It could be argued that LinkedIn has done more to highlight or promote a professional’s personal brand than any other medium. Remember when we had a word-of-mouth reputation, a recommendation or a referral? Well, it seems that now we all have a personal brand where talents, experience, education, recommendations and reputations can be searched and viewed by anyone who takes the time to do it all in one place – LinkedIn!
If you have a LinkedIn profile then whatever it says or shows is reflective of your personal brand. Good, bad or indifferent, your profile is what you have chosen for people to see and you are the one who gets to decide what sort of first impression you will leave.
Personal branding is a process vs. an event, and the HARD part of building a personal brand is in the acquisition of your talent: the thousands of hours you have spent on education, developing experience, skills etc. Compared to the hard work you have already done you are now at the fun part of ensuring that you are appropriately stating your capability, and that you are doing it in an engaging way.
From recent college graduates to C-level executives, having the ability to clearly articulate what benefits or value an organization would gain from networking with you is the greatest challenge facing anyone seeking to upgrade their personal brand.
We no longer live in a time where you can be modest, or hint or imply that you possess talents and capabilities. Your audience has limited time and attention; you must be able to clearly and succinctly state how your talents (education, training, experience, and accomplishments) can contribute to the financial success of an organization. When you do this effectively you start to differentiate yourself from others … who just don’t. Never leave anyone who has visited your profile (and actually read it) guessing about what you do and the value that you are able to deliver.
Market and present the OUTCOMES of your talents by focusing on the positive financial impact of those outcomes, which will get attention and keep your personal brand moving forward.
Still struggling? Start with answering the question, “What are the three things you would want someone to walk away knowing after they have met you?” Said another way, what are the three things that you’d like to be known for? Now you have a benchmark for anything you add to your LinkedIn profile (i.e. does it clarify, simplify and justify or support the 3 things that you’d like to be known for?)
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so there is no point in developing a world-class talent and capability if your LinkedIn profile is going to understate or downplay that capability.
Remembering that “Your LinkedIn Profile = Your Value Proposition”, ask yourself what does your profile say about your personal brand?
I wish you and your personal brand every success!
Follow Graham @GrahamKRiley
CareerToolbox International, LLC