In an attempt to help you become a “stand out” not a “standstill” and develop a brand on Linkedin, I`m gonna share with you some best practices and insights from what I`ve learned and show you what an awesome profile and personal brand looks like.
Natalia Wiechowski is an award-winning personal branding expert and today her profile is going to be exposed!
She doesn`t mind, it is for the benefit of you, the reader.
The goal is for you to extract ideas from her profile and apply to your unique situation.
Please… don`t a copycat!
Basics Of Personal Branding On Linkedin
You don`t need to be a world-renowned speaker, influencer or even branding genius.
Understand the why, the basics and implement as much as you can.
By the end of this article, you`ll get a thorough understanding of how to use LinkedIn to promote your personal brand and become a “stand out” in the marketplace.
But before diving into action let me share with you why LinkedIn is such a powerful tool for brand promotion.
Why Should You Care About Building Your Personal Brand On Linkedin
Check this out…
On June 13th, 2016 the giant Microsoft bought Linkedin for $26.2 billion. Yes… with a B.
*Source: Brand Watch
Why do you think they spent that much money?
Number one because it`s Microsoft and number 2 because it`s a worthy purchase. Companies are not bought because they`re declining.
Microsoft wasn`t trying to rescue Linkedin either. They were smart and decided to take advantage of a massive opportunity.
How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On LinkedIn
If you were to run an ad on Linkedin, right now, you would pay as much as $5.61 per click. Not per lead… per click.
The reason why it`s the most expensive platform to advertise on is because it has the best quality prospects.
It`s money well spent though. Better quality prospects lead to better quality clients and ultimately amazing and long-term business relationships.
What Are The Best Times To Post On Linkedin
If you`re gonna be active on it, you need to know at what times to post. The last thing you want is to create an epic piece of content that nobody sees.
Timing does affect engagement but it`s just another piece of data that you can leverage to be seen as relevant in the feed, rather than a decisive factor for your success.
16 LinkedIn Tips To Build Your Personal Brand
1 – Create A Consistent Theme
When people first arrive at your LinkedIn profile, they immediately have an impression of who you are and what you stand for.
The colors you use, the copy (words), your photo, the message you`re trying to convey, all of these nuances are part of your unique theme.
Be consistent with it. Don`t talk about one thing in the headline and post something about a topic that has nothing to do with what you do.
People buy consistency!
If you don´t have a profile photo on LinkedIn... shame on you! Click To Tweet
2 – Don`t Be A Ghost
Your Linkedin profile photo doesn`t need to be taken by a professional but make sure that it looks professional.
Your iPhone’s camera does a pretty good job. Make sure you have good lighting and get your pretty face to cover about 70% of the circle.
Proximity is the key to connection. If your photo shows your whole body, you`re doing it wrong.
The cover photo is also one of the assets you can leverage in your profile to build credibility and make a great first impression.
Get creative here, hire a graphic designer if you want or simply throw in a great stock photo like me that clearly represents what you do and who you are. It doesn`t need to be fancy but it needs to look sleek.
3 – Create A Compelling Headline
The headline is one of the things that recruiters see when they`re searching for someone to fill in a position. Create a value-driven headline and add some social proof, if necessary.
It could be along the lines of… “Sales Professional Committed To Tripling Your Sales | Medical Sales Specialist | Award Winning Sales Professional”
Make sure it`s punchy and grabs people attention. I like to play with emojis and different colors.
4 – Amazing Summary
After getting someone to be interested in your headline, the next step to engaging that person is to have a great summary.
You`ll see a great example in Natalia`s profile breakdown, in a few minutes.
Your Linkedin summary is where you want to talk about your ideal customer or employer and add keywords relevant to your skills.
Describe how you can solve their problems and how you can be of service.
Don`t get overly excited, mentioning how great you are. Add some social proof, though, if you can.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Click To Tweet
5 – Write LinkedIn Articles
Articles are a great way to be seen as an expert and also to give your profile a boost in terms of ranking.
When you publish an article, you`re not taking someone out of Linkedin thus increasing the chances of people actually reading your piece of content.
Again, you want to stay true to a topic and a problem you can solve in the marketplace. Give massive value and people will want to follow you.
6 – No Blank Spaces
There`s no better “turn off” than a profile with blank spaces.
Take the time to fill every area of it. Use about 10 keywords related to your skills throughout the profile.
As I mentioned, you want to include them in the headline, summary, past and present experiences, in the skills section and recommendations.
By doing this, you`ll significantly increase your chances of being found by recruiters and employers.
7 – Stand Out With Video
Video is one of the most powerful tools to influence an audience. You want to use it strategically in your profile.
What I like to do as you can see is to put a short 1-minute video explaining what I do right below the summary.
This way people get to know you a little bit better and the level of trust increases naturally.
Want to take it a step further?
Post content in video format. Now, I must admit… I`m not a video genius nor an extremely polish dude on camera. So what?
Neither are you… probably! Who cares?!
As long as you`re authentic and you`re delivering value to your audience, that`s all that matters.
Natalia does a better job on camera than me…
8 – Be Open To Recruiters
There`s a little box where you can add the skills you want to receive contacts for.
Letting recruiters know that you`re open for job opportunities will increase your chances of actually getting contacted by one.
You can add a short note describing exactly what kind of position you`re looking for, how urgent is for you to find a job, what job titles and locations you prefer.
You can also choose what types of industries you want to work in and even the number of employees that your desired employer has.
10 – There Are 50 Skills For A Reason
If you had 50 chances of winning $100 million, would you only use 13? Of course not, add all the skills relevant to what you do in that section.
