12 Things Clients Look for in a Financial Advisor

What Are Clients Looking For In a Financial Advisor

Will you entrust your hard earned money to a stranger?

That is one of the million things in the minds of clients when they meet financial advisors. As financial advisors, I’m sure thoughts about, “what clients want from a financial advisor?”

They’re looking for a combination of different critical traits. That includes integrity, reliability, expertise, and technical know-how. It’s a mix of trust, competence, and authority.

It’s not all about just building a relationship with clients. Being a financial advisor means building a relationship of trust.

Everything revolves around that.

Can they trust you as a professional to give a concise expert opinion?

If you have the following traits, then maybe you can nudge your clients in the right direction. Consider the following:

They Need an Advisor Who Understands Their Unique Needs

Trust is at the core of the financial services industry and it is the leading factor that clients are looking for.

Clients aren’t just looking for experts—we have an overabundance of that it seems nowadays.

Yes, you need to prove that you are an expert in your field. But clients will need more—they want to know that you are an authority in the financial planning world.

What does that mean?

Sure, you need to know the ins and outs of the financial market. However, to be an authority, you also need to know how the market relates to your niche’s individual investments.

You’re not just a subject-matter expert. You’re also very familiar with the many financial conditions people are experiencing today.

And you can find solutions in your industry to match your client’s needs.

They Want Someone with People Skills

Stephen Covey once said that people should first “seek to understand before they seek to be understood.”

People skills (yes, it’s a skill)are vital for every financial advisor. People don’t want an advisor that knows nothing more than to pitch products.

If you come across as someone who is salesy or all you want is to push product after product, then you’re going to lose the client.

If you have a genuine understanding of your prospect’s financial situation, then you’ll end up at the top of their list.

Speak with genuine human interest—not like an ad robot that pitches pop-ups on the screens.

Provide Holistic Solutions

The best advisors are the ones who can provide solutions for the entirety of a financial problem.

The solutions that they provide should be all-inclusive – from tax issues to philanthropic goals.

You should be able to offer estate planning, business planning, retirement, and investment options directly or through strategic partnerships.

They Want Someone with Good Communication Skills

We mentioned earlier that the finance world is an industry grounded in trust. To forge that trust, you need to know how to best communicate with a prospect or client.

Not all communication is verbal.

Nowadays, you need to craft your emails, social media posts, texts, instant messaging, and video and phone calls that build relationships. Cater to the experience of communicating with you.

Being personable each and every time provides a very down to earth human appeal, which makes you standout.

They Want an Educator

As an advisor, people count on you to teach something that they don’t know about their finances.

One of the reasons why they come to you is to seek advice. Renowned financial coach Dave Ramsey calls this the “heart of a teacher.”

You should be able to assess the aptitude of your clients when it comes to their finances. You can then move from there to provide information that they need—filling the holes in their financial situation as it were.

As an educator, you should reduce complex jargon to simple terms everyday people can understand.

You don’t really know a subject until you can express it in the simplest terms.

When you meet prospects and clients, don’t be judgmental or assuming. You should instead be curious and helpful. Provide only the information they need and show them what’s missing in their financial plans when opportunities present themselves.

Your role in this endeavor is to provide your clients with clarity, filtering out the unnecessary and irrelevant economic news.

You provide financial information that they can act on. Sometimes they just need someone to help them explain the current financial situation to their family members.

The tricky part is determining how much education your clients need. They usually come with an idea or a financial plan.

It’s your job to reveal more options and nuances that they may have missed.

A Strong Professional Network

This aspect ties up with being an authority as it was mentioned earlier. As an authority in your niche, people will expect you to be well-connected.

As a professional, you are expected to partner with other industry leaders. If they need solutions from other providers, then you should be able to refer them to reliable resources.

They Want You To Get Them Better Returns

Some clients will come to you looking to get better returns out of their investments.

Maybe they have invested in a VUL or some other product or financial instrument, but they’re not getting the amount that they expect.

As their financial advisor, you will be expected to offer options that give better returns.

High Financial Acumen

Advisors should have a higher level of financial acumen since it is their field of expertise.

This means they can competently balance profitability with potential risks. They understand market volatility and know how to navigate through economic turbulence.

In the end, it is your job to provide a sense of stability even if the market becomes uncertain. You’ve been in deep water as it were and know how to guide everyone safely to shore so to speak.

Respectful to Their Clients

Clients want a financial advisor that will respect them regardless of their financial position, age, asset types, and other conditions. Advisors need to work with clients—it’s a collaborative effort.

Finances are personal and a great deal of respect must be provided from both sides of the fence. Respect of course is developed through a strong relationship of trust.

Works with Different Asset Sizes

Studies show that the majority of people would prefer to speak with financial advisors only after their assets reach up to $100,000.

This represents around 47% of the populace with the other 30% being willing to work with financial planners when they have around $80,000 in savings.

This of course reflects client perception and to some degree the current practice among financial advisors as well.

An excellent advisor on the other hand should be willing to work with people no matter how much funds people have in the bank.

Everyone needs financial advice regardless of the size of their holdings.

Proven Experience and Track Record

Clients will want to work with a financial planner or advisor who has a proven professional experience.

This is where a strong personal brand can give you an edge. You will be looked up and controlling the narrative around your expertise will go a long way.

It all starts with making sure to emphasize that you are a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Your certification proves that you have experience in the financial services industry.

It is proof that you uphold the highest ethical standards as a professional.

A Support Team Backing You Up

The best financial advisors don’t work alone. They have a team to provide support.

Advisors have a lot of clients and keeping up with all their financial needs is a lot of work.

Advisors that have an entire team behind them ensure efficient and reliable service.

A Final Word

The traits that clients look for in financial advisor are built on the principle of trust.

If you can establish that trust and nurture it through efficient and reliable service, then you will be a sought after name in this industry.

Giving the aforementioned factors here, some due diligence will boost your capability of attracting and building long-term relationships with your clients as a financial service professional.

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How to Develop a Strong Leadership Branding in 6 Steps

Leadership branding

Leaders today are not only expected to excel at their crafts. They are also expected to be clear on their identity and communicate their value as leaders.

This is where leadership brands come in.

Leadership brands are crucial to make maximum impact for the work you’ve been doing. They are an essential tool to create opportunities at work that could lead you to a fulfilling job.

Having a strong personal brand is a must if you want to stand out as a leader.

In this guide, let’s dig deeper into the process of branding yourself as a leader.

Find out what it is all about, what can you get from developing your brand, and how you should approach it to work to your advantage.

What is Leadership Branding?

Leadership branding is the conscious effort of shaping your colleague’s perception of you as a leader.

In this strategy, you work on establishing a strong personal leadership brand that works to:

  1. Communicate your value in an organization
  2. Convey your identity as a leader

The goal of a leadership brand is to demonstrate your identity as a leader.

Here, you determine who you currently are from the point of view of your co-workers.

Then, you decide what you want to be known for in your organization.

To do this, you identify your personal strengths, qualities, skills, and behaviors that you want people to associate with you.

By showing your identity, you are letting people know the value you bring to the organization.

Why a Personal Leadership Brand is Important?

Today, everyone has a personal brand.

However, not everyone actively manages their brands. This results in a missed opportunity to maximize the impact their leadership brands could make.

