I just finished reading Jan Vermeiren's book, "How to Really Use LinkedIn". It's a great read and I highly recommend it. Most of us know about using LinkedIn to build a professional online resume, to do some connecting with co-workers and peers, and to join some interest groups, but how many really know how to use LinkedIn to promote their personal brand and their business? I'm going to summarizing what I learned from Jan's book and throw in my own advice from working with this powerful social networking tool.
First, let's review what we mean by "personal branding". Dan Schwabel, author of another great read, "Me 2.0", defines it simply as "how we market ourselves to others". How we use social media to define ourselves, become a recognized leader of one or more online communities, and how we conduct ourselves when networking with others - these are the core components of our personal brand. Let's take each of these three components and view how LinkedIn can help us to promote our personal brand.
This is done in LinkedIn by creating an outstanding profile.
This is done by building your network, contributing and leading the way in your field.
This is ultimately how people perceive your personal brand.