Build your personal branding through the use of LinkedIn

Effective personal branding increases credibility and trust, which can help you connect with your audience and find new  business prospects. It establishes you as an expert or authority in your industry or community. It portrays a true and lasting version of you.

Competences addressed/ learning outcomes expand_more

After completing this Learning resource participants:  
- will work on their personal branding, online and offline and get a deeper understanding of what it is and how it will contribute to their entrepreneurship journey. 
- will become aware of their online reputation and how to create a positive digital footprint.
- will be provided with information on how to use and understand social media, especially LinkedIn, with the use of the AIDA model.


The objectives of this learning resource can be summarised as below:
- To develop the skills that participants need to grow their own personal branding, and increase their online presence through social networks – LinkedIn
- To provide the participants with contexts of learning how to practice personal branding .
- To be aware about their online reputation and how to build it in a positive way.
- To correlate LinkedIn with personal branding and make participants aware about the importance of using it.

Theoretical background expand_more

What is a personal brand?  
It's important to have a presence out in the market so that others can see what you have to offer and appreciate it.
Make sure you stand out in a professional setting.

The following are the results of effective personal branding:
- it increases credibility and trust, which can help you connect with your audience and find new business prospects;
- it establishes you as an expert or authority in your industry or community. 
- it portrays a true and lasting version of you.

By placing yourself in the center of it all, it enables you to stick out from the competitors, which could lead to more followers and clients.

Digital footprint 
A digital footprint is the trail of information that you leave online when browsing, both intentionally and unintentionally. An individual's online reputation can be damaged greatly if their personal digital footprint is made public.

Active Vs Passive digital footprint
• An active footprint is the intentional data trail that a person leaves behind, such as when they publish a blog, send an email to someone they intend to be seen by, or use social media to submit content (such as images and posts).
• An individual's unintentional online footprints, such as those left by using geolocation-enabled apps and websites and browsing specific products and activities that advertisers compile and analyze to profile you and serve you with relevant advertisements, are known as passive footprints.

Your digital footprint is a huge part of your personal brand, and your online reputation (online presence).

How to build your LinkedIn personal brand and online presence?
In the contemporary business environment, having an online presence is essential since you can: 
• Increase visibility. 
Your personal brand and/or business will be more visible online and have the chance to reach a wider audience. 
• Increased trust.
By building a reputation and level of trust with customers online, you may increase revenue and attract new clients.
• Increase awareness of a brand. 
You may reach a wider audience and develop a stronger personal brand as well as brand awareness by having an online presence. You can increase your visibility to potential customers and create a more recognisable brand with the correct content and marketing.
Building your personal brand on LinkedIn may be a strong tool for establishing your expertise in your industry, bringing in new business, and enhancing your reputation. 

Why should you build your personal brand on LinkedIn?
1. It is expanding
LinkedIn has 310 million active monthly users. Consequently, there is a huge chance that someone will view your profile and your content.  You may simply reach millions of people by developing a strong personal brand and updating your profile to be a powerful landing page. 
2. It is the most reliable platform
People invest time and money on LinkedIn even though they typically spend more time on other social media platforms. LinkedIn was rated as the most trusted platform for a fourth consecutive year in Insider Intelligence's 2020 Digital Trust Report. You may establish credibility and prove your trustworthiness by developing your personal brand on LinkedIn. Individuals value authenticity.
3. You show up on Google
LinkedIn's platform functions as a search engine, SEO is extremely important for your ability to be found. A public version of your LinkedIn profile is automatically shared to their member directory once you create one, allowing search engines like Google to index and display your results! 
We strongly advise using your LinkedIn page as a landing page to highlight your talents, experience, and personal brand because you can be found on Google easily.
4. Expand your professional network
It's a successful strategy for growing your professional network. LinkedIn may be a useful tool in your career management toolbox, either you're looking for a new job or seeking out how to add more value to your present clients. It's possible to make contacts with individuals who can support you along the journey, such as recruiters and potential employers. You can also have the chance to publish engaging posts that are related to what you do in the business or join groups that are linked to your area of expertise. Instead of just gaining more followers, the objective here is to develop relationships so that they will support one another as well when needed.

AIDA marketing model 
Elias St. Elmo Lewis, a pioneer in American advertising and sales, created the marketing funnel model in 1899. These days, the AIDA model is a common name for his concept. The customer's journey is outlined by the AIDA model through Awareness, Interest,  Desire, and Action. It is among the most well-known marketing strategies for good reason. The component of the model is present when the majority of marketers develop their marketing communications strategy, whether they are doing so consciously or unconsciously. 

AIDA funnel stand for:
· Attention (Awareness) –The client learns about the existence of an item or service.
· Interest – Showing an interest for a particular product group
· Desire – to purchase a specific brand or item
· Action – Taking the next step in the purchasing process for the selected item 

Ideally, your content should accomplish all four of these things during each of these stages: draw attention to your brand; increase interest in your product or service; pique desire for it; and encourage people to try or buy it.

