Maybe this blog post is against some of the mainstream content out there giving you advice on how your LinkedIn profile should look like.
And I'm fine with that, are you?
But for now, let's color in between the lines, shall we?
Your personal brand is everything about you, your professional reputation, online image, offline image, your work style, and how you engage with everyone.
To develop a personal brand, consider what you want people to think of when they hear your name. What particular skills and talents do you want people to think about?
Right now, how do you think people would describe you? Does it align with what you want people to see you as?
LinkedIn can help develop your personal brand increasing the chances that others notice you and potentially do business with you.
Here's a sacred cow I am about to sacrifice:
You don't have to have an impressive resume to get people's attention.
Within your LinkedIn profile you can add several other fields of information which you can use to showcase your core values.
Things like Animal Welfare if you have volunteered at a shelter, or adding the community groups and events where you have been involved has a lot to say about you.
Even if you don't have a solid work history, showing consistency in your service and activism in your community will help you stand out.
Besides, you can also include new skills you have been developing, projects you are currently involved with, and you can even showcase your innovation and expertise by listing things like patents you have filed or other languages you speak.
STAND OUT FROM THE REST
How will you stand out among a flock of people wearing penguin suits if you're also wearing a suit.
Branding, REMEMBER? Stand out!
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for business suits and skinny ties, (plus I love penguins), however that's not what you will find on my LinkedIn profile. You have to know the audience that you want to attract in order to pull this off however. You can't come “as you are” either.
On LinkedIn the headline is a very important focal point for how you want to be seen. Use it well because some people may never go past the headline when conducting a search for people with your expertise.
If you can, please get creative with your headline. CEO & Founder is just boring!
Steer away from self-centered, over the top titles like “Self-Made, or 7-Figure Earner”.
BRAND YOUR LINKEDIN URL
On LinkedIn you get to choose a unique URL to point to your profile. Most people use their name, which is a great way for people to find you if they are searching for your name.
But, if someone is searching for a Paleo Nutrition Expert, will they find you? Consider using a keyword in the URL, but only if you are sure that you're always going to be doing this. Otherwise, choose your name if available.
Contribute Your Knowledge Regularly
Participate in groups, like, share and comment on things that your connections have shared on their status updates. If you have created a white paper, eBook, or blog post about your niche, share it on LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn's publishing platform.
Share other people's work (with your added commentary) within your niche as well. By curating other people's work, if up to your standards, you will get a reputation as the go-to person who can find the information people want about that topic.
HIRE A PRO
A personal brand takes time, consistency, and true knowledge of your niche. LinkedIn is a piece of the digital marketing puzzle that can help you get noticed if you use it properly. And when in doubt, hire a pro!
LET'S CONNECT ON LINKED IN!