Personal brand: What business leaders are talking about

by | Jul 28, 2017 | LinkedIn, Personal Brand

Reviewed March 2021: In this article I address some common questions I hear from business leaders about personal brand strategy and using LinkedIn effectively.

Discussions from lunch with WA Leaders

As part of the Western Australian Leaders series of events for Executive Members, today’s lunch provided an opportunity to network and to discuss a pertinent topic in business today – personal branding. I enjoyed leading this discussion and the dynamic sharing of experiences that came from it. Here are some of the key trends, questions and concerns coming out of this and similar discussions I’ve had.

I will attempt to address these in one-line responses, but the discussion was detailed and my short answer to most questions is usually, ‘It depends on your business and your goals!’ I have also included in-text links below, where you can find further information on personal branding and LinkedIn.

Top trends

Top trends I’m noticing with clients and other business leaders include:

1) Personal’ brands are being formalised and given more attention, with teams highlighting their people as part of their brand strategy

2) LinkedIn being used for positioning of individuals and networking, not just for finding a job

3) Increased awareness of the importance of taking traditional face-to-face relationships & business building into the online space – still valuing HUMAN CONNECTION

Top questions

What should I post on social media? Is there a formula for types of posts and how many? 

Posts should be in line with your brand values and centre around what your target market/audience want to hear from you. Regular posting with a combination of post types (e.g. informational, promotional, social) should be considered.

Who should I connect with?

This should be informed by your purposes for being on social media – generally in business settings this is not primarily friendship-based, and you do not have to connect with everyone.

What’s the etiquette around promoting yourself on LinkedIn?

Tolerance for promotional posts is limited on LinkedIn, as it is seen as a professional networking space – this means mutually-beneficial relationship building and sharing of useful information.

Top concerns

How do I balance my personal brand with the business brand I’m involved with?

If your professional goals are focused on the business, your personal brand is a tool to develop the business brand, because people engage with people first, businesses second.

What is the relevance of the individual as opposed to the business on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is in fact PRIMARILY about the individual. Businesses that are using LinkedIn effectively have a strategy that centres on one or more individuals within the business, building the brand and networks personally.

What if I have more than once business interest – how do I position myself then?

It is a good idea to choose one focus for any particular platform (e.g. a website or Facebook), and focus on the core value-benefit for a particular audience. Even if you are mentioning several businesses or services, you should still have some central, unifying messages that you keep coming back to – because people will remember one key thing but be confused by many.

What should I be doing when I’m on LinkedIn?

Identify 5 actions that you will take when you are on LinkedIn (say, 20 minutes each week to start). These actions should be focused on your target audience, brand messages and goals for being on LinkedIn.