Building a Brand on LinkedIn
Posted by Buffy the Bison | November 19, 2021
For many people, building a personal brand can be daunting.
For starters, the idea of having a personal brand at all insinuates an individual has a unique combination of skills, experiences, charisma, and personality that the world should stand up and take notice of.
While true, perhaps even more than that, acquiring a personal brand usually means being open with some aspects of your life that, if revealed, might leave you feeling vulnerable.
And to do it all on a social platform that boasts over 740 millions users in more than 200 countries across the world? That sounds just shy of ludicrous, doesn’t it?
Well, if ludicrous means being on the second largest platform for B2B marketers next to Facebook while also taking advantage of one of the last organic traffic platforms still in existence to grow your personal and professional network, then maybe it is.
However, even with a well-known platform like LinkedIn all but promising guaranteed branding success, there are still moments when whispers of doubt creep into the minds of even the most resilient individuals and brands looking to get started building their personal brand.
How do we know?
Near the start of 2021, the whole Primitive team dove headfirst into LinkedIn to learn everything we could about the platform. Throughout our time on LinkedIn, we discovered how to identify and build our own, unique personal brands, and the many benefits businesses can acquire by encouraging their team to do the same.
Am I Cheating?
First and foremost, the biggest obstacle for many people to get over when building their personal brand is the question, “Am I cheating on my company?”
Both the short and long answer is no. No, you’re not cheating on your company.
Although it might feel counterintuitive to focus on building your personal audience over your company’s, it’s actually not. The big reason for this is because your personal brand involves so much, including the company you keep. This often includes:
- Location of your employer (Remote? Hybrid? 100% in-house?)
- Teammates and colleagues
- Clients and partners
Now, even though your personal brand involves your career ambitions, we know it’s not all your brand has to offer. That’s where the power of LinkedIn’s organic traffic enters the scene.
Your past and present employer and colleagues tell one sliver of the story, but it’s the door that opens when you actively engage with your audience that enables you to grow and expand your network. When more people are attracted to your vibe and your brand, and they see how your employer makes a habit of developing a culture with people like you in it, then your brand is doing everything it should be doing, including winning for your business.
Authenticity Builds the Audience
One of the best ways for any brand, business or person, to attract and build a robust network/audience is by committing to being authentic.
Thankfully, the best tactic for many brands (authenticity) also happens to equate to high, sustainable, scalable value.
Because whether you want to believe it or not, you, along with the great majority of society, can spot a fib or a white lie from miles away. Even in the land of technology and screens, a false or inauthentic energy can be sensed without too much trouble.
That, in of itself, is the primary reason why bringing your most authentic self to your personal brand instantly deposits a high degree of value into the branding vault.
How does your life relate to your audience?
Did something happen today that individuals similar to you can relate to?
What occurred during your morning caffeine run that got your gears turning
Would you like to know what your growing network thinks about it?
Remember, a few typos here or there, or dare we say even the rare swear word to drive a point home, really won’t tarnish your brand. In fact, depending on the audience you’re speaking to, the injection of a mild swear word or the absence of an apostrophe highlights a personal brand’s humanity, a.k.a their authenticity.
A great way to begin your journey of authentic brand building is by:
- Utilizing a professional and up-to-date headshot/photo.
- Crafting a title/tagline that speaks to your brand’s north start, not just your career ambitions or accomplishments.
- Building, iterating, and narrowing down your profile summary, in no more than 2000 characters, to showcase your professional tics and interests.
If you find yourself ready to take the next step in crafting your brand, yet also seem to be paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, take a breath because you’re in good company.
But, remember this – getting started on something new is usually the greatest challenge. Then, once you’ve taken the leap, the real fun begins!
Consistent Engagement Breeds HUGE Results
A popular fact used to float around in marketing and entrepreneurial circles that stated the average attention span of a goldfish was somewhere around nine seconds. However, with time that number has floated anywhere between the five second mark as well as close to double digit (10 second) territory.
All that to say, building a personal brand on LinkedIn does not require post after post of magnificent storytelling paired with vivacious and visceral images.
While, yes, you still probably only have about eight seconds, it’s enough time to hook your audience and pull them into your daily, intentional dose of professional storytelling.
That’s right – daily and intentional.
Although authentic, vivacious storytelling within any one of your personal brand’s verticals certainly doesn’t hurt the forward trajectory of your brand, that tactic is usually not one many people can simply hop onto without as much as a training wheel or two. Thankfully, that’s why LinkedIn’s organic algorithm is so sought after, and rightfully so!
By adhering to a daily cadence of engagement (posting, sharing, commenting, etc.) on the LinkedIn platform, your personal brand stands a far higher chance of winding up on another LinkedIn member’s newsfeed after they’ve shown a general interest in the knowledge, advice, or business anecdotes you’re dropping.
A few tangible takeaways you can begin utilizing now are:
- Aim to grow your network daily. You can start by connecting with colleagues and clients and then move towards connecting with individuals in your contacts lists (email, phone, etc.).
- Find three (3) posts on the LinkedIn platform that encourage you to think beyond just the superficial responses of, “Congrats!” or “That’s amazing!” Meaningful comments that circle back to the original post have a higher likelihood of starting a conversation, which only helps to boost engagement and brand awareness.
- Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Recycle and reinvigorate your content to reach more of your ideal audience, and try to stick to your commitment of posting at least one time per day.
Building a personal brand on a social platform like LinkedIn might make a few hands sweaty or even a few eyes roll. Being authentic in front of your colleagues as well as people you’d love to share a network with can be, like we said before, daunting.
However the risk-reward proposition we’ve encountered from helping our team build their brands on LinkedIn have been nothing shy of beneficial to not only our entire team but also to our business.
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