How to use LinkedIn to boost your brand and image
By Amanda Vinci.
For a long time, personal branding was better left to senior leaders. We used to think that people in senior roles are the only ones who have a personal brand to protect and grow.
And Executive Assistants are the best in the business when it comes to protecting and growing a senior leaders personal and professional brand.
Something that many Assistants forget or fail to realise is that their brand directly reflects their Executive’s brand. Said another way; your influence, how your perceived and your credibility not only impacts you, but it also impacts your Executive.
Believe it or not, every single one of us have a personal brand, regardless of how much attention and focus you put on this. As Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
As more Executive are putting their Executive Assistant in the spotlight, now more than ever, it’s important that as EAs you have an online footprint that represents who you want to be seen as professionally.
The psychology behind it is simple – people will work with people they trust and that are like them. When you build personal connections and authority in your field as an expert, it makes people likely to engage with you and want to work with you, because it feels like they are working with a real person that has similar values, beliefs and work ethic instead of just a name on a resume.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform full of opportunities to boost your personal brand and image. Nailing your presence and voice on this platform is important. You want to make sure that when people browse your personal profile, they receive a lasting positive impression and choose to connect with, follow you or better yet, ask you to apply for a role.
Here are 6 tips to build a powerful personal brand on LinkedIn:
1. Optimise your LinkedIn profile page
Step 1: Profile Photo
Your LinkedIn profile photo is an integral part of your professional branding. You want to appear professional, but also show that you are human and friendly too.
Choose a good profile photo – make sure to smile and have eye contact in the shot! It will help you to appear more approachable. Avoid using group photos, personal photos, or those with a busy background. I’ve seen some shockers in my time, remember what’s included in your photo says a lot about you.
Quick Tip: Use a photo that’s no more than 3 years old. Represent who you are today, not who you were in your 20’s!
Step 2: Craft a killer headline
Your headline is one of the most visible parts of your LinkedIn profile and it’s a huge factor in that person’s decision to reach out to you or move on to the next person. It’s a window into your personal brand, so make it count. Keep it short and sweet, you want to grab attention in as few words as possible. Help them understand what they’ll get from you. Put the benefits to them upfront so they know right away whether or not what you’re offering is relevant for them. And don’t leave people guessing about who you are and what your personal brand stands for.
Quick Tip: Think about starting your headline with ‘I help people..’ this can be a great insight into your zone of genius.
2. Use your description to sell yourself
Your summary is the one place you define yourself in your own words, free of start dates and titles. It’s your personal brand elevator pitch – use it to sell yourself and encapsulate all the wonderful things that you bring to the table. Make sure it communicates your core values to potential employers.
Be concise, summarise skills and features that matter.
Display interests in a certain industry – your industry. Position yourself as an expert within that industry.
Be professional, but don’t be afraid to show a bit of your personality!
Quick Tip: use this section to share tangible results you have achieved in your career or major projects you have worked on.
3. Get creative with your LinkedIn banner design
Your LinkedIn banner image helps to tell your brand story to your contacts!
It provides an immediate first impression when users land on your page and can really help you stand out from the crowd. This could include anything from imagery that represents who you are and what you do, to a simple infographic of your services. When used as the banner image, infographics help communicate information more quickly than paragraphs of plain text would do on their own.
Quick Tip: Canva is great for creating a banner and has some templates to get you started.
4. Create authoritative content
If you’re not posting content on LinkedIn, you are only tapping into half the potential that LinkedIn has to offer. It isn’t enough to have a great profile – you also need to demonstrate your expertise by publishing content that will appeal to your target market.
There are many ways to create high-quality content for LinkedIn via articles and status updates. Publishing unique, well-thought-out content can help position you as a valuable expert in the industry by showing potential employers how knowledgeable and experienced you are with their challenges.
It also provides value to other readers who might not be able to connect with you through traditional networking methods like conferences or personal introductions. This is an opportunity to show them what you know and why they should work with you.
Quick Tip: When you learn something new, share about this with your connections. You never know who would also find this useful and shows that you’re a leader in the industry.
5. Interact with others
Commenting on other people’s posts helps promote conversations which might lead to new connections and collaborations. It can help to also position yourself as an expert and contributing member to the platform.
You can also join discussion groups. Not only does this give some good exposure but it often leads to real world connections as well which can be very valuable both professionally and socially! Being involved within these discussions also helps show how interested and engaged you are in your industry so worth the effort here too.
Quick Tip: Connect with people in your industry and past and present employees to help build your profile connections up. The more connections you have, the more opportunities will come your way.
6. Engage industry influencers
LinkedIn Influencers can be anyone from executives to bloggers, authors and thought leaders who you follow for their insight or knowledge in your industry. One of the best ways to increase social engagement and grow your personal brand on LinkedIn is through leveraging these influencers.
Start by finding the top influencers in your personal or professional field. Follow them and share their content on LinkedIn to earn a potential endorsement from them. You can also quote an influencer on LinkedIn and @mention them – this will get visibility from the influencer as well as their audience.
Quick Tip: Ensure your content is high quality, and never be spammy with your tagging!.
It can be intimidating putting yourself out there on a professional platform like LinkedIn. But I can guarantee you that you will have a skill set, knowledge base, or perspective that others don’t, and are eager to learn from you about.
Start by sharing your passions, knowledge, and high-quality content and you will start to see your personal band thrive.
If you’re not connected with me already, why not!? 😊
You can connect with me here.
I can’t wait to see you reap the rewards!