Step-by-step implementation expand_more

In the following section,  you'll discover helpful information  and easy steps to build your own personal branding, including how to brand yourself, online reputation, how to take care of your digital footprint  and the AIDA model. By the end, you will have the tools to make your personal brand stand out in the online world. Let's get started!

Step by Step: how to brand yourself
● Step 1: Identify yourself
● Step 2: Identify your goals and priorities
● Step 3: Identify your target audience
● Step 4: Plan your online presence
● Step 5: Plan your offline presence
● Step 6: Maintain your network
● Step 7: Review

Step 1: Identify yourself
Branding usually works with these 3 key subs: 
- Discovery
- Identity creation 
- Visibility 

Discovery: Knowing your strengths, what you stand for, what you want to communicate, and how you want to be perceived by others can help you influence their perception of you and change it. Discovery stage is our main focus.
There are some questions that could guide you in the discovery and identifying yourself stage:  
-  What are your passions? And your purpose in life.
-  What are your values? What are your goals? Where would you like to be in the future?
-  How do you want others to see you?
-  What are your objectives, strengths and weaknesses
-  How do other people see and describe you?
-  Who is this you wish to target? Who would you like to work with or for?
-  Who is your competition?
-  What distinguishes you from the competitors as the best option for the target audience?
-  How do you stand out from the competition? 

Return to those questions regularly! 

Step 2: Identify your goals & priorities
Knowing your values will help you decide what to emphasize and what to promote. Here you should use SMART goals (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant -Time-bound)

It is the stage where you should define priorities, the things that you care about the most. These priorities will assist you in reaching your goals. 

Step 3: Identify your target audience
There are three different (3) types of target groups that you should be aware of:  
1. People who will pay you (ex: future employers)
2. People who influence the people who will pay you (network and people that you may know and could recommend you)
3. Your personal supporters (friends and family who support you)

Step 4: Plan your online presence
Your online presence must be encouraged, and you have to build it steadily. 
Developing a reputation online, which will strongly influence the success or failure of your brand. (See below how to build a strong online presence)

Step 5: Plan your offline presence
People frequently overlook the importance of developing a strong offline presence. People can interact with you if you present the person you are now to your community. So, take a moment and participate in different events, conferences, join in groups, discussions in order to build a strong community, network, and don’t be afraid to offer to run a project or to show what you can do. 

Step 6: Maintain your network
Up to 80% of job postings are never even publicly publicized, according to a 2013 Wall Street General story. Consequently, they are fulfilled by those who have someone that recommended them. Maintain your network!

Step 7: Review
Review what you need to do, the manner in which you need to do it, and what you would like to update. You should try to keep everything on track. 

Step by Step: Online reputation and how to take care of your digital footprint 
●  Step 1: Search yourself
●  Step 2: Check your privacy settings
●  Step 3: Deactivate or delete old profiles
●  Step 4: Think before you post
●  Step 5: Keep it positive

Step 1: Search yourself
To find out what information is available online about you, Google yourself. All of your public profiles, pictures, and other stuff that is related to your name online will be displayed in a Google search. If any of your social media profiles turn up in this search, you can adjust their privacy settings and take the required action to have them removed if they include content you don't like.

Step 2: check your privacy settings
It's critical to understand who has access to the data you share on the websites you visit. You may choose whether you want your postings to be shared with the public or just your online friends and followers via the privacy settings on most social networking sites, which can help you control the content you publish and who sees it. Observe that the content and settings of your friends may have an impact on your digital footprint as well.

Step 3: Deactivate or Delete old profiles
Make sure to deactivate your profile on any website, social networking site, or app where you no longer need it or want to use it. The information on a deactivated profile will no longer be searchable. An account that has been deleted will no longer be accessible, and its contents won't be searchable. Furthermore, there is no possibility of this account being compromised secretly.

Step 4: Think before you post
Think about whether you want potential employers, academic institutions, teachers, or even your family to view any content you post online before you do so, such as a photo or a status update. Would you approve of others posting that kind of information about you? Everything you publish online should make you proud since, once it's there, it might be there forever.

Step 5: Keep it positive
Don’t be afraid to get online and create your positive digital footprint. 
There are numerous methods to follow, so why not:
- Start a blog related to your branch
- To teach others a new skill, make a video.
- Make a sponsorship page to collect donations for a good cause.
- Post pictures of the wonderful activities you enjoy doing both online and offline

Step by Step: AIDA model
●  Step 1: Awareness
●  Step 2:  Interest
●  Step 3: Desire 
●  Step 4: Action.

Aida model will be used to describe how to increase your online presence through LinkedIn.

