Today I had a brand brainstorming session with a new coaching client who wants to launch a new business selling her communications consulting services. She says she is already beginning to tell people what she does, but she is a few months away from launching her website. However, even though she hasn’t had her company web site built yet, there is one web site that is already marketing her work twenty-four hours a day: LinkedIn.
In fact, a quick Google search for her name shows her LinkedIn profile as the very first search result. It’s the very first search result for my name, too!
That kind of exposure means that LinkedIn profile should be working overtime to build our brands!
So how should she approach LinkedIn from a personal branding standpoint? And how should you? Here are three quick ways to do it.
Brand Yourself Through Your Headline – Start with a compelling headline that specifically describes you in a nutshell. While LinkedIn will make your default headline your current job, take the step to build your brand by creating a headline that gives an overview of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do.
Since your headline is what appears in a LinkedIn search, make sure it is compelling and draws the reader in to learn more…
Brand Yourself Through Your Summary – Don’t make the mistake of leaving this critical field bare. If you want to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, you need a summary that intrigues and excites the reader. Your summary is just that – an overview of your relevant experience and the projects that you are the most proud of to make your summary shine. Think about it like this, if you were to write a book tomorrow, what would your “About the Author” page say?
Talk about your passions and past projects where you have excelled. Of course if you are just starting out in your career, your summary will be a little shorter but that is no reason to be intimidated and think you have nothing to share. If your experience is lacking, discuss what you are looking for, what you want, and what you are trying to do. You never know who may be reading.
Brand Yourself Through Your Position Descriptions – For the average LinkedIn user, positions are added in a list. But if you are building your personal brand, you should expand each position intentionally. In addition to listing where you’ve worked, discuss exactly what you did and what results you achieved while in each position. This way, you don’t have a simple work history – but instead you’re using your job roles to brand your expertise.
Now that you have a compelling headline, you’ve written an amazing, intriguing summary and detailed your successes for each position description, your LinkedIn profile should be working hard to communicate your personal brand. You’re on your way!