Three Steps to Create and Clarify Your Brand Message

Three Steps to Create and Clarify Your Brand Message

Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn

Your brand message is tied into your identity. It represents how you speak, the way you frame things, and what you stand for, where you come from and why people might care about you. It helps you create an effective connection between your company and its potential customers and how they will benefit from being associated with you.
As soon as you start thinking about your company’s branding strategy or messaging, it can feel abstract. It’s not abstract however.
Building a storybrand around your product/service is an excellent way to get people talking about your brand.

  1. To position your ideal client as the main character of your brand story, make sure he or she is featured prominently throughout every aspect of your business.

Don’t get caught up in the spotlight of the company’s narrative. Your services, and your product exist to serve your ideal clients.
When someone contacts you for any reason, whether they’re a prospective customer or not, they should be able to quickly envision who you are and in which specific ways your services are distinctive.

Defining a “buyer persona” (aka buyer types) is important so you can create content that speaks directly to your audience.

ACTION STEP: Think about reaching out to your ideal client. Your focus should be to talk to one particular individual. Speak to his/her needs, desires, wishes and dreams. Show him/her that you understand exactly what he/she is facing and that you can help her/him achieve success.

LinkedIn2

2. Become an authority

You’ve made sure that your clients are front and center in your business. Does that mean you don’t have an official role anymore?
Your prospective clients should visualize themselves in the role of your brand’s protagonist. They also need to understand exactly who you are in relation to them.

We don’t just compete against others; we want to support our clients’ success.
My branding pages speak directly to my ideal client. They also position me as the person who guides them through their own branding process. Together, these two aspects of our relationship build the foundation for an ongoing collaboration between us.

It’s where we will work together to solve your issues and help you reach your desired destination. In this type of working relationship, I must learn about your situation before I can offer any kind of solution. Only after I’ve learned everything about you can I begin to formulate a plan to help you achieve your goal. I cannot diagnose until I understand. At that point I can create a pathway to transform your brand message and give you exactly what you’re looking for.

Once you know who your ideal client is, go through your own experience, knowledge, and the success you’ve achieved for past clients to show them that you’re capable of helping them succeed too.

Premium Business Features

3. Identify Your Ideal Client’s Goals — And How You Can Help Them Get There

You need to identify the type of person who would most likely use your service. I absolutely adore envisioning the boss as a mentor, assisting her/his team members navigate their journeys through life. It’s almost like stepping forward and throwing rocks at whatever stands in the way of their success. What a powerful method of considering servicing our clients!

Now that we’ve translated the message into messages for each individual customer, let’s take a look at some commonalities among them.
Their current brand no longer looks, feels, or sounds authentic. They didn’t develop their current brand strategically from the beginning.
Your next step is to identify your ideal clients’ biggest obstacles, and start throwing rocks at those obstacles and helping eliminate them. You can illustrate for your client how they can and will succeed when they hire you.

Listen attentively and don’t offer solutions until it’s clear that you understand the pain, issues, obstacles and struggles as well as the opportunities that exist within the crisis. Once you understand, and can apply your expert skills to help diagnose a potential solution, then you will be creating the vision of the transformation your client is seeking.

While these are the steps, it cannot be a “cookie cutter” solution. That is why defining, clarifying and building a brand message sounds so elusive. It’s creative, but also an analytic process. Those polar opposites must be integrated and aligned to develop a clear brand message and position.

My most favorite way of expressing this is “If you are the jar of jelly, you cannot step outside of the jar and look at the label.” It takes an outside perspective

That’s why it’s critical to get a perspective that will have a viewpoint distinct from yours; can bring key creativity to the process and who is willing to listen and understand. You and your firms’ journey matters and must be integral to brand development ..

What’s been your experience with brand message and positioning?

 

Author: Iris Culp

 

Value Investing

Value Investing

Photo edited by Heinz Alvarez

Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn

It has been almost 300 years since Benjamin Franklin wrote this quote, but it still holds true today.

The greatest investment you could ever make is by investing in yourself.

While many are concerned about inflation and the variables of the economy we still have the ability to invest in one of the most dynamic and important resources that exist. Ourselves. Don’t just get knowledge. Apply that knowledge. Acquiring knowledge and implementing it to one’s own circumstances is the best way to achieve success.

