Growing your professional brand on LinkedIn will help you establish authority in your field.
With more than half a billion users, Linkedin is a powerful tool. Are you using it to the best of its potential? If you're hoping to advance your career and climb that all-important industry ladder, building your professional and personal brand on LinkedIn is essential. Whether you're looking for a job change or simply want to further establish yourself in your field, the social networking site offers a simple way for you to become an authority.
Whilst most modern-day professionals will already have a LinkedIn profile, simply filling out the sections and walking away isn't enough; there are ways to make the most of LinkedIn to build your brand online, but you need to put the work in. With that in mind, let's take a look at some simple LinkedIn strategies that will help you grow your professional and personal brand.
Search for industry-specific groups
Have you used the 'groups' feature on LinkedIn? If you've yet to join some relevant LinkedIn groups on the site, it's time to change your ways. Doing so will allow you to reach out to other professionals in your specific industry and make valuable connections along the way. Simply search for relevant communities online and ask to become a member.
Once you've been accepted, ensure that you take an active role in communicating with others. Rather than shamelessly self-promoting – which is actually against the site's guidelines – involve yourself in any ongoing conversations or debates. You could offer advice as a thought leader to those who need it, recommend other professionals when appropriate or simply offer your opinion on trending topics. This strategy allows people to familiarise themselves with your name and will establish you as a prominent member of the community, helping to build your professional brand.
Become a content creator
Another way through which you can build your brand on LinkedIn and show off your expertise is to become a content creator. We must not forget that LinkedIn is a social media platform and, as such, people who log on are searching for something to read or view. These social media users could soon be your target audience. Around 94 per cent of marketers now use LinkedIn as a content distribution platform, according to stats from the platform itself.
Before you begin writing, you should determine whether creating content is a smart strategy for you. Those working in commercial and creative fields, such as marketing or graphic design, could benefit greatly from this particular method; writing blogs will allow you to cultivate an audience around your expertise, which will help you grow your brand. However, if you work in an industry such as manufacturing, this technique may not be the way to go. Weigh up whether it's a savvy option for you.
Itching to get started? The 'Publishing Platform' feature on the site allows you to write and share full-length articles. You should consider what it is that you want to share with your LinkedIn audience. It's most effective to create a content plan ahead of time so that your articles have a shared theme. Start by considering what knowledge you have to offer others.
Interact with other users' content
They don't call it a 'social network' for no reason! The entire point of the LinkedIn platform is to reach out and connect with other professionals. The operative word there is connect. That does not merely mean adding them as a connection ‒ when you've done so, you should take the time to interact with the content they share, whether it's posts, articles or imagery.
To kick off, one of the simplest ways you can engage is by commenting or liking posts. For example, if a user posts about a trending issue in your industry, it could be time to contribute your own expert take. Showing that you are active on the site will raise your profile and increase your visibility.
The other method is to share users' posts and content. If another professional has written a piece that applies directly to your industry, sharing it could pique the interest of your connections. Adding your own comment can also help you connect that content to your own brand on LinkedIn.
Ensure that you consider which are the best pieces to share with your audience ‒ more than 60 per cent of users engage with posts that are educational and informative, according to stats from Sprout Social. As a golden rule, before you hit that button, you should think about whether the post ticks those two boxes.
Recommend other professionals
When you're aiming to build your brand on LinkedIn, one of the most effective things you can do is show other professionals some love. The moment you start giving something of value to other users, you'll find that they repay the favour.
What's more, this strategy allows you to get your name out there and reach more people online. When you have connected with people you've previously worked with in some capacity, you can recommend them and their skill set. There are two ways to go about doing this on the site:
'Recommendations' are essentially testimonials that you write for someone else's profile. For example, if you used a marketing agency's services last year, you may write one of the marketers a short review.
The other method that you may want to use is the 'Endorsements' feature. Head to a professional's profile and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find a box that asks you about this person's skills. You can click on various skills – such as 'writing' or 'design' – and endorse the professional in that area.
Are you ready to start building your professional brand with your LinkedIn profile? If your page has laid dormant since you created it a while ago, it's time to change your ways. Try out some of these strategies for yourself and see whether they work for you. Whilst you may not notice a dramatic change overnight, these tips should allow you to gain more exposure and grow a brand that makes you known in your industry. Get proactive online and give yourself a boost.
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This article was updated in September 2020 by Lauren Settembrino.