Articles by Steve Patrizi
As Director of Advertising Sales here at LinkedIn, I spend most of my time talking to companies about their marketing and advertising strategies and how LinkedIn can help them achieve their business objectives. One topic that comes up often is the idea that the employees of a company are now a very visible part of that company’s overall brand, thanks to the proliferation of profiles on social networks like LinkedIn.
First, it’s important to note that a business’ brand is much more than just a logo and a tag line – it’s a promise of value, a promise made and delivered by the employees of that company. Historically, that promise was communicated to customers through advertising, packaging, PR, promotions, merchandising and in-store experiences, and the only contact with the company’s employees came from salespeople, customer service agents and communications managers. The rest of the company’s employees where rarely exposed to customers.
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I recently joined the LinkedIn team as Director of Advertising Sales, a job I gained through using LinkedIn. I’ve used LinkedIn for years as an invaluable tool to build up and manage my professional network, find and
recruit talented people, and grow my customer base. I’ve also used it to stay on top of the current voice of the marketing community by taking a daily look at the types of questions and answers being posted in the Answers section. And now I can say that I’ve used it to land an exciting new career opportunity even though I wasn’t actively seeking one out, something that would have been almost impossible years ago but is now a common occurrence thanks to LinkedIn’s ability to help you manage your professional brand.
Branding is something that we as professionals need to take very seriously on an individual level. Ten years ago, Tom Peters penned an article for Fast Company called “The Brand Called You”, which stressed that it’s absolutely imperative for all professionals to develop a unique and personal “professional brand” that communicates the value they have to offer to prospective employers, employees, clients and business partners.