By managing your brand, you’re controlling your own narrative. This is crucial to prevent people from associating you with the wrong image.

When you do, you get your brand to work to your advantage in the long term.

When you consciously shape your leadership brand, you can:


1. Differentiate yourself from other leaders

In a group of leaders, how do you want to be seen by your peers? A decisive leader? A problem-solver? Or maybe, a mentor?

If you want to be valued for a certain quality or skill, a clear leadership identity is key.

By branding yourself, your peers will know what to expect from you as opposed to other leaders in the company.

They’ll know which situations they can depend on you, and which opportunities best fit you, which brings us to our next point.


2. Put yourself in the right role

To land a job or project you want, you need to exhibit the traits, skills, and experiences that could get you in that position.

Likewise, people in your organization must see that you qualify for the said role.

A clear leadership brand can help you do that. With an effective brand, you can make your peers aware of what you do best.

As you communicate the value you can contribute to the organization, you’ll have a higher chance of getting pulled into roles where your abilities can shine.


3. Grow your impact

Don’t let your hard work be unseen or unheard by your peers. Actively promote yourself to open up better opportunities at work.

A strong leadership brand can help demonstrate the work you get done so that others will remember them, talk about them, and recognize them.

But when doing so, remember to stay true to yourself and your values. People will see through your acts if you’re trying to be someone else.

By keeping a brand that centers around genuine intentions to communicate your value, your hard work will eventually be noticed.


4. Attract more customers or investors

Having a leadership brand doesn’t only benefit the leaders in a company.

The trust you gain from people can also spill to the organization you belong to. In fact, 82% of buyers are more likely to buy from companies whose leadership team and CEO engage on social media.

As you establish yourself as a credible leader both in the workplace and online, you are also attracting more clients for the company.


5. Find Career Fulfillment

As you establish your identity and communicate your value, people will start respecting you and appreciating your contribution to the organization.

They will see you as the right fit to a higher-level position or projects that you may want to take on.

This leads you to finding fulfillment at work.

Getting Started: Essential Questions to Define Your Leadership Brand

Before you proceed with the steps, you have to be clear about what your brand is going to be.

To do this, we have prepared some essential questions to help define your leadership brand.


What traits do people respect around your workplace?

Identify the “hero stories” in your workplace.

These are the qualities of a good leader most admired by your peers.

Is integrity a valuable trait in your workplace? Or is it all about delivering results?

Maybe, your employees appreciate supportive leaders?

Ask around and observe which traits are highly-lauded by your colleagues.


What are you expert in?

Everyone has a core skill that can be an edge to other leaders.

For instance, you may be a sales expert who aspires to lead your organization.

There are many avenues to channel this strength.

You can be an expert who delights with deliverables or an influencer who inspires people with your insights.

Where you channel this strength can make all the difference. Identify what you are expert in and what your teammates think your core strength is.


What do your colleagues say about you?

To develop your leadership brand, you must learn how people currently perceive you as a leader.

Find out what your manager and teammates think your strengths and weaknesses are.

Ask for feedback on areas you excel at and the fields you need to work on. Also, ask how you behave based on your interactions with your colleagues.

Determine if you are being consistent with your behaviors as you interact with others.

How to Brand Yourself as a Leader

Once you have answered the questions above, you’ll have a clearer idea of the kind of leader you currently are and who you’re going to be.

Now, it’s time to create your leadership brand. Below, we outlined six actionable steps to brand yourself as a leader.


1. Determine Your Goals

What results do you want to achieve with your leadership brand?

Goal setting is crucial to establish a clear path, determine the challenges, and motivate yourself to work on your leadership brand.

Some common goals for developing a leadership brand include:

  • Attracting more customers to the business
  • Gaining the trust of investors
  • Winning the heart of your teammates
  • Landing a specific role or project in the organization

When building a leadership brand, determine your goals that you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months.


2. Identify What You Want to Be Known For

In the previous section, we have identified the traits most admired in your workplace.

Now, it’s time to assess which of these traits you currently exhibit, and which you can and should include in your personal leadership brand.

Let’s take a look at this example:

George is known for his technical proficiency at work. However, he is known to be an independent worker.

The team he wants to lead admires a leader that:

  • Has great decision-making abilities
  • Demonstrates effective problem-solving skills
  • Imparts knowledge to the team

To support his goal of advancing his career, George needs to balance his innate qualities and the traits critical to his aspired position.

Since George is also passionate about teaching, he sees imparting his knowledge to the team as an opportunity to communicate his value.

That’s why he decided to focus his brand on establishing his image as a mentor.

This example illustrates how identifying the hero stories in your organization can help you decide the image you want to project in your brand.


3. Define Your Leadership Identity

The next step is to go into the finer details of your personal leadership brand.

Here, we’ll identify how you should act to achieve what you want to be known for.

In the example above, George wants to be known as a mentor. But what kind of mentor?

Being technically proficient, he wants to be seen as an expert in his field. Although he is knowledgeable about his field, his peers see him as a respectful leader to others.

And he wants to incorporate this in his branding.

But above all else, he wants to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones.

As someone who values learning, he sees this as a way to grow and have new experiences in their career.

By identifying the hero stories and taking your personal values and skills into consideration, it is easier to create an identity that best describes you as a leader.

After defining your leadership identity, it’s time to craft your leadership brand statement.


4. Create an Effective Leadership Brand Statement

A leadership brand statement is a 1-2 sentence that summarizes your brand. It lets your followers know what you do and why your leadership is different, in a concise way.

Developing an effective leadership brand statement is crucial because it will serve as your catchphrase to hook your readers’ attention.

When crafting your statement, use the insights you have gathered from the steps above.

A solid branding statement must answer the following:

  • Who you are as a leader
  • What do you do
  • How do you work
  • What you can bring to the table

Here, let’s define your statement by following this simple formula:

“I want to _____ so that _____.”

Following George’s example, let’s use the formula to create his statement:

“I want to be known as a respectful mentor so that I can relate to and inspire my people to be more than they thought they could be.”

The above example conveys who the brand is (a respectful mentor) and what it does (teaching).

It also explains how the brand works (relate to and inspire students), and what it can bring to the table (be more than the students thought they could be).

As a general rule, make sure that your statement accurately sums up your brand. Write concisely, be authentic, and emphasize how your brand can benefit your audience. 

Once you have come up with a statement, don’t forget to test it.

Ask your colleagues if the message got across. Then, gather some feedback to further improve it.


5. Live Your Personal Brand

Now, it’s time to embody the leadership brand you have created.

Your goal is to establish yourself as a trusted leader by living it. Your peers should be able to see you as you wish to be seen. But how?

The first step is to share your statement with your colleagues. This allows them to know what to expect from you.

Then, ensure that you can deliver what your brand promises.

If you say you are a mentor who wants to inspire people to be more than what they thought they could be, you have to act the part.

Focus on what makes you seen as a teacher.

Do you have enough activities at work that involve educating your colleagues about your subject matter? Are you consistent with your behavior toward your co-workers? Is your intention of teaching and helping people genuine?

Living your leadership brand consistently and authentically will establish familiarity and recognition from your peers.

But make sure that the message is getting across. Ask for occasional feedback from others and be ready to pivot.

