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The ABCs of LinkedIn for Personal Branding

Elisabeth Haugan
March 13, 2021

There are many social media platforms but only LinkedIn.exists for the primary purpose of business networking. It’s a powerful tool for marketing yourself and your business. If you’re not on the platform yet or you’ve let it go inactive, it’s time to get back in the game…take it from the 740 million people and 30 million companies currently on LinkedIn. You read those staggering numbers correctly. Let’s get to work.

Attention to LinkedIn basics

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Nowadays that first impressions is made on LinkedIn. Make sure you’ve done the basics to make it a good one with these tips, some right from LinkedIn itself.

  1. Use a professional-style headshot as your profile picture
  2. Stand out with a unique background photo
  3. Match your relevant skills to your resume
  4. Keep it educational or professional (this isn’t a place to share about your weekend or pictures of your dinner, etc.)
  5. Share what your needs are–a job, a connection, a click, etc. People like to help!

Beyond your job title

Take the headline and summary beyond just your job title. Give insight into what makes you, YOU! Don’t make your introduction a list of your past workplaces (that’s what a resume is for), or a paragraph of buzzwords that you think other professionals in your industry are looking for. People are attracted to authenticity so let your personality shine, share what you’re passionate about, and give a glimpse into your goals and dreams! 

Connect, discuss, and learn

You’ve got your own profile in ship shape…now what? In the words of Captain Picard, “Engage.” There are many ways you can develop relationships and interact with people and topics you’re interested in on LinkedIn, and this behavior is often more telling to a prospective contact than what you’ve curated on your profile. Here are some practical ways to make waves on LinkedIn:

  • Request and give recommendations. When writing a recommendation, be sure to give specific strengths based on your personal experience with the person you’re recommending
  • Share things you’re interested in on a regular basis. Share at least once a week. Tip: peak LinkedIn engagement hours are Tues 8:00 a.m. to Thurs 4:00 p.m.
  • Tag people and companies. Champion your employees and applaud your customers. Don’t hold back when something impresses you.
  • Join groups, follow influencers from your industry, and get involved in conversations. Try your hand at the “Yes, and” approach. Meaning, don’t shut down opposing opinions or try to prove your own point in an adversarial way, but build on ideas others have in a collaborative approach.
  • Publish your own content and use it to start conversations. Remember, write conversationally and stay away from buzzwords. We promise, people will scroll on from content that reads like a thesaurus or tries to be trendy without substance.

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