Firstly, you may be wondering what is meant by a ‘personal’ brand? It doesn’t mean that you should build your own logo with pretty colours and pictures in order to be recognised as an advocate of your field; more so, as Jeff Bezos (CEO, Amazon) says himself ‘your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room’.
The benefits to having a brand is that it helps you to stand out from the crowd; which is something I know from experience that many recruiters can struggle with, as we fight our way through a highly competitive industry. Communication is key and there is no better way to enhance this, than to put yourself out there for your network to see and engage with your content. You don’t necessarily need to have a new job to advertise or a hot candidate on the market; instead, give them talking points, share your advice or voice your opinions, you never know who is listening.
Identifying your values and aims is an integral part to branding yourself. You should have a clear sense of who you are and what you have to offer, which only then increases clarity and confidence in the way you would like to be perceived. The consistency of the message you share with your network either on or offline, then streamlines the following you have behind you.
Personal Branding can also be a chance to further develop your own career in your workplace. An attribute of many consultants around us, is their ambition and determination to succeed, so why not go for that senior/director promotion? Why not try to be the best of the best and work your way up?
It might seem scary at first, but evidence says that customers buy from the seller more so than the product itself. So have a think, what are your key qualities? What do your network really want to see from YOU? And create a personal brand that your following can associate with.
Here are 5 ways to help you when building your personal brand on LinkedIn:
#1 Find your niche and build around it
Before starting LinkedIn or whilst giving your page a revamp, define what your clear objectives are. Are you an industry expert? A salesperson?
Then consider what method of communication will reach your audience; the bonus to LinkedIn especially, is the various formats that work well on the platform and have a high reach e.g. Videos, text, images etc. but the key is to get creative with it!
As recruiters, we tend to spend a good chunk of our days/weeks on LinkedIn but how many times have you found yourself just aimlessly scrolling down your feed? Why not utilise the this as a way to get your brand out there?
Try to use keywords for SEO purposes and #hashtag RELEVANT words. What would be a trigger word in your industry? Think like your candidates. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine you are on the search for a new job, what would you type in the search bar? Once you have these keywords, the goal is to spread them throughout your page, without sounding like a broken record.
2# Optimise your profile
Outline exactly what you do and what your values are on your profile, so the reader knows exactly what they are getting out of it. Again, use keywords and draw attention to what YOU have to offer, the most common question asked is ‘What’s in it for me?’.
You almost want to imagine that your LinkedIn page is an advert - it is there to attract the audience and to sell the product, which in this instance, will be you (and your personal brand).
At the end of the day, LinkedIn is a platform for networking. Your engagement levels will determine the ROI (Return of Interaction) on your content, remember the whole #like4like or #follow4follow trends on Instagram a few years back? Yeah, it’s a bit like that.
It might seem straight forwards but how do you expect to get your voice heard if you’re not speaking loudly enough?
Be proactive, like, connect, comment, engage... and do it daily!
Consistency is key, it’s cliché but it’s true. It also speaks for itself; I would recommend aiming for 3posts a week but remember to have a true purpose for your posts. Don’t just post for the sake of posting.
#5 Be YOU!
It’s important to remember that we are all human!
We all make mistakes, call people by the wrong name, hit send on a message to your entire office that was meant for your work buddy… the aim is to utilise these mishaps and build a stronger connection with others through them.
Share your experience, share your knowledge, make it relatable.
The more realistic and unfiltered your content is, the more engagement it is likely to get.