The concept of a personal brand is relatively new. In 2009, when we were in the middle of the great recession and the ideas for Career Pivot were germinating in my head, I picked up Dan Schawbel’s Book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. This was my introduction to the term personal branding.
The concept of a personal brand became clear when I read the following quote:
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
We all have a brand…whether we like it or not.
Let me give you a few simple branding tips that come from my new book, Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional.
Branding Tip #1 – Your LinkedIn Photograph
Your LinkedIn photo is absolutely critical. What does your current photograph say about you? If you are not sure, check out PhotoFeeler.com and get other people’s opinions about your current photograph.
I want you to consider three things about your photo:
- Background – This is much more important than you think. Take a look at Jason Seiden’s article called, “What Profile Photo Works Best on LinkedIn: A Real-Life Experiment.”
- Cropping your photograph – Headshot photographs are rectangular. Social media photographs are mostly square. Your headshot needs to be cropped. When you crop the photograph, does the background still convey the appropriate message? Check out my headshot and LinkedIn photograph from the book.
- The color of your clothes – The color of your clothes has to be compatible with the background. If you are a guy, you may need to get help with this…like I did.
Branding Tip #2 – Your Brand Story
Your brand story tells the reader who you are—not what you have done. This should be written in 1st person. It is your story.
Who should write this story? NOT YOU!
In the book, I give you three methods for writing the story, but the actual writing should be done by someone other than you. It could be someone you hire, a friend, or a relative. I have had the best luck with adult daughters. They will brag on Mom or Dad with an insight few others have.
Your brand story should be placed in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile. The summary section is limited to 2,000 characters, therefore, this needs to be tightly edited and well written.
Branding Tip #3 – Rich Media Links
Each section of the LinkedIn profile allows you to upload content or link to content on the Internet. This is a great way to demonstrate what you know. This could include:
- YouTube videos
- Articles you’ve written
- Work product
- Product descriptions for items you’ve sold or serviced
- PowerPoint presentations
- LinkedIn Publisher posts
- Links to personal websites
You should include anything that shows that you know your stuff.
If you are interested in more information on writing LinkedIn Publisher posts that work, read my recent Forbes article, Using LinkedIn Influencer To Build Your Personal Brand.
I recently had a client who included links to product descriptions of the multitude of sophisticated manufacturing machines he had sold within the previous 10 years. It was quite impressive. This was a major factor in him getting an interview for the job he was subsequently hired for.
If you follow these three branding tips, you will be on your way to creating a personal brand that people will remember.
Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons above.
Do You Need Help With ...