I have read that investing in one’s own education and training pays a 30:1 return on investment ratio. If we’re going to invest in anything, investing in knowledge is a smart move…

Knowledge is the most valuable asset we can invest in.

Investing in knowledge means expanding and developing our skillset. It will help us make better decisions.

Knowledge is an asset that never goes out of style. It doesn’t go down in value when stocks fall, so if you invest in knowledge, you won’t be losing any money.

Investing in yourself means gaining wisdom, experience, and giving you the ability to make informed decisions. Warren Buffet also agrees with the perspective on the importance of education.  He says “You are your own biggest asset”.He shares passionately and clearly about that in this classic Warren Buffet video clip.

Why don’t some people invest in knowledge?

One of the reasons why people don’t see the value of improving themselves is because they don’t foresee the benefits of doing so. Those folks take a very short term angle and don’t gain traction long-term.

Investing in yourself is not just about having more money. It also helps one ensure you are leveraging your time wisely as you create present and  future opportunities.

Knowledge

Knowledge is an investment.

 

An investment is defined as “an outlay of funds with the expectation of receiving financial gain”. In other words, it is a commitment of capital with the hope of earning more than what was originally put into it.

Investing in your education can help you earn more, and the price someone would be willing to pay for your services, and your skills. You can learn new skills  that can make you effective in speaking to potential ideal clients for example. That’s a powerful set of skills and knowledge base to build from.

Knowledge is power. An investment in knowledge pays off. Profit or material results may be found in several different ways:

  • Improved decision making
  • Better understanding of key topics that can grow your business, revenue and/or income
  • Acquiring a new skill or business angle that can generate revenue

Knowledge is important.

 

Knowing things helps you become smarter, and makes you able to think critically. It can help you develop your critical thinking skills, which can have a huge impact on your life.

Better decision making enables us to choose not only our best investments but also our best life paths. To do so we must always learn and improve ourselves.

Success depends upon one’s own personal definition; however, without knowledge, we cannot achieve any form of success. It has a ripple effect throughout every aspect of our lives, so it’s important to learn as much as we can.

Learning helps you become better at conversing with others for certain. Having more education correlates with reporting higher life satisfaction in a study from a Social Indicators Research article . It does make sense that these things  make you feel happier and more satisfied with yourself. 

Conclusion

 

Finally, an investment into knowledge is extremely important for your business. This is true across any industry. Due to the fast paced nature of any business, having the knowledge to make the best decision at the right time, is critical to success. Making the wrong choice at the wrong time can be disastrous for your company. Knowledge is power!

For things to change, you need to change. To improve, you need to improve.

There is someone else who has achieved success despite living in the same circumstances and having access to the same opportunities as you but who is still doing better than you.

An investment in knowledge will likely lead to deeper understandings of customer needs, costs, taxes, and employer responsibilities.

An investment in knowledge will improve your decision-making skills and help you anticipate future events or be more prepared for the ever changing landscape of business.

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?

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Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn

It depends.The key question here is: will you really use these specific features? Because if you don’t utilize the Premium tools you paid for, the upgrade won’t make any difference for you.

Think of it this way. If you purchase a vehicle with a turbocharged engine and are using that function routinely, then it is well worth it. However, if you make that purchase and never or rarely engage the turbo function, then it is a waste.  

So, back to the answer, it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you simply want to stay in touch with your network, check in occasionally and stay abreast of professional conversation in your network, then the free plan gets the job done.  

With a basic account you can:

  • Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.
  • Request and provide recommendations.
  • Search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members.
  • Receive unlimited InMail messages.
  • Save up to three searches and get weekly alerts on those searches.

Even with the limitations of the free membership, LinkedIn is by far the ideal spot for  B2B businesses and salespeople for what I call the 3 C’s 

  1. Connect
  2. Converse
  3. Convert 

Regardless of which level  you choose, LinkedIn is a standalone as it is related to finding, connecting, conversing and engaging in B2B. 

If you are looking to do granular targeted prospecting, gaining a regular lead channel, conduct unlimited searches toward your ideal client base, then Premium Business or Sales Navigator is required. Every business needs are different and each business leader should think about their presence on this business networking platform. 

I’ve consolidated information into a comprehensive comparison guide that describes the features, tools, costs and benefits of each LinkedIn membership level.