Leadership brands should evolve according to the different needs of your career at different times.


6. Build Your Online Presence

You shouldn’t just live your leadership brand in the four corners of your office. You should also live it everywhere you go, especially online.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are a great place to build your thought-leadership image.

Here, you’ll find an extension of your audience as well as like-minded professionals to engage and interact with.

Engaging with these people helps boost your reputation in your field.

Take time to set up your social media accounts to reflect your brand, and then populate them with thought-leadership content that will build your authority and win people’s trust.

When creating leadership content, the most important thing is to write for your audience.

While branding yourself as a leader involves emphasizing your value, remember that it is not overly self-promotional.

That means your content should inform, educate, and help instead of sell. Address your audience’s pain points and offer solutions to their problems, needs, and concerns.

Also, be genuine about wanting to help and the public will begin noticing your brand.

Below, we listed the most effective types of thought-leadership content to solidify your brand:

  • Blog posts & articles
  • eBooks & whitepapers
  • Original research & insights
  • Videos & infographics
  • Media appearances & guest posts
  • Virtual events & speaking engagements
  • Digital hubs & training resources

Take the time to research fellow leaders in your field. Find what works for them that you can apply to your personal leadership brand.

Then, see how that type of content performs and adjust as needed.

How to Know if Your Leadership Brand is Working

The steps above are only half the battle. After creating your leadership brand, you need to ensure that your efforts are paying off.

If done properly, you may start seeing signs that your brand is going the right way:

  • Ideal customers opting to avail your company’s products or services
  • More investors willing to invest in your organization
  • You are offered a position that aligns with your strengths, qualities, and skills
  • You are invited to projects that you enjoy
  • Your teammates are commending you on aspects of your work that align with your brand
  • Your boss or other leaders in your field recognizing your brand

But don’t get fixated on having immediate results. Remember that personal branding is a gradual process. 

As you build your image, what you need is to be genuine about your efforts to grow as a leader. Eventually, people will take notice.

Follow the steps above, observe your progress, and be ready to adjust if you want to see the long-term effects of your branding efforts.

Create Your Leadership Brand Now!

A strong leadership brand is a key to opening new opportunities you want at work.

With this branding guide, we hope you can develop a personal leadership brand that can help achieve your career goals.

But if you need further guidance on creating your leadership brand, feel free to reach out to a personal branding consultant.

A personal branding consultant helps you save time, money, and energy defining your identity and communicating your value in the workplace and online.

If you need help with your leadership brand contact us.

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8 Results-Focused Steps On How To Rebrand Yourself

How To ReBrand Yourself

After working hard to develop your personal brand, the public has finally started to see you as a trusted authority in your field.

You have successfully communicated your value to your audience, and now, they perceive you as the go-to expert who can help solve their problems.

But, what if you want to rebrand yourself now?

There are various reasons why you may consider rebranding yourself. It can be major changes in your career that may warrant a rebranding or subtle reasons to reinvent yourself.

In this guide, learn how to rebrand yourself properly to achieve your desired results.

Find out what it exactly means to reinvent yourself, what are the common reasons why personal brands do it, and if it is time for you to take the rebranding path.

What Does It Mean to Rebrand Yourself

Rebranding yourself means reinventing your personal brand. Here, you make a conscious effort to change how others see you.

When you rebrand, you focus on a new or different aspect of your business. You change how you market yourself, highlighting the strongest point you want people to associate with your name.

Just like in personal branding, you control the narrative so the public will see you in a new light.

Why You May Consider Rebranding Your Personal Brand

Successful personal brands may reinvent themselves to keep up with their evolving business.

For instance, a startup founder may have plans to introduce a new product or service to his audience.

Or maybe, an executive wants his brand to reflect another core skill or value that isn’t conveyed yet in his current branding.

Some may also do this to tap different audiences or to reach new customers.

Others may want to transition from one career to another, say, an entrepreneur who wants to shift to life coaching.

Less successful brands may also reinvent to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be because they are not getting enough traction and they want to change your strategy.

Some may also rebrand to move on from negative issues they’ve been involved with.

How Do You Professionally Rebrand Yourself

Rebranding, when done right, can be a beneficial move for you.

Here, we’ll go through eight results-focused steps to reinvent your personal brand so you can ensure your efforts yield success.

In this action plan, we are basically revisiting the steps to building a strong personal brand. These steps will serve as our foundation to effectively reinvent your existing branding.


1. Redefine your goals

Like any well-thought plan, rebranding starts with goal-setting.

Where do you want to be with your rebranding efforts?

Focus on where you plan to go instead of where you’re currently standing.

Being clear with your destination helps you and your audience understand where your reinvented brand is heading.

For instance, you’re changing your job from an entrepreneur to a life coach.

If you want to be seen as a leader in life coaching, make sure to mention skills and experiences that qualify you as a life coach.

Focus your story there rather than your time as an entrepreneur.


2. Re-identify your value

Ask yourself what your new brand will be all about? How is it different from other brands?

Think about your new unique selling proposition and leverage this point of difference.

This is your strength as a brand that can position you in the best light.

Say, you’re in the digital marketing niche. You position yourself as an expert digital marketer, but the field is too broad that you decided to rebrand and shift your focus.

In this case, you could be a social media manager, SEO expert, or advertisement specialist.

The key is to find out where your strength lies in this niche.

Narrow down the field and determine what area of digital marketing you excel at.

You may be getting better results in running Facebook ads than the other two roles, so that can be your point of difference.

From an all-around digital marketer, you can rebrand yourself as a Facebook ads expert.


3. Reestablish your audience

As you shift your focus, your audience is likely to change. Don’t forget to define the people who will benefit the most from this rebranding.

To do this, determine the new problems your brand is going to solve. Take your time to understand the value you’re now bringing to the table.

Once you have an understanding of the solutions you provide, make a list of people who will gain the most from your brand. Research their needs, wants, and motivations.

Then, narrow down the list as much as possible. Identify your target audience that is most likely to pay for your service or care about your brand message.


4. Change your overall look

The next step is to update your overall look to reflect your reinvented brand. This includes your brand logo, colors, font, imagery, and voice.

It is crucial to do this if you’re not getting enough leads or sales.

A change in your brand style may be what you need to differentiate yourself from the competition.

When deciding on your brand style, make sure to research the competition. Determine the prevailing style in the field and try to deviate from it.

For instance, blue is widely used by personal brands as it represents authenticity and trustworthiness.

However, you may want to choose a different color as it is harder to stand out with blue.


5. Rewrite your brand statement

Aside from the overall look of your brand, make sure to craft a new personal brand statement, too.

A personal brand statement is 1-2 sentences that summarize what your brand is all about.

This step is important as brand statements are one of the first things people see when they visit your LinkedIn profile.

A compelling statement conveys your value as a brand. It is also directed to a specific audience while highlighting your unique selling proposition.


6. Develop your narrative

Once you have your new brand sorted out, it’s time to create your narrative.

This is tricky as you want people to understand why you’re rebranding. You don’t want them to think that you’re someone who does something without commitment.

When rebranding, you don’t create a new persona and just forget about your past experiences altogether.

You have to develop a narrative that ties your new brand to your old brand and then emphasize the transition.

