At first glance, LinkedIn is not the most popular social platform on the web, nor does it have such an impressive number of users as those usually in the spotlight. However, if you look closer, there is a lot to LinkedIn, especially for professionals seeking to make their way into the business world.
Here are some of the most relevant statistics for 2021:
- LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S. 73% of social media users at least somewhat agree that LinkedIn protects their privacy and data. Compare that to just 53% for Facebook.
- 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn “drive business decisions”. The platform’s chief selling point for marketers is its ability to target an audience by their job, not just their demographics. This allows B2B marketers in particular to reach the people who make the buying decisions.
- 96% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing. This makes LinkedIn the top network for B2B content marketers, followed by Twitter and Facebook (82% each). This is not surprising, given that LinkedIn offers a context in which people expect and seek out business-related content.
What’s your personal brand on LinkedIn?
The question is not about your work, your start-up, the jobs you’ve held in the past, or the qualifications you’ve mastered as a professional online course creator. They are all part of your CV and important when you apply for a job or a contract. However, your personal brand is also about who you are, your strength, image, values, passion — and how all these apply to your professional skills.
The important thing is to be authentic because some of the people looking at your LinkedIn profile will end up being your clients and partners, so they will get to know you better.
While personal branding on LinkedIn may have some similarities to advertising, you need to be able to walk the talk. Especially if you are in an entrepreneur or solopreneur role, your reputation will constantly be your calling card, and any dark spots on it will do a lot of damage.
So, showcase all that you are in the best light possible but do not embellish because eventually you’ll be found out.
How to shine on LinkedIn
By now, you are probably thinking that while you do have some great competencies and are good at what you do, you’re not the only one creating online courses in your particular e-learning niche. Others have the same set of skills, similar experience, and perhaps an even more impressive portfolio.
How are you going to stand out?
Well, first of all, you may not be the only course creator in your niche, but you are unique. What you need to do is take your professional identity and translate it into the profile template.
The questions you should answer before you do this are:
- What are your talents?
- What are your top strengths?
- What were the highlights of your career so far?
- What were your accomplishments for the most important jobs or projects? (you should keep these rather recent, and unless you are in the academic field, don’t mention your degrees as work successes; they have their place when you have to enumerate your studies)
Pro tips on building a great personal brand on LinkedIn
Having the answers to the questions above will help you construct the image of who you are professionally and give viewers a good idea about whether they would want to work with you or not.
To take things up a notch:
- Write your About section in the first person and give some details about yourself outside your career but relevant in a professional setting. For example, you can say something in the lines of “When the health crisis started, I found myself on furlough from my job and decided to follow my dream of developing my own e-learning business”. The point is not only to build a story but be genuine and relatable.
- In your Professional Experience section, always show the results that your actions had – it sounds best if you use bullet points instead of complete sentences, like this:
- was responsible for the design and delivery of sales training for the company’s retail force and the results within three months of the learning interventions showed a 30% increase in sales and a 40% decrease in customer complaints
- Make sure you have professional Recommendations on your profile. These are from past managers, peers, associates, or clients. Don’t shy away from asking for these recommendations and go as far as telling people what topics or instances you’d like them to focus on. Getting the right endorsements can be immensely good for your personal brand.
LinkedIn is the strongest platform for connecting professionals. As a knowledge entrepreneur, your presence there needs to be spot on and stand out. By following these tips and harnessing your own potential for creativity, you can create a personal brand that will be one of the strongest assets for your career.
Graham is the CEO and Founder of CYPHER LEARNING and INDIE. He is a serial entrepreneur, e-learning enthusiast, published author, and educator.