Download that here: LinkedIn Memberships Comparison Chart

LinkedIn2

Here is a snapshot overview on the premium plans 

There are 4 types of premium LinkedIn accounts. Each has different options to meet certain needs. The following options are designed to help in core ways: 

1. Premium Career:  find a job and access the extensive learning resources to upgrade current skill set and knowledge. 

2. Recruiter: to locate, store and retrieve data on ideal passive and active candidates.

3. Business Premium: grow your network strategically and do some small scale prospecting. 

4. Sales Navigator: research qualified prospects, boost your sales and acquire new customers.

Currently the premium plan options are as follows when paid monthly (less when paid annually):

 

  • Premium Career: $29.99/month
  • Premium Business: $59.99/month
  • Sales Navigator Professional: $79.99/month
  • Recruiter Lite: $119.99/month

Here is a look at the Business Development Side

 

  • Premium Business gives you additional information about businesses and unlimited people searches. You also get 15 InMail messages per month.
  • Sales Navigator Core gives you advanced search filters to narrowly define your ideal target client. There are 50+ filters to sort, segment, save and create leads lists within the system.  It also comes with 50 InMail messages, and the ability to make notes on user profiles, as well as advanced tracking tools. It is essential for those who are focused on acquiring new prospects and customers in a very disciplined way.
Premium Business Features

Element included in Premium Business: Like the “Career” plan but with 15 InMail messages; you can browse more profiles — up to 3rd degree; see business insights (e.g. “Employee distribution and growth by function,” “Notable alumni”).

1. Who’s Viewed My Profile

This section lists all the people who have viewed your profile over the last 90 days (you can see only the last five people with a free account.) This feature is one of LinkedIn’s most popular components on the platform. Human nature is curious, especially when it comes to who is looking at us! It can uncover potential leads.

2. InMail

If you want to send a message to someone with whom you are not yet connected to this will require use of InMail.

InMails can be useful when you want to reach out to a potential prospect before you send them a connection request or if they haven’t accepted your connection request. Interestingly, using InMail has a much higher statistical acceptance rate than email by a significant margin. (LinkedIn does a great job of telling you all about this. This proprietary feature comes only  with a premium subscription. Your account is allocated a certain number of InMails every month. You can certainly purchase more. One way to message someone with whom you are not directly connected is via if you are in a shared group, you can message that member via the group and not use your InMail allocation.

3. Extended LinkedIn Network Access

With Extended LinkedIn Network Access, you have unlimited search results access and don’t fall under the “commercial use access” threshold of the free account.

Activities that do not count toward the limit include:

  • searching profiles by name using the search box
  • browsing your 1st-degree connections from your
  • connections page
  • searching for jobs on the jobs page.

Sales Navigator Premium

 

LinkedIn offers a free 30-day trial of Sales Navigator. After your free month, you pay $79.00/month or less when billed annually.

With Sales Navigator you get 50 InMail messages, use of highly specified sorting and search tools; the proprietary lead-development tool; lead lists as well as lead recommendations. The focus of this premium subscription is with its highly advanced features and is geared for focused prospecting.

 

Advanced Search

The extensive search filters found in Sales Navigator offer an intense level of detail and it simplifies automated sorting and filtering. The search filter capabilities alone have upwards of 50+ search filtering options; the resulting ability to get granular on lead prospecting is unparalleled. This service allows one to search for ideal clients with precision while the ability to to receive new results daily, weekly or monthly.

Notes and lead lists

You can add Notes to the profiles of your prospects and/or the companies you wish to follow. You can create multiple “lead Lists” you create and set up multiple tracking tools within the Sales Navigator tool.
Every time you find a prospect or connect with a person, you should add them to a Lead List in Sales Navigator, based on who they are. Common categories would be: a prospect, a strategic partner or an existing client.
One of the most powerful elements within Sales Navigator is the ability to set up trigger events, which notify you of happenings such as a job change within the most recent 90 days.

Sales Navigator makes it incredibly easy to locate prospects with its Recommended leads & accounts features.
Sales Navigator suggests leads based on two parameters:
similarity to leads you have recently saved
sales preferences you saved in your Sales Navigator settings.
You can easily see and interact with the suggested profiles as well as save them as leads.

