Whether you are a creator, innovator or business leader, sharing your professional brand with as many people as possible is the key to generating business. With the ever increasing presence of social media, the constant pressure of posting the perfect photo or writing the most compelling caption can be overwhelming. However, not all platforms are the same and one channel that is becoming increasingly more approachable and relevant for personal and professional brand development is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn preceded Facebook, Instragram, Twitter and Snapchat and currently hosts more than 600 million professional profiles. LinkedIn presents endless possibilities for potential connections and job opportunities, which makes it essential that your LinkedIn profile is a reflection of your mission, professional goals and personal brand. Sounds a little daunting, right? That’s why we brought in LinkedIn professional Jen Chenoweth – founder of The LinkedIn Gal – for a sold-out workshop at ModernWell on how to build your professional brand on this robust platform.
“Most people think of LinkedIn immediately for job seeking, but in In today’s professional environment your LinkedIn profile is your online business card,” Jen explains. “LinkedIn is much more than just a “Rolodex”, it’s a place to consume and share content, learn new skills, and get inspired.”
We asked Jen and Sarah Schake, Social Media Coordinator at Village Bank and workshop attendee, to share some of their top tips from the workshop:
Show your brand – Everyone has a personal brand and LinkedIn is the perfect place to express your personality, skills and goals in a professional environment. When creating and updating your profile, you want to make sure that the content is a clear representation of you! Make sure your ‘About’ section reflects who you are as a successful professional, your skills and your career goals. Don’t be afraid to ask a colleague or friend to look over your profile to see if it is representative of you. Long story short, be unique, genuine, credible, engaging, and influential.
The profile picture – How can people get a true sense of your personal brand without putting a face to the description?! Your profile picture should be recent (I can pick you out in a coffee shop based on your profile picture), relevant (your look and attire reflects the work you do), and is brand-right for the direction your career is headed.
Consistency is key – Create a calendar appointment to review and/or update your profile quarterly. “I see so many profiles where people have been promoted or move to a new company and their LinkedIn profile still has their old information,” Jen explained. “Quarterly is a great time to review your job information and also to add current results to your experience.” (Hint: if you make this a practice, writing your performance review at the end of the year becomes surprisingly easy!)
Share the things that interest you – Your profile is current and your picture is rock solid, now what? You’re probably already reading articles or attending events that are relevant to your career and interests – share them with your connections! Event better, add your point of view in the post with a link so people can engage with you. Jen mentioned that there are bonus points for tagging a colleague you think would also be interested in the content and adding three hashtags to create even more engagement.
What NOT to do – You don’t have to accept connection requests from people you don’t know. Start with connecting with the people you already know professionally and personalize your connection request. Online connecting is great, but the human connection is priceless. Pick up the phone or grab a coffee with your connections and let them know what you are working on professionally and what your goals are.
Want to learn more about putting these tips into action? Lucky for you, Jen is hosting another workshop at ModernWell this Fall! Click here to register and we hope to see you soon!
Bio: Jen is a Minneapolis-based LinkedIn Consultant and Career Coach. She founded The LinkedIn Gal to help people create and launch their brands on social media. Since 2014 she has written over 1700 individual LinkedIn profiles, launched dozens of LinkedIn company pages, and helped thousands of people articulate their personal brands. In addition to her business, Jennifer has spent 17+ years working within Fortune 50 companies in functions including Marketing, Merchandising, Brand Management, and Human Resources. Jennifer holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin Madison and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Learn more about Jen at http://www.thelinkedingal.com/