LinkedIn: Personal Growth Guide for Professionals

In this digital age, every person is trying to build a personal brand.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Chris Ducker

LinkedIn Personal Branding

Companies and Individuals are trying to establish their thought leadership, highlight their culture and expertise, and elevate brand visibility.

Personal branding plays a crucial role in your success.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, everyone has a personal brand or image that affects the way others see and think about you.

That’s why personal brand and image are so important in determining if you’re successful in life.

 

What is LinkedIn and how it works?

Why LinkedIn
Image Source: LinkedIn

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 675+ million users across 200 countries & territories. However, many people still struggle to leverage LinkedIn, to build and promote their brand. The reason being many still consider it as a job searching platform and not everyone wants to be vocal enough due to their fears and insecurities.

LinkedIn is the gold mine which very few people try to leverage, and in this personal guide for professionals, I am going to reveal all that is required to build your brand on LinkedIn

We as marketers invest a lot of time and energy in building brands, and we are good with it. But how often do we invest the same amount of resources in building a personal brand?

Not many will nod a yes, to that question. Because not many of you who are reading this would have even optimized your LinkedIn profile until today.

The reason is simple because either we pretend to be busy, or it can sometimes feel egotistical or selfish to boast about oneself

However, when we avoid personal branding we are not only selling ourselves short but also miss a big opportunity from the marketing perspective.

If your LinkedIn strategy is limited to a personal profile—especially one with an out-of-date, bare-bones resume—it’s time to up your game.

 

Understand your objective:

LinkedIn objectiveBefore we go ahead and understand the aspects of an optimized LinkedIn profile it is crucial to know your purpose to be on LinkedIn

ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU DO AND WHOM DO YOU HELP, AND HOW?

There may be several objectives in your mind to put down a few

  1. Build a personal brand
  2. Get a dream Job
  3. Get more leads for business

It can be anything among the ones listed above but having multiple objectives will not help in the beginning. You have to round up on one objective which is on your top priority list and work towards attaining the same.

And trust me all these objectives are interlinked in the long run they will help you attain all your objectives if everything is done right in the beginning.

For instance, if you want to build a personal brand. You need to ask your self

who are you?

How can you help?

And Whom can you help?

These questions will make it clear for you the type of content you should put up on your profile and also help you identify the right target audience who will help you attain your objectives.

Once you build a personal brand you are more likely to get more leads or land up in your dream job as now your network has boosted. And the same goes for any other objective, as I told you everything is interlinked in the long run.

The ultimate goal is to get people to make the first step in communicating with you.

That might mean sending a request to connect, or it could mean someone clicks on a link in your profile.

In any case, your goal is to get people to reach out and learn more about yourself in some way.

I’ll share a couple of different ways you can make that happen.

 

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

LinkedIn Profile optimizationNow comes the interesting part, let me tell you 3 factors that make your profile stand out of the crowd

  1. Searchable
  2. Clickable
  3. Approachable

It is the same as how SEO works, The process of making changes to the design, content, link structure of a profile to improve its ranking and visibility in Linkedin’s search results.

Searchable, clickable, and approachable as they are self-explanatory terms, your profile should be made in such a way that it resonates with your audience and they willingly interact with you without any hesitation. Your profile should be welcoming to people and easy to access.

If you do not optimize your profile as per your target audience they will never be able to find you and all your efforts will go in vain. So having a good SEO optimized profile on LinkedIn is very important for your success.

Use your LinkedIn profile as a website. Convert it to a funnel.

An optimized profile exactly does that!

Below 10 steps will help you optimize your profile for maximum exposure

LinkedIn Profile Picture

The number one thing to take care of when optimizing profiles is your profile picture. Make sure you add a clean and crisp profile picture, not too professional, and not too casual will do the work.

Here are some quick tips to start with: make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, make up your face takes up around 60% of it. the focus is to appear the most professional and approachable.

LinkedIn Profile picture

 

LinkedIn Cover Image

Your Cover Image is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. It grabs people’s attention, sets the context, and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention, and reflect on who you are.

 

LinkedIn Headline

No hard and fast rule says your headline should only have a description of what you do. It is always good to have keywords in your headline as it will help you in getting a good SEO profile score and you will be easily found to people searching those keywords. Use the headline field to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick.

 

LinkedIn headline

 

LinkedIn About Section

You have 2,000 characters to describe what you do, and why potential followers should care. This is an important text, so get your marketing and content skills at best before crafting this piece of art.

While this may seem like a small detail to deal with, having a bio that isn’t filled out is causing you to miss out on another opportunity to interact with your target audience.

Add as many keywords as possible, be brief, and describe what you do and have a call to action at the end so people who invest their time take action to make their time worth it.

This is your most personal piece of content marketing – and it’s worth the effort.

LinkedIn about

 

LinkedIn Job Description

Many people again do not utilize this space and just mention their organization’s name and leave other things blank, it is important to describe your role and on job experiences. You can again add keywords related to your industry which can help you rake better. Also, there is an option to add media and case studies which can boost your credibility.

