Using LinkedIn For Branding & Connections | Alyssa J Freitas: Using LinkedIn For Branding & Connections

July 26, 2017

Using LinkedIn For Branding & Connections

Welcome to the third and final post of the LinkedIn series (take a look at the intro to LinkedIn post and how to use LinkedIn to get a job)! After learning how to build a stellar profile and what steps you can use to get a job or internship, this is a continuation of crafting your personal brand and connecting with others. In the previous post I dedicated an entire section to connecting because it is the best way to get a job, so today we'll talk about maintaining those relationships.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Here are the best ways for you to build your personal brand and make connection with LinkedIn

Branding

"Personal brand" are buzzwords that have undoubtedly been overused, but they are relevant for this discussion. When you think of using LinkedIn, you are creating your professional brand: how you want potential employers, others in your industry, and followers to view you. For example, will your tone be polished, witty, serious, etc? 

Here are some of the ways you can share your voice and thoughts on LinkedIn:
  • Write an article - this is my absolute FAVORITE way to share experiences and expertise on LinkedIn. Instead of someone looking at your profile and only seeing your accomplishments formally written out, they can also read an article where you demonstrate your unique insights and voice. I had an awesome time sharing my IBM internship experience on LinkedIn (and the blog) and got a great response that allowed me to connect with many people I otherwise would not have. It also helped me to stand out in the program and be memorable, so I've started up again now that I'm full time! Writing on LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your work.
  • Posting articles, photos, and updates - some people will post motivational quotes or ask questions to get discussions started. I like to share great articles that will interest my community. Creating valuable updates will make others happy to see your face pop up on their feed and help you to establish your credibility. 
  • Keeping imagery consistent - you have the option of adding a header image and can use this space to express your personality and brand. I have seen people give a nod to their company or city and I love the creativity that can be infused. Extra points if you coordinate colors with your profile picture ;) 
  • Summary - ah yes, back to the darn summary. I went over this in detail in the initial LinkedIn post, but it's worth mentioning that this is the first spot for you to set the tone and express your professional side. 

Connections

There are three facets to discuss here: who to connect with, how to connect with them, and how to keep in touch.
  • Who to connect with - I am more liberal with my connections than I use to be. If I get a request (with an unpersonalized message, more on that later) and there are some mutual connections or we worked at the same company at one point, I will likely connect. When it comes to finding others to connect with, you can look for people you already know, or search for others in much the same way as I described looking for jobs. When you go to the search bar you can click on the "search for people with filters" section and use keywords, location, company, industry, schools, etc to narrow it down. This is great if you are looking to connect and learn more about a particular field and want to reach out to people who have experience. You can also find people to connect with by joining relevant groups and engaging in discussions. When you click "search for people with filters" you can click "groups" at the top of the page and search for your interests. 
  • How to connect - it's essential that you personalize your connection requests (although, I am definitely guilty of sending some out without personalization and I should be ashamed). You can't personalize when you're on mobile, so it's best to use your computer when requesting. When you click "connect" on their page, you will have the option of writing a short message where you can mention when you met, or what you are interested in talking about. This will give them context and increase the likelihood of them saying yes.
  • How to keep in touch - a great feature of LinkedIn is that you get notifications when it's someone's birthday, or work anniversary, or they get a new job. You can write a short note or like the update as a way of keeping in touch. It's also great to reach out periodically to share an interesting article or to say hello. LinkedIn makes it easy to always be able to get in touch, so take advantage of the site!   
And now we have made it to the end of the LinkedIn trilogy! I hope you have found these posts to be valuable.

How do you establish your professional brand? What is your favorite way to connect on LinkedIn?

-AJF
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