Even the best marketing, PR, advertising and branding professionals neglect their own personal brand. But by ignoring themselves they are missing out on business opportunities, jobs and are building the wrong associations in others’ minds.
Take the bull by the horns and make a couple of quick changes to make sure that every interaction with you online is as impactful as possible.
Start by thinking about the five key messages or stories that you need to tell.
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- My mission
- What I do
- What that means for you
Five key messages
Who am I?
This should be a short introduction to you. It is essential that it is easy to tell across multiple channels and be as relevant on the homepage of your website and LinkedIn page as it is being told by someone else in reference to you.
A good profile picture is essential. You are seven times more likely to receive a response to an InMail if you have one. In addition, it helps should you bump into someone at an event or meeting. The style of the picture should reflect how you wish to be perceived. A picture of you down the pub might be the picture you have to hand but that isn’t the lasting impression you want to leave (unless you are a publican of course).
Why am I here?
What is the purpose of this conversation or this content that you are making me read? What are you trying to achieve? Be up front about your objective.
Explain what you stand for. This needs to include your core values and your mission statement as well as what motivates you.
What I do.
Your mission should be more of your “why” and this is more “how” you do your job. Find your USP – your unique selling proposition and explain it to your audience.
Instead of just explaining what we are selling you could equally discuss the UBR – the unique buying reason; the reason that people buy instead of the reason we sell.
What that means for you.
Complete the circle and give case studies and testimonials of how you have helped or impacted others. It is essential that you have success stories that demonstrate how you have achieved your mission through what you do and how you do it.
Putting things into practice
Now take a look at your LinkedIn profile and see how these elements take shape.
Use your headline not to show your job title, but instead how you can help other people. This is your succinct Who I Am content.
Build out your Summary with your full Who I Am message and then explain Why Am I Here followed by My Mission.
Each section of your Experience should explain the My Mission of the company you work for or represent. Then you can go on to explain What I Do highlighting your USPs (or UBRs). If your role involves a process that you take people / businesses through it is wise to document that.
Use both the rich media components and Recommendations to show what you have done for others. This is your online portfolio that highlights What This Means For You should someone choose to do business with you.
Double check that your contact details are up to date and that it is easy to get in touch.
You can add up to three links on your profile – make sure you use them! At the very least link to your company website. A few other options include social media sites, specific areas on your website (such as testimonials or services), your blog or a portfolio.
To see an annotated guide check out the slides below.