Branding Your People on LinkedIn
With the increasingly virtual nature of the professional working world, the LinkedIn profiles of your organization’s employees are a brandable moment that you can be capitalizing on. What do you think your business and talent prospects are doing in a separate window while Zooming with you? After they check out your website, chances are they’re already on LinkedIn stalking you and everyone else in leadership. Are your profiles reinforcing your brand, or doing more harm than good?
The LinkedIn profiles of your employees belong to them, so you can’t force change on anyone. But if you’ve got leadership who gets branding and is willing to play along, here are some tips for turning employee profiles into brand assets.
Standardize your team’s headshots
Visually consistent headshots go a long way to reinforce professionalism. Shoot them in the same style, framed the same way, with the subjects posed similarly. Use a neutral, identical, or similar background. What you want to try and avoid is a collection of selfies, driver’s license photos, yearbook portraits, and Glamour Shots. Here are some more tips for optimizing your firm headshots.
Craft distinctive profile headlines
Your headline is the 1-3 lines underneath your name that describe who you are and what you do. LinkedIn suggests creating a clear and confident headline that uses, “terms people search for.” It should be a succinct yet compelling blurb that highlights each team member’s unique expertise, value, and differentiators. A good rule of thumb is to lead with a job title (e.g., “Senior Financial Analyst”) followed by frequently searched skills or attributes separated with vertical bars (|). So, an example would be, “Senior Financial Analyst | Blockchain Thought Leader | Keynote Speaker.”
Create a custom company banner
Boost the visual consistency between team member profiles with a standardized banner or system of banners for the graphic that appears behind your headshots. Leveraging photography used on your website and other marketing materials is a great way to tie your LinkedIn profiles to your larger branding universe. If you’re feeling adventurous, Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design platform that’s friendly to non-designers and features almost 100 templates for creating custom Linkedin banners.
Record a personal message
A little-known feature on the LinkedIn app allows you to record a brandable 10-second audio message. While it was originally designed to share the correct pronunciation of your name, some folks have figured out that it can be used to add another dimension of personality to their profiles 📣. Here’s an example:
Hi, my name is Dahlia Lilleslatten, and I’m the Communications Assistant at North Street. I help to create engaging and original content in a world driven by digital media consumption.
Thought leadership + employee recognition
If your firm publishes articles on a company blog, ask your employees to like, reshare, and comment on them on LinkedIn. This demonstrates that your team is engaged and invested in your company’s big picture. Similarly, have your employees keep their profiles up to date with certifications, awards, and even interesting industry events they’ve attended. Again, this demonstrates a sense of engagement, credibility, unity, and a culture of growth and improvement.
Build brand associations
If they’re up for it, have your team members follow industry groups and thought leaders in your space. They can also follow groups, companies, causes, and brands that they’re personally interested in. This shows that they are active participants in and have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry.
Again, it’s important to remember that the profiles of your employees belong to them and not the company, and so these suggestions are just that—suggestions. The more cohesive, up to date, and active, the better.
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