The professional networking giant recently reached 200 million users and is no longer considered a hub solely for job-seekers. Instead, many see personal branding on LinkedIn as reason enough to join the popular site.
As Kirby stresses, visibility is the first essential of LinkedIn. Many recruiters utilize the site when looking for candidates for open positions, and you want your profile to show up when they’re searching. Simply updating all of your information is the first step. Infuse your profile with personal branding terms and phrases you want to be identified with, as these will help you appear when the terms are searched. To improve visibility, diversify your connections to expand your network.
Once you’ve set your profile to exemplify your personal brand, make sure it’s believable. To boost your credibility, add and expand on any training, certification, accomplishments, publications, awards, or any other signifiers of authenticity that pertain to your personal brand.
The other strategy to boosting credibility is through endorsements and recommendations, where your LinkedIn connections validate your areas of expertise and professional experience. Begin by endorsing a few connections’ skills and writing recommendations for coworkers. They’ll return the favor and strengthen your online presence. Kirby recommends collecting at least two recommendations per relevant professional experience for strong credibility.
The third cornerstone of LinkedIn according to Kirby is “connect-ability.” Once you create your branded profile and establish credentials, the ball’s in your court to reach out to others. Utilize acquaintances of all kinds, and don’t hesitate to reach out to coworkers, classmates, and friends of years past. That’s what LinkedIn is all about – networking and promoting your brand.
Of course, take Kirby’s advice with a grain of salt and don’t entirely rely on LinkedIn to promote yourself. The layout, while straight-forward and organized, leaves little room for customization. While it is a useful resource to display experience and strengths, consider it a launching pad. Make sure to direct viewers via links to your portfolios and websites.
These more established platforms will display your brand more aesthetically and impressively than a run-of-the-mill LinkedIn account. Stand out from the endless sea of LinkedIn profiles with an easy-to-make website with your own domain and choice of template on Squarespace.
What do you think of Kirby’s tips for personal branding on LinkedIn? Do you have better luck with your own website? Start the conversation and leave a comment below.