You know those notifications you get from LinkedIn?
The ones that tell you, “Hey! Someone’s looking at you!"
No matter how often it happens, I still get a little rush of excitement...and anxiety.
You see, there are more than 467 million people on LinkedIn today. In an ultra-competitive market, where everyone seems to have a brand and a following, standing out is more important than ever.
If you’re seen as just another marketer / business owner / accountant / whatever you call yourself, then you’ll never make the meaningful connections you need to grow yourself, your career, or your business.
Here are 3 simple steps you can use to stand out from the 467 million others competing against you on LinkedIn:
STEP 1: DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF
Saying that you are a [insert bland job title here] turns you into a commodity. The truth is, you are not just a "Consultant," you are Strategic Business Mastermind or a Visionary Management Architect. You are different in at least one very distinct way.
Don’t be afraid to use adjectives here, they are your friends.
Pro Tip: If you’ve taken the Fascinate® Test, find your 5 Specialty Adjectives inside your profile. These words give you a big head start in differentiating yourself from others. If you haven’t taken the Test yet, you can get a taste at how you add value right here.
STEP 2: EXPLAIN HOW YOU ADD DISTINCT VALUE
Your highest distinct value is what you bring to the table when you are at your best. You can start to identify your distinct value by asking yourself these questions:
What do I do best?
What type of project or challenge makes you feel totally in the flow? When you love what you do, you are more engaged and thus, adding more value to whatever you are working on. Let people know what it is that you are best at, so that they can keep you top of mind for these types of projects.
How do I do it differently than anyone else?
This is where your personality comes in. Build off of the adjective(s) you used to differentiate yourself. Instead of saying that you design corporate logos (dull), say that you deliver iconic corporate branding that helps businesses stay relevant for years to come.
These two questions form the basis of your Anthem, a tagline for your personality. Anthems are a great shortcut to helping other people understand what you bring to the table. For example, an In-the-Know Business Strategist could have this as her Anthem: “At my best, I deliver informed strategy."
Haven’t built your Anthem yet? You can do it in less than an hour, here.
STEP 3: BACK IT UP
It’s not enough to simply claim that you can deliver something in the future. You also need to illustrate how you have added value in the past. Think of at least one time when you solved a difficult problem or overcame a challenge. Highlight this story by tying it into how you are different, and what you do best.
You are a valuable person who can accomplish great things. Make sure that other people take notice, by following the three steps outlined above. You’ll immediately stand out from your competition, and you will start to make more meaningful connections every day.
Always love reading your advice Sally!
I don't agree with Dan T as I think don't Sally means leave out KEYWORDS. She is saying to add to the keywords of a job title. I think Dan T you could use (as an example) Visionary Front End web developer or something like that.
I agree with Sally that consultant is not a great word. I always try to stay clear of it.
I disagree with point 1.
Yes having a fluffy title might make you sound more interesting but it will actually hurt your chances of getting a job.
I'm a Front End web developer. Now I could say on LinkedIn that I am an "Internet Artisan". A recruiter views my profile looking for candidates who are a "front end developer". They see that I am an "Internet Artisan". They have no idea what an "internet artisan" is. It definitly doesn't sound anything like "front end developer" so they scrap my profile and move on to the next one.
As you can see, I just lost out on a great job opportunity because I didn't use plain English in my job title.
Great point! Linked-in database is searched by algorithms not by live people (see Sally's argument about 467 millions entries). If you don't have a keyword in your title you are invisible. Maybe artistry and unique title can play a role later, after a short list of names makes it to the warm body.
So helpful! Will keep your tips in mind as I try to figure out how to stand out as an artist!
Thank you for sharing Sally. Much appreciated
Sally - I love this article. As I've heard you say at Genius Network: "It's better to be different, then claiming to be better..." Everyone says they are 'better'! This is such a great approach to immediately rise above the noise. Thanks for the reminder.
Good stuff, thanks for sharing. I'm attempting to do just that with my site.