Believe it or not, you already have a personal brand. The question is, are you leveraging your personal brand to monetize your expertise or accelerate your success?
Personal branding is the process of marketing yourself, and your career or business, in order to attract relevant opportunities. Marketing, in this context, means getting people to know, like and trust you, so that they'll eventually want to work with you or buy from you.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the strategic process of creating and distributing content to attract a targeted audience. And on LinkedIn, your content strategy has a huge role to play in successfully building your personal brand.
So what does this mean for you?
With your expertise, and your drive to create relevant, useful and engaging content, you'll be on your way to building a powerful personal brand that'll give you "permission" to monetize your expertise using LinkedIn features.
In this post, we'll look at seven content marketing strategies and tips that'll help you boost your personal brand on LinkedIn.
Let's get started.
1. Provide massive value
The thing that will differentiate you from everyone else on LinkedIn is providing super-valuable content, that people simply cannot resist.
I’m talking about providing learning and networking opportunities that are relevant and useful to your network, that people will be willing to spend 10 or 30 minutes - or even an hour or more - consuming your content or joining your event.
Now, you can easily host LinkedIn Live if you have access to it, or maybe organize free webinars that offer value to your target audience. You can also leverage LinkedIn Event Pages to promote your events, and get people to register.
For example, in February, I hosted a LinkedIn Local Philippines - 2nd Virtual Panel Discussion through VB Consulting and invited speakers to share their insights with the audience.
And in January, I launched a free on-demand video series to help those who would like to use LinkedIn to land a job during the pandemic.
Here are some examples of highly valuable content that you could give away to or share with your LinkedIn network:
- Free e-books, checklists or worksheets
- Live webinars
- LinkedIn Live events
- On-demand webinars
- Free consultations
- Virtual LinkedIn Local events
- Free live coaching sessions
Instead of simply sharing any existing content that you've created for your general audience, try creating exclusive content for your LinkedIn network. After all, if you've been highly strategic in building your professional network on LinkedIn, they will mostly be your target market.
2. Leverage industry influencers
Industry influencers are influencers for a reason: People follow them.
Building relationships with influencers and mentioning them in your posts can help boost your visibility on LinkedIn - here are some examples:
Peter Brace mentions Amy Edmondson and Timothy Clark, among the pioneers in the field of psychological safety
Raymond Domingo mentions Robina Gokongwei-Pe, a highly reputable entrepreneur and President/CEO of one of the largest multi-format retailers in the Philippines
Peter, Raymond and Anda didn’t really talk about themselves in their posts; instead, they talked about the influencers they mentioned.
So what can we learn from these posts? If you’re making this type of post, remember to make it about them, the influencers, not about you.
3. Help others build their LinkedIn presence
While expanding your reach on LinkedIn by mentioning influencers who engage with your post is a good strategy, another strategy that works is the opposite - this time, if you already have a huge network, why not leverage your network to help others build their LinkedIn presence?
This is a win-win strategy. You win because you expand your reach to other people’s networks, and they win because they also become visible to your network. It also helps you build a strong community on the platform.
I've been using this strategy in one of the longest-running initiatives that I started in 2018 - the ‘Top 100 Filipinos to Follow on LinkedIn for Inspiration and Learning’.
This is not just about recognizing people who are actively sharing content on LinkedIn, but also about encouraging more people who are new to the platform to become more active on LinkedIn.
4. Show empathy
When you’re on LinkedIn, being aware of, and sensitive to what is happening in your community is important.
This proved to be a super valuable tip when the pandemic began in 2020. At that time, people were losing their jobs, employees were forced to work from home unprepared, companies were turning to their business continuity plans, and the general public was forced to stay home.
Here in the Philippines, the first lockdown was declared on the 2nd week of March in 2020. With this context in mind, you can’t be posting content as if everything was “business as usual” - you need to revise your content plan to ensure you remain useful and relevant.
And during these challenging times, showing empathy in an authentic post can go a long way.
In this post below, Edward Musiak, an Australian who lives in the Philippines, posted about his experience during the early lockdown period in Manila.
Although Edward usually posts about sales and mental health, which are his expertise and advocacy, this post was unusual, but because he felt the need to share his insights about what he had been experiencing, as well as what he had seen others doing as a result of the lockdown in Manila, he posted about it.
As you can see, this more personal, insightful, empathetic update gained huge traction on LinkedIn.
5. Embrace vulnerability
Talking about our successes is easy, but bringing up failure is hard. And what I’ve learned on LinkedIn is that if you truly want to build a personal brand that will resonate with people, and that will get people to want to know more about you, to like you for who you are and to trust you for showing up, then you have to embrace vulnerability.
Being vulnerable means giving yourself permission to be yourself, and showing up when you have to. Being vulnerable also means showing up to your network as a relatable person who is not perfect, not all-knowing, and not worried about being judged by others.
Vulnerability builds connection, and connection builds trust. That trust is the one thing you need to create more opportunities for yourself and for others.
One of my most valuable posts of all time, in terms of the number of leads generated by a single post, remains to be this post where I shared how I was rejected by LinkedIn in 2015 when I applied at LinkedIn Singapore:
6. Just be yourself
When was the last time you shared your story on LinkedIn?
One of things I've learned through the years is that people on LinkedIn either know what they want to achieve through the platform, or they don’t know at all what they want to achieve.
Although it may seem like the ones who know what they want to achieve would be more successful on LinkedIn, I've learned that this is not always the case.
Many times, those whose top goal is to generate leads for their businesses are too focused on the goal of ‘selling’ so they end up operating with a wrong mindset, thinking about what they can get in terms of immediate leads or sales.
But LinkedIn is not a place where people want to hear sales pitches all the time - LinkedIn is a place where people engage with other people who provide valuable content, and whose stories resonate with them.
And guess what - the more you share who you are, the more people gravitate towards you. And that means more opportunities for you to start conversations, and build meaningful business relationships.
In this post below, Peter openly shares a part of who he is that makes him different - a lifelong learner who entered university in his 50’s, and finished his Ph. D. in his 60’s:
What most people don’t realize is this - knowing and being yourself is a free, tried-and-tested way to increase your reach and attract like-minded people on LinkedIn.
Peter wasn’t sure at first if this post was "appropriate" on LinkedIn, but posting it anyway led him to the answer:
Being who you are, and sharing what makes you different, indeed, can have a place on LinkedIn.
7. Reshare your top-performing posts
Your top-performing posts performed well for a reason. Maybe they resonate well with your audience, or perhaps you posted it at the right time, when your network needed to read it the most.
Reposting your top-performing posts will not only ensure you get a lot of views and reactions (again), but it can also help you capture a whole new audience. Don't just post and forget, keep a record of your top-performing posts, and when the timing is right, go ahead and repost them.
In my case, I repost my top-performing content at least after 3-6 months. And they work like magic each time.
Below is an all-text post I shared in March 2020. This post reached over 97,500 people, and garnered almost 2,000 reactions and 81 comments.
The same post at the time was trending in #personalbranding:
I shared this post again this year. Here's the same post I just reshared three days ago (March 19, 2021):
And according to LinkedIn, this post garnered Top 1% engagement on the platform:
By creating content that resonates with, and engages your target audience, you can attract the right people that you would like to do business with. But of course, it takes a lot of time and patience, as well as a willingness to strategically curate and create content that adds value to your network and permits yourself to be authentic.
Try using these seven tips to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level.