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Everyone has a personal brand, whether they know it or not. The information you are sharing across LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media are the first impressions people will have of you. Is it a good one? Is it consistent? Whether you have a job interview or have worked somewhere for a long time,  chances are, someone will search for you to learn more about you. This is why personal branding is so important. It’s more than marketing, it’s about painting a picture of who you are. But where to begin? With Nick’s extensive knowledge of creating a personal brand in finance and, our guide covers the ABC’S of setting up a memorable and professional LinkedIn profile.

About our finance expert:

Nicolas’ international background consists of five different companies across three different continents. His background in finance auditing and his experience moved him to Germany in 2016, where he joined Thales, a high-tech solutions company specialising in digital identity security in aerospace and transport. Nicolas currently holds the position of Senior Manager Controlling at Thales.

Nicolas’ other passion is his Finance Education website featuring varied online finance courses for all. Nicolas has trained, coached and managed more than 150 people in auditing, controlling, accounting, Excel and Powerpoint and shares practical content on finance with more than 40,000 finance professionals on LinkedIn.

Steps to Building your Personal Brand

  1. Share your knowledge and post what you know. Nicolas suggests to anybody who is not sure what to post, to first share a post on a topic they know well but know their colleagues and friends do not know a lot about.
  1. Share updates about new topics you are learning about. If you are currently learning something, share this and master the concept of explaining and sharing a topic with your audience. You become more knowledgeable every time you post. “Teaching others is the best way to master a level on a subject”. 
  1. Formatting your posts. It is vital to check your grammar and post formatting before going live. Use free online platforms such as ‘Canva’ to create an accompanying image to encourage people to engage with your post. Ensure your copy is broken up with emojis where relevant. “The first sentence needs to be strong as this is what hooks your audience”. 
  1. Expand your network

Build yourself a community of experts and professionals which you can access at any given moment. In comparison, when at a company, you can only learn from your colleagues or managers, the internet has no limit for people with limited subjects.

  • Connect with similar profiles. Check the people pages on companies that interest you, follow the finance professionals who inspire you and send them a personalised connection request. 
  • Connect with people you aspire to or would like to work with in the future. Going to a seminar? Have a look at who is speaking and connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards with compliments on their talk. 
  • Interact and engage with posts by liking, commenting and sharing.

Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn. 

Nicolas highlights how LinkedIn as a platform has made immediate communication achievable and reminds us how far we have come in the digital space. Only a few years ago we could not connect globally as we do now and learn as easy as we do now, so using such a platform is such a powerful tool to enhance your knowledge. “Each post increases our chance to learn more and within 5 minutes I have the best network on any given subject I post”. 

Step up your career

Finally, you can use your network to recruit new talent or to find a new role suited to you. Nicolas touches on the fact that connecting with the right people on LinkedIn improves your visibility of landing your dream job and stepping up in your career. An example Nicolas saw in the past on LinkedIn was a post by a person who had told his audience that a year ago he was sending out CVs here and there online with no interaction on LinkedIn. A year later he was connecting, engaging on posts with relevant topics to the jobs he was interested in, and landed himself a dream job through the strength of LinkedIn. “Show your interests, your uniqueness and who you are on a platform made to help you, this way, you will be ahead of the game”. 

Mastering the LinkedIn Algorithm

For those of you who do not already, using LinkedIn strategically will really increase your network and boost your career. 

When posting, there are a few things to keep in mind for successful engagement;

  1. Posting links directly in your post lowers your engagement as LinkedIn does not like sending people away from their platform and will push your post down to the bottom of the feed. To resolve this, post your link in the comments section. 
  1. Create appealing and legible imagery and post it as a slide show. Experiment with infographics: Canva is a great platform to help with this. 
  1. Have a hook in the first lines sentences of your post, this keeps people from scrolling on and reading your whole post. It’s a shame if you have worked hard on content and people don’t actually read it. 
  1. Build a community by providing valuable comments on other people’s posts. This not only increases your knowledge but encourages conversation and people to connect with you. 
  1. Post consistently and at least once a week.
  1. Posts with knowledge have better engagement than linked articles.
  1. Observe other people on LinkedIn and get inspired. Try some of their techniques and continue to learn!
  1. Reuse some of your content if you think your audience needs to see it again, for example, a post from a year ago can be tweaked with a new image and/or text.
  1. Don’t rush your post. Take care and think about every aspect. A great example is the famous American YouTuber ‘Mr Beast’ who invests millions into each video, however, will not post if his thumbnail is not correct or his first sentence is not strong. You have to know how to hook your audience to build your network. “The goal is not to go viral but to inform and share knowledge with people, and remember, it’s about value, not numbers. 1k of the right audience is more impactful than 10k of the wrong audience”.

Get a different perspective on finance by stepping out of finance

When asked what advice he would give his younger finance self when starting on this journey, he responded; “never be satisfied with what you think you know. Expose yourself, get out of your comfort zone and connect with people who can teach you new things”, be this at your current work, learning from other departments or from an online network or online courses (we know a few good ones). Other departments at work can teach you about production, marketing etc which adds to your career in ways you probably did not think of before. Keep learning, keep discovering. 

With the help of our guide, you should have a good idea of which courses to follow to grow in value or what steps to take when wanting to elevate your career through the use of LinkedIn.

If you want to learn how to do analysis, budgeting and business partnering, follow the course to grow your skills and transition to a better position. Click here to join the community of more than 3,500 professionals and find the course that matches your needs. 

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