20 LinkedIn Personal Branding Tips

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LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms, and one of the largest professional networks in the world. From potential colleagues to employers and customers, LinkedIn’s audience makes it a perfect platform for personal brand development for professionals and entrepreneurs.

Follow these LinkedIn personal branding tips below to leverage LinkedIn to your own strategy:

1. Understand the Anatomy of a LinkedIn post

Before you start considering LinkedIn personal branding content ideas, you should first understand the anatomy of a LinkedIn post so you are aware of the content creation tools at your disposal. 

LinkedIn posts have several formats and content opportunities, and understanding their makeup is critical for leveraging the opportunities they present. This includes understanding the ability to tag other users and business pages, adding hashtags, and including videos and photos. 

Types of content that you can include in a LinkedIn post include:

  • Text (copy)
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Polls
  • Documents like PDFs and slide shows
  • Tags for other user’s profiles and LinkedIn company pages
  • Links to web pages outside of LinkedIn
  • Links to other LinkedIn posts

You should also be aware of a LinkedIn post’s limitations, like the 3,000 character limit, and the relatively short period of time they appear in people’s newsfeeds. 

Check out the blog post “LinkedIn Post Examples to Add to Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy” for more examples of content for personal branding on LinkedIn. 

Use cocial media growth expert Justin Welsh's "The Operating System" LinkedIn course to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn.

2. Setup Your LinkedIn Profile and Fill in All Content Fields

Your LinkedIn profile is your home base on the platform, and the main piece of digital real estate people will visit to learn more about you. Taking full advantage of the content opportunities LinkedIn profiles offer like including your name, job title, work experience, a profile picture, bio, etc. will help you to establish your personal brand’s presence. 

Sections and types of content you can add to your LinkedIn profile:

  • Profile photo
  • Profile cover photo 
  • Headline - appears directly below your name in search results and at the top of your profile
  • About section - written content field where you can include your professional bio
  • Features posts - choose your best posts to highlight at the top of your profile
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Certifications and course credentials 
  • Recommendations you’ve received
  • Publications you’ve written
  • Interests - pages, topics, and groups you follow on LinkedIn

From the visual aesthetic of your profile picture and cover photo to the way you describe yourself in your headline and bio, all of these fields add up to the persona you present on LinkedIn.

Filling out these content fields also has benefits for discoverability, as search engine optimizing your LinkedIn profile will increase the number of profile views you receive from LinkedIn search and Google search.

Related: Personal Branding for Job Seekers - Developing a Personal Brand for Your Job Search

3. Use a Social Media Automation Platform

Use social media automation platforms like Sprout Social, Buffer, and HootSuite. The main features of platforms like these are the ability to draft and schedule LinkedIn posts ahead of time to automate your publishing cadence, conversation tracking and listening tools to see who is talking about your brand and industry topics, and analytics dashboards for measuring post engagement and follower growth. 

These platforms also have additional features like Buffer’s browser add on and mobile apps to make LinkedIn post scheduling and publishing seamless within your day-to-day schedule.

Learn about more tools you can use to grow your personal brand in this blog post: Best Marketing Tools to Add to Your Personal Branding Toolkit

4. Conduct Hashtag Research to Guide Your Strategy

Understanding the types of conversations that take place within your industry on LinkedIn, and the frequency with which they occur is a valuable datapoint for guiding your LinkedIn personal branding strategy. 

Conduct research on the most used hashtags in your industry to track these conversations and look for opportunities to join them. Make a list of the most used hashtags and their volumes, and come up with a priority ranking for them so you know which hashtags you should make an effort to include in your own posts. Utilize hashtag analytics tools like Hashtagify to find the most popular hashtags in your industry. 

Analyzing the posts of influencers in your industry to see which hashtags they use is another good way to discover them.

5. Cross Promote Marketing Content From Other Platforms

Sharing marketing content from other platforms like blog posts, videos, and graphics will add variety to your LinkedIn personal branding content strategy. It will also drive traffic to those resources and enable you to get more ROI out of them. 

Try mixing in links to your blog content and whitepapers with your other content types to develop a diversified content mix strategy. You could even pick a specific day of the week where you look through your other platforms and source content to post on LinkedIn.

Examples of other content you can share on LinkedIn to elevate your personal brand:

  • Share TikTok videos and repurpose them as LInkedIn video posts
  • Turn a Twitter thread into a LinkedIn post, or expand it into a long form LinkedIn article
  • Share links to YouTube videos, or repurpose the video file by sharing it natively on LinkedIn as a video post
  • Share links to blog posts from other websites, and content you publish on your personal brand website

6. Brand Your LinkedIn Profile

Creating a branded profile image and cover photo for your LinkedIn account will add an extra level of professionalism to the appearance of your profile for visitors. 

Use design tools like Canva to create a profile image with your logo and a cover photo that will have the perfect image size and aspect ratio to display properly on LinkedIn. Sprout Social maintains a guide with the latest social media image specs that you can use as you design your images.

Check out this Gary Vaynerchuk personal branding case study to see how he branded his LinkedIn profile.

7. Participate in Conversations

Thinking of LinkedIn strictly as a publishing platform for blogs and other content will lead you to miss out on organic engagement on the platform. LinkedIn’s true value comes from the connections (LinkedIn pun intended) and networking opportunities that it offers.

Comment on popular posts in your niche, answer questions posed by accounts you follow, and post questions of your own to spark conversation. These more informal pieces of content will lead to impressions, new followers, and a positive reputation for yourself on the platform.

