuring out what you’re going to talk about, and how you’ll talk about it. 

 

Start by brainstorming topics that relate to the crossover between your expertise and your audience’s interests that we discussed earlier. Look out for other personal brands operating in the same space and analyse their posts. What content performs well and what doesn’t?

 

Then, move on to crafting the perfect TOV for your content. This will depend on what audience you’re targeting and what topics you’re talking about. But keep in mind that LinkedIn content doesn’t have to be dry. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your personal brand voice. 

 

Nurture personal brand growth

 

Growing a personal brand on LinkedIn involves taking advantage of several different methods to reach other users. Combining all of them together is more likely to result in success than focusing on one alone.

 

Grow your network with smart connections

 

Growing a personal brand is all about reaching and impacting people. That means your success hinges on the scale and quality of your audience. Thankfully, LinkedIn is a wonderful platform for growing an audience, with over 900 million users to target.

 

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s vast and diverse user base by leveraging the connection feature. Aim to expand your network as a priority, connecting with relevant people and prioritising those that have an audience of their own.

 

This approach will increase your 1st order audience, growing your direct network. But it will also give you the opportunity to reach your connections’ connections. If one of your new connections comments on your post, their network will see it too.

 

Bear in mind that creator profiles have a ‘Follow’ button instead of a ‘Connect’ button, which might mean you get fewer people connecting with you. But you can still use the same approach to grow your audience, finding thought-leaders in your audience and following them to draw their attention your way where they can follow you for more content. 

 

Approach content strategically

 

Building a strong foundation for your personal brand and growing your network are important, but it’s not till you start actively posting content that you’ll start to see real results. To get the most from your efforts, take a strategic approach.

 

What that really means is to take the time to plan your content strategy, rather than just posting sporadically. This will help you make sure that all of your content is planned for maximum impact, contributing towards building a cohesive personal brand.

 

It can also help you to avoid losing steam. Planning a full content calendar ahead of time means you’ll never be stuck without ideas on a day you planned on posting something.

 

Leverage dedicated tools like Vulse to help you build a LinkedIn content strategy. Our Content Ideas Planner can help you find topics that your audience cares about, while our AI Post Generator can make it quicker and easier to draft them. Then, you can use our LinkedIn Content Scheduler to make sure you’ve always got your next piece of content lined up to go live.

 

Engage with your audience

 

Posting compelling, on-brand content might be the most powerful way to build your personal brand, but it’s not the only focus. Engaging with your audience by interacting with them in the comments of your own posts, or other people’s, is another great way to reinforce your position as a thought leader. 

 

It doesn’t just help you build your reputation, though, it can also lead directly to audience growth. The more frequently you appear in people’s LinkedIn feeds saying things that inspire or educate them, the more likely they are to follow you. Engaging with them in comment sections is just another avenue to boost your reach.

 

Track and optimize your performance

 

No personal branding project can be confirmed as effective if you don’t measure the results. Tracking your LinkedIn personal branding performance is important if you want to be able to make tweaks that will result in more success later.

 

Monitor profile analytics

 

Keeping an eye on LinkedIn analytics is the best way to assess your overall performance. By analysing the data, you can determine which content works best to grow your audience and where you can improve.

 

LinkedIn offers a basic analytics dashboard to view performance insights, which improves slightly when you turn creator mode on. But to get the most valuable insights, use a dedicated LinkedIn analytics platform like Vulse LinkedIn Post Analytics.

 

Our LinkedIn Post Analytics dashboard can help you get quick and easy insights into your content performance, giving you everything you need to revisit your content strategy and make improvements. 

 

Stay up to date with LinkedIn changes

 

Finally, make sure you’re tuned in to LinkedIn news to stay aware of changes to the LinkedIn algorithm or platform. These changes can open up new opportunities for growth, especially if you learn about them early.

 

Find a good source for LinkedIn news, like the Vulse blog, and keep up to date with what’s going on. This will help you jump on exciting developments quicker than your competition, giving you the chance to boost your personal brand.

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