Companies are not the only ones building brands. You, yourself also need a solid brand because, increasingly, people want to do business with people, not corporations. We trust people more than we trust companies. Regardless of your field of expertise, it's a good idea to establish a strong personal brand, in order to stay competitive.
1. Your area(s) of expertise
Ask yourself, what do you want to be known for? Think “hard” skills, such as project management, P&L, mergers and acquisitions, product development etc., combined with your evidence for making those words count.
2. Spread the wisdom
Start writing about the things you know a lot about, be critical and reflective, but with a touch of your opinion on the matter. Be a helpful resource to others, be generous with your knowledge and people will come back for more.
3. Don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter
LinkedIn is the largest professional social media platform but as an individual, you're likely to have a significant presence on Twitter or Facebook as well. Make sure you align your personal brand across these networks - this is particular important if your profiles are open and accessible to everybody, i.e. not just your friends.
4. Live up to your brand
Don't write cheques on social media that you can't cash in real life. People don’t like to be disappointed so make sure that your real life self can live up to your online words.
5. Network, network, network
Join relevant groups, and consider connecting with people who are within the same field as you. Don't be as picky with accepting requests as your would on Facebook - a large network is an advantage when you're trying to get your message across to a lot of people.