Marketing and Sales

5 Pillars to Grow your Personal Brand

  • Moritz Spangenberg
  • December 16, 2021

83% of B2B purchasing decisions happen before a buyer engages directly with a provider. But, only one percent of professionals make use of developing their personal brand on LinkedIn. 

Those one percent of professionals are using their personal brand to market and differentiate themselves and their services to their audience. The other 99% are sitting on the sideline, consuming other people’s content. To which group do you belong?

If you continue reading, chances are that you belong to the 99% that is still missing out on building their personal brand on LinkedIn. The good news is, you have a personal brand already. And being a consultant or an executive means that you are most likely sitting on a ton of expertise and references from happy customers. But, most of us are not effectively using our expertise, strengths, and references. 

So, I will introduce you to the five pillars that will allow you to start positioning and growing your personal brand on the number one platform for B2B professionals, LinkedIn. 

1) Understanding how LinkedIn works and the core logic of the algorithm

The better your understanding of LinkedIn, the better your social game on the platform. For starters, let us focus on one question: what influences good and badly performing posts with many or very few likes and comments? When you publish a post, LinkedIn will show your content to a few of your connections, the test audience. Based on their reactions, the algorithm decides to show your content to more connections or not. More likes and comments equals more reach and organic impressions.

 If you have more personal connections or followers, your posts have a higher chance of being viewed by more people. Ultimately this is what you want—to have many relevant viewers engaging with your content, no matter what specific goal you are pursuing on LinkedIn. If you are distributing relevant and interesting content and have a good profile, you are in the pole position for accelerating the growth of your personal brand. So what makes up a good personal profile and why is it important? 

2) A 5-star personal profile 

In order to grow your personal brand, you need a 5-star personal profile. For starters: if you complete the basic data on your LinkedIn profile, the platform will thank you by giving you 1.5 times more reach for your posts. Why don’t you quickly open another tab and check it? After having filled out all necessary data, you want to look at all data points from the top to the bottom of your profile. Let’s look at one example, the personal headline. That is the text that sits right under your name on your profile. The most common mistake I see consultants or executives making is that they use their headlines to talk about titles, positions, business schools only. But they miss out on describing their value proposition for other professionals. If you would be a business owner, which profile would you rather follow A) or B)?

A) Peter Miller
Founder & CEO, Growth and Marketing Consulting Group, Investor, Advisor at multiple companies  

B) Peter Miller
I help small businesses with digital marketing in Europe 

Leading LinkedIn professionals treat their personal profiles as their personal landing pages. Think about a well-designed landing page of a company that you like. You will find nice and friendly pictures, an interesting headline, a clear description of what they can do for you, case studies, and a clear call to action. Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor to your profile and review the story you want to tell.

3) Valuable and original content 

On LinkedIn, content is king. The reaction of your audience to your content will decide whether your posts will be ranked higher or lower by the algorithm. If you are posting relevant content, more people will start following you on LinkedIn. And this is what you are aiming for if you want to establish your personal brand. But what is relevant content? Relevant content is any form of text, poll, picture, video, or other rich media that your audience likes. So, contrary to the headline of this chapter, you do not even need original content to start with. Although, if your content is original, chances are that you will have an easier time claiming your spot on LinkedIn. But where do you get content from? Not everyone is a content creator, right? 

4) Sourcing content and overcoming the fear of posting

Actually, every one of us is some kind of content creator. You create content regularly when you write emails, Slack messages, prepare presentations, or reports. That means you do have a hidden treasure of content sitting on your Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, or whatever drive or storage solution you use. Look through your drive, look through your mailbox and think about the latest documents or well-structured emails with some of your thoughts around a topic that a customer, whether internal or external, cares about. I bet there are a couple of content gems that we could repurpose into well-performing LinkedIn blog posts. 

Dare to give it a try? 

Right, you are hesitant to post because you fear looking stupid on social media. You may ask yourself “what if my friends don’t like what I write?” These doubts are normal. You can overcome them by subscribing to the fact that most people simply don’t care about your LinkedIn posts. Most of your followers will only react to your content if they like it. If they don’t, they will continue scrolling. Pick a topic that suits your level of expertise and interest and that you believe is relevant to your audience, and start posting. Now.

5) Genuine engagement with your community 

LinkedIn is a people-to-people network. If you want to establish your personal brand, you cannot stop your social media game after posting content. You need to engage with your community for two reasons. Number one: relationship building. You want to create relationships with your audience to build trust and a loyal community. Answer every comment that you receive on a post. Send direct messages and connection invites, and reach out directly to people to thank them for liking or engaging with your content. 

The second reason engagement with your community is important is the algorithm itself. The LinkedIn algorithm will thank you with more reach (more views for your content) if you are engaging with your community regularly. One personal tip: be friendly, validating, and encouraging with your community, they will be thankful for it.  

What are you waiting for? Review your profile, start your content game and build your personal brand now. The best investment is one in yourself. So, start now and thank me one year from now. 

 

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