5 Improvements to Boost your Brand on LinkedIn
If you've already read my articles on upgrading your Linkedin profile (starting here),then you should already be taking the right steps toward building an excellent Linkedin page. This article will focus on small steps you can take, in addition to ones in my previous posts, if you want to focus on brand-building through Linkedin.
SEO and branding go hand-in-hand. If you don't have your SEO basics down yet, then that's where you should start. SEO isn't just for Google, after all. All big social media platforms have their own in-built search engines now, and if you want to build a brand on those platforms successfully, you should treat their internal search engines as you do Google or Bing.
To remind you of the basics: figure out your keywords, include them in your profile (especially in your job title and headline), but don't overdo it. Keep things short and straightforward.
There's much more to SEO than keywords, but that's where you should start. You can find more on SEO in our previous blog on the topic..
It’s a Work in Progress… Forever!
If you want to have a successful brand, you need to understand that everything is in motion. Industries go up and down, trends come and go, behaviors and algorithms change. You need always to adapt to your industry's present realities, your brand, and Linkedin. If you have success in your brand-building project at some point, the absolute worst thing you could do is to sit on your laurels and worry about something else. The only way to stay ahead is to put effort into staying on top of things. The moment you get lazy, you lose!
This means you'll always be updating your profile. Your summary will be rewritten, and your profile picture will get updated. Your skills list re-done, and your endorsements will go through their yearly cleanup. Whenever you do something new or achieve something, you'll post that to your Linkedin and add it to your experience. Your profile needs to take life and keep up with the shifts and changes in your industry.
Make Sure Your Profile is Public
It would be a shame to go through all these steps to build a killer profile for brand-building if you keep your profile private the whole time. You need to have a public profile so that anyone can access your page regardless of being connected with you or not. Potential employers, clients, and employees can all find you through Linkedin, but they can only do it if your profile is public. It's a straightforward change to make, but if you miss, it could cost you a lot! So make sure to press that button before you do anything else.
The only time I'd recommend having your profile on private is if you decide to make substantial changes to it, and you're scared of your profile looking unpolished for a day or two. If you're giving your page a makeover, you can always set your profile to private for a day or two (try not to do more than that) and once you're sure everything is in place, put it back to public.
All Connections Are Good Connections
If you receive a connection request, accept it. Period. There's no reason to decline a connection request. It doesn't matter if they're a stranger or if you think they're irrelevant to your field. Connections don't always need to be immediately useful. A lot of the time, it comes down to building a network. Maybe through a connection you thought wouldn't be helpful, you'll be introduced to a very valuable connection. At the very least, it's extra followers on social media, which never hurts. You never know when an opportunity might appear and who will bring it to you.
This doesn't mean you have to force yourself to accept literally all connections. If an account is clearly a bot, a scam, or a fake account, you shouldn't bother with it. Also, if one of your connections ends up harassing you, you shouldn't feel obliged to keep them in your connections because of some brand-building strategy.
Just as you should be liberal in accepting connection requests, you should also take more freedom in making connection requests yourself. You don't want to make requests to anyone; that would be exhausting. However, if there are people in your industry who would be valuable connections, you should definitely reach out to them. One of the most significant parts of building a strong brand is surrounding yourself with valuable people.
If you're making connection requests, you want to avoid being lazy with them. Personalizing your requests is the best way to ensure they get taken seriously instead of just being ignored. If there's someone you really want to have in your network, do some research about them, figure out how to approach them, and personalize your request message so that it is specific to them. Personalizing your first message will increase the chances of that person accepting your request and make it easier to begin a conversation with them after they enter your connections.
Make a Custom URL
This is a weird one, but it's so easy to do that you shouldn't overlook it. A custom URL is when you determine what appears after "linkedin.com/" when people visit your profile. If you don't set it, it will just be algorithmic gibberish by default. Making your URL cleaner is a nice subtle way to make your profile friendlier to visit and more memorable and more accessible. If someone wants to visit Thomas Edison's profile and has his custom Linkedin URL set up to "/Thomas-Edison," people can avoid searching for him and just type in the URL. It's a small thing to do, but you only need to do this once, and you never need to touch it again.
Try your best to get your name as your custom URL. If "Thomas-Edison" isn't available, then try to incorporate your job title or specialization into it. Whatever makes you stand out and unique from other Thomas Edisons. Maybe try "Thomas-Edison-Light," or "Thomas-Edison-Inventor." Anything memorable while still simple will do just fine.
If you end up adding your title or profession in your URL, make sure you update it if you ever change fields or start something new. You can only change your URL once every 30 days, so make sure to double-check before you commit to one.
As you can see, I've been using dashes instead of other symbols like underscores for my examples. Search engines read dashes as spaces, so it's best to use dashes since it's more likely that your Linkedin will come up if someone searches "Thomas Edison" in Google if you use dashes rather than underscores.