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14 Personal Branding Lessons for LinkedIn
14 Personal Branding Lessons for LinkedIn
Personal Branding is going wild right now. Everyone is hearing more advice from gurus about building your personal brand.
Some think this is just about creating the perception your successful and famous, others think it’s about building a big following and driving high engagement.
Well, it’s about about Paris Hilton Syndrome (more on that later).
It’s about one thing….
Your target audience growing to see you are the best person in their LinkedIn network to help them.
That for me sums up LinkedIn personal branding.
So, I’ve put together some principles to help you build your personal brand.
1. Make it very obvious who and how you help.
Your personal brand should convey a clear message about the value you offer and who your target audience is. Make it easy for people to understand how you can help them. Make it so easy, even those who you can’t help know who you do help.
Simple things, like giving specific examples that relate to your target audience, optimising your profile is to makes it clear in your banner who and how you help.
Also, a quick one, you need a big promise statement, in other words, a clear unambiguous statement which tells people the results you help people achieve.
2. Repetition is your friend — focus your core message.
Repeating your core message helps people remember you. Keep your message simple and consistent across all your communication channels. It’s easy to get bored of saying the same thing, but that’s exactly how you build a brand. Consistently showing up and saying the same thing in different ways.
3. Avoid the Paris Hilton syndrome — everybody knows you, nobody knows why.
Don’t be famous for being famous. This is a common personal branding mistake. It’s a big problem on LinkedIn. Users sharing selfies of their life and success and telling people all about their world, except, they become known for being known. The theory goes that, being famous will unlock the opportunity, except, it doesn’t help people see you have the capability.
In reality you have people who want what you have, but don’t believe you can help them achieve it for themselves.
There are a lot of broke influencers, don’t believe the social media gloss.
4. Your personality is a filter that draws the right people and repels the wrong ones.
Embrace your uniqueness. Your personality will naturally attract those who resonate with you and filter out those who don’t. Our quirks help us make our ideas and opinions different. Our personality is what makes us stand out from the rest.
Foolishly, I tried to ‘be normal’ and as a result made myself uninteresting and ‘samey’ — since I embraced my quirks, I’m enjoying what I do more, I feel more connected and people grow to know me.
I am unique, you are unique — your personality is an asset not a hindrance.
5. Stand for things you believe in but don’t go to war with people.
Express your opinions and values, but do so respectfully. I believe my approach to social selling is the most successful. I believe my ideas are a big deal.
I stand by my ideas, share them with confidence and boldly tell people the difference they can make.
But, I also know that my way isn’t the only way. I know that my way might not work for everyone.
There are many competitors who also think there way is better than mine. I don’t need to prove myself to them, nor do I need to attack their way either.
In my world of sales and social media marketing, it’s pretty bitchy, there is a lot of backstabbing and it’s hard to make true friends, which is a shame.
The truth is, you can be friends with competitors, you can appreciate other peoples model, you don’t have to attack them, bitch about them or try to throw them under the bus.
6. Be consistent in your style and colour scheme.
Consistency in visuals is essential for brand recognition. Choose a style and colour scheme that align with your brand’s personality. This will help you stand out and be spotted in the feed by your target audience.
Whilst it can be good to do things differently, your brand is established by being predictable. People know what to expect when they see you in their feed.
Little things like font choice, colour schemes and language can be helpful in building that predictability in how you show up.
Don’t let visual branding become a prison, but it’s helpful to have some familiar elements.
7. You can’t be remembered for everything, so focus on one thing.
It’s really difficult to build a personal brand on LinkedIn if you don’t focus. We are complex people, we have lots of experience and expertise. It can sometimes feel a little frustrating when you are trying to building a lasting impression with an audience and it feels like you are selling yourself short.
I’ve got experience in sales, marketing, strategy and a ton of other things, for a long time, I didn’t like the “LinkedIn expert” or “social selling guru” label because, I felt I had so much more to offer than that.
