How to Build Your Personal Brand with LinkedIn

LinkedIn for Branding

If you thought LinkedIn is just for salesmen looking for leads or job seekers trying to network, you're missing out on a strategic online opportunity to build your personal brand and grow and manage your connections and relationships. Today, everyone has a personal brand: who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is managing your online image
so you control your reputation.

You have a resume. You are on social media. Why should you also be on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the ideal complement to your resume and your social media profiles:

  • your resume lives on your laptop, where people and search engines can't find it
  • social media bio profiles are limited to around 160 characters, an image and a link
  • your resume is about your career; your LinkedIn profile is about you, your business, your career, your interests, your network... and more!

Your LinkedIn profile is not the same as your resume: both are professional career and skill summaries, but LinkedIn has a far broader reach and offers you the opportunity to share information and personality in a more personal voice. Resumes typically are very structured and one-dimensional, with limited space; while LinkedIn can be customized to showcase your personal brand using images, keywords and relationships.

5 Reasons You Need To Be on LinkedIn

1.  3rd largest social network
LinkedIn ranks right behind Facebook and Twitter for the number of active users, it just makes sense to be where potential clients and customers are.

2.  Ranks high in SERPs
LinkedIn profiles rank higher in search results than almost any other search criteria. Use basic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies in your LinkedIn profile to help your name rank higher on Google, including:

  • keywords
  • customized URL
  • frequent posts and group interaction

3.  It's Free
It takes a little time to set up a high-quality LinkedIn profile that stands out and communicates your brand, but the basic LI features are free to all users and visitors. There are paid LinkedIn upgrades including paid advertising and premium account memberships.

4.  Features
LinkedIn offers unique opportunities to interact with other users and build your visibility and authority.

  • Pulse is LinkedIn's blogging platform where you can post articles relevant to your industry and audience. LinkedIn users typically search LI for information relevant to their needs, and you can showcase your expertise by publishing original content that is meaningful to your target audience.
  • SlideShare is a professional visual presentation social network that attracts a large audience. SlideShare is its own network, but since it was acquired by LI users can now feature SlideShare decks in their LinkedIn profile and highlight their accomplishments and skills.
  • Groups are smaller networks of LinkedIn members where you can amplify your message outside of your personal contacts, demonstrate your expertise and identify new relationship opportunities.
    • Be useful: Share articles relevant to the Group topic.
    • Be helpful: Reply to other group members' questions and give information and advice.
    • Be strategic: Join groups that can build new relationships as well as nurture current relationships. For exam

5.  References
Endorsements and references are an opportunity for other LinkedIn members to publicly acknowledge your skills and services: and for you to recognize and endorse your connections. Giving and getting references is a powerful LinkedIn tool to promote your brand and develop new relationships.

This infographic from PR Daily is loaded with tips and strategies to optimize your LinkedIn profile:

personal branding: LinkedIn Profile Infographic

Build Your Personal Brand!

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