People buy people. Always have, always will. That’s why the phrase “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” is as true now as it was 100 years ago. Today they are buying your personal brand. Think you don’t need a personal brand? Think again!
Here are 15 reasons why you need a personal brand:
1. You already have a personal brand – if you don’t control it, it’s being shaped for you by other people. Your personal brand perception is out there, you can manage it or you can let others take it away from you. Up to you.
2. If you want a new job then your personal brand will dictate whether you succeed or not. The first thing an HR director does is look at your LinkedIn profile. No photo, no summary page, and no updated job title/experience and you won’t even get an interview.
3. If you want a promotion in your existing company you will stand more chance of getting it with an enhanced personal brand on LinkedIn. If your competition for that senior role has more recommendations on LinkedIn, has more connections on LinkedIn, and their profile altogether looks better they will probably beat you to that position.
4. If you want to keep that client then you should focus on your personal brand – if you’re not and your client is being wooed by another service provider and their personal branding on LinkedIn is better than yours then you may just lose that client.
5. If you want to win that new client then you must enhance your personal brand – if you don’t and they look at your LinkedIn profile and see nothing impressive, no thought leadership, no connections, no company page then social selling rules dictate that you will miss out and not even know about it.
6. If you want to impress the media then you must show that you are a thought leader and demonstrate your accomplishments through your original posting and personal branding on LinkedIn. Are you someone they want to quote and interview?
7. If you want investors then you need to give them reasons to invest. People invest in people just like they employ people or buy from people because of the person. If you have a fully rounded personal brand on LinkedIn that looks impressive and is backed up with substance as well as style then you are more likely to 1) get investors approaching you and 2) be welcomed with an open door when you approach investors. Why should someone invest in you if you can’t invest in yourself personally?
8. If you want to reassure shareholders and keep them informed as to what you’re doing and how well you’re doing then having a personal brand that is full of confidence with updates as to how the company they are investing in is getting on then communicating this on LinkedIn through your personal profile is key.
9. If you want to be an event speaker of any kind from speaking at a company event to speaking at a conference then you need to give the organizer of that event the confidence to choose you. If your personal brand on LinkedIn contains no speaking engagements or details of when you chaired an event successfully or recommendations from other event organisers then why should a future event organiser employ you? Add pictures, videos of you in action and list all the events that you have done and are doing. Confidence is everything in event speaking, for the organisers as well as the speakers. That confidence comes from a confident personal brand. They are banking on you satisfying their customers. They need to trust that you can.
10. If you want to blog for a media brand then you have to demonstrate that you have the credibility and following to make a publisher allow you to blog for them and be exposed to their audience. They have to want you to publish for them. They are, after all, endorsing you by association. Therefore you should list out your writing experience and blogging experience on your LinkedIn profile and give people reasons why you are worthy of being their blogger.
11. If you want employees or you want to keep existing employees then you have to have a personal brand worth following. All great leaders have great personal brands. Now that has changed from the battlefield and off line to social media, especially in a business context; LinkedIn. In a competitive world you need to impress and inspire your employees that it’s worth staying with you and you need to impress future employees that you’re worth following. A great personal brand can tick so many boxes when it comes this.
12. If you want to be recommended and referred to by others then you need a personal brand on LinkedIn worth showing to other people. Remember your LinkedIn personal profile never sleeps, it’s being viewed 24/7 from people all around the world.
13. If you want to be headhunted then it goes without saying that you need a great personal brand on LinkedIn. You profile should contain all your achievements, awards, associations, companies you have worked for, promotions you gained and innovative things that you have done. Are your keywords being picked up by Linkedin’s SEO (search engine optimisation)? If you don’t add your skills and experience then there are plenty of other people on LinkedIn who a headhunter can move onto who will show up in searches. There are many others who show all their achievements and give reasons why they should be picked ahead of you because of the way that they have communicated their personal brand on LinkedIn.
14. LinkedIn SEO. Many people underestimate the power of the LinkedIn search platform. It works in the in the same way that Google and YouTube does. Keywords in your LinkedIn profile, achievements, recommendations, visits, credible links, content, posts, etc are all relevant in determining your position on LinkedIn searches. Don’t underestimate how LinkedIn works and how others use it to find you….or not as the case maybe!
15. Google and SEO. You may have noticed that when you do a search on your own company or yourself that your LinkedIn personal profile and LinkedIn company page will appear next to or just below or sometimes even above your own website. This is a great asset, a great opportunity and potentially a great problem. If you have an incomplete company page on LinkedIn what does that say about you and your company? If you have an incomplete, sparse personal profile on LinkedIn and people find that on Google what does that say about your personal brand?
In summary, you are in charge of your own personal branding strategy. If you wish to achieve great things in the business world your personal brand is where it starts and LinkedIn is the catalyst for this.
If you don’t look after your own personal brand on LinkedIn then you are more likely to fail in your ambitions and your competitors are more likely to win. If you do look after your personal brand on LinkedIn then you are more likely to win and achieve all of your personal goals. It’s your choice. It’s never too late to start.
About the Author: Chris J. Reed is an official LinkedIn Power Profile. He is also a serial entrepreneur having created marketing businesses in both Europe and now in Asia Pacific with Black Marketing – enabling LinkedIn for you which now has offices in Singapore (HQ), ANZ, North America, China and Hong Kong, and the UK. Read some more of his articles here.