How can people use Linkedin to build a personal brand?
Today the people behind brands are now as visible as the brands themselves. This means building a personal brand should be something close to the top of every marketer’s checklist. There is no better place to do it than LinkedIn.
So why build a personal brand?
We know personal brand is a rubbish marketing term, but it’s also the best thing we’ve got to describe: ‘the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behaviour, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.” (Influencer Marketing Hub).
Ten years ago, the world had the ability to create a narrative about you and your company through traditional media. Your personal brand is your opportunity to reclaim that, both for the company you work for, as well as yourself. Your company gain a more human face, and you gain the ability to show your own voice.
A great personal brand can be the foundation for a great company – look no further than Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia and Steven Bartlett of Social Chain for proof.
Why is LinkedIn the best place to build your personal brand?
LinkedIn is an ‘upside-down’ social media network. While the likes of Facebook are killing organic (non-paid) reach of posts, LinkedIn is still giving it away (for the meantime). This could be because their model is different (Facebook relies on ads for revenue while LinkedIn has a paid membership option), or it could be that this is a time limited thing while LinkedIn gain more users.
In either case, it’s clear that the time to start posting on LinkedIn is right now. Recently, we held an in-depth session with the fantastic John Espirian on ‘How to not be a LinkedIn loser‘ and with Ash Jones on ‘How to build an incredible personal brand‘ in case you are interested in reading more about either.
Tips for posting & establishing your personal brand
Attitude when posting on LinkedIn – Give, give, give
The first thing to nail when posting on LinkedIn is your attitude. Simply put, you have to be there to give first, and receive later. Gary Vee calls it the ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’ – where the jabs are value driven content, and the right hook is an ask. While there is no golden rule, if you are looking to use the platform to ask for your own benefit, look to make no more than one ask for every 5/6 posts you put out.
As John Espirian points out in his talk: it’s also worth making sure commenting on other content is part of your LinkedIn routine. John suggests for every post you put out, aim to comment on at least five others.
What should you post on LinkedIn?
Your LinkedIn feed is a representation of you, so post things that represent your personality, values, and what you believe.
One tip for deciding how to do this is to pick two/three topics you are interested in being ‘known’ for. Ours for example, are marketing, relationship driven business, and kindness. When you sit at your desk in the morning, having these three topic areas will give you a starting point on what to post. Importantly – just remember that if you are being true to yourself, then you have nothing to be ashamed of with your posts – if you are not being authentic, our guess is you will struggle to have any form of long term success.
How to write copy on LinkedIn – Get to the point!
The job of the first line of your copy is to get the reader to read the second. The job of the second is to make the reader continue to the third. And so on.
The implication of this is you must have a strong headline on your LinkedIn posts to make sure people continue reading. Every line is precious, especially when you only have 1,300 characters to make your point.
A way to start writing a post is therefore to summarise the key point in the first line, while also teasing more beyond the ‘read more’ button. For example ‘I learned something new about conversion rate optimisation yesterday, and it meant our website drove £1,000,000 more in a day’.
While writing, always remember that the most important word in copywriting is ‘you’. This means that you are writing for the benefit of the audience, not just broadcasting to the world. Your post should always look to stimulate conversation, if possible.
Finally, it’s worth noting that most folks will be engaging with your posts on their mobile phones. Take advantage of this by writing shorter paragraphs than you would usually, but try to avoid the trap of “LinkedIn broetry’ where there is almost a new word on every line as this makes it look like you’re just trying to game the system.
Should you use hashtags?
Hashtags on LinkedIn work okay, but unlike Twitter, they’ve been retrofitted to the platform rather than being an integral part of it. It’s therefore worth inserting 2-3 hashtags at the end of each of your posts, but no more than that.
We break our hashtags into two categories. We use two more general hashtags such as #marketing, #business, and then use the other as a way of tracking the conversation about us with #TheMarketingMeetup.
I’m trending on LinkedIn! What does that mean?
If you find you are ‘trending’ on LinkedIn – unfortunately right now this means next to nothing. Unlike Twitter where if you are trending it’s a big deal, trending on LinkedIn is still in it’s infancy and doesn’t really denote anything of any significance.
How often should you be posting to LinkedIn?
Don’t let people fool you – there is no ‘perfect’ amount you should be posting on LinkedIn. Do what feels comfortable with you.
However, momentum does count with your audience. When looking to establish a personal brand, it helps if they are repeatedly exposed to your content and thoughts. It is also much easier to continue posting once you have got in the habit. So especially at the beginning of your LinkedIn journey, it is worth pushing yourself to post 1-2 times per day (you won’t need to increase it more than this!), and then decrease over the course of time.
What results can you expect from posting on LinkedIn?
Building a personal brand on LinkedIn should be seen a long term game, primarily aiming to build awareness about you or your company. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect in the first twelve months of consistent posting you will see next to no results as a business. The main metric you should be measuring is probably ‘followers’.
That being said, there is many ways of judging success on LinkedIn – which means your goal should be as personal to you and your business requirements. Just have in mind it takes time!
And finally… the bonus round. Here is a small selection of bonus tips:
- Don’t include links to external sites in your posts – it will decrease the reach of your posts
- Video works great on LinkedIn. Keep it to less than three minutes, and be sure to use subtitles! Rev.com is a great place to get your video transcribed, and here is a video which shows you how to upload your subtitles to Linkedin.
- The best engagement metrics on LinkedIn in order go: comments, likes, shares. This means to say you should be looking to maximise the conversation opportunity on your posts. Shares, unusually, do next to nothing. Don’t bother with them!