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How To Use LinkedIn To Build a Personal Brand

business of interior design how to create a personal brand how to use linkedin linkedin marketing tips for designers personal brand social media Dec 14, 2021
How To Use LinkedIn To Build a Personal Brand

On a scale of 1 to 10, how badly are you neglecting your LinkedIn account? And be honest. If you range anywhere between 0-3, then you’re on a good path. However, if you fall outside of this range, then my friend, it’s time we have a little talk…

Let’s start this off easy. Do you want your interior design work to be seen? Well, in this day and age, the best and fastest way to get noticed is through social media. Your personal branding on these social platforms is the first thing a potential client or employer sees, so it’s important to look the part. 

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are some of the most popular social networking sites - but LinkedIn - is by far the most important social media platform you could be on for your career.

 

Related Article: 8 Steps to Writing a Personal Brand Statement that Sells

 

What Is LinkedIn & Why Is It Important To Me?

Originally, LinkedIn was the go-to platform for recent graduates looking to further their careers by searching for jobs, making connections with other professionals working at a specific company, and receiving recommendations from other users. Long story short, it was a spruced-up Job Searching site… far from the realm of social media.

Fast forward to a couple of years, and now LinkedIn is the number one social media platform for businesses. Of course, this is a pretty big deal. With over 500 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is not only a powerful tool to use for lead generation and new business opportunities but the perfect gateway to build and grow your personal brand.

 

Related Article: 8 Steps to Improve your LinkedIn Profile for Lead Generation in Your Interior Design Business

 

Your Personal Branding

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is the telling of your story and how it reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.

As an interior designer, a client needs to want to work with YOU. Yes, your actual design work is essential, but who you are and how you resonate with your potential client is what ultimately drives them towards you and away from your competition.

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but I often find myself choosing between two vendors. They both provide the same services, almost the same prices, and even the same project timeline.

So what do I base my decision on? I’m not kidding when I say this, but I often decide who has the better online presence. Maybe this is a bit more vanity-driven than I care to admit, but something about working with a company that takes pride in its appearance is very attractive to me.

In fact, according to Learn Hub’s statistics: 63% of employees say a consistent branding experience has an impact on whether or not a deal is closed.

When using LinkedIn for personal branding, you should be promoting your business and yourself. It’s all about identity. Who are you? What do you do? Why should anyone do business with you? In order to do this effectively, it’ important to know the different aspects of LinkedIn features and how you can use these to your advantage.

 

Related Article: How & Why Emerging Design Professionals Can Create a Personal Brand

 

5 Tips On How To Use LinkedIn To Build A Personal Brand 

 

1. Long-Form Content

When discussing long-form content, it is important to note that this is very different from your average graphic and caption post. Long-form content refers to content that is well - long. 

An example of long-form content on LinkedIn is the “Write An Article” feature, where you can share your articles and blogs directly on LinkedIn’s platform. I recommend writing or even repurposing some of your old blogs on LinkedIn because it is the perfect way to establish your social proof. 

According to Sprout Social:

“Social proof is a term that was coined back in 1984 by author Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. This phenomenon is also called informational social influence, and essentially it’s the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations.

In marketing, social proof covers a similar idea – when people shop, they look for reviews, recommendations, and ways that others have used a product before making their decision.”

By writing about your past experiences with successful projects or even positive client feedback, you establish your social proof as a reputable interior designer.

 

2. Participate in Relevant Groups

Linked Groups are yet another great way to get seen by professionals in your industry. When you join and participate in LinkedIn groups, you allow yourself to show off your expertise on certain topics and start building relationships with like-minded people. It’s important to network with like-minded professionals from your industry because you never know what type of opportunities these people might bring.

 

How To: Find Interior Design Groups & Start Participating

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to find relevant groups through your LinkedIn account. 

  1. After you log into your profile, click the search bar on the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Type in “Interior Design” and click search.
  3. Right under the search bar, you will see the following filters:

I want you to go ahead and click where it says “Groups.”

  1. Now you will have the full results on all the different LinkedIn Groups related to interior design. 

Make sure you go through as many of these groups as possible and select which ones you’d like to participate in.

Pro Tip: I recommend joining well-established groups with at least 1,000 LinkedIn members.

 

3. Be Responsive To Others

On LinkedIn, you never know when an opportunity could come knocking at your door, or better yet, commenting on your post. When developing an online presence, it’s key to engage with other accounts, especially accounts already engaging with you! Be responsive to others by replying to them as soon as possible and by replying to their comments and feedback in a genuine, positive, and interesting way.

 

4. Reach Out To Others In Your Community

Opportunities come knocking, but you need to open the door! LinkedIn is a huge pool of business professionals looking to connect with others, making it the perfect opportunity for you. But, if you aren’t actively trying to engage and discover new connections, then you’re walking away from an opportunity and maybe even leaving money on the table. 

With that being said, here are some ways you can start reaching out to new connections in your community:

  • Try following up to 20 new accounts per day. Connect with profiles you already have mutual connections with, or simply connect with accounts inside of your community. 
  • When connecting with new accounts, try adding some personalization to your reach out. For example, every time you connect with someone new, LinkedIn gives you the option to write a message along with your request. Use this message to your advantage! 
  • After new connections are made, try following up again with your new connection. Don’t just ask them to connect with you and stop engaging with them. That’s like calling a friend and hanging up on them right after they picked up your call. Instead, take this opportunity to introduce yourself and ask about them! Send them a more in-depth message about who you are and what you do, followed by interest in what they do and how it’s going for them. You’ll be surprised at how open to connecting some of these professionals are! 

 

5. Post Regularly

Like with any other social media platform, it’s crucial to stay consistent in your posting schedule. If possible, aim to post on LinkedIn from Monday - Friday since workdays are typically the days users are most active on LinkedIn. 

If you find yourself struggling with what to post, here are 15 ideas for you:

  1. Offer some motivation through the wisdom you’ve learned through your career.
  2. Shout out one of your successful interior design projects.
  3. Share insights from previous jobs.
  4. Repurpose company material.
  5. Share job opportunities from your company.
  6. Predict the next design trend and leave it open for discussion.
  7. Answer a common client question.
  8. Create a top 10 list—for example, your top 10 paint colors.
  9. Share the story of how you got to where you are today.
  10. Welcome new users.
  11. Spotlight how a past customer reacted to your design.
  12. Share your design process.
  13. Explain a common misconception from the interior design industry.
  14. Repost others’ content.
  15. Comment on industry news.

If you find yourself craving more information on building a LinkedIn community after reading this article, please feel free to download the guide below! It’s completely FREE and will provide more insight on cultivating a community on LinkedIn!

 

Final Words of Encouragement

I mean this from the bottom of my heart - I want to see you and your business succeed. That’s why I spend so many countless hours (literally though - I lost track now) writing these educational articles and sharing my success tips and tricks. I care about this community more than anything. 

So with that, I want to say that I believe in you. I believe in you and I am here for you if you ever need help navigating the rough waters that come with being an interior designer.

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