For example, you’re shifting your focus from an all-around digital marketer to a personal branding consultant. You might say, “I used to cover every aspect of digital marketing, including social media and SEO.”

Then, you explain why you’re focusing on personal branding.

“I realized that digital marketing is an ever-shifting landscape.

The tactics that work for you today might not work the next day. But through the years, I discovered that personal branding is one of the few things that remain consistent throughout.”

By relating your past with your present, it puts a unique flavor to your brand.


7. Rebuild your online presence

Now, it’s time to put your reinvented brand to action.

Your goal for rebranding may be to change the public perception of you on social media.

The people in your circle may have always known you as an entrepreneur, and now, you want to be identified as a life coach.

Or you may have associated yourself with toxic individuals that have damaged your reputation in the past.

Don’t stress if some people have trouble seeing you in a new light. What’s important is that your intention to reinvent yourself is genuine.

Make a strategic move to re-educate your old followers–update your social media, send email blasts, make phone calls, and reach out to let them know about your rebranding.

Address negative perceptions if needed. However, don’t force them to instantly change how they see you. Successful rebranding takes time.

Rather than convincing those who already know you, focus on expanding your network to new audiences.

Broaden your reach and target people who never knew your previous brand.


8. Strengthen your rebrand with content

Since you’re claiming expertise in a new field, it’s appropriate to back it up with evidence.

Sharing valuable content allows you to prove your worth.

To win people’s trust, be sure to offer content with real value. This is where thought-leadership content such as blog posts, articles, eBooks, research papers, videos, and digital hubs come in handy.

When creating content for your new brand, always remember to inform, educate, and help your audience. Provide solutions to their problems, answer their questions, and add something new to the conversation.

This way, you can demonstrate your expertise and cement your name as an authority in the field.

Is It Time for You to Rebrand on Social Media?

The decision to reinvent yourself does not come easy and can be potentially harmful if done for all the wrong reasons.

If you’re thinking about rebranding yourself at this moment, ask yourself these:

  • Have I been working on my personal brand for a long time now?
  • Have I addressed negative issues related to my existing personal brand?
  • Do I have something new to bring to the table?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding “No,” don’t rebrand just yet.

Don’t rebrand if you’re relatively brand new and feel like you’re not getting enough traction.

Successful personal branding takes time.

The same goes for brands that dealt with bad press, yet haven’t really acknowledged their errors or issued a sincere apology yet.

Rebranding isn’t also the answer if you have nothing new to offer.

Don’t rebrand if you don’t have the skills to switch to a new niche and claim expertise.

Only consider rebranding if:

  • Your brand has expanded
  • You’re shifting careers
  • Your brand looks too generic
  • You’ve been heavily scrutinized by the public
  • You’re introducing a new partnership

If you want to be 100% sure about your move, you can always ask the expert opinion of a personal branding consultant.

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How to Market Yourself Effectively

How To Market Yourself

There was once a time when marketing was meant for selling products and services only.

Now, marketing has evolved into a more sophisticated tactic that can also be applied even to yourself.

Whether you want to attract new clients for your business or get the attention of employers to land a new job, marketing yourself is now an essential skill that can make the difference between failure and success.

That said, it is crucial to learn how to market yourself if you want to succeed in a competitive world.

In this guide, we’ll talk in detail about what it means to market yourself. Find out why you should be strategic about selling yourself on social media and how this tactic can benefit your business or career.

Most importantly, learn effective ways to market yourself online as well as the common pitfalls you should avoid when promoting yourself.

What Does It Mean to Market Yourself?

“To market yourself” means to present yourself in the best light to clients, customers, and employers.

For career seekers, it is vital that you know how to show employers you are a good fit for a job.

Sometimes, the person who gets a job may not be the most skilled. They may have been good at creating a strong personal brand that makes them the “expert” in the eyes of hiring managers.

The same holds true in the business setting. Founders, owners, and executives today are keen on building an effective personal brand to compete with other companies in the field.

By showing they are experts in their crafts, they build credibility to the public, thus winning the trust of paying customers.

Hence, to market yourself means to build trust by positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your field, which is the main principle of personal branding.

Drawing the Line

To further understand what to market yourself means, you also have to know what it doesn’t mean. Marketing yourself isn’t:

From the points above, we can start to identify what to market yourself truly means. Marketing yourself is:

Remember these points to successfully promote yourself online.

The Competitive Advantage of Marketing Yourself

Everyone can benefit from marketing themselves, even if your business or career has absolutely nothing to do with marketing. When you know how to promote yourself on social media, you can:


Develop credibility and trust

Been featured in screenshot

Marketing yourself is all about building your authority. You demonstrate your knowledge and share your experiences to be seen as an expert in the field.

When you show people that you are an expert, they are naturally drawn to you.

They will depend on you more, and ultimately, they will reward you with their trust.


Attract potential clients, customers, and hiring managers

When you market yourself, you are reaching more people.

When more people can see you, chances are, there will be individuals who will be interested in you.

Done right, marketing yourself can lead to people hiring you, buying from you, or availing your services.


Gain recommendations

Did you know that by simply doing good with your work, you are marketing yourself?

The good news is that it can be a powerful marketing tool that can spread the word about you. Imagine if you’re consciously shaping the perception of people around you of how good and helpful you are to them, you can have people recommending you.

This word-of-mouth tactic is especially effective on social media where shares, retweets, and comments can reach more people.


Build your network

Exposing yourself to a wider audience helps you forge real connections.

This opens up opportunities to create a network that can help achieve your marketing goals.

Whether it be potential partnerships with fellow experts to grow your business or connecting to the right people in your dream company, marketing yourself can help build valuable networks.


Grow your career or business

In a competitive market, knowing how to promote yourself on social media can be a key to achieving success.

It helps you position yourself as an expert that your clients, customers, and employers need. This earns you valuable trust, and by marketing yourself, you are setting yourself apart from the crowd.

Eventually, you’ll have potential clients and hiring managers coming to you seeking your expertise, and that means business.

How to Market Yourself Online: Getting Started

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a job seeker, marketing yourself online can be the key to your success.

The great part is that you can promote yourself without spending money to get started. Here, learn how you can start marketing yourself on social media.


1. Figure out who you are

To market yourself effectively, first, you need to know who you are.

By knowing yourself, we mean finding out your strengths as a professional.

  • Where do you excel at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your experiences related to your niche?

The answer to these questions will become your unique selling proposition (USP).

It’s crucial to understand what you are selling to market yourself effectively.

Thus, think about how you can bring these elements together that you can present when you start marketing yourself.

Once you have identified your strengths, it’s time to determine who you want to be.

Many individuals struggle to market themselves because they don’t want to limit themselves.

For instance, a startup founder of a digital marketing agency wants to market himself as the go-to expert in the community.

But, digital marketing is a complex process that involves many disciplines, such as SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing.

To effectively promote yourself, choose a certain area you’d like to focus on. In the above example, you can’t be an expert in all of these marketing disciplines because it’s too broad.

It’s unrealistic, and that makes it harder to appeal to a specific audience.

Therefore, concentrate on a certain aspect of your craft and start from there.

Listing your current skills, passions, and experiences will help you identify the area you should focus on in your marketing efforts.


2. Define your audience

Once you figure out who you are, the next step is to identify who your audience is.

