Every successful person has a brand. A “brand” is the tone, style, and personality you represent yourself with. Generally, there are twelve “archetypes” that describe the most common branding personalities. These range from “innocent” to “rebellious” and they help set the tone for your content. Choosing an archetype, or personality, will be based upon how you want to present yourself.
As an example, “The Caregiver” archetype, which is adopted by companies like Johnson & Johnson, sets the tone of content that is warm, protective, nurturing, and selfless. But, every personality has its drawbacks. For this one, the drawback is that it can come across as weak or seem easily taken advantage of. In other words, it doesn’t yell: “I’m strong!”
On the other hand, “The Hero” archetype, like the personality adopted by Nike, works to improve the world. It has traits of being honorable, inspirational, and strong. But, these traits can lead to you coming off as arrogant or aloof.
As I said, every personality has its flaws. But, it’s important that you choose one solid personality in order to build a unique and identifiable brand for yourself. If you’re on LinkedIn, it’s especially important that you keep this brand consistent so that you can stand out from the crowd of millions of others looking for the same opportunity you are.
Tips for Building A Great Personal Brand
You can’t sway between personalities whenever you want to, or just to target a specific audience. You need to define a brand. That is the personality you are going to present everywhere, all the time. Your brand needs to be consistent, or it will just be confusing.
Pick the Right One:
Don’t just pick “the regular” archetype because it allows you to be relatable. Consider the drawbacks of any tone or personality before finding one to represent yourself.
Consider Your Audience:
You need to seriously consider who it is you’re trying to engage. Potential job prospectors? A new company? Customers? Figure out your target audience, and then find what speaks to them.
Shake Your Doubt:
“I should just be myself” is a super true statement, but defining an archetype/tone is still important for determining how to word your thoughts and ensuring everything you do and say has a consistent feel to it. If you lack this, you’re just going to blend in.
Part of why it’s important to choose a “tone” or “voice” for your personal brand is that staying consistent allows you to be easily identified from the crowd of people who lack a consistent voice. It also allows a flair of personality, and humanism, to shine through, separating you from spammers, salesmen, and bots.
Wear your brand image loud and clear. If you decide to take on the “Sage” archetype, everything you post and the tone you write it in needs to reflect that. This goes back to consistency, but it also goes back to standing apart and appearing unique, with a strong identity.
Look At Your Profile:
With tone, voice, and brand identity in mind, it’s now important that you finish your LinkedIn profile with the same tone, voice, and identity. Again, consistency is key!
Take a Professional Photo:
No one will treat you like a human if they can’t see your face! Have a professional headshot taken and post it on your profile. Use this picture across your social networks so that people can follow and connect with you everywhere they wish.
Write Your Description:
Your description should be a stunning piece of your profile that captivates and draws people in. When they finish reading the 3-5 paragraphs, they should know who you are, what you do, and what you’re online to accomplish. If you aren’t a wordsmith, have someone else capture the essence of your summary for you.
Add Your Experience:
The “experience” section of your profile is often-overlooked, but hugely important. Fill it out based on past job experience, positions, and so on. Anything relevant that can position you as an authority should be used.
No one wants to connect with a person who doesn’t have any connections! You have to know someone on LinkedIn: A family member, a friend, and old co-worker or college buddy. Find them and connect with them.
Don’t be one of those people always trying to connect with random users just so you have a large number of connections. It’s pointless and it will not offer any value to your profile. Be authentic and focus on getting real connections who matter: potential prospects, influencers, and people who can offer you value.
Scale Your Connections:
Each person you connect with gives you the chance to scale your network, because now you have access to their connections (second-level connections), and their connections’ connections (third-level connections).
Ask For Invites:
You can even go to your first-level connections whom you know personally, like your friend or co-worker, and ask for a “warm” invitation to connect with one of their connections. Request them to introduce a specific connection to your profile if you see potential value in connecting with that person.
The next step in building your personal brand identity is an on-going one: Continue to scale your network through various tactics, and continue posting content that aligns with your brand’s voice on a regular basis. Offer value to others, and they will naturally begin sending prospects your way by sharing your posts and even inviting them to your profile.
The Tips Above will get you started and get you on your way to building your personal Brand. Lets get to work!