In 2020, during the meetings’ industry’s largest crisis to date, activity on social media increased amongst our professionals. When in-person networking opportunities disappeared, we all flocked to online platforms to connect with professionals and grow our personal brands.
My platform of choice, LinkedIn, saw a massive spike in new users in 2020, and interesting content creation also rose by 60 per cent that year. This social and professional media platform is not only growing in popularity for job seekers, but it’s become one of the best platforms for you to project your personal brand and share your thought leadership.
If you are a meetings and events professional, there’s no better social media platform than LinkedIn to connect with your delegates, forge relationships with your suppliers, and elevate your brand as a strategic part of your organization’s team.
LinkedIn is a great place to connect with individuals you want to influence with your personal brand, and your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first features that your partners, colleagues, and leadership look to in order to learn more about you and how you contribute to the organization.
Here are five tips for you to elevate your LinkedIn profile before you start connecting, growing your network, and elevating your personal brand.
Ensure you’re using a professional profile picture
LinkedIn is seen as the business social media platform, and your profile picture should reflect that image. The more casual photos can be left for the more social channels like Facebook and Instagram. When you work for a larger organization, you are representing both your organization, and your own brand. Put your best foot forward starting right at the top of your profile. Looking to create a headshot quickly without spending a lot of money? Use the “portrait” setting on your phone (it creates a blurred background) in natural light to take a great photo.
Capitalize on your background photo
There is a lot of great social media real estate in your background photo section. If your organization has not provided you with a template, you can capitalize on this space by creating an engaging photo (you can find a number of templates on the free online design tool Canva.com). Speak directly to your target audience with your visuals and your call-to-action on your background photo.
Include your ideal client in your headline
The headline that appears right below your name is not just reserved for your job title. Instead, you can use this section to outline how it is you serve your ideal community. Stuck on what to say? Use this template: “I help ___ do ____by providing ____ .” Don’t worry, your job title will still come up in search results as it appears in your Work Experience section.
Bonus Tip: Include a quick ditty about your upcoming conference appearances in your headline, too, such as, “Attending CMEExpo August 16-17 in Toronto!”
Include keywords in your About section
Similar to your headline, ensure your About section includes all of your audiences, and the keywords that they would use. Do you work with your organization’s colleagues and stakeholders on their events? Mention this. Looking to influence leadership? Speak to what they would be looking for in someone who can progress in the organization. Remember to include a call-to-action in this section, so your audience knows exactly the next step they should take to further the relationship with you.
Complete your current Work Experience role
The Work Experience section is another place for you to highlight how your work helps your internal clients achieve their objectives. While this section can resemble your resume, there is so much more room and potential to highlight how you help others achieve their goals. Take the focus off the day-to-day tasks, and highlight the larger objectives and outcomes.
Being active and present on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to keep your brand and your expertise visible to all who interact with you. Take a few moments this week to update your LinkedIn profile, and start to level up your LinkedIn game!
Leanne Calderwood, CMP, is a personal branding and LinkedIn trainer for the meetings, events, and hospitality industry. She believes our industry is built on experiences, and that experience should start with our professionals.
She serves hospitality professionals and teams through her online courses and consulting services to help guide #eventprofs out of the shadows and into the spotlight using their branding strengths and stories.
When she’s not talking shop, you can find Leanne drinking tea, making jam, and gardening at her home in Kelowna, B.C. with her husband, two teenage sons, and her dog, Farls Barkley.
You can learn more about Leanne over on her blog at www.leannecalderwood.com.