How to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn as an entrepreneur

How to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn

So, you’re an entrepreneur striving to grow your business, and you read somewhere or heard from someone that building your personal brand on LinkedIn can help you increase awareness for your business, generate leads, and even get clients… And you’re wondering how can you do all that, well you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will share with you the best tips you can use to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn:

Optimize your LinkedIn profile:

Crafting your LinkedIn profile is the first thing you should do in order to help visitors identify who you are and what you do.

Choose the right profile picture and cover photo

Adding a profile photo will make your profile more likely to be viewed and found in searches. We suggest you hire a professional photographer to take your profile picture if possible, if not, you can ask one of your friends or coworkers, you can even do it yourself there are many great tutorials available on the internet.
As for the cover, you can incorporate your company’s logo or an image associated with your activity.

Write a professional headline

It’s the first description people will see, it’s your chance to make a good first impression. As an entrepreneur, make sure to mention your startup and your role, for example, “Founder and CEO of …”. And since people care so much about big brand name institutions, you can add them if you can. I’ve seen many people mention previous employers such as McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Uber, or incubators/accelerators by writing YC S21 or Techstars’20, some people even mention their school. It’s totally up to you.

Don’t forget the summary

I’m sure you have an “about us” page on your company’s website. It’s pretty much the same, but this time instead of writing about your business, you should write about yourself and your story. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords for search purposes.

Fill your “Education”, “Experience”, “Licenses & Certifications”, “Volunteer experience”, and “Skills and Endorsements” sections

Unlike a CV, you have all the space you need, so put as many details as you want (Don’t overdo it!), you can even add media to make your profile stand out. Don’t forget the skills section, it can give a huge boost to your visibility.

Set up your services page (Optional)

You can find potential clients, by showcasing your skills and allowing non-connected LinkedIn users to message you for free. This will also help you appear in searches when people are looking for services.

Turn on creator mode (Optional)

According to LinkedIn, creator mode will allow you to grow your following by changing your primary profile action from “connect” to “follow”, establish your voice, and get discovered.

Build your LinkedIn network:

Once your profile is ready, you can start connecting with ex-colleagues, classmates, your employees (if applicable) … Then, you can move to the next step, making new meaningful connections:

  • Target people relevant to your industry or niche, who will be interested in your content as well as your company.
  • Find alumni
  • Check the “people you may know” section
  • Send requests to industry leaders
  • Join groups

LinkedIn has capped the weekly invitation limit to 100 connection requests per week, use those 100 credits wisely, we suggest sending 20 requests every weekday. You can include a personal note in your request to increase your acceptance rate. You should aim for a 30% acceptance rate.

Create engaging content:

Your goal of developing a strong personal brand on LinkedIn requires creating and sharing valuable content. How? Let us show you:

Figure out your goals

What you’re hoping to achieve will define your strategy, for example, if you’re a technical co-founder your goal might be connecting with fellow CTOs, but if you are a business co-founder your goal might (should) be increasing revenue. Your goals will change over time, but don’t worry all you have to do is keep adjusting your strategy to meet your end goals.

Identify your target persona

Your goal is to create content that will resonate with your audience, but first, you should know who that audience is.

Do content research

Follow the best content creators in your industry or niche, analyze their content, see what works and what doesn’t, how do people interact with each piece of their content, check out the comments. This will help you a lot during the creation process.

Create

If you’re an expert in your field you can teach and inspire others, if not, you can share the process of learning and testing new things and still inspire others, the most important thing is to create content about topics you and your audience love:

  • Educate people
  • Help them solve problems
  • Share stories
  • Add something personal from time to time in order to build trust
  • Don’t be too sales-focused, your content should focus on helping not selling.

Experiment

Try multiple subjects and formats to see what performs the best. Text-only posts, images, slideshows, engaging videos, and polls are performing well in 2021, on the other side, external links (Pro tip: put external links in the comments), sharing other people’s posts, and putting too many hashtags can kill your efforts. But you should try and see what works best for you.
Another thing that’s unique about LinkedIn is that you can post articles directly on the platform, we never gave it a try but if you do, tell us about it in the comments.

Always keep in mind post structures

For example, 90% of your post is hidden, LinkedIn will only showcase the first 2 sentences and a “show more button”, so you should learn how to capture people’s attention using few words (You’re an entrepreneur, we’re sure you already know how). Another example is that LinkedIn videos start automatically with no sound, which means you should rely on descriptive graphics, subtitles, and good body language to motivate people to click on the video. One last tip is adding space between lines to reduce text fatigue and to make the reading experience more pleasurable.

Use analytics

The platform gives you access to basic analytics like views in addition to engagement, but as your personal brand on LinkedIn grow you can switch to a third-party analytics tool if you want.

Be consistent

We know that you are already super busy and that it’s hard to create great content regularly, but consistency is essential to stay in people’s minds, furthermore, LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards users who consistently create highly engaging content.
If you’re having trouble coming up with fresh content ideas, you can leverage existent content in your company’s blog and YouTube channel…
Check this article we wrote on how you can generate content ideas for free.

Interact with others

Publishing content is great, however, don’t forget to participate in conversations:

  • Comment on people’s posts
  • Ask questions
  • Reply to people’s comments on your posts
  • Share the content of other creators
  • Share in LinkedIn groups

Bonus: LinkedIn engagement pods

This topic is so controversial. While some people say that using engagement pods violates directly the LinkedIn agreement which can lead to a lifetime ban, in addition to this, you’re not reaching your target users, but a fake audience that doesn’t care about what you share. Others think that pods are simply a way to boost your content reach.
Let’s show you how engagement pods work and you can decide for yourself:

First you should know how the LinkedIn algorithm works

When you publish a new piece of content, the algorithm has to figure out if it’s interesting and should be displayed on a big scale. In order to do this, the algorithm weight in many factors such as the type of the post, the use of hashtags, the size of your network, and initial engagement, in other words, the system shows your content to a small group of people, measure the engagement, then decide whether to display it on a larger scale or not, and that’s where engagement pods come in.

What’s an engagement pod

An engagement pod is a private group of people (preferably in the same niche or industry) who regularly engage with each other’s content to maximize exposure.

Manual pods vs Automated pods

Engagement pods initially appeared as manual, each member shares the links to his posts on a telegram or WhatsApp group and promises to engage with the content of others. But it’s very time consuming, and because of that, automated pods were created, all you have to do is share your links and that’s it, the tool will engage automatically with other people’s posts, however, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, with automated groups, the quality of the comments is low (too generic), and the chance of getting caught by LinkedIn is much higher than with manual pods.

Using engagement pods in your LinkedIn in your strategy is totally up to you, but if you want to do it, make sure the pod is moderated and has quality members from your niche.

To conclude, we urge you to start building your personal brand on LinkedIn as soon as possible, trust us, you’ll be amazed by the number of opportunities that come knocking on your door. In fact, Garyvee said recently in an interview when asked about the biggest mistake people make on LinkedIn:

” Underestimating it, because I think right now professionally it may be the single most interesting platform in social and digital and content media. It’s got an enormous audience, everyone who’s in B2B and not taking his content strategy on LinkedIn extremely seriously is making a massive mistake.”

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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