It will help you get better rankings and stand out from the crowd.
Because guess what?
Most salespeople are too lazy and are not gonna take the time to do this. Don`t play fair, do what others refuse to do and you`ll reap the benefits.
How To Create A Kick-Ass Linkedin Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]
*Source: Leisure Jobs
11 – Ask For Recommendations
Is there anyone you`ve worked with previously that can say something nice about you? I`m sure there is!
It doesn`t need to be results oriented. It could be a characteristic that this particular person admires in you and thinks it`s valuable.
Use that as another tactic to create social proof and let the world know that you`re a person of value and deserve to get hired.
Don`t play fair, do what others refuse to do. Click To Tweet
12 – Post Relevant Content
Whatever your industry is, you must be on top of what`s happening. People have to know you! Show up, man.
Saw an article about your industry that you liked? Share it on Linkedin.
It`s so easy to share something, these days. Did you find a piece of content that someone in your industry posted on the feed?
Re-share it with your network, tag them and say “hey, what great post, Michael, I feel the same way about X!” Or something like this…
13 – Follow Industry Leaders
Connect with the influencers in your industry. Build a network of people you can serve, add value and somewhere along the way they would want to reciprocate.
That`s how the world works!
Don`t be like most salespeople out there, shoving their solutions down people`s throats. Be different, be unique and be someone of value, someone people can trust.
14 – Add Value
Didn`t I just mention this? Of course!
It`s so important that I felt like repeating it. Human beings can`t be fooled… you know this.
They can sense when you`re just after the commission. In every sales situation, in every encounter you have on Linkedin, start by adding value to the people you want to target.
Be patient, take your time, come from a place of abundance and the world will step aside and give you the treasure box.
15 – Use The Power Of Storytelling
If you`re not a good storyteller, you need to be!
It`s the most powerful tool in sales. Master salespeople are storytellers. Go on Amazon right now and order a bunch of books about it.
Storytelling is like magic, it engages people, it brings up emotions, it creates a deep human connection and pulls people towards you.
Learn how to tell stories and you`ll never be without a job.
16 – Own Your Core Message
The biggest mistake that businesses and people trying to build a personal brand make is not having a core message.
- What do you stand for?
- What are your values?
- What is the one thing you`re known for?
Figure that out and build your entire sales message around that one specific outcome your product or you provide.
Not 34… 1!
People get confused when you help them do many things. Do one thing and do it better than anyone.
Linkedin Expert Profile Breakdown (Dr. Natalia Wiechowski)
Ok, let`s start with first thing people see when they get to her profile.
Boom! What do you see? Social proof in the cover photo. A shot from one of her talks. People don`t need to look at the headline to know she`s a speaker.
Take a close look at the color scheme… you got it! It sends a message. The headline breeds authority and credibility.
Can people contact you or are you a ghost?
At least add your social media handles in here and company`s website. You want to show people that you`re a real human being, not some Linkedin bot or something like that.
Moving on to the summary…
Natalia lists all her services and how she provides value to potential clients. The why comes first, then the how. In the end, she summarizes what happens when people book her as a speaker or facilitator.
To be continued…
Then she lists the benefits of the offering, injects more social proof with the words “Honors & Awards” and finishes with multiple calls to action. Beautiful!
Remember when I said that people have to know you?
This section is where your articles will show up and all your activity on Linkedin. If people get to your profile and see that you`re active, you`re more like to be contacted by recruiters and employers.
What company do you represent right now, what past experiences do you have?
This section is not to be disregarded. Your past experiences are as important as your new ones.
Filling this section will give you another opportunity to sell yourself.
Notice the content… adding rich media, such as relevant articles, or links to authority sites can give your profile a nice flavor and show that you care about the details.
Where did you study?
If you went to college or high school (I`m sure you did, at least one of them) add it in here. List out your accomplishments as a student.
Putting in a famous college could also be a good self-promotion strategy. If you`ve been to Harvard, brag about it… what`s wrong with that? 😀
You`ve got to use every little thing to help you stand out, don`t leave any stone unturned.
Oh, the skills! Exactly…
Note how relevant Natalia`s skills are to what she does. It seems like a no-brainer, right? But most people get it wrong.
It`s time to start asking for these…
Get off your ass, after finishing reading this and ask someone you know to say something nice about you on Linkedin. Ask for a recommendation!
What about your accomplishments?
This section is also a good place add keywords, say “medical sales professional of the year.” You can also be a guest blogger on someone`s website and feature the publications here.
It`s a great way to build credibility and put your name out there.
I promise you… your peers are not gonna do this.
Last but not least…
Your interests. See how relevant Natalia`s interests are to her expertise. She`s a household name, especially in the middle-east.
The company pages you follow will show up here as well as influencers. Interests do have an impact on your overall ranking. Why not follow as many as you can? It doesn`t hurt.
Start Building A Killer Personal Brand With Linkedin
Branding is such a broad topic that it would require a separate piece of content to get to the nuts and bolts of it.
As I said in the beginning, you don`t need to be an expert at it, you just need to master the fundamentals to get started.
You must understand that you are a personal brand, whether you like or not, the way you talk, your personal image, your attributes, your story and your strengths are all part of your brand.
Personal branding is nothing more than the way people perceive you in the long run.
Master the fundamentals of branding, learn to be different, to stand out and you`ll never beg for a job, career advancement or opportunity to do business.
What other Linkedin tips would you like to see on this list?
Let me know in the comments below.