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LinkedIn’s Olivier Legrand on creating your own personal brand

Olivier LegrandOlivier Legrand is senior director of marketing solutions for Asia Pacific and Japan at LinkedIn.

In this interview, he tells Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks how ad folk should best manage their personal brands on a social network that now has 42m members in Asia.

Creative types seem to like posting all sorts of outlandish pictures of themselves on LinkedIn. Is there a right or wrong way for creatives to use LinkedIn?

Every individual is in control of their own personal brands, and it’s not my place to have a view on how they go about creating them. But the problem with choosing unusual pictures on LinkedIn is that, if your face is obscured, you’re less likely to get recognised, which could mean missing out of a career opportunity.

Six months ago LinkedIn added a rich media element to profile pages. How has that changed creative peoples’ approach to LinkedIn?

It’s created a whole new opportunity for personal branding. Creatives can upload their portfolio and they can add a link to a slide share presentation, which allows their work to do the talking.

I interviewed a candidate for job at LinkedIn the other day. He had a video of a keynote presentation he’d given on his profile page. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend half an hour watching it, but I did. It completely changed my impression of this individual and shaped the course of the interview.

What are the do’s and don’ts of branding yourself on LinkedIn?

The first is obvious. Make sure the information on your profile is complete. It should be solid, readable and interesting. And where you can, add rich media.

Beyond that, you need to tell a story. Instead of simply stating that, say, you’re a marketing director, let people know about the campaigns you’ve created and your career history. The principles of content marketing apply. Be authentic and tell a story. People will either get bored, or they’ll get sucked in. Read your profile back to yourself, and if you feel yourself getting zoning out, the chances are other people who read it will too.

There are some people in the industry who are notorious spammers of the LinkedIn news feed. How frequently should you post on LinkedIn?

Volume does not equate to quality, and you don’t want to be seen to be posting anything and everything.

But I think the LinkedIn news feed is self policing and works itself out naturally. You’ll eventually be shut down by your peers if you over-post.

The same applies to people who use LinkedIn to voice their concerns about customer service. LinkedIn is not the place for it, and your connections will soon tell you to stop.

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