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5 Tips For Building Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn Using Video

Using videos on LinkedIn is a proven way to engage users and build followers -- when you do it right. There are some definite do's and don'ts for LinkedIn videos, but I'm surprised how many people never live by those rules. I want to share a few of these in this post, and possibly spark some discussion. My focus here will be on people trying to build a personal brand, not on general video guidelines for anyone.

If you're trying to build an online brand as a thought leader or influencer, the way you "come across" in videos is critical. We all hate to admit it, but image is important. When we shoot a video, we have the opportunity to "be" someone. But who should we be? Should we be authoritative? Relatable? Authentic? Sarcastic? Approachable? Funny? Controversial? Humble? Or maybe we should just "be ourselves" to quote an over-used phrase. What does that mean? We all have many "selves," depending on the circumstances and how we feel at the time. Consistency of personality is important for branding, and I tell my clients that they can't be "all over the place."

You could just grab your phone and start shooting videos in selfie mode, but it's much better to first do a little thinking. I always ask my clients these questions: Who are you trying to reach? Are they business owners? Job seekers? Accountants? Technology managers? What are your goals?

Different audiences respond to different communication styles. If you're trying to connect with web developers, coming across as a "corporate team player" is probably not the right approach. In the same vein, if you're trying to influence managers, being casual or flippant is probably missing the mark. It depends on what you're trying to achieve. Adopt a communication style you think will resonate best with your core audience.

To build a LinkedIn following as a thought leader, you have one primary goal: Earn the respect of the people you're trying to reach. It's easier said than done.

After working with my clients on their brand persona and watching thousands of videos (good and bad), here are my top tips for how to achieve success posting videos on LinkedIn:

  1. 60 Seconds: The entire video, including any intro, should be under one minute. Unless you really feel that you have something of exceptional value that requires more than that, your best friend is the "under one minute" rule. Everyone's busy, and if your followers know that your videos tend to be long, they'll scroll past them.

  2. LinkedIn Is Not Facebook: If you're trying to build a brand as a thought leader, post less about yourself and more about the topic on which you want people to view you as a leader. Occasionally, a post focused about something that happened in your life is a great way to humanize yourself, but the majority of your posts should focus on your leadership topic and be presented in the communication style that resonates best.

  3. Don't Force It: Don't try too hard to entertain, amuse, "bring energy," or inject emotion or controversy into your videos just to get attention. Let your energy or emotion come from how you really feel about the post topic. In other words, "shoot straight," and never pander to your audience in an attempt to get Likes or Comments.

  4. Bring Value: Too often, LinkedIn users post videos just to post something. You can become a social media slave by always feeling the need to maintain your presence. This results in cheapening your brand by posting hollow content just to keep yourself in front of people. It's far better to post high-quality content a little less frequently than to frequently post low-quality content. If it doesn't inform or inspire, don't bother.

  5. Let Feedback Be Your Guide: Track your analytics to see what's creating engagement. Over time, it should become clearer what approach or content type works best in terms of Likes and Comments. Your online following will grow only if your content gets shared. Ask your friends for objective feedback or work with a brand consultant to hone your video craft.

Getting good at anything takes time. Posting engaging videos on LinkedIn won't happen overnight. Always look at your own videos with objectivity and make adjustments to your style or content that returns the best results. It may take a few months, but you'll be happy with the results.


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