If someone asked you what your brand is, how would you respond?
Building your professional brand is one of the most influential factors contributing to your Social Selling Index (SSI) score on LinkedIn, which is more important than you might think.
What is an SSI Score?
Your SSI score is an indicator of your “utilization of social selling practices.” Simply put, it shows viewers just how effective you are at selling. The are four categories that make up the SSI score.
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build relationships
All four are important considerations when attempting to raise your SSI, but establishing your professional brand is the first step.
Why Is It Important to Build Your Professional Brand?
A couple statistics to consider.
- 81% of LinkedIn users are more likely to engage with a strong, professional brand
- 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are known industry thought leaders
- There is a strong correlation between higher SSI scores and the likelihood of promotion
LinkedIn is not the be all end all of B2B marketing but does play a very big part in creating new leads and keeping them engaged. They are much more likely to visit your site and read your content when they feel like you are an authority in your industry, and last but not least, even if you are not in the sales industry, establishing a strong, professional brand on LinkedIn can still help you advance in your career, whatever that may be.
What You Can Do to Build Your Brand?
There are several simple but effective steps that you can take to help your brand and increase your SSI score. Some of them are a little time consuming, but I find that my investment of time really pays off.
1. Complete your profile with your persona in mind.
You know your persona. Use that knowledge to speak directly to them, and remember, it’s not about what you can do, it’s about what you can do for them.
As you work on your profile, you are able to track your progress with the completion percentage on the LinkedIn screen. Shoot for 100% of completion to best reach your target audience and create new leads.
2. Like and comment on the content your current company posts and shares, as well as that of your current prospects.
This doesn’t mean that you should like or comment on every share you see, but don’t hold back if you read something that speaks to you. The important thing is to be professional and honest. I don’t “like” shares that I don’t actually like just for the sake of interacting, but I always engage when I find something that peaks my interest.
3. Congratulate people on their accomplishments.
LinkedIn makes it easy to congratulate others on promotions. You can see who has been promoted on the top right of the screen when you log-in. This is another way to positively interact with others.
4. Post your own content.
Whether you write specifically about your work or about other interests, posting your own content allows prospects to get to know you. It may surprise you how quickly this can increase your number of profile views and your publicity.
5. Use groups to get to know others and let them get to know you.
There is a huge community of groups out there on LinkedIn, and I know a lot of people who have been very successful at building their brand by interacting within groups specific to their industry. Groups are also a great place to create your own leads.
Participation is the key—that is how others get to know you and what you have to offer.
6. Discover, follow, and share content from industry experts who appeal to you.
Even if you don’t connect directly with someone, you can follow them, as well as read and share the content they post. This will increase your chances of making a real connection, and maybe even get your content shared in a much larger pool of prospects.
There are many places to find new leads online, but LinkedIn should definitely be a part of your sales strategy. Stay focused and be consistent. Soon, you will see your SSI score skyrocket, and who knows, you might even become the kind of industry expert that other want to follow in order to increase theirs.
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