Personal Branding on LinkedIn
Welcome to episode 194, this week I have a chat with my friend and fellow LinkedIn Trainer/Consultant Sandra Long about personal branding.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
LinkedIn Announce some changes to groups
I have mentioned previously that I’m aware that LinkedIn are currently working on a project to improve groups and this week they sent out a communication advising of several changes that will happen soon.
I think most people have been seen it but in case you didn’t see it;
- Accessing groups from the homepage is a welcome move but let’s be clear, this is just a rollback to how it used to be!
- Including group conversations in the feed is also nothing new. This one concerns me in that most activity in groups is useless broadcasting as well as spam so this could actually be a negative thing for members homepage feeds!
- Posting videos is great news. No surprise either as it has been a success on the home page and the ability to @mention (assuming it works!) is a positive step.
- The retirement of the iOS Groups app. I’m not sure how this will improve the use of groups….taking away an app is not exactly moving forward! You have always been able to access groups from the main app anyway (Android users have always had to do it that way)
- Maybe LinkedIn felt it was necessary to release this information now in light of the recent Facebook summit where groups were mentioned but I have to say, these changes are somewhat underwhelming!
- I’m sure this is really just the start of the groups redesign. I’m disappointed because I felt they needed to scrap groups altogether and start again from scratch. Getting members back engaging in groups is going to be very hard because most members have just written them off.
- LinkedIn quote: “Additional notifications, groups posts in feed, video posts, @mentions and replies to comments have been announced because those are the items for which we have a decent sense of the timeline. But it is definitely not an exhaustive list of the work we’re doing to improve Groups”
- Let’s hope that the next announcements are more exciting!
This week I had a chat with LinkedIn expert Sandra Long. Personal branding was one of my predictions for 2018 covered in episode 192 and a subject I believe to be very important to all of us. I even covered it briefly in the first ever episode of LinkedInformed when I introduced ‘Personal Branding for Brits’ author Jennifer Holloway
Sandra wrote a book specifically focused on personal branding on LinkedIn in 2016 and it is still up to date and relevant in 2018.
- Tom Peters article The Brand Called You which is still just as relevant today as when it was written in 1997!
- Social media really allows us to craft an image that we want to portray. This has many advantages but also creates an authenticity challenge.
- Social media has blended our social and professional lives. This creates a question as to how ‘open’ we want to be with business contacts about our personal lives.
- 40% of people don’t know how to describe what they do…and those are just the hard facts, never mind describing your character!
- The best way to describe what you do is to be very specific – broad, ‘jack of all trades’ profiles rarely work for you.
- In terms of character – what makes you unique? You can display this information in a variety of different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
- It can help to define a ‘persona’ when writing your LinkedIn summary – Sandra’s book gives plenty of persona examples and has a list of questions that can help define your persona.
- This also impacts corporate brands as many organisations are now realising that they are in reality, a collective of many personal brands and this can be a very powerful. It is however really important to be authentic to your own brand and this needs to align, for the most part with the corporate brand you are representing.
- Your activity on LinkedIn should also be in line with your brand. If your brand is genuine then this should not be difficult! It’s often a good test of whether your brand image is right.
- Posting should never be self-promotional. Thought leadership, being helpful and contributing to the LinkedIn community by developing conversations is the best way to ‘stay on brand’ – your profile should clearly explain what you do.
- Final word from Sandra: Take the time to really think through who you are and your ‘brand elements’ before you start to write your profile
This week we had a question from Randy about connections.
Is it better to connect with as many people as possible or should we be more selective?
More is definitely not better when it comes to connecting.
Connecting with everyone and anyone will confuse the algorithm and make it harder for you to spot interesting content and harder for the people that matter, to see yours!
That said, only connecting with people you know makes very little sense either – LinkedIn is about expanding your horizons and sphere of influence!
My advice is to connect with relevant people. You don’t have to know them but you do need to believe that there is at minimum a decent possibility that they will be connected to the people you wish to do business with.
That’s it for this week, until next time.
Have a great week everyone.
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