Summary:

Premium Business gives you additional information about businesses and unlimited people searches. You also get 15 InMail messages per month.

Sales Navigator Core gives you advanced search filters to narrowly define your ideal target client. It also comes with 50 InMail messages, and the ability to make notes on user profiles, as well as numerous sales tools. It is essential for those who are focused on acquiring new prospects and customers in a very disciplined way.

Many people using LinkedIn for lead generation often choose to upgrade from the free to a paid LinkedIn subscription for the following reasons:

they feel they are missing out on opportunities
they’d like to accomplish more in less time
they are not tapping into the full potential of LinkedIn for their business.

Upgrading to a paid LinkedIn membership may not be right for everyone, but it certainly will make sense for those who can find, connect and build relationships with their ideal clients on LinkedIn.

I hope this comparison helped you decide which LinkedIn membership level will work best for you.

 
If you find you aren’t needing a premium account at this time and would like to invest $79 monthly in learning how to leverage LinkedIn, feel free to join the IC Growth LinkedIn Membership group, which provides live coaching clinics and access to a private “vault” of tools, templates and tutorials
 
Not sure if it’s a fit? I invite you to hop on my calendar for a quick conversation at 15 min chat.
Hashtags on LinkedIn

Hashtags on LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Engit Akyurt

Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn | Monthly Newsletter

Hashtags are used across social media platforms to categorize content, so we can search and find content that we are interested in and so businesses and brands can reach larger audiences of people who may be interested in their content.

When you follow a hashtag you will see content in your feed that others have posted about, with a reference to that same hashtag. Content will appear from personal profiles and company pages outside of your network.

I think Steven Bartlett, CEO of Social Chain summed it up well:

“Your news feed is your library. Follow hashtags like #goodnews to see more positive content in your feed every day.”

When you choose three hashtags relevant to your LinkedIn post, your content will be shown on the feeds of LinkedIn users who follow those specific hashtags. They don’t even have to be your connection or follower to see it.

In LinkedIn’s own words, you should use hashtags to:
Establish your credibility and expertise
Reach people who value your insights
Start meaningful conversations over shared interests

HOW MANY 

✅ Only use 3. Or, if you simply find that too hard to keep that focused, use absolutely no more than 5!

LinkedIn suggests using 3. Anything more and you will hurt the organic reach of your post on LinkedIn.

Here is an analogy on using too many hashtags. You have one big cake.

Each slice is one hashtag. The more hashtags you have, the less impact each of your hashtags has.

Not everything is meant to be a hashtag. Don’t guess, research. You can download a Chrome extension to make it easy, or LinkedIn will tell you when you type in the hashtag, how many followers that specific hashtag topic has.

Overusing hashtags on LinkedIn makes it harder for the LinkedIn algorithm to index your content.
In other words, LinkedIn gets confused about which hashtag to prioritize.

WHEN

✅ Be consistent. Using different hashtags every day is counterproductive. You can’t develop a consistent audience and following when you are not consistent in the hashtags and content you develop

🚫 Don’t use irrelevant hashtags.

🤪 You might get excited. 😲 Oh wow, look at this hashtag!

It has 107,745,231 followers. And this one has 56,923,190 followers.

🚫 Don’t choose based on followers!

Unless they are 100% relevant to your post, you’re only going to harm yourself.  LinkedIn prioritizes relevancy above all else.

Zero in on popular hashtags that are relevant.

Think of the practicality of this; if a hashtag has 250 followers, that doesn’t mean that all of the 250 people who follow this hashtag will likely be online on a given day.

And even if they are, LinkedIn might show them competing content and not content from your hashtag.

It’s better to have a few medium-sized hashtags with high engagement than gigantic hashtags with no engagement.

Rule of thumb: Moderation is key.
Follower counts: 5,000 – 30,000 followers
Number of hashtags: 3 per LinkedIn post
Type of hashtags: Use a mixture of broad and niche hashtags

Five Extra Tips to Make Hashtags Work for You

1. Hashtags do not work if they are posted in a comment on a post.

2. Hashtags do not work if posted in a LinkedIn article as articles do not appear in hashtags feeds.

3. LinkedIn Hashtags Need some air!

Another common pitfall with LinkedIn hashtags is a lack of spaces BETWEEN hashtags.

