How to build your brand on LinkedIn – Kotryna Kurt
Kotryna kurt is the CEO & Co-founder at Linkedist, a LinkedIn Advertising & Personal Branding agency. Kotryna specializes in content creation and personal branding and has helped a lot of companies with the same. Her B2B Binge 2.0 session was all about the Dos and Don’ts of personal branding on LinkedIn.
What is Personal Branding?
In simple words, personal branding is online presence. But it has become a buzz word that we often hear. Most of the people understand the personal branding. There are so many people who tell that they don’t have a personal brand now. I highly disagree with that because if you do have any kind of social presence online you have a Personal brand.
It is very important to take care of your personal brand because that’s the very first impression someone is getting off you right there seeing your LinkedIn profile as a professional and they need to understand what you’re all about. So in simple words, a personal brand is your online reputation.
How to build your brand on LinkedIn
There are two ways to build your brand on LinkedIn.
- Connecting and networking
- Creating content
Connecting and networking
When it comes to connecting and networking, you can connect with other people from a similar industry or connect with people who might be your potential clients. Before you connect with someone and before you even create content, make sure that your profile is shining and it’s optimized. So that’s the very first step for a strong personal brand. Then the next thing is to have a really good profile to create content and start connecting with other people showing them that you’re active now.
There are several techniques to create the powerful contents.
Technique #1: Re-purposing the content
This technique is simple. You have a piece of content and you’re trying to repurpose it. You should think “how can I make it into something else?” “If it’s a video, can I make it into a blog post?” Try to define your purpose funnel what is going to happen once you have made a piece of content. Because a lot of people are screaming we need new content. It’s actually about being smarter and repurposing what you already have.
Technique #2: Copycat
This is a very simple strategy where you find the top influencers’ techniques. You see what they’re doing, you get inspired and you understand their techniques. Just try to copy it in some ways. It is not about copying the content but copying the techniques.
So while looking at the top influencers, try to see what kind of techniques they’re using that are working, what kind of techniques that people enjoy the most. So this is something called the copycat technique.
Technique #3: Shoutout
A shoutout is a simple Technique. We all know about it. It’s a simple technique where tag a lot of people in your post but not just like a bulk random tag or all at once. Actually writing some relevant sentences and writing why you’re recommending them to increase followers and engagement.
Technique #4: Strong Visuals
It is another technique that was proven that visuals mean so much more when it comes to content and gets three 2 to 3 times more engagement. There are live examples here. Curt Mercande, is known as the guy with the beard on Linden and his content is super branded. Natalia Wieckowski brands herself with blue glasses and red lipstick. Goldie Chan brands herself with green hair and it really works.
Technique #5 Quora
The final technique is Quora. It’s a page where you can find a lot of people asking questions and answering the questions. So if you want to get some ideas and you don’t really know where to start and what kind of content you should write about. If you’re feeling like there’s a lack of ideas, go on quora and try to write the keywords of your topic, you will find plenty of questions and you’ll be able to answer those questions with your content.
AMA with Kotryna Kurt
The following is excerpts from the AMA session with Kotryna.
What is personal branding? How can we do personal branding on LinkedIn for design consultant?
I would really focus on telling stories about how your designs helped other companies and how you know telling really what you’re learning while working with different clients. And I feel like here in this kind of position is a design consultant. It’s really about showing off your work and showing what you can do on the side telling some kind of story while you’re showing off your work. So it’s not just that look at me. Here’s my work but it’s also something valuable in the post itself. It’s all about the value.
Is the effectiveness of personal branding efforts measured by how many followers you have?
Yeah, so definitely the more connections you have the more followers you have, it affects your personal brand. It means that it’s a stronger brand the more people know about you and so forth and you also get more engagement in your post. So it’s all really correlating together for sure.
How much would you give attention to your online reputation management?
It really depends on what your goal is. If you’re good where you are and you don’t have any goals of changing our organization or finding new clients. Then I guess you don’t need to invest too much time into it. But if you have a goal, let’s say get new clients. If you have a goal to find a new job in the future and a better organization, then of course if those are the goals, then you need to take care of your digital reputation and start investing a little bit of time into it at least two times per week or one time per week make a post yourself.
Consistency is one of the main pillars of personal branding. How would you push yourself to be consistent?
I think a lot of people struggle with that. So how to be consistent the really depends on your motivation what motivates you but what I do is, for instance, I give myself a number that this week. I need to post two or three times and I want to reach that goal. And that what motivates me, you know different people are motivated by different things, but I think to stay consistent is just think about the achievements you can have while doing so and maybe give yourself a month to try be and be consistent and once you have done that for a month, you’re going to see the direct results and I bet that’s going to motivate you to keep on being consistent.