Step 1: Awareness – How to create attention to your personal brand.
Your LinkedIn profile needs to be updated frequently, active, and able to accurately represent your talents and occupation. It includes:
URL: Your LinkedIn profile will contain a link (URL) you may use to share it with other people if it is set to public. It's vital to remove the random numbers generated when you register and replace them with your name and last name to personalize your URL link.
Photo: A vital part of your LinkedIn presence is your profile picture. According to research, having a picture alone increases the probability that someone will view your profile by 14 times. Try this tool:
Here are some suggestions: 
 - dress for work,
 - stare at the camera, and
 - pay close attention to your chin, eyes, and smile.
Use programmes for professional editing, a neutral background and avoid selfies, it is better to ask someone else to take the picture. 
Cover–Banner: Your cover photo should ideally give your profile some uniqueness. Something that adds details to your story and expresses your personality. Many users are still using the standard LinkedIn cover photo. That is a significant missed chance to differentiate yourself from the competition. The cover or banner should be 1584 x 396 pixels. 
Headline: The Headline is a representation of your advertising campaign and offers you a great chance to stand out and introduce yourself quickly. One of the parts of your LinkedIn profile that people will most likely see is your headline. It covers the top of your profile page, as well as posts in news feeds, the "People You May Know" area, and job applications on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn headline is essential for creating a good first impression and outlining exactly what you bring to the table, whether it is being seen by business contacts or recruiters.
Summary: Your summary outlines who you are while your tagline highlights what you do, providing potential connections and a glimpse into your persona, achievements, and more. You have the opportunity to highlight your distinct value proposition in your LinkedIn summary, showcasing your qualifications and what sets you apart from the competition for potential employers.
Work, Education and volunteering: Be careful not to blend your professional and academic skills. They have to be kept apart! Try to be as analytic as you can especially when it comes to your work experience by using the CAR method (Challenge – Action – Result). Talk about the challenge you had, what actions you have done and what was the result of your actions. 
Skills and confirmations: Since the LinkedIn algorithm compares profiles with those whose profiles most closely match what you searched for based on the queries and filters in your search, skills and confirmation are crucial for communicating to your contacts what you are good at.
References: The greatest approach to obtaining a LinkedIn recommendation is to provide one. After setting up your LinkedIn profile, and landing page you can work on gaining the attention of your audience by doing incredible things, producing impressive work, helping others, and sharing your skills. Especially with the visual media, where you are able to upload your documents, videos, presentations, portfolio, etc., and make you stand out of the crowd by actually showcasing your work. 

Step 2: Interest – how to create interest through connection 
1.  Connect
2. Make an introduction using the message tool. Never promote your name or your abilities up front! Before beginning a business conversation, you must first establish a connection with the other person.
3. To whom do I address my request?
 - to those I've met at work or through professional initiatives I've engaged;
 - to those who leave comments on or promote my posts;
 - to others with whom I've set up interactions, such as those who publish content that interests me.
Make your target audience interested in what you are saying. In order to be relevant and establish a relationship, take into account their requirements and interests.

Step 3: Desire – How do you stimulate your audience?
Interact with your target audience and engage them with interesting information.
 - Who will be your target audience?
 - Who do you want to read your work?
Knowing your target demographic is vital since individuals are more likely to watch an advertisement or read content that they can identify with. They will purchase it if it attracts them and if there is a demand for the good or service. 
In order to stand out from the crowd you should think and try to always apply those 4 elements: consistency, authenticity, confidence, and resiliency. Encourage your audience to despite more from you by providing them genuine service and value. Give freely of your knowledge, counsel, helpful criticism, and value, and they'll keep coming back for more.

Step 4: Action –  Put in action 
Encourage action from your viewers. Help them alter their routines, procedures, tactics, and strategies—whatever motivates them to be more effective and productive. Your audience will expand as you employ the AIDA approach to offer your target audiences clear value, which will increase the value of your personal brand. You should always have a call to action to challenge your audience. 


Divide in 3 co-creation workshops and check 1 exemplary linkedin profile. After analyzing the profile, share improvements and suggestions each group would propose taking into account the steps previously mentioned above. 

Time needed and group sizeexpand_more

TIME: 3 hours
GROUP SIZE: 15 - 20 persons

Materials needed for implementationexpand_more

- Laptop, 
 - projector,
 - ppt presentation,
 - paper, pens,
 - mobile phone (in case they are searching their digital footprint)

Further resources: Videos and/or useful linksexpand_more


Childnet. (2017). Online reputation – taking care of your digital footprint. [Blog]. 10 November. 
Family lives. (2023). Digital Footprints.  (Accessed on 2023-09-20).
Miyazaki, A. (2017). How to Apply the AIDA Method to Personal Branding (Marketing Yourself). Available at:   (Accessed on 2023-09-20). 
Naeem, A. (2022). Powerful Benefits of Personal Branding on LinkedIn. 
(Accessed on 2023-09-20).
Reyes, N. (2023). What is a Digital Footprint? Reputation X. [Blog]. 17 August.  (Accessed on 2023-09-20).
Sellers, A. (2021).The AIDA Model: A Proven Framework for Converting Strangers Into Customers. HubSpot. [Blog]. 22 July.  (Accessed on 2023-09-20).
The In Academy. (n.d.). Reasons Why LinkedIn Is Important For Personal Branding.  (Accessed on 2023-09-20).
Winter,D. (2023). How to Build a Personal Brand in 2023: 8 Simple steps.
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