Branding is my new fascination. No, not livestock or human branding, although that would be an interesting read - or not. My fascination has taken me deep into reflection into my individual brand from both a business and personal perspective. It's more than who am I and who do I want to be when I grow up....it's also the question of how am I perceived and who do others think I am? This is not a new concept, people have been writing, training and blogging about it for over a decade now; but for me, it's a new attraction.
It became an appeal when I began diving deeper into social media and attempting to envision where it will take us into the future and how I want to take part in it, on the sidelines as a casual observer, in the middle of it as an engaging participant or ahead of it as a thought leader. I've learned quite a bit since delving into it, but as with every type of technological advancement, there is so much more to learn for all of us at any level.
My focus today is what I've learned on LinkedIn. I've been on LinkedIn for several years now and I've slowly added connections, recommendations and employment history - but all casually with no real purpose except to cater to the social part of my personality. As I began to explore different types of social media, I began to dig deeper into LinkedIn and I came across the book "The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success" by Wayne Breitbarth. It covers the basics, but it also brought to my attention some areas that I could begin utilizer better. Following are three of the many lessons highlighted in Breitbarth's book that I put to immediate use on my LinkedIn profile:
The Thirty Second Bumper Sticker
Most people use this as their current company and title. Although that information is important, I've revamped mine to demonstrate more than my position. As Breitbarth testifies, this is our opportunity to boldly broadcast who we are and our value to the person reading it with 120 characters. This is less than twitter, but more than is needed. It also allows us to include key words that can be used in critical key word searches. My bumper sticker now reads as follows:
AIReS | Global Mobility Solutions | Speaker | Author
Relocation Strategist | Talent Management Partner
I'm an expert in strategic development to ensure each relocation and global mobility program aligns with all corporate and talent management goals, current government regulations and is measured accordingly for return on investment. As such, I have the opportunity to work closely with corporations as well speak and write on the topic. This is a brief description of my personal and professional brand - who I am, what I do and the value that I bring to the table.
Applications and Tools
Breitbarth lists four must-have applications for all LinkedIn users:
- Box.net files
- Google Presentations or SlideShare
- Reading List by Amazon
- US Transfer Volume & Cost Survey (Relocation Policy Stats)
- AIReS Services
- Relocation Taxability (what's taxable and not taxable in US relocation).
I also learned how to appropriately seek and provide introductions. There is a proper way and it's way more than a blind email or phone call. LinkedIn is not a free for all to invade anyone with an email or inmail. If fact, most people don't respond to this unless there is a valid connection. If done respectfully, introductions can be provided for me and by me as appropriate.
All in all, it was a good book to breeze through and even stop and meditate on some areas. Although I expect my LinkedIn profile to continue evolving over time, it is now more representative of my personality with my personal touch and should boldly and fearlessly demonstrate my personal and professional brand.
How about you? Does your LinkedIn profile reflect your personal brand?