Once you have a strong and robust profile, and know how to use LinkedIn to generate networking and research, you might want to move to a more high-level use of LinkedIn: Branding.
Your Brand is what you what you are known as and known for. If you were a product that you were selling, how would you describe that product to a potential buyer? (Isn’t that what the job search process really is?)
Your brand is your your total persona: your authentic and unique self in its most inspired (and inspiring) and motivated state; pertinent to the situation at hand. If someone was going to replicate you and sell quantities of you to the mass market, your brand would encapsulate and include all those traits as part of its makeup.
Here are some great questions to help you develop your own branding concept:
- What problems do you solve?
- Who do you help?
- Why should that someone come to you to solve that problem?
- What do you bring to the table that others don’t? What sets you apart?
It’s what others see as the real you. What it’s like to work with you not only on special occasions, but day after day after day. Its your “corridor reputation” – what people say when they talk about you in the hallways.
- What are you known for?
- What value do you bring to the table?
- If someone were to introduce you, how would they do it? What would they say?
What does this mean in terms of LinkedIn? Having a strong branding message allows you add to your brand that you are well-known as an expert in your field, well-liked among your colleagues and peers, and well-trusted to get the job done and done well. You become their first-stop when expertise is needed, and you become a Subject Matter Expert in your field.
Use Everything!! Not only your LinkedIn profile, but ALL of your activity should coordinate with your brand. Your status updates can even help you. Your LinkedIn presence should be built around providing value to your target audience through a constant stream of rich and insightful content. This will help you build engagement and develop a relationship of trust with your target market.