If you don’t provide a space in between the hashtags, LinkedIn only will  recognize the first hashtag. For example, if you make a blended set of hashtags like this:

#linkedinstrategy #linkedincontent #linkedintips, only the first hashtag is picked up. Always make the space between each hashtag.

4. Focus on Short LinkedIn Hashtags. Don’t use hashtags that combine more than 2-3 words.  Such as NEVER.

For example, avoid hashtags such as #LinkedInsuperstarcontentwriting

No one is going to logically look for a topic like this.  It’s too long and convoluted.

So, target hitting that middle of the road sweet spot of a decent number of followers using words that make intuitive sense, particularly as you are building your following and growing engagement.

5. Change your LinkedIn Privacy Settings from Private to Public.

In order for others to discover your LinkedIn posts organically through the magic of LinkedIn hashtags, it’s important that your profile is set to public. Otherwise, your content will only be visible to your direct connections and you’re going to miss out on a ton of targeted traffic!

Summary: 

Done well, your approach to hashtags helps anchor your brand and signpost your content themes. Once you get your hashtags rhythm, it takes about 45 seconds to do and really helps you connect with your ideal audience.

💡 Key tips for smart use of hashtags on LinkedIn are below.

  • Use only 3-5 hashtags, max. Never more.
  • Use LinkedIn search to identify hashtag frequency & dial in to your audience interests
  • Place hashtags at the end of content
  • Go big & broad with 1-2 hashtags and use 1-2 niche hashtags.
  • Consistent use of hashtag keywords will anchor your brand and signpost your content themes

Remember the goal here is to reach your target audience on topics they follow and care about  and build your business visibility and brand awareness.

It all starts with your visibility on LinkedIn, and relevant hashtags can bring you the right audience knocking at your inbox.

 

Avoid 7 Common Boomer Mistakes on LinkedIn Profiles

Avoid 7 Common Boomer Mistakes on LinkedIn Profiles

Photo Credit: Unsplash

By Iris Culp at iris@ic-growth.com

If you are a Boomer, (hey, I am😊!) this checklist is to help avoid the most common “potholes” on the always evolving LinkedIn platform. This vitally important business and professional networking platform has earned a unique role in the world and it seems poised to be a growth giant long into the future! Microsoft acquired it for $26.2 BILLION for a reason.

Let’s look at what the Boomer group values, as a whole and these common pitfalls in branding ourselves become pretty logical. Here is a quick summary below.

What are the characteristics of the Baby Boomer generation?

  • Independent. Baby Boomers are confident, independent, and self-reliant. …
  • Strong Work Ethic. Baby boomers aren’t afraid to put in a hard day of work. …
  • Self-Assured. This generation is independent and self-assured. …
  • Competitive. …
  • Goal-centric.

LinkedIn has become a complete personal branding vehicle that works with its own set of rules. LinkedIn is a showcase opportunity for you to illustrate your professional reputation (aka – personal brand).

LIMistakes

So, let’s get to a list to check below to ensure you are making or sidestepping these crucial mistakes that are common for Boomers:

  1. Emphasis on years, rather than impact and results
  2. Treating the profile as once and done
  3. Under thinking images (e.g. profile & LinkedIn banner)
  4. Default headline
  5. Outdated “about” sections
  6. Treating the experience section as a resume replica
  7. Ignoring online personal branding realities

Let’s explore these crucial mistakes; why they need to be avoided and what to do instead

1. Emphasis on Years, Rather than Impact

It’s tempting to lean into the tons of experience and lead with that, thinking it automatically qualifies for a win. Big emphasis on years sends the completely WRONG MESSAGE. Expertise that stays current in today’s fast moving marketplace is what does matter.

Lead with statements that focus on results you’ve delivered for clients and customers.
Include bottom line impact and transformation your efforts delivered. Think along the lines of “what have you done for me lately” or similar. For a profile to get found in the busy marketplace that LinkedIn is today, think about making the profile very clear in speaking directly to the ideal client and their “pain” points.

It’s useful to take the approach of thinking “why does the reader care?”. If your profile doesn’t provide a strong and compelling answer to this question, they won’t care and keep on scrolling by.

Impact Factors

Entrepreneurs, your profile needs to communicate value in a “client-facing” style business language.

