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Me, Me, Me... Using LinkedIn for Personal Branding

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 9/4/10 11:21 AM

It's okay to be a narcissist, really?

You may have heard a lot of talk in the social media channels warning you to 'not be that guy' and self-promote yourself more than you do others.

And while this is good advice, and one that we should practice both offline and online- I really run into very few people who need to be told that. In fact, many of us need a dose of some healthy narcissism.

A recent blog article from a colleague reminded me that many of us face a challenge that is the exact opposite of this 'don't be that guy' advice.

In her post, Barbara writes, " work is so good that I should be proud to tell people what I’ve been up to.  It’s amazing how difficult that can be – to really accept it, believe it, embrace it..."

You go girl.

So, the question is, how do you walk that line between being confident and building your personal brand and not being that guy (or girl)?

A great tool, among others, is LinkedIn. And since I am giving a presentation on LinkedIn at the ever-so-fabulous Social Media FTW, (insert semi-self promotion here), I thought, why not brainstorm in public with a series of posts on this very subject?

So over the next few weeks, leading up to Social Media FTW, I'll be posting on personal branding. First, let's start with the why.

Relationships Matter, and So Do You

"It isn't just what you know, and it isn't just who you know. It's actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living." ~ Bob Burb

The key to that quote= what you do. You are not just the sales rep at XYZ company or the Owner of ABC Services. Personal branding is breaking out of the mold of your job title and description. Ask yourself who you are and why it matters. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What makes you different?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What gets you out of bed every day?
  • What excites you about what you do?
  • What frustrates you?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What problems do you fix?
  • Who does all of this help?

This is not as easy as it looks for some of us, (yes, me included). In fact an outside perspective might be helpful. That is why I hired a coach. And not just one coach, I now have 2 coaches- and all are wonderfully blunt and my sounding board.

Can't hire a coach? Then talk to your customers and colleagues. Ask them these questions. You will start to see yourself in a truer light.

TIP: After you ask them these questions, ask if they would be willing to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn so that everyone know how wonderful you are!

Topics: social media, social media tools, LinkedIn, personal branding