Ep 95 – How to Use LinkedIn to Build a Personal Brand

linkedin, social media, sandra long, personal branding, workology

In Q1 of 2016, LinkedIn boasted 45 million profile views of its members. There were 45 million views in 90 days of profile views not including articles, group activity or conversations and comments within the LinkedIn feed. LinkedIn is the number one destination for recruiters to look for qualified candidates to fill their open positions. Most of us all have a LinkedIn profile, but how can we make the most of this social network? How can we leverage this popular professional online destination to not just find candidates or sales but to build a personal brand that we can leverage throughout our careers and make connections that last 5, 10, or 20 years?

Episode 95: How to Use LinkedIn to Build a Personal Brand with Sandra Long (@sandraglong)

Our podcast guest today, Sandra Long told me people spend more time planning their vacation than building their personal brand. And she’s right. We aren’t giving our individual brands as a professional enough of our time, interest or effort. When it comes to personal brands Sandra says that LinkedIn users should think about who they are on LinkedIn. It should be genuine and match up to who they are in real life. Think about what they want to express and what is unique about you.

Sometimes figuring out your own personal value proposition is a hard one. It starts by taking a short exercise to think about professional goals and what you want your boss, your network, colleagues and peers to say when they think about you most.

Why Write the Ultimate Personal Branding Guide For LinkedIn?

The book is a combination of building a personal brand but also how to leverage LinkedIn. It’s a blend of both. She has a companion website. Book is focused on strategy while the book is updated and detailed how tos. LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers or recruiters. It is a first impression and last impression for business too.

Sandra says that she wrote this book because the biggest missed opportunity by employers is not leveraging their employee’s personal brand to build relationships and drive business. The book is a great guide to share with managers and employees who are interested in building a personal brand on LinkedIn that aren’t sure where to start. It’s important for employer to make sure that your employees have their profiles optimize to improve their business brand or enhance recruiting and sales efforts. These workplace brand ambassadors can incorporate company messaging into their own personal branding on LinkedIn to enhance their own brands while increasing your company’s brand visibility and reach.

Aside from profile optimization for your employees, sharing content is the best way to build and establish a personal brand. Sandra recommends encouraging your employees to share either company issued and created content or their own whether it’s on publisher or on Slideshare. She says these are great way to be considered a thought leader and to use tools like Hootsuite to schedule your content to ensure that you are sharing regularly and consistently.

Three Best Ways to Find and Engage Talent on LinkedIn

Today’s talent goes online which makes it extremely important for recruiters to have a profile on LinkedIn. 76% of candidates want to know about recruiter before they apply. Recruiters should include their contact information to make it easy for the best talent to connect with them. Share relevant content and resources for them so they can connect. That contact information includes your email and even mobile phone number that encourages text messages to reach talent fast and easy.

Sandra reminds us that just because you don’t have a LinkedIn Recruiter license doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of finding talent, building a brand and talking to prospective job seekers on LinkedIn. Much of LinkedIn’s search functionality is free up to a certain point The three most underutilized features by recruiters include LinkedIn’s advanced search feature, alumni tool and LinkedIn groups.

Alumni tool is a great way to sort, search and see LinkedIn differently by college and university alumni. It offers a different look than the traditional LinkedIn search function. Using the alumni search tool is a great way to see what schools and universities your current employees are connected to and ask for candidate referrals or to make your email or InMail message customized and more likely to be responded to.

When it comes to groups, Sandra says that every group is moderated differently. She says to watch to see who owns groups, the purpose of the groups and why is it in existence before you post. She suggests not to actively engage in the 100 groups in which you can join but focus on how to make the most of your time and build the best relationships. She says be selective, targeted and prioritize where you spend your time in groups that will reach the highest number of qualified candidates with the most personalized and littlest effort.

The posting job option within LinkedIn groups has also changed. There is now a job tab job seekers have to go to to see opportunities. Jobs can be posted, but they only stay posted for up for 2 weeks. Sandra says this change is why networking within the group is important. Be sure to take a listen to Sandra’s interview on the podcast where she shares her juiciest LinkedIn tip.

Connect with Sandra Long at LinkedIn.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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