Who are you trying to reach? Are you marketing yourself to potential clients? Do you want to connect with future customers? Or are you trying to reach hiring managers and recruiters?

Determine a specific audience you want to target.

To do this, look at your skills, products, or services. What problems do they solve?

From there, ask yourself who would benefit the most from what you offer.

After you get a general idea of who your target is, do as much research as possible about them. For entrepreneurs, understand your audience’s pain points, their wants, needs, and their concerns.

For job seekers, learn about the company you’re trying to reach, specifically the skills, values, and knowledge, and experience that they value the most.

Defining your audience is a crucial step in marketing because it will guide your content-making process.

If you know your audience, you’ll know who will read your content.

This way, you can tailor-fit your posts to a specific set of people.

By deeply understanding your audience, you can create more focused content that can resonate with them.


3. Develop your personal brand statement

Say, you’re in an elevator together with a prospect.

You only have a minute to talk about yourself. How would you market yourself?

This is where a personal brand statement comes in.

A personal brand statement sums up who you are, what value you provide, who would benefit from your offer, and how you deliver.

It’s important to develop a statement that can clearly convey your message.

It’s one of the first things people will learn about you, so your statement should stick with them.

Here’s an example of what a personal brand statement looks like:

“I help executives build their personal brands to attract more quality clients and investors.”

Your statement should contain the value you offer, your target audience, and your USP.

To start, follow the classic formula for writing a brand statement:

“I help ____ do ____.”

The first blank should be your target audience. The second blank is the desired result or outcome of your audience after working with you. 

In the example above, the target is executives. The desired result is to attract more quality clients and investors by building their personal brands.

Keep your statement clear and concise, about one to two sentences short. Also, make sure to keep it conversational, memorable, and genuine.


4. Create a strong online presence

When you have identified your value, your audience, and your statement, it’s time to build your presence online.

If you already have a website, make sure to upgrade it to reflect your message. If you don’t have it, consider building one.

A website is a crucial digital marketing tool for building credibility and authority aside from providing accessibility and making the right first impression.

Then, use social media strategically.

There are various social media channels you can choose from. But if you’re looking to establish thought-leadership, make sure to have a presence on LinkedIn.

This platform is basically a living resume that offers a trove of information about you. It’s essential for communicating your value and connecting with the right people.

Once you have chosen your platforms, the next thing to do is to create and distribute your content.

Content is the meat of your marketing strategy. It is what will communicate your message and demonstrate your expertise.

When creating content, always ensure that they are:

  • Informative
  • Educational
  • Helpful
  • Original
  • Actionable
  • Accurate
  • Engaging
  • Thought-provoking

Marketing content comes in many forms, but the important thing is to provide value to your audience. Again, you should put yourself in the best light to your audience.

To do this, they should be able to see your value, and well-thought content that answers their problems can help you achieve this purpose.

However, don’t just create content and let people discover it. You should also actively distribute your content to reach more people. Email marketing is a great way to do this.

So, to build a strong online presence, make sure to optimize your website, social media accounts, and email with effective content that positions you as an expert in your industry.

6 Effective Ways to Market Yourself

Earlier, we defined “to market yourself” as building trust by positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your field.

And that’s what marketing yourself is all about: demonstrating your expertise to present yourself in the best light to the public.

That said, your marketing strategy should focus on communicating your knowledge to your audience. Here are some ways to do it:

Maintain a blog

blog screenshot

Start writing your thoughts and share them on your blog. Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise.

Whether you add a blog to your website or publish in off-site blogs like Business 2 Community, Medium, or LinkedIn, make it a habit to write articles about your industry.

It doesn’t have to be a long post every time, especially when you’re just starting out.

The goal is to be consistent in publishing content online, and that you write for a specific audience. This way, people will have a reason to follow your website or social media accounts.

Write a book

Steven J Wilson Personal Branding Book On Amazon

Aside from writing blogs, you’ll also benefit from authoring a book.

Look around and many of the thought-leaders in your field have already published at least one book.

Because it offers real value to people, books are a powerful marketing tool to demonstrate your knowledge about a subject matter. Hence, you should consider publishing one.

While writing a book can be daunting, it’s really worth the effort you put into it.

Besides, you don’t have to write a book by yourself if you don’t feel up for it. Instead, you can reach out to fellow experts in your industry and ask if you can co-author a book with them.

Speak publicly

Speaking in front of a large audience is a sure way to get your name out there.

By sharing your knowledge in conferences, trade shows, or webinars, you get to promote yourself while building your network and your reputation.

The good thing is that you don’t have to be a big name to get invited as a resource speaker in events. You can start small in the local chapter of your professional association.

But if you’re someone who gets stage fright, don’t worry. You can utilize digital speaking platforms like podcasting to work out your speaking skills.

So, practice enough, build your confidence, and aim for the bigger stage where you can market yourself.

Get quoted

Aside from speaking at events, it’s also a smart move to speak with the local media.

People will recognize you more if you appear in media interviews, reports, and features, aside from building your portfolio.

Reporters and journalists love quoting experts to back up their points.

Showing your expertise to attract the attention of journalists is great.

However, you have to actively look for reporters if you want to leverage this marketing tactic.

For this reason, sites like HARO and Source Bottle can be of help. These kinds of sites connect journalists with experts, allowing you to score an interview with various news outlets.

Lead or organize a group

If there is no professional association in your area, organize one.

Experts are always drawn to fellow experts, and organizing a group of professionals helps you build a valuable network. Connect with them and create a community of like-minded individuals.

If there is an existing group already, join them. Then, talk to the leaders about you wanting to help out.

Or better yet, express your willingness to be part of the leadership. Joining industry-related groups can significantly bolster your reputation.

Common Pitfalls of Marketing Yourself

Finally, avoid these common marketing pitfalls when promoting yourself online.

  • Getting too broad with your niche. You need to be specific with the niche you’re claiming to be an expert in. Finding a specific niche helps you solidify your value and lock in on the right audience.

  • Creating content for everybody. As they say, if your content is for everybody, it is for nobody. Create more focused content with a specific set of people in mind. This can make your content more appealing to your readers.

  • Not doing research. You can’t answer your audience’s questions if you don’t do much research about your subject matter. Spend some time researching your niche and become a true expert that people can rely on.

  • Don’t be self-absorbed. No one wants to listen to someone that talks about himself all the time. Instead of talking about me, me, me, focus on being helpful to your audience. Address their problems, wants, and needs, and be genuine about it.

  • Not engaging with your audience. Always remember the “social” aspect of social media. When marketing yourself, don’t forget to engage with your audience. Reply to comments, ask for suggestions, and converse with fellow experts online. Marketing yourself on social media also means building a community.

Final Words

To market yourself, you should become an expert in your field. This goes true for entrepreneurs and job seekers alike.

Learning how to market yourself properly can make the difference between failing and succeeding in your goals.

So, be sure to consider the most effective ways to market yourself and avoid the common pitfalls of the task.

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9 Examples of Impressive Thought Leadership Content

Thought Leadership Content

Do you want to be a thought leader in your field?

A thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. They help others with their knowledge and experience in a particular topic.

To cement your reputation as a thought leader in your industry, you need to have strategic thought-leadership content. But what exactly is thought-leadership content? How do you create it?

