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Building a Personal Brand on LinkedIn

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  • 0:00 Like Facebook but for Business
  • 1:14 Building a Great Profile
  • 2:51 Other Important Steps
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

If you're looking to get the message out about your business skills, consider using LinkedIn to build your personal brand online. In this lesson, we'll examine LinkedIn best practices to let the world know who you are and what you can do.

Like Facebook but for Business

As Facebook is to social media for families and friends, LinkedIn serves a similar role for business people. LinkedIn is used by businesses to recruit new employees, and your free profile is the equivalent of an electronic resume, so much so that some companies allow you to complete their online job applications by using your LinkedIn profile. If you're a salesperson, you can use LinkedIn to learn more about your customer contacts, and they can use it to check you out as well.

Your personal brand is the image and message you want to represent in other people's minds. A LinkedIn profile gives you a rich canvas to paint a personal picture, because in addition to your work experience, it can also include video clips and other attachments.

According to a recent survey, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for new talent, so how can you take maximum advantage of this free platform? First, you have to create an account on their website. All you need is an email address and a choice for password, and then you can set up your profile. Your profile is your own LinkedIn page that can include your work history, photo, education, and other related information you want to publish.

Building a Great Profile

To build a great profile, a few elements are needed.

A Decent Photo

According to a 2016 survey, your profile is 21 times more likely to be viewed with a photo, so at the very least include a conservative headshot. Invest in a professional photo if possible. Remember, this is your electronic business card.

Strategic Headline

Your headline is the first description people see when they search for you, so it's crucial to include keywords that help your cause. It can be your current job title, or it can also include other targeted keywords that convey your value.

Summary Section

You have 2,000 characters here to tell your story. This is your elevator pitch, the 30-second sound bite you say when someone asks you what you do for a living. Make it straightforward and to the point.

Relevant Attachments

You can post documents, videos, web site links, or photos to your profile under the Intro section. You can also edit the background image that appears behind your photo. Use something memorable that enhances your brand.

Manage Your Featured Skills and Endorsements

This is an area that you can highlight your skills and your LinkedIn contacts can endorse you for those skills. Why is this important? According to a 2016 LinkedIn survey, if you display five or more skills, you're 31 times more likely to be messaged and 17 times more likely to be viewed. You can edit this section so that your strongest skills are at the top, and you can ask your LinkedIn contacts to endorse you to improve your rankings.

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