My last article examined some Executive Branding essentials, to help you develop a winning approach. Today, let’s pull back the curtain on what makes for a successful personal branding strategy on LinkedIn.
Know your audience demographics
Marketing starts with understanding who you are trying to reach, engage with, and ultimately, sell to. These are the people who will make or break your business, so a customer-centric approach will always be key. Knowing who your audience is, and how to target them, will allow you to deliver your message effectively. Developing a digital marketing strategy is a good first step.
LinkedIn allows you to add connections by demographics such as job title, location, or industry, making it easier than ever to reach your target audience. However, it is important to establish credibility before approaching your ideal clients directly. The best way to do this is by building a reputation with the contacts you already have.
Your existing contacts are the most likely candidates to engage with your content early on, because they are familiar with you already. Imagine this early stage as a transition from a newsletter approach to an ongoing conversation with your warm leads, or individuals who have already expressed an interest in your product or service.
The advantage of adding your warm leads first is that by the time you start adding people you don’t know, you will have already established credibility through content engagement from your existing connections. This form of ‘social proof’ will help position you as the go-to expert in your market segment.
Once you have developed some traction with your existing contacts, the next step is to branch out and begin targeting your ideal client demographics. Whether they are CEOs working in the automotive industry on the Eastern Seaboard, or senior managers of boutique financial advisory firms in Bangkok, make sure that your posts begin to reach them and speak clearly to their interests.
To summarize, the order you should connect with your audience is:
- Existing clients/CRM
- Former clients
- Your newsletter database
- Potential clients and business leaders that you target by demographic (job title, location, industry, etc.)
Be a guide
To be truly seen as a thought leader in any industry, you must position yourself as a guide as part of the hero’s journey. In essence, the customer is the hero and you are their mentor.
As a quick recap, the hero’s journey includes the following elements:
- The hero
- The problem
- The guide
- The plan
- The call to action
- Avoiding failure
Think of your customer as the hero – because after all, we are still in a customer-centric framework, and that is how customers think of themselves. However, your role as guide is no less important.
In virtually every story, the hero meets a guide who shows them the path to success. By positioning your business as an ideal guide, you can demonstrate its value to potential customers.
Embrace the characteristics of a guide, and show that you have both the empathy and the authority to help the hero succeed.
Your authority comes through in the fact that you have done it all before. You are an experienced guide who has led many previous heroes to success. You have a road map, and the case studies, testimonials and satisfied clients to prove your worth. Your authority can also come through social proof by showing you presenting keynote speeches, networking with peers or meeting with your clients.
Show your empathy by displaying that you truly understand your audience and addressing their pain points with the content you produce. Position yourself as a guide by ensuring that your content truly helps your potential customers to overcome their issues. For example, if you are selling personal branding as a service, try to help people understand how to do it and what the benefits are. When customers see that you are truly attuned to their needs and desires, they will trust that the path you lay out for them leads to success.
Create a content calendar
Social media is a reflection of your personality and your business. If your posting schedule seems random or erratic, this impression could create room for doubt among your potential customers. By building and following a content calendar, your messaging strategy can become more consistent, organized, and effective.
A content calendar is an overview of your upcoming social media posts. It can be organized in the form of a spreadsheet, Google Calendar, interactive dashboard, or any other format that works for you.
Because content calendars let you establish regular routines (for example: video posts on Monday, articles on Tuesday, images on Wednesday, etc), they can help you create a balanced and diverse collection of content. This structured approach also makes it easier to keep track of what type of material performs best, and optimize your strategy accordingly. You may also need a social media agency in Bangkok to help with this part if you want to outsource.
Choosing your content
A typical user’s LinkedIn feed is cluttered with all kinds of content. Insightful thought leadership blogs, helpful videos, and captivating discussions appear alongside memes, clickbait, and Facebook-style survey posts. With so many options to choose from, how can businesses determine the best type of content to post?
LinkedIn advises brands to “Do business where business is done”, and use the platform to share material that delivers professional value. To encourage this type of useful content, LinkedIn’s algorithm has recently been optimized to promote ‘dwell time’, or time spent viewing the content.
In other words, the system effectively penalizes shallow posts by placing more value on quality instead of the number of clicks. Hence, LinkedIn should be approached with the objective of connecting with business-minded individuals, as opposed to posting memes and off-topic updates that have little lasting value.
At Lexicon, we manage the executive personal branding in Bangkok for many of Thailand’s business leaders. This service can establish and build your professional brand, reinforcing your expertise in the business world and creating opportunities for future growth. Whether your goal is to advance your career or boost brand awareness for your business, a carefully cultivated executive brand is essential. Get in touch with our digital marketing agency in Bangkok, and let us help position you as a thought leader for your industry.