By Steve Bruce
Your personal brand matters more than ever in the digital age. After all, what people think of your brand is what they’ll likely say about you when you’re not in the room.
Even in today’s ultra-connected world, a great business relationship is based on personal relationships. Your clients much prefer to do business with people they know, like, and trust, rather than a faceless organization.
Companies like Apple, Tesla, and Virgin understand the power that a strong personal brand can add to their business. They all have charismatic frontmen who built enthusiastic followings to become the definition of success and innovation.
According to a study by CareerBuilder, 50% of employers won’t hire candidates who lack an online presence, and 50% of consumers base their purchasing behavior on the strength of the company’s online presence. These numbers demonstrate why a strong personal brand can bolster professional success.
LinkedIn has 645 million users–with two new users joining the platform every second–and there are over 2 million pieces of content posted every day. This reach makes the platform a perfect place to build your personal brand.
If you type your name into Google, your LinkedIn profile will likely come up as the number one organic search result. These days, you can be sure that anyone who is going to do business with you will Google you. If you don’t show up, then you’ll lose credibility and influence.
Understand your audience
First, you need to form your personal brand based on the impression you want to give. Be authentic, while keeping in mind what your audience looks at when assessing your credibility:
- How do you act?
- How do you talk?
- How do you dress?
- Are you authentic?
- Are you consistent?
- Are you visible in your market?
- Are you considered an industry expert?
- Are you well connected?
You will need to develop well-informed opinions around their pain points, helping the audience understand what they can gain from working with you. To do so, you will need to understand:
- Whom you want to influence
- How you want them to perceive you
- What keeps them awake at night
Grow your audience
- Post every day: One post reaches 20% of your network, so posting four days a week will allow you to reach 60% of your network every month. Doing so will help you stay top-of-mind if and when your audience wants to learn more about you or your company.
- Be interesting: The most effective way to draw people’s attention is when your posts add value to them, such as sharing insightful and actionable information to grow their business.
- Be consistent: Be clear about how you want to be perceived, and maintain a consistent tone of voice across all your posts. I suggest picking three things you want to be known for as an industry expert. The goal is to be known in a niche area of expertise and gain credibility for it.
- Use LinkedIn Groups: There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn. Users who are active in groups get four times more profile views. You will get more traffic on your profile if you are known for being engaged and responsive in the community.
- Engage with other users: Creating a natural conversation around your topics of industry expertise is a great way to build credibility. Always return likes and comments from anyone who has engaged with your posts, which is an easy and effective way to make fruitful connections.
Steve is an independent LinkedIn trainer and SME marketing consultant based in Hong Kong.
About the Author
Steve Bruce is a Hong Kong-based independent LinkedIn trainer and SME marketing consultant. He helps senior executives, business owners, and corporate teams to present themselves powerfully on LinkedIn.