- Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer and personal brand strategist who founded Mari Brands For You.
- She landed a lucrative speaking position thanks to her pleasant and easy-to-read LinkedIn profile.
- She created an engaging profile using keywords, positive reviews, and a call to action.
When I quit my corporate job in 2018 to continue my Mari Brands For You branding and consulting business, I questioned everything. Fortunately, I had been building my business in parallel for the past seven years, so at least I had a plan.
But I was also 15 weeks pregnant when I took the plunge. Expecting a baby and embarking on a whole entrepreneurial adventure at the same time can make you guess the spelling of your own name.
So more than ever, knowing that making a name for myself was the key to winning clients and developing business, I focused on finding opportunities to build my personal brand, something I was already an expert on because I I trained as part of William Arruda’s “Reach Personal Branding” program. “credentials. Known as the personal brand guru to the world, Arruda has worked with Fortune 100 companies, so I absorbed much of his expertise, particularly when it came to LinkedIn.
Four months later, an opportunity knocked on my door. I got a message from a leader in the leadership and development of a $ 5 billion global tech company. She was organizing an event and needed a speaker to talk about personal branding.
Bingo! I scheduled a call.
I remember asking, “How did you find me?” while I was trying to play it cool. âYour profile came up when I was looking for a personal brand strategist on LinkedIn,â she replied.
After we spoke, I was officially offered the concert. We then confirmed the details, which included a half-day fee of $ 5,000 for a main presentation and workshop based on my book “From Nine to Thrive”, hotel and travel expenses paid and the car service.
The morning I emailed the final contract I was admitted to the hospital for labor (it was not on my to-do list that day!). And I gave the speaker concert eight weeks after my son was born.
This gig, among other paid opportunities, came to me because I was found on LinkedIn. And while it may seem like a crowded social media platform, there are opportunities waiting for you as well.
What made me stand out? Here is my profile – and this is what makes it shine.
A title focused on keywords
This might sound like a “duh” tip, but using keywords is the key (no pun intended). My title contains a combination of titles that are keywords (eg, “speaker”, “personal brand strategist”, “writer”) and a statement that describes what I do.
While I can sometimes change my statement, I always include keywords because I know using them in my title, and strategically throughout my profile, increases my chances of being found through search results. Remember, the manager of the company found me while she was doing a search.
Your title is not the time to be super smart or vague. Instead, use keywords based on headlines related to the opportunities you want to attract. Ask yourself, “What words would my target audience be looking for?” ”
Social proof that I am an ideal choice
My philosophy is to let your reputation precede you. And one of the best ways to do this is to establish your authority as an expert in your field and let others sing your praises.
While I don’t have the right to brag about influencers with six-figure followers, I do have an engaged following, several posts that tend under the hashtag “#personalbranding”, and recent recommendations from clients, conference coordinators and attendees of events where I was a speaker. All of these factors have made LinkedIn a lucrative platform for my personal brand, even with a small network.
The truth is, while I was pleasantly surprised when the company found me, I know my profile validated my experience. before I even called the manager. A company will not seek or pay a speaking fee to an amateur.
There are a lot of experts on LinkedIn. And a lot of them do exactly what do you do. So the next question you need to ask yourself is, “Does my profile accurately reflect my experience once I’ve been found?” “
Support your personal brand by including recommendations, articles and all the media features that prove your expertise.
A call to action
I have made several changes to my profile over the years. Some were obvious, like the photos and the background banners. But one change that had a bigger impact was subtle: I included a call to action at the end of my “About” section.
There is a link to my website and a free LinkedIn guide so that those interested in learning more and contacting me will know exactly What to do. (Remember, attention spans are short!)
On the call regarding the concert, the manager mentioned that she liked my content and appreciated me showing my personality. She was able to get a clear overview of my brand as she easily found both my LinkedIn profile and my website which was my intention.
Few things just happen by chance, so include information like your email address, website, or giveaway right in your profile. Tell people what action you want them to take.
If you haven’t seen your LinkedIn profile as a magnet for dream opportunities, ask yourself the following questions: “What is my target audience looking for?” And “What action do I want them to take when they find me?”
These answers will help you optimize your profile. And make it easy for the perfect opportunity to knock on your door.
This article originally appeared on Insider on March 3, 2020.