About LinkedIn and Personal Branding | Learnings

Post by Remco Livain

I joined our Google Meets “GANDT-Talk” (our version of an internal TED-Talk) about personal branding on LinkedIn full of good intentions.

As a long-term user of LinkedIn, I didn’t think that I would have a lot to learn in the session. But boy was I wrong. Mike, one of the Gandties, as we lovingly call ourselves, who recently joined the team, lectured us on how we could improve our personal profiles. As the CEO of the company, he of course picked my profile as one of the examples for personal branding.

Unfortunately for me, and my ego, he refrained from padding my back and telling me what I beautifully crafted profile I had, but instead pointed out that there was more than a little work to be done.


Why personal branding is hard

I am no stranger to personal branding, after all, I have got my own personal website www.livain.com. that receives a lot of love and attention, and have a profile on most (if not all) relevant social media channels (@rlivain).

However, there is a difference between being on a platform and actively using it.

When it comes to the social media outlets I personally actively use to work on my personal brand as the CEO of a digital consultancy company, I don’t do much more than create short form content for Twitter. Yes, indeed – the micro-blogging, nobody will ever read this so I can say whatever I want, social media dinosaur, Twitter.

And to be honest, I still like it.

But personal branding is hard. It is not easy to speak about yourself and your wicked accomplishments, regularly. Sure there is plenty to talk about, but not all of it is newsworthy, nor do I want to brag about myself all the time. I talk enough to all of those around me as is, and feel sorry enough for them having to put up with me, let alone annoy my LinkedIn contacts with that.


Keyword stuffing is still a thing

The one thing I took away from the session is that I do have a lot of catching up to do, though. It’s very simple, if you don’t use “words” to describe what it is you do, or what you have done, you will not be found. I will not be found.

In the early days of the internet (yes, back when I started my career in digital marketing in the mid-2000s), a good, solid SEO-piece was full of the important keywords you wanted to rank for. It was the most extreme form of poor journalism, but it worked.

At some point, Google got smarter, though. It recognized that some text were merely written for search engines and nowhere near as engaging as a personally written piece. These texts lacked personality.

Yet, LinkedIn still isn’t as smart as Google. But, the professional network has become a powerful search engine, nonetheless. As it turns out, a healthy dose of keyword stuffing, still works on LinkedIn. And I will have to start to give it a go, if I want to be found next to other startup founders and CEO’s of consultancies and agencies.


A lot to learn about relevant content creation

There is one thing I have plenty of, and this is words. Not a day goes by in which I don’t finish a 350-500 words piece on something that interests me.

However, most of the content I create does not revolve around me – or my own consultancy GANDT Ventures. I have got a lot to learn when it comes to prioritizing my content pieces.

First things first, I will ask Mike to have another thorough look at my LinkedIn profile and help me put a better roadmap together of what I should do next. Then I am sure you will receive a solid amount of updates on my end, in the weeks and months to come.

If anything, this GANDT-Talk was highly inspiring and it is great to work with such a talented group of marketing professionals. I feel that I learn something new every day. And all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction, to get going. But I will need to make sure to create a safety net, once my attention starts to slip. The burden of being the CEO I guess.

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