The (non-)secret ingredients your personal brand needs
The big faux pas happened a few weeks ago. The ultimate apple cake was supposed to be the center piece of attention on a birthday table. Instead it came out of the oven as a flat, wet pile of apples on a soggy piece of dough. After a couple of bites it landed in the bin. Darn, what happened?
In my wild baking endeavors I had been prioritizing the importance of the ingredients by my own judgement: Apples: the more the fruitier! Sugar: the sweeter the better! Butter: goooood! Flour: let’s give it some substance! Vanilla extract: mmmh, flavour! Eggs: fluff maker!
The recipe also said salt & baking powder, but I didn’t have any at hand. Oh well, how important could it be, it’s little amounts anyway. My cake had all FUN ingredients in order to rise, shine and be most delicious, so I thought. The rest is history.
So how does this cake wreck relate to a LinkedIn profile?
Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn is just like that apple cake. Most people add the ‘usual suspects’ such as sugar, flour, vanilla essence to their profiles. Which would equal: work experience, titles, degrees, certificates, accomplishments, etc. The “obvious” ones.
Of course, you need those. It’s a professional platform after all. But when the profile contains all important ingredients, why does it still NOT rise and shine, being overly delicious?
Just like the apple cake it’s missing the certain something. Salt helps the flavors to stand out making the cake taste even sweeter. Baking powder – needless to say – makes the cake rise. Crucial ingredients.
In LinkedIn terms this would be: your traits & quirks, interests, passion, beliefs, your WHY.
In other words: Your personal touch. What truly makes you YOU.
You might wonder whether LinkedIn is the right place to add those ingredients, because they might seem too personal, too irrelevant, too insignificant… But you can be sure: they make the very difference!
When your potential customers, partners, collaborators, hiring managers, new colleagues come to your profile they want to see all the hard facts, of course. But! Next to that, they will be even more curious and hooked to learn more about the human side of you: Do they click with you? How can they connect with you at the coffee machine 4 times a day or bridge the time until the Zoom meeting starts? Are you the perfect fit for the company culture because of your passion?
Reveal something personal of you. Give your audience food to connect with.
So, let’s talk salt & baking powder: what does that mean?
One of our clients in the IT industry is doing amazing volunteer work. She is financing a kindergarten in her hometown, helping parents of the kids to set their own local start up and setting up fundraisers. Her passion lies in equal education and she’s dreaming of making this world a better place using her skills.
We were like…: “What? You do all that and it is not mentioned on your profile?”
And she was a like: “Well, I am not sure whether this is worth mentioning?”
Ohhh lady! This could actually be the foundation of her brand story. With that she shows that she walks the talk, rolling up her sleeves and already building her dream with the means she currently has.
Another client, an amazing operations manager in the sports sector, had shared with us that her true passion was music. Listening to music was her source of innovation, also for her work. But it was nowhere mentioned on her profile because she thought it was just something personal – not related to business, not relevant for LinkedIn. While again, this is the wonderful salt & baking soda element which would actually make her profile rise, pop and shine.
And it did. After she had added this passion as a core element of her brand story on LinkedIn she got an interview by a leading music installation company.
Or another client – smart, bright, driven project manager, a true community builder, always going the extra mile – shared with us that he devours books. He loved to tap into the minds of the characters. It helped him to better understand how people tick. And this again served him building community which he is naturally strong at.
Beautiful salt & baking soda material here. Perfect to bring his Personal Brand to life. Can you imagine how other bookworms will relate to him? People want to find common ground, see whether they can relate to you. It’s up to you to provide these opportunities.
So, our question to you: What is your salt & baking powder element that people should know about you, the ingredients that make your Personal Brand attractive, personal and relatable?
We’d love to hear your story!
As for the cake: the next one became ultimately delicious and the actually centerpiece of attention – it finally had all the ingredients needed.
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