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Personal Branding: Make the Most Out of LinkedIn

Facebook and Twitter seem to be the brightest stars in the social media universe, at least for the moment. But equally important from a personal branding standpoint is LinkedIn. In fact, when it comes to your career prospects, LinkedIn can have a much greater impact than either Facebook or Twitter. So today I’m going to share personal branding tips specifically aimed at LinkedIn… I hope you find these helpful!

1) Completely fill out your profile. You know that often-irritating little reminder on the right side of your LinkedIn home page, the bar that shows how “complete” your profile is? Don’t stop working on your profile until it’s at 100%. Many LinkedIn users don’t bother to do this—so not only will you stand out, but you’ll take advantage of every opportunity to build your brand.

2) Create a custom URL. LinkedIn allows you to customize the URL of your profile, so take advantage. You can set your URL in the Edit Profile menu. It will read www.linkedin.com/in/******. Fill in the final section of the URL with your name or your company name—whatever is consistent with your branding efforts. In addition to being yet another space to reinforce your brand, customizing the URL will potentially bring you more traffic from search engines. That’s because Google ranks LinkedIn profiles highly, and therefore searches for your name are likely going to return your LinkedIn profile towards the top.

3) Integrate your social media presence. LinkedIn allows you to add applications to your profile which can feature your Twitter profile and blog, among other things. Integrate everything you can and visitors to your profile are likely to end up checking out the rest of your internet presence.

4) Mingle. Don’t simply create your LinkedIn profile and forget about it. Join groups that are relevant to your area of expertise. Participate in discussions. Recommend colleagues and seek recommendations of your own. Actively participating on the site will expose you to other professionals who wouldn’t otherwise have connected with you. Just remember to stay “in character”—every single interaction should be consistent with your personal brand.

LinkedIn is a great tool for personal branding, particularly for professionals. If you haven’t joined the party yet, get started today. And if you already have a presence, make sure you’re taking full advantage of it!