This is the third and final article in our “Personal Branding on LinkedIn” series. If you just dropped in, check out the earlier articles about best practices for LinkedIn profile optimisation and tips to curate and create compelling content on LinkedIn.
What comes to mind when you think of personal branding? Many people would say personal branding is how you express your identity and portray yourself to others. That’s not wrong – but it’s also not the full story.
One long-term goal of branding is to build loyalty, and for businesses, it typically begins with gaining a solid understanding of customer needs and identifying the best way to communicate with them. Likewise for personal branding on LinkedIn, setting up a polished profile and sharing content regularly is just a start.
In addition to the one-way push of information from publishing posts and articles, you can further elevate your personal brand by engaging with people and continually expanding your network. The building of mutually beneficial relationships will open doors to more professional opportunities, such as landing your dream job, booking a speaking engagement or securing a profitable business partnership.
Why you should engage with others
With organisations around the globe implementing flexible working and remote working measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, LinkedIn stands out as an ideal platform to maintain interactions with your colleagues and other professional contacts. If you usually scroll through your LinkedIn news feed like a silent lurker, now is the time to engage with connections by liking, sharing and commenting on their online activity.
Oftentimes on LinkedIn, people’s updates are centred around professional milestones such as a new job, work anniversary, promotion or farewell. Take a moment to respond to these posts with a heartfelt congratulations or kind, uplifting remark. Connections who are appreciative of your encouragement are likely to reciprocate when you have a next professional milestone to celebrate!
When you come across content in your LinkedIn news feed that resonates with you, don’t be afraid to engage by sharing your perspective or relevant personal experience. This exchange of ideas could lead to a deeper discussion while strengthening your presence on the platform.
If you offer advice to others, remember to do so tactfully and remain open to alternative viewpoints. The beauty of social media lies in the wealth of collective knowledge and shared experiences, as well as the conversations that can be had despite the limitations of geographical distance.
In addition to interacting with your current followers, it’s a good idea to be on the (continual) lookout for opportunities to build your network. Check LinkedIn’s suggestions under “My Network” to connect with friends, classmates, colleagues, industry leaders, clients, vendors and other professionals you may know.
The importance of expanding your network
A simple method to extend your reach to the wider LinkedIn community and potential new contacts is by searching for trending hashtags that are relevant to your work experience and interests, and then commenting on some of the resulting posts. For example, if you’re a human resources director, a quick search for #RemoteWork or #WFH will lead you to discover timely conversations you can contribute tips and insights to. Leaving a thoughtful comment on the post of someone you’re keen to know helps break the ice and increases the chances of them accepting your invitation to connect.
Be part of the conversation! Source: LinkedIn
When connecting with someone new, customise your request by visiting their profile and clicking “Connect”. This gives you the option to include a personal note rather than sending a generic request. If you’re getting in touch with this person for the first time, use the note to explain why you’re interested in making their acquaintance and how you could be of help in the course of their work.
Once someone accepts your invitation to connect, a quick way to build rapport is by endorsing their skills on LinkedIn, especially if you have a prior or existing working relationship with them. If the person is a fresh contact, start developing a professional relationship by sending them a direct message after connecting. For example, you could send a quick hello along with an interesting article relevant to their field of work, and continue the conversation by offering to introduce them to someone you know for a further work-related opportunity.
It’s important to remember that personal branding matters at every stage of your career. So no matter where you are in your career trajectory, take the time to maximise your presence on LinkedIn by optimising your profile, creating and curating compelling content, and engaging with others.
Need some inspiration on what to post on LinkedIn? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime – we’re more than happy to help.