Five tips on how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn

European CEO presents five essential pieces of advice for creating and maintaining a strong LinkedIn profile

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Officially the most popular business-orientated social networking service, LinkedIn continues to grow its network of professionals across the globe. As more and more users join the site, it’s never been more essential to ensure your profile stands out among competitors. The network is designed to build your own personal brand, and these are the top five ways to ensure your profile draws the right people and generates views.

Optimise your profile
A complete profile on LinkedIn suggests you’re active and conscious of your online presence. Adding a profile picture has proven to make your profile seven times more likely to be found in searches, and showing your two most recent employment positions can make your profile twelve times more likely to be found. Profile pictures should be professional and show a clear image of yourself, and headlines should describe your brand’s tagline, e.g. “experienced graphic designer”. Additionally, your LinkedIn background can be used to communicate more about your work – for example previous projects and photographs. These are the first things potential employers are drawn to when looking at your profile, so it’s worth making them eye-catching.

Publishing content shows your connections what you’re interested in and encourages users to view your profile

Post regularly
LinkedIn, much like other platforms for online communication, has a newsfeed in which you have the option to write posts or share articles. The website is the definitive professional publishing platform. More than one million people have published more than three million posts on LinkedIn. Publishing content shows your connections what you’re interested in and encourages users to view your profile. Publishing long-form content on LinkedIn, such as articles longer than 700 words, is a great way to engage an audience and build your personal brand. Long-form posts build credibility and show commitment to building your professional profile. 

Connect with the right people
Once your profile is visually attractive, you’ll need to grow your network and connect with possible employers, investors and business partners to build strategic brand associations. LinkedIn is the ideal platform to make global connections, and provides you with information about people who you are already in business with, or plan communicating with about potential business opportunities. Many people who receive a lot of connect requests have settings that require sending a message before connecting. Make use of this – say how you know them, e.g. “I was inspired by a talk you gave on solar energy and would love to share my ideas with you.” Give them a reason to connect with you.

Design a feed with useful resources
Through LinkedIn you can design a feed that keeps you in the know about the business world, and what your business partners are up to. For example, if you’re working in the oil industry, you can create a feed that constantly displays information about energy markets through following accounts such as the Petroleum Economist and Offshore Magazine. Unlike other social media platforms, where unnecessary advertising and business strategies are pushed on you, LinkedIn has a more personal, self-designed feel. This allows you to connect with a larger network of users, complete with professionals who share similar interests to you.

Prove your experience
LinkedIn offers users the opportunity to upload portfolios and links to published work, and show your previous job titles and experience. This all helps to prove how much involvement you have had in your sector. It is highly advised to use this to your advantage, as many job applications ask for evidence of work. LinkedIn can save you a lot of time and effort in this regard, making the information available to potential employers and business partners without them having to ask for it.