Include distinct, measurable deliverables, efficiencies, impacts, and clients wins. Be personable, relatable and invite connection. It takes effort to quantify results, but think of your overall profile as a mini marketing brochure and make sure the language resonates in today’s market in a crisp and compelling way. Your profile should not sound or be like anyone else’s out there.

2. Once and Done Treatment

Remember that your profile should tell the story of where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. LinkedIn works best if you treat it as a living document that should be updated and refined on a regular basis. Us Boomers grew up in an era where documents were made “picture perfect” and then remained static. Social media is anything but static and LinkedIn is a social platform. Continuing to evolve and iterate new elements is expected now (and the algorithm will respond favorably). Make sure to set aside time to review and update about once per quarter. LinkedIn is making constant changes, so there may be new features you discover when you do a quarterly or bi-annual check up.

Once and done treatment

Keep your LinkedIn profile current. Don’t let it go stale. Make sure your profile reflects what you do now, not what you did five years ago. Update your headline, summary, work experience, education, skills, and interests. Add new information about yourself and your career. Include any awards, honors, publications, and certifications. Share photos of yourself doing things you enjoy. Be sure to include links to your website, blog, social media profiles, and any other online presence you have.

3. Relevant Professional Images

Your headshot IS essential. Think of it as a virtual handshake. It lasts a lifetime. Okay, I get that. While we may not feel as comfortable in front of the camera as today’s digital natives, it’s important that we get professional and thoughtful images taken in the profile space and in the banner image behind it, so that our clients know who they are dealing with. Please do not crop a group photo from any wedding. If you make this mistake, it communicates volumes about how you view yourself professionally. Here is a great guide article on how to get a professional looking headshot without spending a fortune.

Banner images are often an underused space with images that are simply not reinforcing the brand message. It is such a highly impactful space. Think of it as a complimentary “billboard” opportunity. It literally is. Choose, create or have a customized banner image created for you. Doing so helps clarify your professional expertise in a way that nothing else can.

Here are some examples worth considering. The images you choose for this worldwide business professional and networking platform are high impact. The customized banner or “cover image” creates a first impression for the reader with direct reflection and implications to your personal brand. Ask yourself, “What is the first impression of your business leadership worth?” Don’t skimp here. Here is a Forbes article that shares other ideas to consider.

4. Default Headline as a Job Title – Don’t Do It: Get Targeted Instead

If you focus only on the current role and things change in some way (acquisition, merger, etc.), the mountain to climb is huge. While it can be overcome with an intelligent strategy, gaining momentum becomes harder than it should be.

Target

Don’t default to a current job description or use buzzwords like “guru” or complex sounding titles. The “thing” you do and who you work for should be understood in under four seconds. Create an effective headline that summarizes your specialty, results and ideally who your target audience is (if you’re targeting a specific group). Your headline is also the most keyword sensitive part of your profile. You might wish to reverse engineer this concept, and think about if someone was looking for the exact results and expertise you deliver – what title or keywords would they enter into Google to find you? Consider your headline as some words plastered on a billboard, passing by in just a few seconds as you drive along the highway on a 12-hour cross country journey. It needs to be succinct, clear, and compelling!

5. Outdated About Section

LinkedIn is a social platform, so it’s best to use “I” in an informal tone. No third-person references anymore. If you are not clear and specific on the pain points you have solved for your company and clients, then it’s simply not serving you well.

As a reader peruses your profile, provide a compelling collection of details that create a mental picture of the specific problems you solve. In the About Section, it’s helpful to use a structure, or it can seem overwhelming to begin.

One quick format outline that you can use as a beginning point is:

  • What you do
  • How you do that
  • What makes you unique
  • What others have said
  • Services provided
  • What results you have delivered

You can start from that format with a relatable, logical flow of sentences that blend in a bit of your personal style, whether it be humor, community involvement or anything that fits your individualistic way.

A well crafted “About” section in your profile will cause someone to actually feel like they got to know you somewhat. That unique combination and blend of knowledge and experiences will never fit anyone else. Keep that in mind.

6. Treating experience section like a resume replica 

As an entrepreneur, the ideal use of the experience section is to also make this a client facing read, with details of results you’ve delivered for past clients and employers.

The experience section is best done with a firm focus on what you’ve achieved and results delivered. Include distinct measurables and quantify whenever possible. Perhaps share details of interesting projects and key accomplishments.

