Personal branding is becoming increasingly important, and it is now generally accepted that having a strong brand is one of the critical contributors to career success. Your personal brand is how you’re perceived by the community or industry in which you work, so how can you take control of this perception?
Here we share our two top tips that can have an immediate positive impact on your personal brand.
Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile Can be Found
According to LinkedIn, only half of the platform users have a profile which is 100% complete. If you’re not part of this group, then the bad news is that you’re 40 times less likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to bring your profile to All-Star status (LinkedIn’s measure of profile completeness), ensuring you’re more likely to be found. You need to have a professional photo, list two previous jobs, your current position, and have at least 50 connections.
This process is self-explanatory, however our main tip when updating your profile is to do so with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind. Simply put, SEO is a method that is used to make websites more visible to search engines, resulting in more visitors landing on their page. LinkedIn is no different. In order for your profile to be found, it needs to contain key terms that are most likely to be searched when people are looking for someone with your skills and experience.
There are several ways to find out what keywords you should be targeting, including searching profiles of your peers to see what keywords they are using, reviewing keywords in job adverts, or asking your specialist Accounting Recruiter. Once you have your chosen keywords it’s very important not to spam your profile. You don’t want to put a reader off by having long lists of keywords or not clearly communicating your personality. Instead, just ensure your keywords feature a couple of times as part of the natural language on sections such as the Summary, Headline, or Job Descriptions. Lastly, if you are currently employed, before you start editing your profile, don’t forget to ensure you haven’t made this common LinkedIn mistake.
Applying these simple techniques to your LinkedIn profile can immediately give you a better platform for communicating your personal brand.
Plan Your 2020 Networking
Personal branding isn’t limited to online activity, in fact some of the best results come from meeting people at events and conferences. However, when juggling your work and life, networking can often drift down the priority list. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you we highly recommend planning and (more importantly!) committing to the events you will intend in 2020, as soon as possible.
Decide on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. For example, you could choose to go along to smaller networking events every month, or you may wish to only attend the big industry events.
Whichever events and conferences you choose to attend, by booking your tickets now they will be committed to your calendar and, therefore, it will be considerably more likely that you will attend. You’ll also find that by receiving the conference newsletters you’ll likely build up a better understanding of who is attending and the people you’d like to network with on the day.
We know we said two tips, but this one is so simple we thought we’d include it as well. Google Alerts are automated alerts that can be set up to monitor the mention of any keywords. The more prominent you become the more likely it is that your name will be mentioned online. Setting up a Google Alert for your name will ensure that you know what is being said about you. If you also monitor industry keywords it will provide you with an opportunity to engage with likeminded people.
To really make your personal brand shine, you have to get active and commit effort to it. Foster your professional relationships, and show people you’re invested in networking with them both in the present and the future. Remember, your personal brand will change and develop over time just as you do, so treat it like a living thing.
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To understand more about what to avoid to improve your personal brand, also look at One Critical Career Mistake Accounting Professionals Make On LinkedIn.