LinkedIn has almost 900 million users, many of which joined in the last few years.
90% of users on LinkedIn are lurkers who only consume content
Another 9% of users are contributors who like and comment on posts
And only 1% of users are creators who write and post their own content
Engaging and posting on LinkedIn allows you to build a personal brand and stand out as a business professional.I’ve only been doing it for 3 months, but here are a few benefits I’ve already experienced:
Inbound requests from internal recruiters at companies who are hiring (in my case, it’s a Head of Marketing)
Inbound requests from potential clients (who need a part-time CMO or are interested in my B2B Growth consulting services)
Inbound requests from podcast hosts for interviews (which have helped me get more exposure)
Adding hundreds of meaningful connections to my network (I’ve had intro coffee chats with many of them, a few even referred me to potential clients)
Hearing from old connections who see my comments or posts in their feed (which has also led to new opportunities)
It takes time to build a personal brand, but it’s easy if you follow these steps. This is the guide I wish I had when I started, it would’ve saved me a lot of time…
Step 1: Determine your goals
You can do this by answering these questions:
Why are you building a personal brand on LinkedIn?
Who are you trying to reach or engage with on LinkedIn?
What would success look like for you in 3, 6 or 12 months?
For example, here are my goals:
Why I’m building a personal brand
Get consulting clients (in short term)
Find a full-time role (in medium to long term)
Who I’m trying to reach and engage with
Startup Founders & CEOs
Marketing professionals working at startups
Other professionals working at startups
What success looks like for me:
3 months: Finding 1-2 stable consulting clients
6 months: Having 3-5 stable consulting clients, interviewing for 3-5 full-time jobs
12 months: Have a pipeline of additional potential consulting clients, getting 2-3 full-time job offers
Step 2: Have the right mindset
Your journey on LinkedIn will be smoother if you have the right mindset:
Building a personal brand takes time, think long term
This is a new process, approach it with a beginner’s mindset
Do not compare yourself to those who’ve been active on LinkedIn for years
Step 3: Update and optimize your LinkedIn profile
Follow these steps to optimize your profile:
Add a high-quality photo with a solid background color
If you’re looking for a full-time job, I’ve found bullet points of career highlights or achievements work well (see my profile)
If you’re a service provider looking for clients, I’ve found that stating your services, the problems you solve and the impact for clients work well (basically a concise version of what you’d see on a website’s landing page)
Update your Experience section for current and past jobs
Add a concise summary with bullet point highlights (see my profile)
Attach or link work samples if they’re available (see my profile)
Use the Featured section of your profile to highlight your best work or service offerings
Step 4: Create your LinkedIn engagement and connection strategy
Create a list of 10-20 mid-sized creators (who have 3,000 to 10,000 followers on LinkedIn) and regularly post about topics in your niche or industry
For me, these are creators who post about #b2bmarketing #demandgeneration #saasmarketing etc.
You can find these creators by searching LinkedIn using comment hashtags like #marketing #sales etc.
On a daily basis, Like and comment on their posts
This will help you get noticed by them and their followers
Many will look at your profile, follow you, engage with your posts
I recommend blocking 30 mins on your calendar to do this daily
Connect with 10-20 new people daily on LinkedIn
These should be people you’re trying to reach or engage with (from goals you set in Step 1), you can find them by using LinkedIn’s search
These can also be people connected with those you’re trying to reach or engage with (i.e. mid-level people connected with leadership roles)
Personalize your LinkedIn connection request to increase the likelihood of them accepting it. You can do this by:
Complimenting a recent post they wrote
Complimenting their professional experience
Highlighting commonalities (work function, industry etc.)
Step 5: Create your LinkedIn content strategy
Posting on LinkedIn can feel odd at first. If you’re not ready to post, you can start collecting post ideas by saving others’ posts that you come across and like.
After you save enough of these posts, you’ll start having your own ideas and post templates you can model.
Here are some common post types that do well on LinkedIn:
Storytelling: sharing personal or professional stories
Unpopular opinions about issues you believe in
Practical insights or advice others can apply
Educational or inspirational content
Photos from everyday life
Short video clips
To start, I recommend posting 3 times per week on LinkedIn (during the week). Once you’re comfortable posting, I recommend posting daily on weekdays.