LinkedIn has come a long way in the last few years. The type of content it hosts and favors has changed drastically, and the platform itself has followed suit.
Once upon a time, LinkedIn was a platform for job seekers and headhunters. Users would take the platform as an opportunity to post CVs, discuss their experience, and seek new opportunities.
Before the tides changed, people would only connect with those they knew or had had some interaction with. As with exchanging numbers, it was typically something you might do if you already had a relationship with that person.
However, in recent years it’s become much more content-based, and the way we connect and interact with people on LinkedIn has changed tremendously, opening the door for hopeful professionals to grow their personal brands and harness the power of social selling.
LinkedIn allows you to post/create just about anything and everything (within reason). From short written posts of the like seen on Twitter to long-form video content, LinkedIn has become a content playground for those looking to entertain, educate, and promote themselves or their organization.
There are various benefits to building your personal brand. Perhaps the most crucial is the fact that it puts you in the spotlight and creates familiarity among your network. This means that you will be the first person that comes to mind when a potential prospect is ready to explore their options in your industry.
It can also have massive benefits for your employability. After all, it’s not just prospects who will be seeing what you’re doing, but headhunters and top execs too. Grow a network that provides you with a valuable audience, and you’re effectively putting yourself right in front of them!
Those are just a few of the benefits, but let’s jump into a few ways to effectively build your personal brand on LinkedIn.
Comment on Relevant Trending Topics
Commenting on trending posts and opening discussions is an excellent way to put yourself in front of a larger audience outside your network. There are a few ways of doing this, but one of the best ways is by checking the “Today’s News and Views” section on your homepage.
Throwing in your two cents on a trending topic will put you and your name in front of vast amounts of other users.
Keep in mind that the LinkedIn community is becoming more in-tune with those who comment just for the sake of being seen. Ensure that yours is one that offers a unique insight or at least shows that you’ve consumed the content.
An alternative way of doing this involves using the same techniques, but weighing in on industry/company-relevant conversations.
Hashtags are an invaluable resource in this practice, as they allow you to search for subjects and discussions that are most relevant to you.
For best practice with this, we suggest following all hashtags that you believe are of most value to you. Otherwise, these won’t be immediately available on your home screen and could creep under the radar.
Blueprint for success: Aim to like at least three pieces of content per week. However, the most valuable interaction is a comment, so aim for at least 5 per week (one per day).
Focus on Being Relevant and Current
With hashtags and trending topics at your disposal, it’s a wonder to imagine how you might ever be stuck for something to discuss on LinkedIn. However, still, people miss the mark time and time again and fail to capitalize on opportunities.
If you’re a regular LinkedIn user, you’ll probably notice that certain brands and topics frequently pop up on your feed. Typically your network will be those who work in the same industry as you, if not relevant industries, and there’s often a conversation about a handful of brands that are doing something particularly well in the said field.
For example, Gymshark is just one brand that is frequently the topic of conversation between marketing and social media communities. Due to the fact that Gymshark seems to nail social media and truly cater to their audience.
Well, observe, and you’ll quickly find yourself inspired to write your own take on this, but don’t limit yourself to a comment or a share.
Take this opportunity to write a piece of native blog content (which it seems LinkedIn’s algorithm favors over external content), and you’re exercising your knowledge to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
This, and of course, the fact that people are more likely to engage with topics that you’ve already observed performing particularly well.
Blueprint for success: Aim to create and share at least two original posts on LinkedIn per week. Try to put unique ideas on paper, though blog posts can be time-consuming, they are the best way to elaborate on a topic thoroughly.
Create Video Content
We have to talk about it. LinkedIn is full of video content. This isn’t by chance or coincidence; the reason video content is popping up so much on LinkedIn is that users and organizations know that video is one of the most easily-digestible content forms around.
Sure, it can be daunting. No one wants to upload a video of themselves potentially looking silly or unprofessional. Fortunately, LinkedIn is an incredibly supportive community (mostly), and looks favorably on those who go the extra mile to put themselves out there!
From recruiters to SaaS marketers, it seems just about everyone is making video content to engage their audiences and stand out from the crowd.
And with an abundance of video editing/creation tools out there, who can blame them? Covideo is a fantastic tool that offers both free and paid versions, allowing you to record yourself, screen (or both), and even add captions.
The tools are there to help you truly elevate your personal brand and stand out. You may need to take that leap of faith!
Blueprint for success: At least one video per week. Perhaps make it a weekly event or themed to a day (eg, #ThursdaysThoughts).
Advocate for Your Organization
There is no better place to act as an ambassador for your organization than on LinkedIn, and it is an essential part of building a strong personal brand. If you’re doing everything else successfully, generating conversation and engaging your audience, then letting your people know about your company is what ultimately brings about the conversions.
Employee advocacy reflects well in the eyes of your peers and senior management, as it displays a genuine interest in your organization, and a real want to see the company prosper.
Organizations of all sizes are waking up to the power of their employees’ voices. So, if your company is using an employee advocacy tool like DSMN8, get involved!
An employee advocacy platform will offer a feed of pre-approved content that is specially curated for employees to share with minimal effort on their part.
DSMN8 even offers an automation feature, meaning that once approved, you can have company-curated content shared to your page without having to do anything… No Brainer!
DSMN8 and other advocacy tools offer gamification and leaderboard features, meaning you can grow your personal brand and put yourself in the spotlight within your organization as well as on LinkedIn!
Blueprint for success: Share at least two or three pieces of company/company-relevant content per week.
Building a reputable personal brand on LinkedIn takes time, persistence, and a great deal of consistency.
Remember that content is in abundance on LinkedIn now, so you’ll have to repeat this process over and over in order to stand out.
However, with this blueprint to success at hand, you’re well on your way to creating a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.
Senior Marketing Manager and Employee Advocacy Program Manager at DSMN8. Lewis specialises in content strategy, growing brand visibility and generating inbound leads. His background in Sales lends itself well to demand generation in the B2B niche.