In this post, discover the essential things you need to know about thought-leadership content. Also, learn from the examples of established thought-leaders to inspire and guide you in crafting high-quality content for thought-leadership marketing.

What is Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content presents your brand as a leading, authoritative voice in your industry.

It aims to inform, educate, provide insights and help answer the biggest questions in your audience’s minds.

This type of content is based on unique perspectives, experiences, and resources that inform the philosophy of your brand and your product.

You share this content to build credibility, trust, and ultimately, loyalty.

Remember, thought leadership content is:

  • Informative, educational, and helpful, not self-promotional
  • Answers the problems of your audience, not a marketing piece about a product or service
  • Positions you as the go-to expert in your industry, not just a mere brand trying to make sales

While thought leadership content is used as a content marketing tool, remember that it takes a customer-first approach. It is not entirely about what you know.

Rather, it is what your audience wants and needs to know from you.

Remember what it is and what it is not to effectively position yourself as a leader in your field.

Types of Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content comes in different formats, such as:


Blog Posts & Articles

Writing blog posts and articles is one of the most common and effective ways to demonstrate expertise in your niche.

It requires you to consistently publish posts about topics that resonate with your market.

By publishing new content in your blog, you are showing how well-versed you are in your field.

This consistency eventually builds a following to your blog which helps boost your credibility.


eBooks & White Papers

Look at some thought leaders in your industry. Chances are, they have authored at least one book or white paper about their subject matter.

Writing eBooks and white papers may require time for in-depth research, but it isn’t as demanding as maintaining a blog schedule.

The heavier graphics and thorough content also provide real value to your audience, which in turn, position you as an authority in your field.


Original Research & Insights

Conducting your own surveys, research, and data gathering instead of relying on existing reports can make you stand out from the crowd.

As a thought leader, your followers expect you to provide something new to the field.

Presenting original research and insights about your industry satisfies this need, which in turn, establishes thought leadership.


Videos & Infographics

We live in a visual world, that’s why videos and infographics make for great thought leadership content.

Both types are easy to digest and engaging to users. This is especially true for videos, which is a consumer’s favorite type of content to see from brands on social media.

That said, consider creating explainer videos and interactive infographics to inform and engage your audience.


Media Appearances & Guest Posts

Your brand recognition grows the more you appear in media interviews, articles, features, and industry-related websites and blogs.

The more people recognize your brand, the more you’ll be perceived as a thought leader.

So, it is also important to work on content outside your current platforms.

Build relationships with the press, contribute guest articles, and get your name out there.


Virtual Events & Speaking Engagements

Just like media appearances, getting active in virtual events can give your reputation a significant boost.

Aim to participate in conferences, trades, and exhibits not only as an attendee but as a speaker when possible.

Speaking engagements are particularly crucial in building your resume as a thought leader.

If you can, hold your own webinars and podcasts to build yourself. In the new normal, it’s still a must to make human connections with the people in your field.


Digital Hubs & Training Resources

As a thought leader, your primary goal is to teach your followers. Thus, creating a learning hub for your audience is crucial to your success.

Offer training resources, programs, courses, and events that will help your users solve their problems, alongside the other forms of content mentioned above.

Examples of Thought Leadership Content

Based on the types above, let’s look at some brands that are doing great with their thought leadership content. Take inspiration from these brands so you can create effective content for thought leadership. 


Grow by Acorns and CNBC

Grow by Acorns and CNBC Thought Leadership Content

Acorns may be a company offering financial investments, but they know not to oversell their services with their content. Instead, they make good use of their blog to tackle the more interesting side of financing.

To appeal to their audience, they publish content revolving around saving, spending, and earning that people could highly relate to. They also partnered with news provider CNBC and built a team of financial experts to boost the blog’s credibility.

This sincerity to help people make the most out of their money earns them a spot on this list.

Takeaway: Be helpful.



Degreed Thought Leadership Content

When it comes to building authority, publishing whitepapers is a surefire way to get the job done. Education technology company Degreed recognizes this, which is made evident by their thorough and well-designed whitepapers.

It is a smart move for Degreed to leverage this type of content as whitepapers are often perceived to be highly-authoritative. This especially works when your target markets are entrepreneurs and businesses, who usually look for real value from brands.

Takeaway: Provide real value to your audience.


Burning Glass Technologies

Burning Glass Technologies Thought Leadership Content Example

Data is a powerful tool to establish thought leadership. And for for-profit enterprise Burning Glass Technologies, it is one key to stand out from the competition.

The said brand uses data to become a formidable name in its field. Together with industry authorities like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Burning Glass Technologies offers a wealth of original content from raw info about labor and the job market.

As the brand brings something new to the table, it gets a huge chunk of attention from the community.

Takeaway: Add to the conversation.


MarieTV by Marie Forleo

MarieTV Thought Leadership Content Example

When it comes to creating video content for thought leadership, Marie Forleo does it spot-on.

It is truly impressive how she handles her web series, MarieTV. Not only does she create videos that help people create a business and life they love. She also goes the extra mile addressing her audience’s problems.

One notable thing about her content is her effort to answer questions from her viewers every week. She does this with much gusto, not only answering on her YouTube channel but also on her website. This genuine care to help her audience has earned her a loyal following.

Takeaway: Engage with your community.


Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Thought Leadership Content Example

From one host to another, Oprah Winfrey’s brand is built around authenticity.

People follow Oprah’s content because it’s genuine. She opens her stories to the world to empower other people. She isn’t afraid to share her experiences, joyful or sad, to encourage her audience to embrace their own stories. And this genuineness translates well to her content, whatever the format.

Throughout the years, she remained herself and taught us that thought leadership isn’t just about your knowledge. It is also about being who you are, not just as a brand, but as a person. And that this genuineness should reflect on your content.

Takeaway: Be authentic.


Build a Better Agency Podcast by Drew McLellan

Agency Management Institute thought leadership content

In industries like digital marketing, agency leaders are often strapped for time. If you’re targeting these people, how do you get them to consume your content?

Drew McLellan knew exactly what agency heads need, that’s why he created the Build a Better Agency Podcast. His 30-45 minutes long podcasts are just what busy leaders need to get educated on how they can improve their agencies.

By thinking of his audience’s needs, he was able to appeal to them and get a fair share of their time.

Takeaway: Think of your audience’s needs.


First Round Review

First Round Review Thought Leadership Content Example

While getting interviewed sure can help with your thought leadership journey, interviewing people can also boost your reputation. The First Round Review blog is proof of that.

The said venture capital firm spends its time interviewing entrepreneurs. The people behind the blog seek thought leadership advice from real companies to feature on the website.

Through this approach, the First Round Review blog has managed to get media attention as well as a positive response from the community.

Takeaway: Reach out to other experts in your field.


Business Class by American Express

American Express Thought Leadership Content

Here’s another brand that doesn’t just rely on its own expertise.

Business Class by American Express is a blog for small businesses. Previously called Open Forum, this blog lets their business customers post content on their website.

Along with their team of writers, content from business owners make up American Express’s blog. This cumulative effort to provide a thought leadership hub gives Business Class a spot on our list.

Takeaway: Build a community.