Is it okay to change your niche at a later stage or add more to it?
Of course? Yeah. It doesn’t matter when you change it. You can always change around and it’s all about experimenting on LinkedIn as well. I’m always experimenting with my title seeing how it affects the views and so forth. So don’t be afraid to change things often and see how it affects your profile.
Posting personal versus posting professional. What should be the mix?
So I always say when people ask me where is the line? I say, Linkedin should not be the next Facebook because people like to keep it professional there, but let’s take an example. If you run a marathon, you can boost about running a marathon and that thought you have stronger will power and whatever not so it’s all about the angle. It’s all about how you make the post you can take any kind of story you can take any kind of incident and make it a professional angled professional perspective into it. So it’s all about the way you tell it.
Does qualifications matter or award certifications is better. Like do you showcase those things on a LinkedIn?
I think especially if you are a consultant or a freelancer, it’s important to show such achievements. However, I feel like in this case, recommendations are much stronger. So compared to different licenses and whatever not recommendations are always going to be a stronger thing because people can actually see who are the people that are recommending you.
What is more important – personal brand or your company brand?
I really think it comes down to again what’s your goal personal brands are often working way better than company brands and you can probably build a personal brand first and then to advertise your company through your personal brand because, at the end of the day people connect with people, people talk with people. So it’s important to first maybe focus on your personal brand and later on that can help you to boost your company brand as well.
How can I make my personal brand stand out if I’m not already super successful and well known?
So it’s all about sharing the learning process. Right? I see a lot of people struggling to post because they feel like they don’t have much to say or they’re they don’t have a lot of experience in the field, but it’s actually about showing that you’re learning sharing your story throughout the process.
And all those professionals who have been in the industry for many years. They also might engage with you because they will see that you are learning, you are sharing the things that you’re reading and whatever not so it’s not about that. You need to be a professional and only then you can create a lot of content.
If everybody would have a style of their personal branding. Which would you levitate to two words? So what do you think is your levitation Factor?
Okay. So in most of my presentations, I wear a pink suit, and to be honest, I am just trying to keep it balanced with my content between my personal and my professional life. And also I am my Leverage is kind of that. I’m this bubbly energetic person and I’m always you know, I also am not afraid to show a little bit more quirky sides and more funny sides. So I feel like there’s a lot of seriousness on Linden and we should not be afraid to show, however, we are and be serious in situations where we need to be and be a little bit more ourselves and funnier where we can be funny.
How better can we leverage personal branding by being unique or following a trend?
So for sure, like I said relevancy is the key, timing is the key. If you can for instance in some ways connect with whatever is happening in the world in the industries with your brand. So meaning for instance if I would be writing a post about marketing or personal branding and how is that affected by the current situation that we’re having in a world where people work remotely from their home.
That would be both, you know in my industry my kind of Niche plus it would be relevant. So if you can identify these kinds of trending topics, which you can identify, for instance, by looking at learning the news or by looking at the trending hashtags on Twitter and so forth. Then you can create content about that in your Niche. So that’s a really good example.
What are the benchmarks of personal branding success?
I think the benchmarks are when you have quite a lot of your audience engaging with your content. You have like 10,000 followers, 2,000 followers, or 1,000 followers. But if you have at least like half of your audience, seeing your posts. If you have 10,000 followers, 5,000 followers, at least every time you see your post and a lot of them are engaged, that’s already a success.
At what point you kick started building a personal brand? When and how did you realize the potential of personal branding?
So when I started my personal brand, I didn’t even know it was called personal branding. I started at four and a half years ago while I was starting to work at this Corporation IT Company here in Denmark. The very first thought that I had was that I was looking for an audience, which would love to know more about marketing things. I’m learning Facebook was not the place because that was for friends and family. Linkedin was a place where I found a lot of like-minded people and people who wanted to discuss professional things and that’s kind of became my place and ever since then I started sharing things and next thing is that it was all about personal branding and then I realized that I was doing that for a while now, so that’s how it all started.
What are your thoughts on paid campaigns on LinkedIn for personal branding? How’s the ROI or should we do it even?
So as a person, you cannot do LinkedIn campaigns. You can only do that as a company. So unless you have a company page you cannot really do that, but I do think that, to be honest with personal Brands you can do so much many things organically. You don’t have to do paid campaigns. So when it comes to personal brand, I think you should just stick with content creation, networking, commenting on other influencers’ posts and that will do the thing. I don’t think it’s worth spending the money and knowing that the LinkedIn ads are actually super expensive.