4 Minor LinkedIn Factors that Could Damage Your Personal Brand


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Who are you and what are doing here? A two-part question few of us have had to answer directly. Most of the time people try to avoid being so direct. But we do answer those questions all the time. We do it when we email or call a stranger, or we interact with a customer service representative. We actually spend a lot of time explaining who we are and what we’re doing.

With so much experience, you’d think we’d be better at answering those questions online. But most of us don’t even realize we’re answering questions when we create social media profiles. Your online presence is your personal brand, whether you planned it that way or not it builds a perception of you.

Whenever someone visits your LinkedIn profile they’re trying to get a sense of your personal brand. They want to know who you are and why they should connect with you. To have a successful personal brand you need to have a social presence that demonstrates your best characteristics and answers those questions. And on LinkedIn there are some seemingly minor factors that stop your profile from doing that.


Obviously photographs aren’t minor details. They’re vital components of an online profile. Putting a face to a name is vital in building online relationships. The problem here is the inclination to pick a photo that isn’t ‘too bad’. We look for a photo we can get away with it, rather than looking for a good one. This leads people to make odd photo decisions. Often choosing photos that don’t fit with their personal brand. The most damaging is the cropping of larger photographs so they just show head and shoulders. People probably do this because they think it’s a good picture. The thing is, it just looks like a cropped photo. Which only leads viewers to guess at what the rest of the picture might look like. Personal branding is all about managing your image, with these photos you’re encouraging viewers to create their own.


This is a really simple one that most people miss but it could be vital to your personal brand. LinkedIn allow you to set up your own URL so you can be ie.linkedin.com/in/eoinkeenan rather than ie.linkedin.com/in/06543511680205. If you had to work with the owners of either of these profile URLs, which would you look at first?


Skills are vital on LinkedIn. They’re the best way to build a picture of you as an employee and of your personal brand. They’re also the easiest to get wrong. We all have skills listed on our resume that are there because they ‘should’ be. We talk about attention to detail, proficiency with Word or office admin because that’s what you put on a resume. These skills don’t make you stand out from the crowd; they push you back into it. From a personal branding stand point, less skills can actually be more. Relevant skills are most important; they’re the only ones you should highlight. Employers expect everyone to know how to use Word, so why are you shouting about it?


Your personal brand isn’t just about LinkedIn. Every online profile you have should inform that brand, you should integrate as much of your presence as possible. LinkedIn allows you to add your blog, website and Twitter. It allows viewers to expand their knowledge of you and your personal brand. You need to make sure that you integrate your other social presences for two reasons. Firstly, it adds credibility to the brand. Viewers see you’re not just a LinkedIn profile; you’re a person. It also offers the opportunity to showcase content you’ve created, projects you’ve worked on or other material that demonstrate your abilities.

The most important part of your LinkedIn profile is the content, the information that gives details on you. The strongest personal brands are the ones that answer the question ‘who are you and what are you doing here?’ with ease. You need to make sure the minor details aren’t answering that question for you.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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