Building a Professional Brand
You're already familiar with LinkedIn and most of you reading this have a profile. And there are plenty of reasons for it – LinkedIn is one of the world's most popular social media sites and an important platform for business development.
LinkedIn can be used to find new customers and partners and promote your products and services if you are a business owner. In addition, LinkedIn is a great place to start your search if you are looking for a job.
I've been helping people with their LinkedIn profiles for a while, and I'm no longer surprised when I come across one missing key information. I've learned that many of my friends and clients just aren't aware of the many features or are overwhelmed.
So here is my Top 7 list of key LinkedIn features to take advantage of.
Many clients don't immediately appreciate the power of the digital portfolio. After all, isn't that what LinkedIn is for?
Not only do portfolios allow you to add some personality to your brand, but it also helps with search engine optimization. When someone searches your name (which is something both HR representatives and potential clients will do), you want to own the top of the search engine results page as much as possible. Of course, LinkedIn will consistently rank high but let's try to own as much of that digital landscape as possible.
And the beautiful thing about portfolio pages is that you already have a lot of content from your LinkedIn profile that can be repurposed.
Weebly or Wix are two fantastic website development services allowing you to purchase a URL (your name), design, and host a portfolio. In addition, they offer multiple pre-built templates that you can easily customize to fit your needs. (Extra points if you design a color palette reflective of your personal coloring.)
The portfolio can be a simple one-page affair that includes a biography, accomplishments, and a dash of personality. Use your LinkedIn profile to update your resume and have it as a downloadable PDF.
You can even use your portfolio to highlight (and make available) presentations, list associations you are a member of, and even record a video or two.
But just claiming your URL and developing a simple page will go a long way to establishing your brand and owning your digital identity.
Outside of LinkedIn, you have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, to name a few.
Let's start with Twitter. You should follow appropriate industry and media accounts and share a valuable post once or twice daily. This is a great way to connect with other professionals and establish your expertise.
Be sure to engage with your followers. Always be cautious of what you post. Any tweet will live long after the issue du jour you commented on will last. Cross-posting from your LinkedIn and a personal blog is a great way to be top of mind and engaging.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, & Pinterest. Unless you are a professional influencer or have a particular audience, lock them down. Only your close friends and family should have access and always be mindful of what you post.
As you can see, having a strong professional brand is important for a number of reasons. It helps you stand out from the competition, makes it easier for people to find and remember you, and allows you to communicate your unique skills and values to potential employers or clients.
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