With more than 380 million registered members, spanning more than 200 countries, LinkedIn is the undisputed king of professional networking.
While some people create a profile and never think twice about what it can do for them, others realize the potential for using the site to build a stronger personal brand.
By using LinkedIn in the appropriate manner, you can strengthen your personal brand in an attempt to become a well known expert in your niche. This will result in more connections, job opportunities, partnership inquiries, and much more.
Three Keys to Success
At first glance, LinkedIn may appear scary. There are faces everywhere, prompts for more information, requests to connect, and much more. Over time, once you learn more about the site, everything will become second nature. It is then that you are in position to use LinkedIn to your advantage. To begin with, make sure that you have an optimal profile and aligns with your goals. Click here to get tips on the best way to do that.
Here are three keys to success if you have set the goal of building your personal brand through LinkedIn:
1. Share Updates
Just the same as Twitter and Facebook, you have the opportunity to share updates with others. Of course, these should be related to your professional life (not what your cat ate for breakfast this morning).
By sharing updates, you are giving your LinkedIn profile a personal touch. This is essential to building your following and positioning yourself as an expert. Share information that will attract the people that you want to be connecting with. Make sure that the information is up to date (no point in sharing a two year old news article)!
2. Publish a Post
This is more than an update. Think of it as a blog post published to LinkedIn. There are many reasons to get in the habit of using this feature, including:
- Ability to share your thoughts with your audience.
- Opportunity to build a strong LinkedIn following.
- Most popular posts can “blow up,” thus putting you in front of tens of thousands of contacts.
You shouldn’t expect success overnight, but if you continually publish posts your hard work will begin to pay off.
3. Start a Discussion
Which LinkedIn groups have you joined? If you have yet to join any, find three to five that best suit your business expertise, skills, and goals. From there, become an active participant in each group. Ask questions, answer questions, provide advice, and get to know others.
Once you establish yourself as a strong voice, start your own discussion. This is your chance to shine, so make sure you stick with the conversation as a means of “pushing it forward.” Obviously, it makes sense to start a discussion around a topic you are passionate about.
Final tip: along with the above, never stop adding to your network. If you have an opportunity to add a connection, don’t delay in doing so. Make sure that this is someone you want to be connected with in the business world. If someone is known to be shady or you outright don’t know them, it’s probably good to pass on the connection. Quality over quantity is best with LinkedIn.
With the right approach, you can use LinkedIn to build a strong personal brand. The three points above are more than enough to put you on the path to success.
Do you have any other tips for building and strengthening your personal brand through LinkedIn?