This week, we interrupt your normal story bulleting to answer a question I get asked a lot.
“I am struggling to find my voice on LinkedIn. I do not know where I end, and where my employer starts. I just do not know what to post.”
In response to this common dilemma, let me offer a perspective that can help guide you toward a solution. But first, consider this: What are you looking to achieve in your career? To answer this question, I encourage clients to think not only about their current selves but also about the image they want to project into the future. Once you have a clear vision of your professional identity, you can then incorporate your employer into this picture.
A common misstep is to shape our personal brand around our employer’s vision, fitting ourselves into their predetermined box. By doing so, our aspirations become confined within the boundaries set by our employer, rather than following our personal ambitions.
Let’s explore a couple of examples to illustrate this point:
Scenario 1: Imagine you are a marketing professional working in the steel industry.
In this case, your challenge is to find a balance. While it’s essential to showcase your expertise in the steel industry and stay relevant to your job, it’s equally important to express your expertise to the marketing fraternity based on your area of specialization. You can share content about industry trends, innovations, and your experiences within the sector but even more importantly, inject your insights, thoughts, and opinions related to marketing in the steel industry. This approach will help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable professional in the industry that you serve as well as to your peers (in this case, fellow marketing professionals).
Scenario 2: What if you are a salesperson in the biomedical field?
The approach you take in this scenario hinges on your envisioned career trajectory. It splits into two potential paths:
If you come from a technical background and possess a deep affinity for the medical field, having transitioned into a sales role, you are likely aiming to position your future self as a senior leader in the medical domain. In this context, your insights should revolve around simplifying the solutions you offer, including sharing information about the latest advancements, products, and services within the biomedical sector. You will aim to contribute to your customer’s journey by positioning yourself as the one person who will demystify the complexities of their business…. of course while managing the customer relationship just as any salesperson would.
Conversely, if you are a salesperson who finds fulfillment in diverse industries, and the medical field is not your ultimate destination, your approach will differ. In this case, your brand should focus on the unique experiences that bring out the fact that you are a catalyst for growth in your customers’ business. Your conversations will be centered on the exceptional qualities that make your customers thrive because of engaging with you. Here, you will likely need to maintain stronger relationships not just with your customers but with the technical teams that will support the story that you sell.
By aligning your LinkedIn content with your desired career path, you can effectively tailor your posts, and build your relationships to match your professional goals. This thoughtful approach will not only help you find your voice on LinkedIn but also enable you to flourish in your chosen field.
The key takeaway here is that your brand should be nurtured from within. And identifying areas within your career where you aim to grow personally will give you the guidance you need.
So, the next time you’re lost on what to post on your LinkedIn channel, think about your future self and answer the question – where do I want to be in x number of years, and what do I want to be known for? This introspective reflection will lead you to the content you need to share.
By following this approach, you will not only find your voice on LinkedIn but also thrive in the workplace as a result.
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