Strengthening your professional brand through LinkedIn

September 26, 2007

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.

That idea was true then and it’s even more true today. The major search engines and social networks have made all of us far more accessible and visible than ever before, making it so much more critical that we actively manage our own professional brands. And that’s where LinkedIn really shines, allowing you to take control of the major elements of your professional brand: the people you associate with, the questions you ask and the answers you provide, the recommendations you give and receive, and the way in which you express your experiences and skills.

If you haven’t done so, I suggest reading over Tom's article, then looking over your LinkedIn profile and make sure you’re doing all you can to help your professional brand stand out. To the LinkedIn users reading this, thanks for using our service. To the marketers reading this, I’m looking forward to helping you
connect your brand with the 14 million professional brands on LinkedIn.

Tip #1: If you haven't done so already, claim your own LinkedIn vanity URL, to solidify your own professional brand. Create your LinkedIn vanity URL here. Check out how simple it is:

Create your own LinkedIn vanity URL
Create your own LinkedIn vanity URL

Tip #2: Another great way to virally propagate your professional brand is to create your own email signature, which you can create by going here. Here's a sample:

Creating email signatures
Creating your own LinkedIn email signatures