8. Measure and Track LinkedIn Performance Metrics

The LinkedIn marketing and automation platforms mentioned above feature reporting and analytics tools for measuring your success. Tracking follower growth, engagement levels, and identifying your most engaging content (I.e. what works) will give you valuable data points for refining your personal branding content strategy on LinkedIn and increasing its performance. 

LinkedIn also has great built-in analytics for measuring follower growth, and post engagement metrics like impressions, likes, and comments. 

9. Study Other People’s Personal Brands on LinkedIn

Studying how successful thought leaders and influencers utilize LinkedIn can yield a variety of tips and references for everything from post formatting to post frequency to profile design. These individuals also dedicate more time and resources to their social media marketing efforts, and are more likely to be up on new trends and features that you can emulate. 

Studying their content will give you a heads up on what they are finding to be valuable, or new strategies they are trying out that you can use yourself. Check out the analysis of Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal brand above to get an idea of the types of things you can observe and learn from. 

10. Connect with People in Your Industry

When it comes to social media followings, quality wins over quantity, but you do need some level of volume for a platform’s network effect to kick in and start to compound in terms of increasing reach for your content. 

One of the best ways to jump start your LinkedIn audience growth is to follow other accounts from people and brands within your industry niche. This will likely lead to new followers for your own account, and fill your news feed with relevant content to engage with. 

This same idea applies to connecting with people from your school if you are a college graduate. Current college students and former students can tap into alumni networks to find new connections and open up new professional opportunities.

11. Publish LinkedIn Articles

LinkedIn’s built-in article publishing feature gives you an engaging long form content type that you can leverage in your personal brand strategy. 

LinkedIn articles are shared with your followers’ news feeds when you publish one, and they also appear on your LinkedIn profile. This gives LinkedIn articles dual value as a piece of personal branding content, as they serve as a post type, as well as evergreen content that adds to what lives on your profile.

Check out these tips from Social Media Examiner for writing engaging LinkedIn articles. 

12. Share Thought Leadership Content From Your Industry

Becoming a trusted voice will make your LinkedIn followers more likely to turn to your brand and its and any products or services you are offering. A good way to start establishing that trust is to share helpful information about your industry. 

Employing this PR strategy called “news hijacking” involves taking industry news from 3rd parties and sharing it on your own channels to help your followers track important information. This is a low lift strategy that can be used while you are still developing your own thought leadership content like self authored blogs and whitepapers. Sharing quality 3rd party content that you think your audience will find valuable will get them in the habit of coming to you as a source of value. 

Use these personal branding goals examples as inspiration for your own personal branding journey.

13. Use a Combination of Scheduled Posts and Real-Time Engagement

While scheduling LinkedIn posts ahead of time ensures you have a consistent publishing strategy, it is also important to join conversations and engage people organically on LinkedIn. View your scheduled posts as the pillars of your LinkedIn strategy, and fill in around those posts with organic engagement by sharing real-time updates, and following the tips above about engaging in conversations on other people’s content.

14. Always Respond to Comments

Responding to comments on your LinkedIn posts presents an engagement opportunity because they surface your posts to additional people within the network of the follower who commented. They also give you the opportunity to continue the conversation by responding yourself. 

Not only will responding to comments you receive increase the reach and engagement your LinkedIn posts receive, it will also organically build your brand recognition and positive reputation among the followers you respond to.

15. Publish Posts at the Most Optimal Times

Use tools like Sprout Social and Buffer to find out when your LinkedIn followers are online in the highest frequencies, and use that to guide your publishing strategy. 

Posting when more of your followers are online will increase the likelihood of post impressions and engagement. Automation tools like Buffer also have suggested Tweet times as a built-in feature. 

16. Use Saved Items to Keep Valuable References

Saving items is a useful feature on LinkedIn for saving posts you want to reference later. Whether you stumbled upon a future blog topic or found a thread you want to respond to at a later date, use saved content to keep references for yourself.

17. Go Live With LinkedIn’s Live Video Streaming Feature

Live video is a feature that has become popular on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn’s live video feature is similar, enabling professionals on the platform to stream live video to their followers and connections. 

Live video can be applied to several LinkedIn personal branding content topics, like sharing tips and advice, interviewing customers and industry peers, answering common questions in your industry, and providing commentary on industry news, for example. Try setting a cadence for live video in your LinkedIn 

18. Use LinkedIn Ads

Paid LinkedIn ads present an opportunity to receive extra engagement, brand exposure, new followers, and website traffic. Try different ad formats like video and image ads within your promoted LinkedIn posts to see what best accomplishes your ad conversion goals. 

A good rule of thumb is to take your best performing posts and turn those into paid posts, and they have already proven to be engaging, and have the best chance of performing well as an ad.

19. Share Native Documents on LinkedIn

LinkedIn added support for posts that contain PDF files, opening up a new range of personal branding content ideas for users. You can upload white papers, convert slide presentations, and share infographics, for example. 

Consider repurposing existing documents and turn them into document posts on LinkedIn, or create new PDFs to take advantage of this high performing post type.

20. Leverage Images and Video

LinkedIn posts containing images and video perform well on the platform. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s visual post formats to add variety to your publishing schedule, and improve post engagement.

LinkedIn is a growing social media platform that presents ample opportunity to build a following for your personal brand. Want to learn more about LinkedIn personal branding? Check out our LinkedIn personal branding guide and general personal branding guide.

Bonus Personal Branding Tips

About the Author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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