I’m at the point where I could pay cash for a luxury dream holiday, anywhere in the world, if I was paid every time I got asked this question.
Let’s talk straight. If you’ve lost your job and are only now thinking about your LinkedIn profile, you are completely missing the whole point of the socially connected world we live in today. Not to mention, taking care of your personal brand at a time when recession talk is starting to rumble, job security decreasing (especially for the over 40s), and more, shouldn’t it all seem like a no-brainer?
Because we also shouldn’t underestimate the importance employers are placing on the social influence of employees and potential employees too. Yes, brands are finally grasping that professionals who value their personal brand are the sort of people they must have on their team to be successful – because people trust people, not brands.
If your employees aren’t your biggest fans, you’ve got problems WAY bigger than social media
And yet I am still regularly asked this question, by really really smart people. Hello!
As far as LinkedIn is concerned – so the story goes – everything changed a few years ago when Jeff Weiner and his team sat back and realized LinkedIn members had no reason to visit every day. It occurred to them that people only visited LinkedIn when looking for a job, and understood this wasn’t a very good long term business model.
So they changed everything, and while LinkedIn is still a phenomenal recruitment/job seeking platform, at least 70 per cent of it’s focus today is content. World-class content.
Seriously, LinkedIn is the world’s greatest professional content platform.
Whether you are sharing the amazing content being created by influencers, your peers and the media, or you are creating it yourself, LinkedIn is the place to educate yourself and to become an influencer in your field.
But building a personal brand doesn’t happen in a week. It happens over years and your credibility and trust factor on LinkedIn occurs when you are consistently present, focused in your area of expertise, and actively participating within your communities.
With all that said, I appreciate that many of the active professionals on LinkedIn are not doing a good job at this today. I also know that the amount of self-promotion is turning some very smart people off. Don’t let it.
You are right that too many are approaching this the wrong way, but what we need now is people who understand it’s not about self-promotion to get on board and participate.
We need to drown out the self-promoters and show them how it really should be done!
I’ve written tonnes of blogs on the topic of building a personal brand, so I’m not going to repeat advice from the past. Instead here are 14 blogs I’ve already written to help if you’re ready:
Please start taking social media very seriously today – specifically LinkedIn. No matter what level you are, social media is where you build the dream career you want for yourself and LinkedIn is a massive part of this. But it’s not the only site relevant to you. We must all choose our social presence based on where our industry is, and if we’re a professional, LinkedIn should be a priority.
- Make a commitment to participate. Daily, twice-weekly, monthly. It doesn’t matter. Just be consistent and be present
- Update your LinkedIn profile with all of the features available today. Make it visual, tell a story, maximize this asset
- If you are working for a company, share their content on LinkedIn, but only the content you love. A future employer will look upon that very positively, because you are a team player. However, don’t share company content without thought – it has to be aligned to your personal brand. What you stand for. Blog 12 is all about that
- Be a giver (blog nine) and elevate others in your community by commenting on their content, sharing their blogs and engaging in conversations. If you’re not blogging but someone you know and admire is, they will appreciate your support – trust me. If you adopt the Giving Economy mind-set, your influence on LinkedIn will grow exponentially, because others will be inclined to support you in return
- Time is always raised as an issue. Seriously, if you’re spending more than 15 minutes a day on social, you’re doing too much. Yes you can be too present. Spread your actions out over the day so people don’t switch off because they keep seeing your face. We all know those people. Blog seven is about time and managing your presence
- Don’t do one of my bug bears – share articles/blogs without adding your own opinion and please don’t just cut and paste the headline into LinkedIn. I can already see the title in the link window. Tell me why you enjoyed the article and what you think I’ll get out of it. I’ll value that. So will your audience
- If you’re looking for a job and you get one, keep going with your personal brand – it’s a forever investment today. You know those people I was talking about who ask me for help when they lose their job? The majority get a job and then stop being social. I feel like I’ve failed every time I see that happen! Building a strong, credible and authentic personal brand is the health regime for your career. It’s what today is all about. Keep it up
We all know the world has changed. It’s the only thing anyone seems to talk about today. But whatever change you are being confronted with as a professional in business, the first one you must take seriously is your personal brand.
This is you. This is your job insurance. This is securing your future. Don’t give everything you’ve got to the company you work for, because if the day comes when you are waved goodbye – and it happens all too often – you’ll be competing with people who are listening to this advice today and acting on it.
I beg you. Hear me. This is how the change in the world is (and will be) impacting your future career. Don’t miss this opportunity.
What say you? You going to do more from today?
PS: as you may know, I recently set up my own business The Digital Conversationalist. This week I was excited to launch two Personal Branding Workshops in Singapore – How to Build a Rock Star Professional Social Presence Today. It’s going to be a full day of learning, insight and fun, and I promise that no one will be able to walk away without taking action and building the future they want for themselves across social media. I truly believe that a powerful and authentic personal brand changes everything! If you’re stumped and you need help, let me share my passion with you. Book now for Saturday May 28th or Friday June 10th and please feel free to pass this onto friends and colleagues if you think they’d be interested.