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When LinkedIn first came about, we weren’t sure what to do with it. MySpace was still around, and it was battling with Facebook for our social networking attention (albeit, at this point, MySpace was in the decline already). It wasn’t unusual for most of us to think, “Why should I use LinkedIn? I already use Facebook (or Twitter).” The fact of the matter is this, LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere, and it’s the single most powerful thing that you can use to build your brand.
Sadly, we won’t see Robert Downey Jr. don the suit of Iron Man again in another sequel, but we will see him in the third Avengers installment. The world fell in love with the troubled and charmingly egotistical presence that is Tony Stark. Whether you laugh at his quips towards his dismissal of people that are wasting his time, or you are in awe in his ability to remain ultimately confident in even the hardest of situations. The bottom line with Tony Stark is this… you never forget him. This is the kind of impact you need to have when people think of you.
This topic is as old as leadership is. From the very beginnings of people being led, this art has been studied. People have been training, writing, and blogging about how to best communicate to those you mean to lead. The problem with saying anything to your staff is that they will always have three meanings, regardless to how much planning, thought, and good will you put into it. There will be what your words mean, what you mean by your words, and what each member of your team thinks you mean by it. It’s your responsibility to either strike certain phrases and statements from your vocabulary, or learn when the right time to use those words is.
You might be looking at this thinking, “Duh!” If you are, you should still keep reading. If you’re not, yes, you keep reading too. When a company wants to advertise itself, it will traditionally begin to perform various marketing activities. You’ll begin to see their logos on ads on various websites and in newspapers or magazines. You’ll see them on billboards, bus benches, and conference swag. Their brand may be plastered on TV in commercials, or as sponsors of a show or event. Their postcards might come to your mailbox at home. They might get cross-promoted through other promotions by other companies. This is just the tip of the ice berg. The bottom line is this, they get their brand in front of you one way or another. They know someone will be looking, watching, deciding.
There’s few people these days that don’t wear multiple hats where they work. You might be applying for and holding the title of events coordinator, but you’re probably also dabbling in website updates, PPC marketing, marketing automation, and who knows what else. Employers love to do this for many reasons, not the least of which being that you might be very good at those other things too. This makes you much more valuable to your current employer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do you any favors for your personal branding. You simply look like the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none.” Don’t forget that you’re one of many in a sea of applicants trying to vie for the attention of the great employers out there.