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What looking at top HR profiles on LinkedIn taught us about personal branding

As an HR or recruitment professional, it is important to follow thought leaders in your sector on social media. These leaders often have a strong personal brand which you can learn from. By looking at what other players in the industry do, you can pick up on important topics and trends. In this article, we discuss some thought leaders in the HR industry and their personal brands.
Babette Plessers
Published On
December 4, 2021

As an HR or recruitment professional, it is important to follow thought leaders in your sector on social media. These leaders have a strong personal brand which you can learn from. By looking at what other players in the industry do, you can pick up on important topics and trends. In this article, we discuss some thought leaders in the HR industry and their personal brands.

B2B thought leadership

According to an Edelman and LinkedIn study on the impact of thought leadership on Business to Business contacts, thought leadership is important to reach, engage and influence decision makers or customers.

  • About 71% of decision makers use thought leadership to stay up to date on innovations in the industry.
  • 71% use it to boost their creativity.
  • 68% use it to gather insights on future trends.

How do you differentiate thought leaders from other content?

The Edelman study shows that it is difficult to separate the good from the bad because the low-quality content lowers the perceived value of thought leaders. For experts, it is important to gain trust and credibility among decision makers, especially when they are not (yet) established market leaders.

  • 53% of decision makers believe that new and small brands should produce thought leadership to be considered for partnerships.
  • Moreover, 50% think thought leadership is important to attract talent.

💡TIP: Building a strong brand is not easy. Willow and its coaches can help you build your reputation as a thought leader. You can use our free trial period to test our services.

John Bersin

Josh Bersin is an HR analyst
Josh Bersin is an HR analyst who studies all aspects of the industry.

Josh Bersin is an analyst who studies the HR industry. He publishes his sector-related content straight to LinkedIn. This way, he can show his thought leadership and increase his audience at the same time. The longer articles will make sure his credibility and engagement grow. The articles are strengthening his professional brand.

When he posts content to his LinkedIn page, he adds a short caption with a clear call to action. He has a clear message and challenges the notions of his public. He uses hashtags (#) to attract his audience.

💡TIP: Learn how to write incredible caption to capture your audience’s attention.

Austin Belcak

Austin Belcak is a good example of a small brand that produces thought leadership content. He frequently posts information and experiences that could be interesting for both companies and job seekers. His messages are clear, have a theme related to the industry, and include a call to action.

Austin Belcak is an authority in the areas of HR management and recruitment.
Austin Belcak is an authority in the areas of HR management and recruitment.

Lesley van Opstal

Lesley van Opstal is also an authority when it comes to HR and recruitment. He helps recruiters and sales professionals to get more business via LinkedIn. His posts generally have a theme with a clear connection to the industry. He uses fun formats and hashtags to help people find his posts. He challenges his audience’s view of the world.

Lesley van Opstal helps recruiters and sales professionals to get more business via LinkedIn. 
Lesley van Opstal helps recruiters and sales professionals to get more business via LinkedIn. 

Joel Lalgee

Joel Lalgee is a recruiter who entertains people on LinkedIn by packaging industry news in a creative, entertaining format. He is a master when it comes to original and informal posts about the HR and recruitment sector. He makes short, to the point and fun posts that make people think.

memes for hr and hiring managers

Apart from sharing funny and entertaining content, he also strengthens his brand by giving advice to hiring managers.

personal branding hr Linkedin

💡TIP: To keep the attention of your audience, it is important to choose and experiment with the right format. Via analysis, you can find out which formats work best for your audiences.

Personal and informal content works

The Edelman study shows that thought leaders should have a good understanding of the specific needs of their customers. Their content gets the best response when it is brought to the public in an informal, personal way, with a clear point of view and an identifiable author. Your post is allowed to provoke your audience and challenge their point of view. The content should be original but not too focused on selling your products.

Conclusion

Due to the increased competition for attention and rapidly shifting preferences, you should periodically review your thought leader strategy to see if you are meeting the needs of your audience. By using content curation and Willow’s post inspiration, you can boost your expertise.

Follow the next checklist to make sure your personal brand stays strong:

  • Who is your audience? What are their needs?
  • How can you help educate your audience by sharing your expertise?
  • What objectives do you have around thought leadership? (apart from creating awareness)
  • Will your audience learn something new?
  • Is your content too focused on selling?
  • How will you discern yourself from others in your industry?
  • Are you focused on things your audience want to be confronted with now?
  • Who can make the story you are telling better?
  • Do you have the necessary measurement tools?

Last but not least, here’s an overview of how to make a good business page on LinkedIn:

  1. Create a customized link
  2. Customize your news feed by following people who matter and letting the algorithm know what interests you
  3. Make sure your profile is accessible and accept all connection requests
  4. Choose a personal and creative cover photo
  5. Publish articles (with positive and usable content) on LinkedIn
  6. Take part in groups and have meaningful interactions
  7. Ask people to write recommendations