If you’re looking to grow your business, one of the best things you can do is to focus on your personal brand. But, if you’re like many people I know, you’re probably asking: where do I begin?
Well, as a leader here at BIGEYE’s Florida ad agency, I am committed to staying active in the community, and more importantly, I know that most people in my field and community are on LinkedIn. Right now, 300 million people are on LinkedIn, and those people come from 150+ industries and represent more than 3 million companies.
But, as we all know, we don’t tend to get a lot of jobs from LinkedIn alone. Getting jobs and clients is all about networking. Good thing LinkedIn knows that too, and strives to emphasize that the site is not just about trying to help you find a job through it’s electronic database, but is also about helping grow business development opportunities through your personal connections.
Therefore, if you want to solidify yourself as a professional in your space, it’s pertinent to have a presence on LinkedIn. But that’s the bare minimum. If you truly want to shine, you can use LinkedIn as part of your personal branding process, using it to display portfolio projects, to help improve your search rankings and to blog about topics related to your business.
For people interested in working with you for the first time, LinkedIn serves as your “elevator pitch” or value proposition. So, it’s important to treat it like one. If you have only a listing of past job titles and a bare minimum profile, you better have an excellent offline reputation or else people won’t know (or care) much about you when they read your profile.
With LinkedIn, the power of the technology is in the scale. If you were once sending newsletters to only your clients, you can now post them to LinkedIn for the world to see. In this way, LinkedIn can be a strong resource for helping you to build visibility in your chosen field. By blogging to LinkedIn, you have a built-in network of people who will see and read your content, which will help to build visibility for you and your business.
If you’re looking to build a strong professional reputation in your space via LinkedIn, make sure you use relevant keywords on your profile so people can find you. You never know when someone might search “hotel expert Orlando.” It’s in your best interest to make sure you’ve populated your LinkedIn profile with the right keywords to ensure your name comes up first.
Also, think about your photo. Does it tell people who you are, or is it just something you Instagrammed two years ago? Getting a professional headshot helps to solidify your place as a pro, and as we all know, first impressions count. Make the best one by presenting your best self in the digital space. But don’t feel like you have a wear a suit in your photo if your job rarely calls for one.
While brevity is important, LinkedIn is a place to highlight your accomplishments. You don’t have to brag, but it is important to build a strong presence by differentiating yourself from the norm. Post those items that impress the people around you. [quote]With all of your hard work, you’ve earned the right to showcase you expertise.[/quote]
If you haven’t been using LinkedIn as a way to convey your personal brand, now is the time. At our Orlando marketing agency, we know it is becoming more and more important to make sure that your digital footprint reflects your capabilities. Luckily, LinkedIn lets you be in control of that. So put it all up there: classes, past speaking engagements, Keynote decks, accomplishments and thought leadership blogs, and make sure that your online elevator pitch is the kind that makes people want to stay with you on that elevator – because they know it’s headed directly to the top.