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Building your profile on LinkedIn is great way to build your personal branding

Apr 25


Veronique Lafargue

Using LinkedIn for personal branding

career transition

personal branding

job search strategies

Whether you are looking for a new role, a connection with investors, or future clients, LinkedIn has become THE place to build brand reputation and create connections.

But you may wonder: How can I tell my story on LinkedIn? Why would people want to know about ME?

The first answer can be found in a well-known human bias: The singularity effect.

The singularity effect, see by Paul Slovic, credit:

We care disproportionately about individuals more than we care about businesses. And we remember stories better than any pitch.

Therefore sharing YOUR story and unique point of view can be really impactful.

But how can you make the best of it? Let’s talk about personal branding.

Personal branding is not new, one of the first articles covering it is from Fast Company in August 1997 and describes it as this:  

“Personal branding is generally understood to be the focused and intentional leveraging of unique skills and quirks in order to shape the way you’re perceived, advance your interests, and expand your sphere of influence.”

If the term personal branding makes you uncomfortable and braggy, you can also think about it as “personal credibility” Wes Kao, Co-Founder of Maven has a great way to frame it:

"Personal credibility is about substance first and foremost. Then showing the folks around you what you can do and how you can contribute. It's about earning trust in order to do more of the work you want to do. When you have a strong personal brand, you might get the likes on your social media posts.

But when you have strong personal credibility you have a deeper connection with people who believe in your work. This means you have more options, more control and a more fulfilling career. "

So how do you get there? Here are a few tips:

Be clear about your vision, not just who you are but who you want to be.  

Many people use LinkedIn as a biography or a wiki page, with just facts and dates: “I am a product manager”.  

But if you are in a phase of transition or just want to create a space for new opportunities there is much more to say about you, than your current role or title. It starts with being clear on what you want to be known for and what type of opportunities you want to attract.

Use the section below your name to clearly establish who you are. In this fictional example, Tom does a great job at positioning himself in a few words, it’s not about his title, it’s about what he does and why he is credible.

This top section is also what appears when you search for a person on LinkedIn so you should pay extra attention to it.

The second best place is your About section. Make the best of it like in the example below to connect the dots in your story.  

What’s good about Jen’s?

👍 Starts with a clear mission

👍 Shares her credentials with some specifics

👍 Ties in her non-profit work

Manage your image

There is not a lot of real estate on LinkedIn for your photo and yet, it says a lot. See this selection below. What do you think?

Get your profile photo to align with your goals

1- Though it’s a charming style, it is best used if you are an artist - or on a sabbatical. While you don't need to be formal, it's best to keep your headshot simple and professional.

2-Anonymous: Even if we could argue this helps reduce biases, it will be very hard to build trust and connection without a profile image.

3-Distinct corporate image. Very appropriate if you want to leverage your current role in a well-respected company.

4-Similarly if you want to work in AI, a Midjourney version of your headshot is a way to show you are familiar with the tool in just one image.

5-Nice and professional but the background is a little busy, the lighting and angle are distracting.

5-The right balance: Professional look, looking at the camera, a pretty neutral background. Well done.

The right combination with a background is sometimes tricky but it certainly gives a distinctive tone to your profile:.

Here are a few examples:

1- The default background: A missed opportunity to tell a story.

2 - If you are a writer, showing your book is a great way to build trust.

3, 4, 5 Corporate backgrounds with limited copy, centered or on the right are a safe bet.

6 - If you have a newsletter we can tease it right from your profile.

Back to Jena’s example above, stylized backgrounds, with simple textures or graphics that nicely contrast with your photos are great. You can find texture on free image websites like and

Learn everything you can about the platform and its algorithm.

It is worth learning about the way the algorithm works to make the best of it. What behavior is rewarded? When and how should you post? How to build an audience?

When it comes to LinkedIn, there is a lot of public information, a good source is the series from Sam Browne.

In a nutshell, you want to bring value, engage with your audience, and commit to a certain cadence of publication.

Define your messaging pillars and voice

While you want to keep room for spontaneity, it’s best to reflect on the topics you want to be known for and define your messaging pillars, aka a limited number of topics you want to write about.

Follow the influencers and brands around these topics, reshare their content and tag them to increase your reach.

As much as you can, try to express a distinct point of view and share personal experiences. This will make your content stand out.

You can also reflect on your voice and define your tone of voice. Are you friendly? Persuasive? Bold?  

Copy AI is an artificial intelligence writing tool that uses mine learning to generate various types of content. Here is how they segment the different voices:


LinkedIn is a great place to establish your personal brand and build credibility.

Combined with genuine in-person networking or online communities, it can be foundational to expanding your connections and helping any transition.

For more insights on marketing strategies for startup founders from Maison Lafargue go here.