Guide to Build a Personal Brand on Linkedin as Freelancer

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Personal branding has become such a buzzword these days. Everyone wants to do it but only a few have the clue how to do it the right way. If you are new to it and want to explore it, then you’re in the right place.

Want to learn how you can leverage the power of personal branding to get a job or internship, find collaboration opportunities and explore other professional growth options?

But before that, is it worth it to create a personal brand on LinkedIn? Can it bring you more clients and business?

Story Time!

Two years ago, I was on the verge of a mental breakdown and then something happened that changed my life. I moved to Luxembourg exactly four years ago. My son was 5 months old then.

My priorities were clear, I wanted to focus on raising my son till the time he turns two, and then I will start working again. As soon as my son turned a year and a half, I started applying for jobs in Luxembourg.

Like any job seeker, you know how it is to wait for a job application; anxious moments! It impacted my mental health.

For someone who was a top performer in her last role at Unilever and used to enjoy her work like crazy, I was in a phase where I had no professional career for over 30 months.I became irritated and that impacted my family life as well. I was losing it every single day.

I decided to give it another shot before giving up. I started sharing my work experience and learning via writing on LinkedIn. Soon out of nowhere, I got my first blog assignment and I began my freelance journey as a writer and the rest is history! That’s how an accidental writer turned into a full-time freelance content writer and sales & marketing consultant.

The love I got from LinkedIn network is unimaginable.🤗

So, What is Personal Branding?

Sharing random photos, videos, text, or graphics without a proper content strategy is useless. 

Personal branding is creating that top of the mind recall for someone who is interested in your product or service offerings. And this happens with 

  • Networking with relevant people
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Creating engaging content
  • Consistency
  • Starting meaningful conversations
  • and more!

Fake it till you make it doesn’t hold true in personal branding. Your followers are smart. Make your content insightful, relevant, and consistent.⠀

Treat your followers with respect and they will show their love in the form of engagement and shares.

What do clients look for?

While freelancing, people always talk about how to select the right kind of clients. But what about identifying the right kind of freelancer to hire? What are the key things you should keep in mind?

In my experience, here are a few top of the mind key attributes that clients look for:

  1. Work portfolio and testimonials
  2. LinkedIn profile and your recent activity
  3. What is your approach towards the project while you speak to them?
  4. Are your thoughts structured or fragmented?
  5. Are you making tall claims or being realistic about the end result?
  6. Are you flexible and open to new ideas from clients?
  7. What vibes do you get while speaking to them?

Emotions Play a Huge Role in Your Brand

Who says there is no place for emotions on Linkedin?

Like everyone who creates content on LinkedIn, I am a content creator too. But if there is one thing that differentiates me from others, is my writing style. I write content that talks to you – conversational.

My emotions help me write in a language that people can relate to. Whether it is happiness, discomfort, sadness, excitement, anger, dissatisfaction, fear, helplessness, or anything else, the majority of my content communicates a certain emotion.

Emotions drive our reactions. And when you connect at an emotional level with your readers, that’s when real engagement happens.

Oops!

Did I just reveal my secret for high engagement?

Define Your Brand

It’s “What you do” defines “Who you are” and not the other way round in most of the cases.

The above is valid and applicable to individuals. But for organizations and brands, we go a step further. If you are a brand, irrespective of the scale of your business, then it is:

Why you do it” precedes “What you do” and “How you do it” and that ultimately defines “Who you are as a brand“.

If you are following this order in your marketing communications then you ought to achieve success but if not, then please go back and re-work on the same.

Else you may end up being a small fish in the big red ocean.

Personal Branding Requires Some Behavioral Changes

Few behavioral changes that you MUST adopt now for personal and professional growth!

  • Give before you Ask
  • Lead before you Demand
  • Listen before you Speak
  • Help before you Expect
  • Appreciate before Finding faults

LinkedIn Marketing Formula – Don’t Sell; Provide Value.

Using LinkedIn to Make your personal Brand How to make use of LinkedIn Marketing?

