Effectively promoting your personal brand can be the difference between growth and stagnation. Are you doing everything possible to leverage twenty-first century branding opportunities? If LinkedIn isn’t a prominent part of your personal marketing strategy, you may be missing a chance to build your brand.

Make a Memorable Impression

You only have once chance to create a first impression, so you have to make it count. In the past, the ability to forge memorable in-person connections set apart high-achievers from other entrepreneurs, lacking the magic required to make positive first impressions. In modern markets, driven by social media and hyper-communication, eye-contact and a firm handshake may not be enough to leave the best possible impression. Like it or not, your digital presence helps define you among clients, collaborators and prospects.

In her recent Entrepreneur article, contributor, Farah Bousaleh, explored some of the ways you can leverage professional social media platforms for entrepreneurial success. According to the author, LinkedIn can help you:

  • Boost your professional presence and fire up individual branding
  • Generate traffic and improve visibility
  • Spark leads and sales opportunities – HubSpot studied more than 5000 businesses, evaluating the effectiveness of various platforms, generating leads. According to the organization’s research, LinkedIn offers greater potential for drumming-up prospects than Facebook and Twitter do. Specifically, LinkedIn has been found to generate the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of the three major platforms, coming in at 2.74%, compared to Twitter’s .69% and Facebook’s .77%.
  • Get a better job – It is thought more than 90% of recruiters regularly consult LinkedIn for access to top-tier job candidates, viewing the professional platform as the most consistent online source for quality employment leads. The professional social networking site boasts 600 million registered users worldwide, leading to millions of interviews and hires tied to LinkedIn.
  • Expand your reach and make more connections
  • Earn a place on panel and conference discussions

Detailed Messaging for Your Personal Brand

The information you provide on LinkedIn garners immediate widespread exposure, so attention to detail goes a long way, promoting brand messaging. Users who get it right benefit from the site’s reach, but you can also undermine your brand by putting forth the wrong message. According to Bousaleh, successfully leveraging LinkedIn is all about correctly portraying your knowledge, vision, and achievements.

A well-crafted LinkedIn profile not only conveys structured personal data points, but the details shared on the site also provide insight into your level of confidence and determination, helping fellow users understand your commitment to career goals. The best profile sends the message your personal brand is

  • credible,
  • trustworthy,
  • reliable,
  • personal.

Don’t Hold Back

Entrepreneur contributor, Bousaleh, suggests beefing-up your LinkedIn profile by completing each section and adding videos, slides, and images that round-out personal descriptions. The content should thoroughly articulate your

  • skill set,
  • academic credentials,
  • professional achievements,
  • industry recognition,
  • diverse experience.

Sprout Funding logoAbove all, don’t hold back when building your profile; all sections should be completed, beginning with a good photo.

  • Profile Image – LinkedIn profiles that include a photo are known to receive 14 times as many views as those without the user’s image. A tip shared on the site recommends including a photo that looks like you, rather than staging a false impression. Though hiring a professional photographer guarantees good composition and proper lighting, a pro profile image may set you back a couple hundred dollars. If that’s not in your budget, enlist the help of a friend, using a digital camera or smartphone to capture a high-resolution image in “portrait” mode.
  • Summary – A compelling summary sparks interest in your brand. For the best results, focus on your personal vision for professional success, pitching your unique perspective on your individual role or that of your organization.
  • Headline – Similar to a feature article headline, an effective LinkedIn tagline makes people want to read more, rather than moving on.
  • Experience – Diverse experience is desirable, but this section should focus on only the most relevant aspects of your knowledge and history. Visitors shouldn’t have to sift through filler to reach the crux of your personal brand.
  • Skills – When promoting your skill set on LinkedIn, consider the solutions you hope to offer clients and collaborators, and then illustrate your unique skill set for getting the job done.
  • Education, Certification, Credentials – This section features your academic qualifications as well as identifying specific credentials earned, including license numbers and IDs, as appropriate.
  • Publications – If you’re published in your field, include links to the work.
  • Recommendations and Personal Endorsements

LinkedIn has a high Google PageRank, so customizing your profile can help your name achieve higher Google search rankings.

Words Choices Matter

Mark Twain famously wrote: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Though you may not channel Twain on your LinkedIn page, his suggestion does underscore the importance of selecting the right language.

Not only does well-conceived content boost authority and persuade visitors, but including the right language in your profile can also make it easier for others to find your page. Before crafting content, research the most-used keywords in your field, sprinkling them across your entire page. Including relevant hashtags is another way to expand your reach and increase visibility.

Sharing content and frequently posting strengthens your ability to influence others. Your efforts are further supported by a helpful LinkedIn algorithm that actually hand-picks content from connections, showing only what’s deemed the most valuable, relevant content to share. The result is engagement and interaction with a receptive audience.

Leverage a New Paradigm

LinkedIn offers opportunities to promote your personal brand – above and beyond the traditional resume format. Multimedia capabilities and the chance to share articles, publications, and your personal professional perspective are game-changers – make the most of the new paradigm by fully leveraging the professional social networking site.


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