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LinkedIn is a great way to leverage your personal brand to further your business or career. You are an extension of your brand and taking advantage of that puts you a huge step above your competition that isn’t optimizing their individual brand. We’ll skip past the basics of optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

Fewer people post to LinkedIn regularly compared to other social media platforms, but it still has an engaged and steadily growing audience of 467 million users. With less junk to scroll through, LinkedIn is your best shot to go viral with your professional story and insights! For this article, we’ll start with the basics of creating a personal brand you can leverage on LinkedIn.

Gif Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation TV show

Come on, Andy, you can do better with your personal branding…

Use your experiences to guide your brand

Keep your narrative focused on what you’re doing now and what you stand for. I strive to communicate a few simple ideas through my brand: risk-taking, passion, and flexibility. I am passionate about marketing, willing to take risks to get the desired results, and have learned to not be rigid in my goals or career. Through these experiences, I found a career path I love and built a compelling personal brand that reflects my personality and unique experiences.

When I was applying for jobs, my personal brand focused on my journey to finding my passion in marketing. I had a non-traditional college experience and rather than stumble through this narrative as a negative, I turned it into a reflective journey of passion and self-discovery. I took time off from college after being uninspired by my original choice of major. Not knowing what path I wanted to switch to, I took community college classes while working grueling hours in soybean fields as an agriculture lab assistant. Eventually I returned to school with renewed focus and motivation having found a career path I was excited about.

Work backwards from your current position

Regardless of where you are in your career, stop and think about where you are today. Break down how you got here from your first job or career aspirations. You probably had several steps (and missteps) that got you to the professional place you are today. Find a part of your career that resonates with you and your values and work from there to create your brand.

Did you take a risky job in a new city because you were in a rut? Get an amazing promotion you worked hard for? Meet a great mentor who gave you your big break into a competitive industry? It doesn’t have to be something dramatic as long as it was a turning point for you in some way.passion led us here sidewalk shoes

Pick an issue to give your unique insights

Don’t have any interesting anecdotes you can spin? No problem! Another great way to market yourself through LinkedIn is giving advice or our experienced spin on industry topics. For example, CEO Dan Price believed strongly in the minimum wage issue. He went all in and decided to raise the minimum wage at his company to $70,000 per year. Umm, yeah. By now you probably know who I’m talking about. Now, he’s a LinkedIn guru and champion for a cause he believes in. And you can do it too!