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Optimize your profile and build a personal brand for yourself.
  2. Ensure that your content on LinkedIn has three attributes-
    1. Value-addition
    2. Relevancy
    3. Consistency
  3. Engage with people in your network. Try to take the conversation from online to offline.
  4. Don’t sell or pitch your offerings in the first conversation. It is a big NO!
  5. Master the skills of relationship management. People like talking to people who are genuine and helpful.
  6. Don’t expect overnight leads. The above process is focused on genuine relationship building and not on vanity metrics. The number of likes and comments are of no use if they don’t help you in taking the conversation offline.

If you only want contact details of people so that you can bombard them with your lucrative product offering then you might as well purchase them online, don’t waste your time on LinkedIn marketing then.😎

Please understand that your prospects don’t like the idea of “being sold” something but they will happily buy from you if your offering is “solving their problem.”

And for the latter, you need to listen first and speak later.

Say No to Discussion on Religion and Politics

Religious and political ideologies are strictly one’s own. Everyone has an intellect and a frame of mind to make their choice. There is nothing to feel offended if someone doesn’t agree with your point of view.

Respect the differences and stay together rather than fighting over the differences. Remember, we represent a land of unity in diversity and that’s what makes us different and special.

Creating an Engaging LinkedIn Post

How can you create more engaging LinkedIn posts?

If you want to make effective use of LinkedIn, then engagement is the key.

In this video, I talk about three tips that can help you in getting better engagement on your LinkedIn post. Ya, when you’ve a video then why would you read right?

Know the Art of Commenting on LinkedIn

Do you know that there is an art to commenting on LinkedIn?

Yes, don’t be surprised. If you really want to leverage this network and build meaningful connections, then comment your way through it.

Types of Content You Can Share on LinkedIn [Not Talking about Format]

I am not talking here about the different formats of content creation in text, video, PDFs, graphics, etc.

I mean what kind of information or experience or opinion you can share through your LinkedIn content. Have a watch and let me know your opinions on the same.

Be More Credible

Here is a snippet of my interaction with Warrick Cramer .

During this interaction, he mentioned a very important factor while taking into account content marketing on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

And that is – “the credibility of the source of information”.

In today’s time where internet access is readily available, people have to be careful while sharing information online and also validate the authenticity of the source of information.

With so much fake news around, the need of the hour is “to Be Responsible and Act Responsibly”.

Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Two of the most common mistakes that people make while creating their LinkedIn profiles.

  • They copy-paste information from their CVs or resumes.
  • Or write their profile summaries in the third-person.

Towards the end of the video, I have shared a quick and effective tip for improving your Linkedin profile summaries.

Thinking about how you can do that?

My tip is simple!

“Start by writing your own story”

What do I mean by that?

Take clues from your educational and professional journey and jot down what decisions you took in the past that has led you in the current field of work.

In the process, you will realize, you have acquired a lot of new skills and made new connections and you have groomed yourself to be a better person.

How Employees can use LinkedIn

Here is a snippet of my conversation with Warrick Cramer.

On being asked his opinion on how employees should use LinkedIn, this is what he said. He has always encouraged his employees to use LinkedIn because:

  1. It is good for networking.
  2. It helps in building their personal brand online.
  3. It also helps them to demonstrate the good work that they are doing in their organization.

But, a very important point which Warrick mentioned was also that he educated his employees to use it wisely and be careful of the content they put.

Hope you enjoy watching it 🙂

Recipe to a Disastrous LinkedIn Post

There’re a lot of ways to ruin your LinkedIn post, but if you want to do it like a pro then here’s the recipe:

  1. Take a situation and unnecessary brag about your heroism.
  2. Now add a couple of typos and grammatical errors and let it sit for a few hours.
  3. Use too many hashtags in the main post and lose the essence of the main message.🙄
  4. Tag too many people and simply annoy them with notifications.🙃
  5. Serve it hot or cold with additional tagging and voila, your post is absolutely ready to outperform other posts.

Conclusion

This article is a collection of my two year experience on LinkedIn personal branding. I hope it helped you and you’re now ready to rock and roll on LinkedIn.

If you’ve any questions then you can ask here in the comment section below, and if you find this article to be helpful then feel free to share it with your friends. Have a Good day!

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Passionate about Sales, Marketing, and Content Writing, Ruchi has always been a result-driven and data-oriented person. Understanding people’s needs and responding to them appropriately has been one of the key reasons for her career growth. In her free time, she loves to share her wisdom on LinkedIn. Click here to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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