Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand?
Beyonce. Michael Jordan. Steve Jobs. Each one of these people are a brand.
You don’t need to be famous to be a brand.
Thanks to Social Media, channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, you can build a digital footprint as an influencer and a brand ambassador.
Author Tom Peters famously stated in “The Brand Called You”
“You’re not an ‘employee’ of General Motors, you’re not a ‘staffer’ at General Mills, you’re not a ‘worker’ at General Electric or a ‘human resource’ at General Dynamics (oops, it’s gone!) Forget the Generals! You don’t ‘belong to’ any company for life, and your chief affiliation isn’t to any particular ‘function.’ You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description. Starting today you are a brand.”
As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is extraordinarily beneficial for every organization to invest in optimizing each forward-facing employee’s profile, along with training them how to use this channel effectively.
According to LinkedIn*, employee networks have 10x more connection than a company has followers. Edelman Trust Barometer published a report to say people are 3x more likely to trust company information shared by an employee than shared by a CEO. And, the click-through rate (CTR) of a piece of content is 2x higher when shared by an employee versus when shared by the company itself.
LinkedIn also states: “While only 3% of employees share content about their company, those shares are responsible for driving a 30% increase in the total engagement a company sees.”
Think about it, people prefer to connect with other people, not companies.
Suffice it to say, updating your LinkedIn profile helps your brand AND your Company brand as well. Prospective clients who Google your name, will see your professional story, and if it’s optimized properly, will develop trust and rapport from just researching you online.
Here are few key areas where you can brand your company on your personal LinkedIn Profile.
- Cover Photo:
Your Cover Photo is the real estate that sits behind your headshot. By default, LinkedIn includes a blue image. As you can see with the example below, Mike Orr includes his company logo, a brand statement and a visual of their app.
The sizing of the Cover Photo is: 1584 wide by 396 high (4:1 proportion)
Remember: Your image should be proofed from both a desktop and a mobile perspective as the layout changes.
After your first and last name, your Headline is a key focal point on your profile. You have 120 characters to highlight who you are, what you do, and potentially how you help your audience. In this example, Michael Del Guidice lists his title as Vice President Marketing at Allegion Canada, and showcases another great example of a well-branded Cover Image for Allegion.
3. About section
Along with your professional story that highlights your accomplishments, you can also marry up the Company story about how your organization helps their audience.
Mary-Lou Clarke-Martinez’s LinkedIn About section not only tells her brand story, but also highlights what sets apart Investment Planning Counsel, and how she helps both her team and her clients.
4. Current Position: I’m sure it goes without saying that hotlinking to your Company page is beneficial from a branding standpoint. Your logo will appear, and people can click to the Company Page for more information. If your organization is not well known, you may wish to provide your team with a short description of what your company does so they can include this information within the Current Position section.
This example from Marcello Scarsella’s LinkedIn profile is an example of how to link to your Company Page, and list the core competencies of what you do.
5. Features section: Did you know you can include videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs etc. on your LinkedIn profile? This section now is featured prominently. Why not include multimedia that drives traffic to see a visual representation of your company, products and/or services?
This example taken from Marcello Scarsella’s LinkedIn profile invites his connections and visitors to his profile to join a webinar about job search.
So, the next time you’re second guessing whether or not you should be updating your LinkedIn profile, think about the positive effect it will have on your corporate brand AND you’ll be showcasing yourself as a leader at the same time!