THE SECRET SAUCE TO PERSONAL BRANDING ON LINKEDIN IS THIS...
Not long ago I decided to start documenting my #sidehustletomainhustle journey via LinkedIn vlogs.
I wanted to one day take a look back at my first 90 days in main hustle land and diarise the madness along the way. For me, it was a way to keep accountable, keep track of my promises to myself and most of all get into some good daily habits of success.
This article is especially for those who are fascinated about going all in with a personal brand on LinkedIn to grow your career, business and professional relationships. As I write this I am almost 2 weeks into my transition journey and this is what I have found so far.
For the most part, it has felt like a dream. It’s important to note I didn’t dive into this hustle venture willy-nilly. I’m a student of entrepreneurship and over the past three years, I’ve been surrounded by tech founders and startup entrepreneurs who have shared their time and lessons with me.
Even when I’m not actively working on growing my business I read a lot, I consume loads of content, I listen to online marketing podcasts, I admire success through the likes of Gary Vee, Carrie Green, Mel Robbins, Angie Lee, Marie Forleo and Katrina Ruth. I can clearly see my name up there with these incredible individuals and hence, have clear goals and dreams however big they seem.
But I realise that without a plan of action, my dreams would always remain just that.
So let’s talk about how I rolled out the tactical aspects to my brand, the must-do’s and the daily actions I take to get to my big goal.
On the 1st January I made myself a plan to step it up on LinkedIn. I was watching on as so many big personalities on the platform were lighting it up on my LinkedIn feed. You know the ones that most people can recall at the drop of a hat. The personalities that you can’t help but relate to when you watch them and learn from them. I watched on and absorbed everything they did.
When the time came I felt equipped to go all in and start with my first video. I applied everything I liked about my influencers video but I did it my way, with my personality, my energy and lets face LOTS of laughter.
Key Lesson # 1 - Adapt your personality into your videos, not someone else's. The audience can tell when it's not true to yourself or if you're trying hard to be someone that you're not.
LinkedIn has always been my number one social channel. Being a recruiter it has been a platform to reach out to candidates and share the message of my employer. That is, before I realised how powerful it was on a personal level.
In January 2018, I made a call to get real with LinkedIn and go ALL IN.
I came out with my guns out blazing statement to level with my peeps. I spoke my truth and told the world about nearly being fired for having a side hustle. I talked about the mistakes, the betrayal, the lessons learnt and how I turned my shame into my main game. Within a month I went from 3,500 followers to 7,000+ and growing by the hundreds each week.
Speak your truth, own your message and watch your perfect community grow around you. By doing this you'll also learn how to piss off the people that you don't want in your tribe. Two birds, one stone.
Today I talk about my passions, my ideas, my philosophies, what I’m thinking in the moment without hesitation or fear of reprisal. I decided I’d focus on vlogs and show my audience the city of Melbourne rather than the sit-down-talk-to-the-camera type of videos. I speak to the lens with side hustlers in mind, the ones I’ve coached, the ones I want to coach, the ones who need to hear from me. I grew fond of the camera who was helping me capture the never-ending monologue in my head. I started to muse about what I cared about the most, the importance of side hustles, how empowering they are and how it links to the future of work.
My plan was to have a video out once a week. It didn’t come naturally at first, I was scared of the critics and the haters (oh boy have I had those).
I was worried about the camera work, the lighting, the audio quality. I would film something, rewatch it, hate it and delete it and do it again 10 times over. Ah, the struggle of the artist!
Nothing ever seemed good enough, the masterpiece was never complete. This is when I heard my inner voice say “...learn how to un-finish. UN-FINISH!”
Here’s what I found...the rawer the video, the more engagement it seemed to get. The more I spoke to the camera like I was speaking to a close friend or close client, the more engagement I got.
The more I spoke my own truth with no scripts or specific themes, more community interaction came my way. Every video that went out would eventually just be a capture of my thoughts in that one moment in time. And every video started bringing in my perfect tribe. One by one, then ten by ten, now into the hundreds each week.
ENGAGEMENT LED TO SKYROCKETING TRIBE GROWTH
Might I add that engagement is just one of the many vanity metrics I can't but help but look at … the likes, the comments the shares are all great. They feel nice and I acknowledge everyone because someone has taken the time to post, share their thoughts or write about how my message has helped them.
But really, in truth, the real deep engagement happens in the DM, the PM, the inbox, the behind the veil conversations.
I nurture the conversations that hit my inbox, through personalised return emails and video/ audio messaging. I very often receive long emails that scroll for days telling me about how my video or an article I wrote impacted them, spoke to them.
What an honour!
I've also made new friends from halfway across the globe this way who when I chase my endless summer I'll meet.
If there’s one call to action to make after your messaging, consider asking your tribe to message you directly. I don’t for a minute shy away from 100’s of messages in my LinkedIn inbox, I welcome it. I appreciate it fully and some of my best long-term, inner circle clients have come from this.
I hope this has made a difference in your messaging starting today, be ok with unfinishing and most of all, be unapologetic about who you are because that my friend is your personal brand at it's best. Remember, you can absolutely #ownyourhustle.