Posted by: waynebreitbarth | November 20, 2011

Have You Maximized Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn?

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Sounds good, doesn’t it.  For me it conjures up thoughts of turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, and a nice nap after a Packers victory. For you it might bring to mind shopping, christmas shoppingwhich has now grown to a series of days called Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. 

 

So for those of you in that mode and for the rest of us who do have to shop sometime before December 25, I am going to announce my own great deal — Wayne’s Really Big Book Sale.

 

Here’s the scoop. For one week only, through Sunday, November 27, you can get an autographed case of 36 of my books, along with your choice of one of my LinkedIn training videos (six titles to choose from) for the crazy, unheard of, probably never-to-be-done-again (based on what my wife says) price of $399 plus shipping. Just think of the number of people you can check off your list with this priceless gift (after all, it is signed by yours truly.) All you need to do is send an email to orders@powerformula.net (please include your phone number) or call 262-241-5807.  

 

What are you waiting for? Time’s a wastin’ and supplies are limited. Of course, operators are standing by.

 

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my final beginner’s LinkedIn class of the year to be held on November 29. Feel free to bring a friend!

 

In preparation for my recent keynote talk on personal branding using social media tools, I revisited one of my favorite personal branding books, “Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future” by Dan Schawbel. In his book I came across a concept that really resonated with me, and that is the link between personal branding and LinkedIn. Here is his concept:

 

“You need to approach your career in terms of differentiation (standing out in the crowd) and marketability (providing something other people want or need). Why would someone choose your brand? 

  • A robust professional network
  • Endorsements from respected colleagues
  • Previous accomplishments and cataloged results
  • A diversified and unique skill set” 

For my tip this week, I would like to address these criteria and help you see what parts of LinkedIn are available to help you with each of these. I have highlighted in parentheses the LinkedIn profile section or application that could be used to address these criteria. 

 

ROBUST PROFESSIONAL NETWORK  (Connections)  

 

This one is easy, so it seems. You should have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, right? If you look up “robust” in the dictionary, it does not mention anything about numbers or quantity. It uses words like “strong and healthy” and “rich and full-bodied.” 

 

As you know, I am a fan of having lots of connections as long as they are “trusted” or other individuals that are included strategically, but what I want you to consider on this point is the strength and richness of your network. To me that means being able to count on most of the individuals in your network for help as well as having a network that is diverse in terms of industry, organizations, and regions or however you define diverse in your world.

 

ENDORSEMENTS FROM RESPECTED COLLEAGUES  (Recommendations and Box.net files for pdf files of letters of recommendation)  

 

This is the only part of your profile you do not personally write. Recommendations are outside corroboration of the credibility and expertise you have described in detail on your profile. 

 

Keep in mind that Dan doesn’t just say “endorsements,” but he adds “from respected colleagues.” What this means is we need to make sure the recommendations we receive are from the best name in the biz, if possible, and people and companies the person looking at your profile would take note of and say, wow – a recommendation from that person or that company; if they took care of them, they sure should be able to take care of me as well.

 

PREVIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CATALOGED RESULTS  (Experience, Summary, Recommendations, Honors and Awards, Box.net files, SlideShare and Google Presentations)   

 

People love to hear about and understand specific things we have accomplished, and these tools on LinkedIn are made to order for this purpose. Don’t hesitate to do some significant bragging in these sections. Remember – your competitor won’t hesitate to do so.

 

A DIVERSIFIED AND UNIQUE SKILL SET  (Experience, Summary, Skills, Recommendations, Honors and Awards, Box.net files, SlideShare, and Google Presentations) 

 

Skills are defined as “the ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well.” 

 

The statement I hear from a lot of people on this point is they don’t feel their skill set is all that unique. My encouragement to you is no one has what you have, and the combination of your unique and diverse skills might be just what someone is looking for in a vendor/supplier or employee. 

 

One thing that might help you craft the presentation of these points is to ask a couple of your closest connections just what it is they see that makes you unique in the marketplace. Do the same thing for them, and then work on making that documentation as compelling as possible.

 

 

Just think about how easy it is to tell your “differentiation and marketability” story with a tool like LinkedIn, which is so perfectly designed for doing just that. Now get to it!

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