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 you if you’re fascinated about going all in with YOUR personal brand on LinkedIn to grow your career, business and professional relationships.
As I write this I am almost 7 months into my transition journey and grown my LinkedIn following to over 20,000. 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.
5 KEY LESSONS FOR PERSONAL BRANDING ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn has always been my number one social channel. Due to 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 early 2018, 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.
A couple of weeks later, when I felt equipped to publish my first video, I applied everything I liked about my influencers’ videos but I did it my way, with my personality, my energy and lets face it, with 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.
After posting a couple more videos, I experienced moderate success, some likes, some comments, a little bit of engagement. But I knew deep down I was holding back. I wasn’t saying exactly what I felt. I had to get out of my own way.
So in mid February, 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.
Key Lesson #2 - Show and tell LinkedIn exactly who you are. Don’t hold back. Say what you stand for and stand against and what your vision is.
Speak your truth, own your message and watch your perfect community grow around you. By doing this you'll also learn how to repel 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.
Key Lesson #3 - Show up on video every single day. You’ll be amazed how much you improve and much more confident you become.
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.
Key Lesson #4 Learn how to unfinish. Be raw, be spontaneous and speak your mind. People relate when you can do this. (Hardly anyone watches your vids to begin with anyway, so it doesn’t matter if they’re not “perfect” at the start.)
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.
Key Lesson #5 Do not ignore comments and messages. This is where true engagement and true connections are made.
If there’s one call to action to make after your LinkedIn posts, consider asking your tribe to message you directly. I don’t for a minute shy away from the 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.
Aspire to be like your influencers but don’t just simply mimic them. Be ok with unfinishing, show up every day 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.
Want to learn how I show up unapologetically on LinkedIn?
Take my masterclass and see how I continue to grow my LinkedIn following with likes, comments and most importantly, direct messages enabling me to have direct contact with potential clients.