LinkedIn & Personal Branding Expert – CEO & Founder of Black Marketing – 1,000+ LinkedIn Recommendations, 4 Best Selling Books

Does everyone want to be a rock star on LinkedIn? No, but there are variations of rock star that can enhance your personal brand to achieve whatever goals you wish to in a professional context.

How much of a rock star depends on you, your time, your expertise and how much you do on LinkedIn. But’ let’s start at the basics of what you need to do to enhance your personal brand and start your journey to become a LinkedIn rock star. Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Get a professional photo. Don’t use one from Facebook or a casual one, and no wedding and birthday pictures, please. This is LinkedIn, not Facebook. Design a background picture that represents your personal brand and not tourism photos of the iconic city view that you live in (a million people already have that). Make sure that you can see it clearly on both the laptop and mobile, where more than half of LinkedIn users will be viewing it.

2. Fill in your LinkedIn About section. Write a compelling biography that tells your story, and make it interesting and stimulating. Ensure that you’re adding engaging media to your Featured section, such as weblinks, videos, posts from your content on LinkedIn, documents, PDFs, whitepapers and personal website links.

3. Create a content marketing strategy and become a thought leader. Start sharing. Only 1% of people on LinkedIn post on a weekly basis. Yes, it’s that low. So by sharing any content, you immediately become a thought leader setting an agenda. How brave and controversial you wish to be is entirely up to you and your personal brand values. Start slowly by sharing content from trusted news sources that you admire. Write an introduction to why you like that article and pick out a key phrase or fact that you think your followers would find interesting. Then get braver and start writing your own posts. Only 200 words, or 1,300 characters, are allowed on LinkedIn, so anyone can do it. Pick a topical subject or work subject that you’re passionate about, start writing and then post and see what happens.  

4. Create a connection strategy. Yes, have a plan. Who do you want to connect with? Why? First, personalize all your connection requests. Make sure that they are active and are a second connection, so that they know that you have shared connections they can reference. Make sure that they’re in the same industry as you, or that you’re both Forbes Business Council members, or founders or alumni from the same business school or same city, and personalize the introduction. If they have commented or liked your posts or viewed your profile, there’s an introduction that you can use. Always personalize it. Never automate it.

5. Create a social selling strategy to generate leads. The Sales Navigator Team account is perfect for you to achieve that goal. However, before you start sending out InMails and opening profile messages on Sales Navigator, you must have a credible and finished personal profile because the first thing someone will do when they get your message is look at your personal profile. Then they will decide to reply or not. They will also look at who you both have as common connections, your content sharing, your experience, your About section and media in your Featured section and your Recommendations. All this dictates whether someone will reply or not. Have a series of scripts to use to A-B-C test your outreach. Create 15 saved searches of people you wish to contact to create awareness for your personal brand and your company’s services, and send them a short message — a few lines that aren’t your marketing brochure. Use Smart Links to share case studies, recommendations and service information, and follow up on those people who engage with it. Respond to the new leads that your saved searches generate daily and see which of your scripts works best, but keep iterating and adapting.

If you follow these five tips, you, too, can become a LinkedIn rock star to achieve your professional goals.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

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