10 Networking Tips to Boost Your Personal Brand
Tip #5: Keep It Consistent
In today’s socially networked and hyper-connected world, you should have already established an online reputation/brand, and according to some experts, if you can’t be personally Googled, you might as well not exist.
That said, it’s become even more important to keep your in-person, or offline professional brand, consistent with your online “professional” personal brand (how you identify yourself). For most folks, we’re talking about what you share on LinkedIn or other social media channels.
One of the worst disconnects is to have the values and personal brand projected on one communication channel be radically different from another. (Most professionals can definitely benefit from reading my blog post about tweaking your profile on LinkedIn.) Today, your online profiles need to read almost exactly as you do in person. This is a good thing. Who wants to come across in bullet point form or sound like their resume or CV?
I’m a big fan of online social and business networking tools like LinkedIn, but that’s all they are—tools. And, yes, social networking sites can be very powerful tools for communicating with people, but you still have to know how to genuinely connect with them, and be adept at occasionally interacting in person, over coffee or perhaps at a networking event. And, remember, when you network you are promoting your personal brand so make sure you’re representing the “you” that you showcase online.
And, whatever you do, try not to get a reputation as an abuser of LinkedIn. Some overly aggressive linkers are part of a controversial group within LinkedIn, called “promiscuous linkers.” It’s a reputation that is hard to shake once you get it, and regardless whether you are a recruiter or intend to use your networks to market and promote yourself or your products, or services, or jobs, my advice is to tread very carefully here.
As the article below mentions, “LinkedIn has tried to discourage “link banking” by showing a maximum of 500 connections on a profile page, but that has done little to stop the practice.” Once again, quality over quantity is usually the best way to go.
If you’re still not sure just what exactly a promiscuous linker is, then read this still-relevant article from the former Business 2.0 Magazine titled, “The Missing Link.”
A few more suggestions around using LinkedIn to effectively boost your personal brand:
- Edit your public profile URL to include your name. If your name is already taken, add your middle initial or middle name, or flip your last name first. When a person searches for you on Google (and they will), your profile will now appear in search results.
- Provide Endorsements and Recommendations with a pay it forward mindset and an awareness that what you write about others reflects on you and usually appears on your profile as well. By doing so, you’ll create what I call good “social karma” and will likely receive some in return. Be sure to speak to the person’s strengths and what it’s like to work with them or the impact they had but don’t “expect” them to automatically return the favor – you might have to ask them to write one. If you do, be sure to prompt them on what you’d like them to focus on or mention. For example, “It’d be great if you could speak to the work we did on the marketing automation project.”
- Write a strong Headline that makes people want to learn more about you. For example, “Solving IRS challenges through tax accounting expertise” says so much more than “Accountant.”
Do you want more tips, hacks and ideas for boosting your personal brand, generating leads or growing your network in-person or on LinkedIn? Subscribe to get my newsletter and get a FREE checklist/infographic: Personal Branding Basics on LinkedIn!
© 2017 Sandy Jones-Kaminski | All rights reserved.
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