I resented it, because I was more than just that label…. but, that label got me known and helped me build my business.
I cannot be remembered for the fullness of my expertise. I cannot easily make a long lasting impression by trying help people remember the big picture of who I am.
So, I have to focus and help people remember that one thing.
You need to do the same, instead of creating an all-encompassing personal brand, you might have to building your brand around the highlights. That might feel a little one dimensional when you look at who you really are, but it is necessary, given social media is soundbites and seconds.
8. Be the most valuable connection — give, give, give.
Provide value to your audience consistently. Offer knowledge, support, and resources without expecting immediate returns. Success follows people who deliver value. I often say to people, be the most valuable connection your network can have.
This approach will challenge you to shift from a scarcity mentality to a abundance mentality. Scarcity says if you share too much you’ll lose out. Abundance says, if you share value, people will see you are the best person to work with.
Let’s face it, 99.9999% of all knowledge is online, everything you could say is online already, so why not let people hear it from you first.
9. People back those who believe in themselves.
Confidence is contagious. Believe in your abilities, and others will believe in you too. Personal branding should not be about photoshoots and performance, it should be about authenticity.
When you building your personal brand around the real you, it is attractive, impactful and empowering for others. Authenticity always wins. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, as it’s unsustainable in the long run.
We can pick up on people who comfortable with their identity.
10. Your brand, your way
If you spend any length of time on LinkedIn, you’ll come across a ton of conflicting advice, most of it around content and strategy.
Whether you use video, written posts, articles, events, it is up to you. If you want to building your brand with text-only posts, go for it.
We all have different learning styles and content preferences, some might be harder to get engagement than others, but people get used to your style and grow to love it.
Find your own path with posts, use the format which works best for you. You’ll find it easier to sustain.
11. Your mistakes are what connect you to people — share them.
Mistakes are embarrassing. As you build your brand you’ll feel the pressure to be perfect. You’ll feel like you need to be strong, make the right decisions and never mess up. The truth is, you’ll make mistakes.
If you set yourself up as perfect, you perpetuate the perception that you don’t make bad calls, when you do, you’ll want to hide it or hide from it.
Sometimes, I meet people with incredible stories, but their mistakes make them reluctant to build their personal brand. They’ve made mistakes which they think disqualifies them from building their expertise.
Listen, I’ve made a ton of mistakes. Stupid ones. Some I’ve shared, some I’ve not even plucked up the courage to share. The reality is, our mistakes make us human.
Our errors either become a hidden part of our past or powerful lesson that will enrich and help our audience.
12. It’s always smart to be kind.
Kindness goes a long way. Treat others with respect and empathy; it’s a reflection of your personal brand. It can be pretty cool to ‘call out’ others online. Sadly due to our flawed human nature, this behaviour might be rewarded with increased reach, but, reasonable human beings won’t touch you with a barge poll. One such influencer on LinkedIn has been banned multiple times and despite building a sizeable audience, many would never work with them because, their association with them could harm their business.
13. Expert to Experts or Expert to Amateurs?
You need to choose who your building your brand for. Is it for people who are experts and want to develop or are they amateurs? Often people create a brand which is adored by their competitors. If you build it wrong, you’ll be surrounded by people who do what you do.
On the other hand, if you decide to build it for amateurs, they need a different message and different content. Check your comments, are they from people who are customers or competitors?
14. It’s not impressions but the last impression you leave.
Success isn’t always about impressions. Whilst content is critical to your personal brand, high reach may not be what you need. We can often think the success of a personal brand is going viral or getting posts with 50k impressions. Don’t be sucked into this myth.
It’s not about impressions, but the lasting impression. Typically, we chase after high volume of reach, but the truth is, it’s about who is impacted by the content you put out.
If you’re target market is impacted by your content — that is the best result.
So, whilst impressions is a measure of success, it isn’t the best measure of success.
How many of your target audience are getting to know you each week is a better measure.
🎙️Can you make money from your PERSONAL BRAND?
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