You want to have it serve you well as you leverage all aspects of your profile, including publications, volunteer work, perhaps hobbies that showcase your dedication, or if it’s one that relates to your profession in some way (aka, mechanical engineer who rebuilds classic cars, etc.).
It is easy to notice how up to date (or not) you are in using LinkedIn. That awareness or lack of it, speaks volumes. There is interest to see how professionally engaged and current you are within your industry. Most often that is done via LinkedIn today.

7. Ignoring the reality of Online Personal Branding

As mentioned above, the rules of engagement have changed and while a resume is still important in its own right, the LinkedIn platform has become like the “Amazon of the B2B” (business to business) space.

Most Boomers are not fond of personal branding. Generally, discretion, aka not attention-getting, has pretty much been our credo, right?

 

Brand

Don’t want to have an online brand? Too late, you already do.
Google yourself. You have a brand, though it may be an unintentional one. Well, that type of thinking is a big mistake today. Don’t allow your online image and brand to be a conglomeration of what others compile, or what you haphazardly posted on LinkedIn a while back.

You have an online brand, whether intentional or not. It’s now pivotal for your business and you to thoughtfully develop a cohesive and compellingly written personal brand message. Click Resources to help you get started with building that brand in an authentic way that fits your approach.

Let’s take a look at just a few reasons why your brand matters:

  • 64% of consumers would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue. (Source)
  • 89% of customers stay loyal to a brand that shares their values. (Source)
  • Consistent branding can boost revenue by up to 33%. (Source)
  • 89% of marketers say that brand awareness is their top goal. (Source)
  • 77% of leaders say that a strong brand is critical to their growth plans. (Source)
  • 60% of millennial consumers expect a consistent brand across all channels. (Source)
  • 91% of consumers express preference to buy from an authentic brand. (Source)
  • 82% of investors desire to invest in a firm with a strong brand. (Source)

Summary

Take time to review and update your profile regularly. Think of who would be looking for your expertise and be certain to use those keywords liberally throughout your profile. LinkedIn works on keywords, so be certain to strategically include those throughout your profile to make it easy to find someone with your expertise. Make certain you don’t step into the stereotype of being out of touch on the most important business networking platform in the world. A complete, up to date, engaging profile tells the world that you’re doing business and open for opportunities.

Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear it, so drop me a line at iris@ic-growth.com.

Why LinkedIn Matters

Why LinkedIn Matters

  • In the U.S., 44% of LinkedIn users exceed the median income of $75k.
  • 190 million users are in the U.S. and 260 million users log in monthly.
  • The #1 algorithm criteria in search ranking is a fully completed profile.

How and Why LinkedIn Accelerates Careers

  • LinkedIn is the number one platform for Fortune 500 companies*. More than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use it to tell their stories, recruit, and network.
  • With more than 30 million companies listed on the site and 14 million open positions at any given time, it’s no surprise that 95% of recruiters report using LinkedIn more heavily than any other tool.
  • In fact, 122 million people connected and obtained an interview through LinkedIn, with 35.5 million having been hired by a person they connected with on the site.
  • Thirty thousand companies use it to recruit and post 3 million+ jobs every month.
  • LinkedIn allows you to select from over 50,000 skills to showcase and describe your expertise. These skill keywords have a heavy weighting when recruiters do a “sleuth” search on the platform.
  • Because of LinkedIn’s ability to recognize boolean operators and filter results according to metrics such as company, number of years of experience, function, and seniority level, the platform easily tops its competitors for helping people make essential business connections.
  • However, despite the advanced search capabilities, you will still want to optimize your LinkedIn profile. An important step is to add a professional photo. This yields a user 14 times more views than other types of profile pictures.
  • Research shows applicants who included a link to a comprehensive LinkedIn profile on their resume were 71% more likely to get a job interview than applicants who did not have that included.  
  • With more than 660 million users worldwide, it’s too important to ignore.

    If you’d like to connect and discuss your LinkedIn profile,  you can reach out to me anytime at iris@ic-growth.com or connect with me on LinkedIn

Sources: LinkedIn; University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Fortune, Inc.; CNBC; 99 firms; Pew Research Center

Iris Culp, M.Ed., SHRM-SCP, SPHR Certified Career Coach