A powerful personal image in a few characters
In the midst of social networks and profiles in which we evolve, the importance of the profile picture and the cover image to build your personal brand is no longer to be proven.
On some networks, LinkedIn especially, the quality and credibility of your image also depends on two other elements to be customized to your advantage in order to turn your audience members into prospects.
Your title and personal summary
The title is the string found right below your profile picture, which has a limit of 120 characters, and the abstract is the larger body of the text under the title, with a limit of 2000 characters.
They provide a great opportunity to introduce yourself and your business, and turn a profile viewer into a headliner.
Fortunately for you, most people have no idea what opportunities they are leaving behind.
In this brief article, you’ll see how to integrate these elements of your personal profile into the effort to build your brand.
First, let’s familiarize ourselves with the first concept that will be useful to us.
Referencing on platform
SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of making the content of a website easily discoverable on a search engine.
The same principle applies to all platforms that have an integrated search function. If you’re looking for something on YouTube, the search engine on the platform will give you the most relevant results for your query.
But what makes one result more relevant than the other?
It’s one of Google’s best kept secrets.
There are lots of guides that tell you how to organize your website and content, but there’s no exact recipe, because if everyone were to rank first, nobody would rank first.
So, as you can imagine, the same principles apply on LinkedIn, as well as on other social networks, even if in a more simplistic way.
If you want to be found by prospects interested in your “social media marketing” services, you should have these keywords in your title, and other related keywords in your resume.
Other sections, however, are of primary importance when it comes to keyword optimization such as the skills section, the recommendations section and the endorsements section.
I wrote in more detail about these sections in this article.
But finding the keywords you want to rank for is the easy part. The real challenge comes when you try to turn those sterile keywords into text that will turn visitors into prospects.
And that’s where the second concept comes in.
Since the dawn of time, or at least since the first humans figured out how to structure their guttural noises into words and sentences, stories have been the best method of transmitting information from one individual to another.
The first writing testimony dates from around 3,200 BC in Mesopotamia (today Iraq), while oral communication may have started between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.
So, as you can see, the oral tradition took longer to develop than the written tradition.
At the same time, our brain reacts differently when exposed to stories and reports.
What’s the difference between a story and a report?
A story is a cascade of causal events.
A report is a series of events ordered in a timeline.
When we are exposed to a report, such as a presentation, our auditory cortex is active as we listen, as well as Wernicke’s area, the region in the brain where words are processed. But when we hear a story, other regions of the brain are activated according to the stimuli present in the story.
This means that you use your brain more when you listen to a story. And because you’re experiencing a richer brain event, you benefit more from the experience, you understand the information better and you retain it longer.
And it’s perfect for selling your product.
Now that we’ve established why platform SEO and storytelling are important, it’s time to discuss how to frame the information you would like to put in your title and summary.
1) Who are you? How can you help me?
These are the questions that people who consult your profile ask themselves. And you have to answer this question fairly quickly, otherwise they will bounce back.
No one has time to waste on a profile that says “Creative Disrupter”, “Jack of all Trades” or has a cheesy suffix like “Guru”, “Ninja” or “Unicorn”.
Instead, use your official titles and keywords commonly used in your field. This will help your prospects understand what you are doing at a glance.
2) What are you doing?
After realizing who you are, viewers want to know what you’re doing, what you’re selling and how you can help them.
They don’t care about you; they only care about what you can provide them and how you can solve their problems. This is the reason why you must be precise in your complaint, and it is the reason why it’s better to say “I help SEM to structure their sales process and to create a pipeline of prospects by setting up artificial intelligence and ML tools and best practices” than just “I help companies sell more.”
3) Why should I listen to you?
Now that you’ve caught the viewer’s attention, why should they care about what else you have to say? Are you different from the others? How? ‘Or’ What? How will your product or service help them succeed? And do you have testimonials to prove your claims?
By answering these three questions, you can take a big step forward in establishing your personal brand.
Of course, this is just one piece of the puzzle. To build a strong personal brand, you need to put a lot of effort into your content marketing machine. You need to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and to do this you will need to start broadcasting content that will help your audience.
Write blog posts, create videos or record a podcast and share them on your favorite publishing platform, and then share them on your feed and in LinkedIn groups that have been dead for a while but seem to be coming back.
Having a compelling title and summary may be a small step for you, but it is a giant leap for your personal brand.