HubSpot Academy

Hubspot Accademy Thought Leadership Content

In the marketing world, HubSpot is a respected brand well-known for its top-notch automation tools. However, people’s recognition of this brand doesn’t just end with their software products.

This company brand is also admired for its free online knowledge hub, HubSpot Academy. Here, you will find training resources for professionals and entrepreneurs aiming to grow their careers and businesses. They offer certification programs and practical courses to help their customer base and visitors.

Takeaway: Educate your audience. Successful thought leaders aren’t only experts, but they are also excellent teachers.

Developing your Thought Leadership Marketing Strategy

What can we learn from the examples above?

When developing your thought leadership content, you have to take into account the following elements to pull off an effective content marketing strategy.

  • Be helpful. People turn to brands that help make their daily lives easier.
  • Provide real value to your audience. Your effort to create content that offers real value pays off with a loyal following.
  • Add to the conversation. Thought leaders are expected to lead and not just follow. You do this by offering something new to the field.
  • Engage with your community. Don’t just post content and leave it there. Engage with people before, during, and after publishing your content.
  • Be authentic. People can see through pretensions. Always be genuine when informing, educating, and entertaining your audience.
  • Think about your audience’s needs and problems. When creating content, think about how you can solve your audience’s problems.
  • Reach out to other experts in your field. Sharing knowledge with fellow thought leaders does not only help your community. It also puts a spotlight on your brand.
  • Build a community. Involve your audience in your content creation process.

  • Educate your audience. Real thought leaders are excellent teachers. People will trust you if you can teach them what they need.

Final Words

Content is an essential tool to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. As such, you should understand what exactly is thought leadership content to know how you can create it.

Remember: There is no such thing as the “best” content. What works for one brand may not work for another. Thought leadership content comes in many formats, and it is up to you to discover which will work best for your message.

However, there are definite elements that you need to consider when creating content. The examples of thought leadership content above should guide and inspire you as you develop your own content marketing strategy.

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An Essential Guide to Personal Branding on LinkedIn

personal branding on linkedin

Here’s a pro-tip: Work on solidifying your personal brand.

Building a personal brand is one of the greatest things you can do for your career or business. Anyone who’s looking for a marketing strategy–from job seekers to startup founders or even executives–can benefit from having a strong personal brand.

When it comes to branding yourself, there are many social media channels to build your presence on. But none can match the advantages that LinkedIn has to offer.

In this post, find out why you should take your personal branding efforts on LinkedIn. Learn how having a strong LinkedIn presence can help establish your professional brand. Most importantly, discover the steps you need to create your personal brand on LinkedIn.

Why is LinkedIn Important for Personal Branding?

LinkedIn may be best known as a place to upload your resume to show recruiters. But that’s in the past. Now, it has evolved into a more sophisticated platform perfect for building your personal brand.

Today, LinkedIn boasts of various features that let you showcase your value, build connections, and reach out to your audience. From contact targeting to article publishing to lead generation and conversion tracking, you’ll find tools to grow your personal brand on LinkedIn.

This opens plenty of opportunities to use the platform in different ways. Your LinkedIn profile, when done strategically, can portray different roles that support your goal of establishing a personal brand:

  • It’s your online portfolio
  • It’s your personal website and blog
  • It’s your 24/7 salesperson
  • It’s your career coach
  • It’s your researcher
  • It’s your online directory
  • It’s your professional association
  • It’s your review platform

With your LinkedIn profile playing many roles for your brand, you have to spend time working on it. Continue reading to find out how you can build a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.

How Does LinkedIn Help Promote Professional Branding?

Fact: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. That alone explains its importance to your professional branding. In more detail, here are specific ways a LinkedIn brand helps you.


LinkedIn serves as your living resume

A solid LinkedIn profile gets your brand positioned for more opportunities.

Thanks to this platform, you’re given a space to construct a professional image of yourself. LinkedIn allows you to list your skills, experiences, and accomplishments for your potential clients and employers to see.

You can update your profile whenever you make a career move, complete a new course, get speaking engagements, or publish new articles, research, or case studies.

Consistently updating your LinkedIn profile sends the right signal to your target audience that you’re constantly advancing your career, and that they should check out your brand.

Your professional career becomes an open book that can influence how people perceive you.


LinkedIn helps you get found on Google

Have you ever tried to Google your name? What shows up on the first page of the search result?

If you’re applying for a job or emailing a potential client, chances are, they’ll search your name on Google. And you don’t want them to see the less desirable results about you online.

Hence, if you want to control the narrative about your name, it’s time to work on your LinkedIn profile. One great thing about this platform is that it is easier to rank your LinkedIn profile on Google than your website, giving you more visibility.

When your profile ranks, this leaves searchers a good impression of you as a professional individual.


LinkedIn connects you with people

When it comes to networking, LinkedIn is top-notch. With over 700 million professionals using the platform, you’re more likely to find your target audience in this channel.

Here, it is easy to find relevant people in your industry, send an invite to connect and grow your network.

The LinkedIn Groups also provide excellent opportunities for your personal brand to gain recognition. With a free LinkedIn account, you can join up to 50 groups for sharing your content, researching your market, and making meaningful connections.

That said, LinkedIn is a great place to build relationships, which you need to grow your professional brand.


LinkedIn communicates your value

LinkedIn is a great platform to broadcast the word about your brand in front of a large, targeted audience.

Here, you can post regular content to show your expertise in your subject matter.

When you achieve a milestone, post it on your profile. If you read an informative article that you think can be of value to your connections, share it with your network. If you have some thought-provoking questions for your followers, ask away.

Posting on LinkedIn can reach a lot of people that can help build awareness of your brand. Even a simple comment on other people’s posts can go a long way in this channel.

You can even publish articles directly to LinkedIn to demonstrate thought-leadership, establishing your authority and credibility.

Be strategic about what you post to communicate your value the best way possible on LinkedIn.


LinkedIn offers a trove of information

LinkedIn’s wealth of resources and analytical tools can help you with your market research. From its LinkedIn Groups to LinkedIn Company Pages to LinkedIn Search functionalities, you’ll find the tool useful.

Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn for research:

  • Looking for insights about your market
  • Searching for experts in your industry
  • Gathering information for your customer profile
  • Curating popular content ideas
  • Staying on top of current events in your field
  • Find candidates for your team
  • Learn more about a company’s culture and key personalities

How Do I Create a Personal Brand on LinkedIn?

By now, you might be excited to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. To help you get the most out of your brand, here are some tips to strengthen your profile.


Optimize Your Profile for Search

A well-optimized profile lets you be found by potential clients or employers online. But how do you optimize your profile?

LinkedIn isn’t just a social media channel. It is also a search engine platform, so you need to use the right keywords specific to your expertise and industry.

Once you identified the keywords, use them in the following sections of your profile:

  • Headline, summary, and job descriptions.
  • Headshot, banner, and images.
  • At the top 3 list of the skills section.
  • Pulse posts, which is LinkedIn’s blogging platform.
  • Contact information section.
  • Projects and Publications sections.

Choosing the right words and using them in your profile make the difference between getting found and being invisible on LinkedIn.


Create Your Headline

In the headline field, you’re allowed to fill up to 120 characters. It’s one of the first things that your profile visitors will see, so make the most out of this space.

The headline is an excellent place to show your personal branding statement, which is a 1-2 sentence summary of your brand.

