While a number of industries are fluctuating due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn't mean your marketing strategy should grind to a halt. That's especially true regarding using LinkedIn for personal branding. Personal branding is about establishing your reputation in the mind of others. And LinkedIn is an excellent place to do so.
LinkedIn remains a powerful resource for businesses. With over 706 million users, LinkedIn offers an engaged audience and special ways to engage that audience through posts and conversations.
But are you using LinkedIn to its fullest potential during this pandemic?
Let's look at the top ways to maximize your LinkedIn strategy, including improving your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn for Personal Branding: How to Maximize Your Efforts During COVID-19
1. Make It Personal
Not everything you share on LinkedIn needs to center around your work. Sometimes bringing in a detail or two from your personal life can add needed color to your personal brand.
Of course, there needs to be a balance here. You don't want to overshare and distract from your personal brand. But adding a little anecdote or detail from time to time that ties into your work life can be a nice touch amidst the many business-as-usual posts that people see on LinkedIn.
For example, has your team done particularly well during the pandemic? Why not share some praise on LinkedIn, perhaps including a photo? Do you have a new pet that likes to sit with you while you work at home? Share a small picture of the scene.
Feel free to think out of the box, but always keep it professional and related to your brand in some way.
2. Polish Up Your Profile
Now that COVID-19 has forced so many of us to interact strictly online, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is more important than ever.
Just think of all those prospective clients or audiences that want to check you out -- most likely they will head straight to your LinkedIn profile. You want to make sure they get the best first impression possible.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in regard to your profile:
- Use a photo that looks professional.
- Make sure that all your information is up to date.
- Write a LinkedIn summary that is both engaging and informative.
- Include video in your profile, perhaps introducing yourself or your brand.
- Include all of your skills and accolades.
Now is the time to assess your profile and remove any details that are no longer relevant or could potentially be damaging.
3. Talk About It
The pandemic has changed daily life for many of us. Seeing how you are coping and managing during the pandemic can help your audience feel closer to you as a brand.
Post about the changes happening in your brand due to the pandemic. Share pictures and videos of daily life.
You could also use LinkedIn to answer the following questions...
- How has your company adapted to the present climate?
- How are you and your employees enjoying working from home?
- What other changes have you implemented during COVID-19?
Some people hesitate to share such details about their day-to-day life, fearing it will reveal a weakness. But so many people go through the same things and can see themselves in. you. This kind of sharing helps create a bond with other people, humanizing you and drawing others closer.
4. Join the Conversation
LinkedIn is a virtual hub of conversation -- with thousands of industry conversations occurring daily. Becoming part of these conversations is crucial to deepening the quality of your engagement.
A great way to find relevant conversations is through hashtags. Search hashtags that are related to your industry and sort through the results to find a conversation relevant to your personal brand and where you can add value.
Have you recently published a blog on small business tips during COVID? Search the hashtag #smallbusinesstips to see what conversations are happeningnow. When you see a conversation that you can add value to, comment on it. A simple, informative comment -- nothing flashy or self-promotional -- can go a long way to building your reputation on LinkedIn.
5. Keep Up with Current News
Many people want to know what's happening with the pandemic and how it impacts their industry.
And this is where your brand can help your audience. Stay current with the latest news, using trusted sources. When you see a story that impacts your industry, share it with your audience, including a comment about its impact, if necessary. Even just sharing it to you feed can be helpful. It shows that you're on top of issues and thinking about your audience.
You can use news stories to start important conversations. You could ask a simple question to spark a conversation. For instance, if you find a trustworthy news story that talks about businesses opening up in your area, you might post it with the question, "Are you planning on re-opening? If so, how do you plan to do it?"
LinkedIn has also created a section for trending news stories. It's a good idea to check out this section from time to time. You never know if you might find a relevant story that could interest your audience.
6. Join LinkedIn Learning
Many of us have been sheltering at home, trying to find ways to occupy our time. Why not use that time to add some more skills to your repertoire? LinkedIn Learning offers a great option for you to do just that.
LinkedIn Learning offers video and other content to help you navigate the waters of LinkedIn. For example, it can help you find new ways to improve your LinkedIn profile and maximize the value of your LinkedIn account.
LinkedIn offers a wide variety of courses. Some of them help you with LinkedIn specifically, while others address the challenges of working from home or reducing stress. Who doesn't need such tips right now?
And did we mention that many of these courses are free? It's a great opportunity that we could all use right now.
There's no doubt about it...using LinkedIn for personal branding is still a valuable strategy, especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How have you been using LinkedIn during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.
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