How to Cultivate a Powerful LinkedIn Brand

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

"Just start."

That's what my friend Quentin Allums told me, and I daresay he knows what he's talking about. After all, he is a globally-known influencer, TEDx speaker, podcaster, and is widely recognized as the pioneer of video content on LinkedIn. "Just start" turned out to be the best advice I could have ever received.

Sitting in a coffee shop on a lovely spring morning in downtown Milwaukee, Q was graciously allowing me to pick his brain about professional growth through LinkedIn. I had become more active there since the beginning of that year but felt compelled to do more. I saw immense potential in the platform.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: I want to do a 30-day LinkedIn video challenge.

Q: Why?

Me: No idea. It's just something I want to do. I feel like I have things to say and want to expand my network.

Q: Cool. Do it.

Me: When should I start? What are the best days/times to post?

Q: Right now.

Me: I want to make sure I'm doing it right.

Q: Don't worry about that. Just do it.

Me: Well, I've got some planning and work to do before I launch.

Q: No you don't man. Just start. And keep going. And don't worry about reach, or algorithms, or anything like that.

Me: Really? It's that simple?

Q: It's not easy, but yes, it's that simple.

He encouraged me to take my phone out and record video #1, right then and there. I did.

He then told me to post it to LinkedIn, right then and there. I did.

...and I was off to the races.

The wise Judi Murphy once told me that the key to brand development (personal or otherwise) is consistency over time. Q was essentially saying the same thing, with the added caveat to not stress about it. They were/are both right.

Since I completed the 30-day LinkedIn video challenge (posting at least one video every day for 30 days) all those years ago, my network has exploded with meaningful connections, especially in the Veteran/Veteran advocate community (which is definitely my niche). Through this powerful network I've been fortunate to garner career advancements, had countless business and entrepreneurial opportunities, been invited to be a guest on a handful of podcasts, and developed professional connections that will last a lifetime. Even better, I've been able to leverage my network to help others in their network, career, and professional development.

None of this happened because my videos had epic organic reach, or thousands of views. In fact, a good handful of the videos were a complete flop by that metric. I wish I could say I had a steady, gradual increase in reach and engagement throughout the process. Truth be told there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it at all. I had no idea if what I was doing was "right," if I was posting at the most advantageous times, or if my content was any good. I often wondered if I was wasting my time.

But I stuck to it, following Q and Judi's advice. I posted consistently, and made interacting with people a priority.

I can't 100% guarantee that posting content on a regular basis and engaging with people in a positive fashion will explode your network and influence on this platform. If you are vigilant, consistent, and don't waste time doubting yourself, though, I like your chances.

Get out there and make it happen.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!