To take advantage of your headline, make sure that it answers all of these questions:

  • What are you expert in?
  • Who do you help?
  • What sets your personal brand apart?

Here’s an example of a personal branding statement in the headline:

LinkedIn Profile branding Statement Example

“I build the online brands of financial service professionals.”

Also, don’t forget to optimize the headline with keywords so you can be found via relevant searches.


Craft Your Description

The About section is the support text to your headline. It is where you sell yourself to a potential client or hiring managers.

In this part, mention compelling points that would make your visitors want to connect with you. It should include your skills, experiences, and accomplishments.

However, sell yourself for what you want to do, not what you’ve done in the past.

This means you don’t just squeeze every work you’ve done before in your summary. Instead, highlight the works that are relevant to the clients or jobs you want to attract.

For instance, if you’re a photographer and want to attract soon-to-wed couples, be sure to feature previous works related to weddings.

Your other portfolio can be placed below in the Experience section.


Choose Your Headshot

Remember that LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, so use a profile photo that would help you look professional. Don’t just use your usual Facebook or Instagram selfie photos on your LinkedIn profile.

You don’t need to have a professional photoshoot to do this. Just keep these things in mind when having a headshot:

  • Show your face and/or shoulders
  • Make eye contact and smile
  • Dress professionally
  • Don’t wear accessories that can obscure your face
  • Avoid pixelated photo
  • Ensure you have excellent lighting
  • Don’t have anyone else in the photo

Also, be sure to name your headshot with your keyword. For instance, name your photo “personal branding consultant Tennessee.” People who are searching for this term may see your image come up on the search results page. The same goes for your banner and other images.


Design a Banner Image

LinkedIn also lets you upload a banner image to your profile. When choosing a cover photo, keep in mind that it should tell your brand story.

Insert elements that clearly tell what your brand is about. For instance, if you’re a writer, you can include an image of a pen in your cover photo. It wouldn’t also hurt to inject your personality in the banner to make it more creative.

If you have a graphic designer who can create your cover photo, great. But if you have limited resources, Canva.com offers plenty of templates to design your own banner.


Write Articles

You might be thinking, “Why would I want to publish an article on LinkedIn? when I can publish it on my website’s blog?”

It’s a valid question, but did you know that every time you publish on LinkedIn, the post shows up on your connections’ feed. But the best part is that they get notified of your post.

That means more people can get to read your article when you publish on the said social media platform versus your blog.

There are various ways to take advantage of LinkedIn posting.

  1. Publish a LinkedIn exclusive article.
  2. Publish an excerpt of an existing blog article to LinkedIn. Then, direct your audience to continue reading on your website.
  3.  Syndicate content from your blog and repost it to LinkedIn.

With such a feature, it’s worth considering publishing articles directly on LinkedIn.


Engage with Others

A solid LinkedIn branding strategy isn’t just about you posting content. It also involves building relationships with your connections.

Make sure to engage with other people’s content regularly. Interact with fellow professionals, especially those with who you plan to work together in the future. Find time to share, like, and comment on posts relevant to your goals.

Converse with prospects or recruiters to introduce yourself, which can increase your chances of success when you pitch your products or services to them.

Engaging with others doesn’t only build relationships. It also literally connects you with your target audience. In LinkedIn, a simple comment shows up to your network, which usually appears like this:  “Steven J Wilson commented on this post.”

Leverage this to further your brand recognition.


Get Endorsements & Recommendations

LinkedIn also allows users to leave endorsements and recommendations on your profile. These are great to have as they act as social proof of your expertise.

Skills and Endorsements on LinkedIn

Don’t just wait for people to leave testimonials. Be proactive and ask for endorsements and recommendations from relevant connections. In LinkedIn, you can request recommendations from your connections easily from your profile.

You can start asking your colleagues, clients, or professors for their testimonials.

Recommendations on LinkedIn

When requesting recommendations, ask them for feedback on a specific skill to boost your reputation. It also pays to mention why you want the recommendations.

In return, always say thank you and write a recommendation for them.


Personalize Your Connection Request

A personalized invitation boosts your chance of getting accepted. So, spend some time writing your invitation to build that connection.

A good LinkedIn connection request contains the following:

  • Explanation on how you know the person
  • Reason why you want to connect
  • What you admire most about his brand
  • Some information from his profile (e.g., recent blog or specific skill set)

When sending your invite, show a bit of enthusiasm to further improve your chance of getting accepted. Also, always end it with a thank you.


Don’t Pitch Too Soon 

While you are using LinkedIn to sell yourself, don’t make the mistake of pitching straight away.

It’s tempting to sell to someone you meet the first time because you don’t want to miss the opportunity. But this may only ruin your chance to build potential relationships with your audience, which is the reason why you’re establishing a personal brand on LinkedIn in the first place.

The best approach is to be helpful to your audience. Show you’re sincere in connecting with them, and that you’d want to help them with their needs, concerns, and problems.

At the end of the day, your audience remembers genuine relationships, not cold pitches.

LinkedIn Personal Branding Examples

If you need inspiration, we rounded up some of our favorite professionals who are on top of their personal branding game on LinkedIn. Check out their profiles and learn what they did best to stand out from their peers.


Jonathan Palmar on LinkedIn

Jonathan Palmer

Video is huge on LinkedIn right now, and if you are or planning on getting involved in creating videos on LinkedIn, Jonathan is the person you should follow. Jonathan shows and teaches you the power of being yourself through LinkedIn videos while growing your brand or business at the same time. Jonathan has been dominating LinkedIn for the past two years, and there is no doubt in our minds that he will be able to inspire and guide you on the path to success with LinkedIn video.

Connect with Jonathan Palmar on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanpalmar/


Cher Jones on LinkedIn

Cher Jones

It wouldn’t be fair to mention building a brand on LinkedIn and not mention Cher Jones. She is the perfect representation of showing your professionalism while letting people connect with who you are on a deeper level. If you need more amazing energy and tips from a dedicated LinkedIn power-user that has been crushing in for years, then, Cher is who you need to connect with. Cher hosts a weekly show called #JustAskCher, and we highly recommend you tune in.

Connect with Cher Jones on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/itscherjones/


Reggie Mac on LinkedIn

Reggie Mac

Reggie will inspire and help you achieve better results with your brand from the content he shares. Reggie does a great job of posting thought-provoking content while genuinely engaging with his connections. Every business professional should model and take Reggie’s advice to grow your relationships and business utilizing his LinkedIn strategies.

Connect with Reggie Mac on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/reggiemac/


Joel Lalgee on LinkedIn

Joel Lalgee

Joel is one of my favorite people to follow on LinkedIn. He shares some great thought-provoking content and is a perfect example of a LinkedIn power-user doing amazing things on the social media platform without being salesy or pushy. If you are looking to grow your brand on LinkedIn, you should follow and soak up everything Joel does on LinkedIn.

Connect with Joel Lalgee on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/bestrecruiterever1/

Wrapping Up

When it comes to building your personal brand, LinkedIn is currently the best social media channel to be apart of. It is a sophisticated platform meant for creating personal brands, offering plenty of benefits for career seekers and business owners alike.

Leverage the platform and start branding yourself now.

Be sure to follow Steven J Wilson on LinkedIn.

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