If you’re not familiar with the term “personal brand,” it’s a self-marketing strategy that helps people differentiate themselves from others in their field. For example, if someone has been blogging for years and posts updates regularly about entrepreneurship on their site, they’ve built up a reputation as an expert within certain circles. Having a personal brand allows them to market themselves more effectively by offering advice or insight to entrepreneurs, which can lead to business opportunities or speaking gigs.
Before LinkedIn, I used Twitter as my platform of choice for marketing myself as a blogger, writer and marketing consultant. And while my career has evolved tremendously since then, many aspects of how I approach social media have stayed the same.
“In a knowledge economy, a person’s real worth is the sum total of his or her knowledge capital. So being able to develop and maintain your personal brand on LinkedIn is vital.”
According to Peter DeCaprio linkedIn has become an essential tool for job seekers, marketers, educators, small business owners and others looking to increase their visibility in today’s ultra-competitive world. If you’re going to be successful using LinkedIn as part of your career rebranding strategy, it’s important not only that you understand how other people perceive you but also that you’re aware of what other professionals are saying about you online.
In this article we’ll take a look at some tips from someone who has been very successful at this: prolific blogger and author Chris Brogan.
1. Establish your personal brand on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is all about your professional image, so being able to develop and maintain a personal brand identity over time is vital if you want the site to be more than just another place where people go to look for jobs or seek business contacts. The good news is that this is relatively easy to do with some simple techniques that are backed up by powerful social media tools such as Hootsuite.
2. Use LinkedIn to network
When most people think of networking they automatically think of tactics like attending conferences and connecting with strangers in bars (I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed either), but there’s no reason why you can’t find the ideal contacts on LinkedIn. All you have to do is find out who they are, find a way to contact them and then, over time, build relationships with these people based on your knowledge of their interests and industry.
3. Use LinkedIn for internal branding
In addition to creating a personal brand identity with the help of strategies such as content marketing, YouTube videos or even a blog, make sure you consider how your actions reflect upon your company as a whole. People look at what employees post online all the time – not just when they’re using social networks – so if you treat LinkedIn like an extension of your desk job it can be incredibly effective as part of your career rebranding strategy.
4. Be helpful
LinkedIn isn’t just about making contacts and networking; it’s also about helping others with the hope that at some point they will help you. If you can turn your LinkedIn contacts into friends then the entire better, but even if you never go that far just being approachable and willing to help is enough to get people talking about you in a positive light.
5. Keep an eye on what people are saying about you
One way of making sure that other users aren’t misinterpreting the information about you which appears on LinkedIn is to monitor your online reputation using tools such as Google Alerts or Social Mention (a real-time search tool). Don’t worry too much if there are negative results – they’re pretty easy to remove once identified – but remember not to over share on LinkedIn because the consequences can be pretty embarrassing if you haven’t been as careful as you first thought.
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
There are so many people who have used LinkedIn to rebrand themselves in a positive way that it’s impossible for me to list them all, but if you’re interested in finding out more about the strategies of one particular expert I’d recommend that you read “The One Number You Need to Grow” by Chris Brogan.