Or 5 first baby steps toward the rise of your personal brand.
2023 is a year of communities and multi-media companies. Companies support their employees to create their own personal brands instead of just promoting the place they’re working at.
Being among these lucky fellows (who am I kidding, I wanted to give it a try for a long time!) I picked Linkedin as the platform and started to build my brand from scratch. Here are 5 findings from the first month of my amazing journey.
Linkedin is a perfect platform to find leads, grow professionally, and connect with like-minded people around the globe.
There are FEWER haters and trolls than on Twitter, but there is also MORE valuable content given for free. So by building your presence there you can achieve your goals in the most friendly and professional atmosphere. If you do not believe me, try Reddit alongside Linkedin and see the difference.
Step 1: Realize that your profile is not a CV
Linkedin provides so much more than just job-hunting services, but to use all these opportunities you need to stop using it as a CV.
Yes, there is a mechanism for a job search, but more importantly, Linkedin is a social network for experts. To become one of them (and to get better job offers as a result, if you still care about this job-hunting feature) reorganize your profile.
- Upload a clear and bright picture of yourself
- Come up with a short and clear tagline. Don’t focus on your job title, focus on things you can help people with, so they can know you’re the right person even before going to your profile.
- Get personal while describing your professional journey in the ‘About’ section
- Get ready to share knowledge, not just consume it from your feed
- When you’ve accepted the sharing part and found out what value you can bring to the table, turn on the creator mode (yes, do it right away!)
- Use the header image as an additional explainer of your page’s value for your future audience. If they can get the whole idea without reading the “About section” — you’ve nailed it!
- If you already have a newsletter or some product related to the content you going to share — put it in the link section.
Your profile is your representation on Linkedin, so work on it thoughtfully, but don’t cling to it. While writing and interacting with your audience, you’ll most probably come up with a better tagline, header or description. And it’s ok. Test all of them to find the one that works best.
I tried 10 different taglines and headers before I got the one I’m comfortable with. In the beginning, all the taglines I came up with sounded vague, long and not so clear, so I polished them. Still, I know there is room for improvement and I’ll work on it more to add my personal tone to it.
Step 2: Write down ideas for posts constantly
Over time you come up with your own writing routine.
In the beginning, I was writing each post right before publishing it, 5 times per week. It was too time-consuming, so as I grew a little bit confident with sharing my knowledge, I finally came up with a plan and a schedule. But to make this plan happen, I needed lots of ideas.
So I built a habit to write every interesting thought related to content marketing for startups (because this is my niche of posting) down as soon as I heard it or thought of it. I don’t use any software for that, my only helpers are notes on my smartphone. And they helped me to increase the value of my content.
Write every relevant idea down, but don’t turn it into a post yet. When you’ll have a whole batch of them you can see which idea works better and which one is not for you. Pick ideas from podcasts and webinars you listen to, from comments on Linkedin, and from others’ popular posts.
Don’t steal the whole posts from other people, rewrite them while adding a bit of your personal experience. By the way, rewriting a viral post can never go wrong. You already know that topic is hot.
Step 3: Invest more time into engaging than into posting
Engaging is more important than posting. Especially when you’re a beginner creator with a small audience.
At this stage, no matter how great your posts are, nobody will see them without you putting a lot of effort into engaging and commenting. Don’t focus on likes or comments yet. Start with growing an audience.
Luckily for us, Linkedin has a great search tool available to help you find the right audience.
- Search for other creators in your niche, and follow the notorious ones. Comment on their posts daily and you’ll appear in the feed of other followers.
- Search for people from your target audience and add 4–6 of them per day to grow your audience little by little (just don’t add random people).
- Comment on other posts on the subject relevant to yours and tag people in the comments.
- Return to commenting at least twice per day. I do it for 5–10 minutes in the morning before I publish anything and in the evening for another 5–10 minutes after the post is published. Yes, I only post once per day for now.
Step 4: Experiment like your life depends on it
Nobody can teach you what to write about. You are the only person who knows what values you can share. Still, there are common techniques to learn how to write better and provide clarity and authenticity.
You probably saw a lot of them on Linkedin already. Things like “avoid unfamiliar slang” or “write in strong words.” All these things work, but how much they work for each audience and each niche varies.
Approach your writing as a startup and test various techniques, times, formats, and writing styles. When you’re just starting, it’s ok to be a little inconsistent in these things, because you’re learning and your audience is still not familiar with your routine.
Your goal is to find the right combination that will attract your audience and make them willing to engage. At the same time, find a way to stand out. For me, a bright picture with a sarcastic comment and a short clear post with tons of examples proved to be a working scheme.
Step 5: Don’t be discouraged by poor results
Content marketing, as well as building your brand publicly, is a long game. You may get some surprisingly huge results once in a while, but in general, you need at least 3 months to make it work.
So how on earth am I writing this guide if I only started to post regularly a month ago? Well, I don’t contradict myself. In a month of constant posting, you’ll start seeing steady growth. It’s the right time to look at your metrics and see what results you’ve achieved.
If all your metrics, especially the number of comments, are slowly growing, you’re on a right track!
My own weekly metrics now are: around 100 new followers per week, went from 5 to 7 posts per week (yes, I started to post on weekends as soon as I started planning and writing my posts in advance). My early posts had likes, and no comments, now each post has at least several comments, number of followers grew from 300 to 900.
The results are not big, but they’re getting better and better each day, so I once again ask you not to be discouraged. It’s just the beginning of the road.
- You don’t need to use ideal polished language. You can break English grammar a little.
- People with emojis in their names or taglines stand out.
- If you post vague messages with no examples, your account will go into the same unseen void as the people who use Linkedin as CV-only.
- Everybody is stealing ideas from everyone but do this so neatly and cleverly that each stolen idea looks like a completely new and unique one.
If you want to follow my growth journey and see how to use these strategies for your personal or brand growth, subscribe to my Copy & Coffee Content Playbook for founders. In addition, each month on my blog, I'll share a new batch of useful tips based on my most recent experiences.
Story by Alena Lysiakova 🙏