LinkedIn job

LinkedIn Featured Section

Add any work you’ve done that can be easily displayed on the platform. People tend to skip the Featured section where users can post sample work, articles, and links, which is especially important for professionals. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your online portfolio.

LinkedIn featured

LinkedIn Profile URL

Linkedin generated URL for your profile are very long and alphanumerical, this again can be optimized by adding relevant keywords which can boost your profile score

Trust me, if your profile URL ends with something like this 👉 in/Manish-Kakara-a964bda19be/

And not this,  in/Manish-Kakara/

It will kill your impression in the first place!

 

LinkedIn Endorsements and Recommendations

Endorsements give people viewing your profile a quick, visual sense of what you’re valued for. Recommendations take things a step further. They are personal testimonials written to illustrate the experience of working with you. Be proactive in managing your endorsements using the edit features in the Skills section of your profile – you can choose which to show, and which to hide.

LinkedIn endorsement and recommendation

LinkedIn Service Section

This section helps you to highlight the services you can offer and it is the best way to add keywords to your profile and also it helps recruiters identify your skill sets. The service section of the profile can also boost your profile visibility to the potential target audience.

 

LinkedIn Certificate Section

Last, in the certificate section, you can showcase your passion for learning, whenever you complete any course you get the opportunity to highlight it on your LinkedIn profile and share it with your community. It also helps build credibility to the skill sets that are listed on your profile and makes it easy to decide on any action for your target audience.

Certificate section

 

Managing your LinkedIn Connections

LinkedIn ConnectionOne of the easiest and yet most relevant ways to grow your LinkedIn network is to find the right target audience and connect with them.

One thing which people do not follow is, they send a generic connection request without any note attached to it.

And trust me it is not like any other social media account, LinkedIn has a limit to add only 30000 connections and an influencer in your interest area will not accept your request unless you make him know why you want to connect and what value addition do you bring to the table.

Also, keep in mind that not all your connections will interact with your content so there has to be a proper mix of the audience who can interact with you and whom you want to interact with.

If you are not using LinkedIn sales navigator make sure you leverage Groups and other people network. Be vigilant of people who interact with other people post engage with them and then invite them to your network.

Beyond this, get into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests – it’s a great way of keeping your network vibrant and up to date.

Here is a sample template which can help you start the connection game

 

Hey XXX,

I have been following your posts about Sales and Marketing for quite some time.

I appreciate the knowledge you’ve been sharing and would love to connect.

Thanks

Your Name

Next time do not send a generic connection request and you will see more people will accept your request.

 

Content, Content And More Content

You might be aware of the fact that organic reach is almost dead on every social media platform. But it is quite opposite on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn creates a ripple effect on every piece of content, not only your connections but even 2nd and 3rd-degree connections can view your content and interact with you.

It is the right platform where you can create content and make yourself stand out of the crowd, build your existence in this digital realm, and be known for your thought leadership.

It’s one thing to have a network of connections on LinkedIn – it’s far better to have an active role in that network, appearing in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds in a way that adds value for them.

Content is KingIf you ask me what is the formula to get the content trending on LinkedIn, then my answer will be there is no such formula only thing which matters is Consistency.

It is very simple just go out there and post content, you can write about trending topics, case studies, or about your personal experiences but go out there and consistently give value to your audience.

Some tips on content writing:

  • Avoid Bulky paragraphs
  • Break posts into smaller lines
  • Make the Post readable and mobile-optimized
  • Use 3-4 broad hashtags
  • Be Authentic, do not copy others content it is not a good practice
  • Use emojis as it makes your content more attractive
  • Add a Hook to keep your readers engaged
  • Call to action is must at the end, for your audience to interact with you
  • Keep it professional do not indulge in politics and religion
  • Do not share content from other platforms directly as LinkedIn will restrict your reach, always make native content on LinkedIn

Have something that builds curiosity

Something that attracts the attention

Something that creates the urge to know more

Focus on quality and “Post Karona” !!

 

Interact with you LinkedIn Connection

connectionSharing is great – but it’s just the starting point. When you add comments to other people’s posts, you give yourself greater prominence within the feed and start to express why you think a particular piece of content matters.

Well-expressed comments also enable you to share a broader range of content. It might be that you don’t agree with a point of view but still find it interesting, for example.

A comment that can express that viewpoint starts to establish your opinion and thought-leadership.

It’s also more likely to draw additional comments, which then raise your profile across LinkedIn. Bear this in mind when you’re writing your comment – and make sure you’re saying something you’re happy for people to associate with you.

 

Conclusion

 Guide to personal brandI hope I’ve rekindled your hope on LinkedIn.

Yes, it’s sort of boring.

And yes, it’s not as fun to use Linkedin as some other social networks.

But it does get excellent results when it comes to business.

So if you have a Linkedin profile and have not visited it for long, dust it off and polish it using these strategies that I have listed above

Few people use LinkedIn. That means you’ll be way ahead of your peers by taking advantage of a channel they’re not using.

I know this is not the most talked-about technique on the web.

That’s why I want to bring it to your attention.

Give it a try, and see what kind of success you get.

If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them in the comments.

What strategies do you follow to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile?

 

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