Eugénie Bertrand

[En] Are Humans Commodities ?

People&Culture

15 mars 2022

4 min

Do you find this question provocative? You're wrong, because the answer is yes. Yes, man is a product like any other, at least on LinkedIn. Or rather, it should be a product like any other, for those who have understood what LinkedIn is all about. This is the theme of our new Back to Basics article: Personal Branding

What are we talking about?

LinkedIn is a social network, which allows its members to connect and communicate, but this is only a means, not an end! The purpose of using LinkedIn is business development: find a new job, a partner, a supplier, customers, candidates.

In other words, to sell: sell your products, services, your company, sell yourself. And to sell, as everyone knows, nothing beats marketing. Here we are: personal branding is the marketing of oneself, as one could do for any product. In short: the presentation of yourself in the best possible light to make you as attractive as possible, and the widest possible dissemination of this image.

We propose a three-step approach, the fruit of our ten years of experience with managers of all ages and profiles.

1. Define your objectives

It can never be repeated too often: before working on your image, know where you want to go, it will condition everything else.

What are your short, medium and long term objectives: change employers? gain recognition for your expertise in your direct professional environment? contribute to the good image of your company? position yourself as a potential CEO of your company? attract an investment fund? How do you want to be perceived, a ruthless cost-killer? a technical expert? a manager with recognized humanity? a crisis manager? Or multicultural team leader? What is your target audience, the executives and managers of your group? headhunters? players in your industry? potential clients?

2. Know who you are

On a professional level: what are your strong points, your talents that can make the difference? what are your areas of expertise? what makes you unique in your professional environment (an atypical career path, a non-conformist side, a different view of the job…)?

On a personal level: what are your human qualities (the “soft skills” we talk so much about), your values, your passions? who are your mentors, the opinion leaders you follow? In all cases, be authentic:** don’t be afraid to affirm your differences**, they are often the ones that will distinguish you from the mass of overly standardized profiles that say nothing about you.

Once this introspection is complete, you will be able to define your own thread, give the vision that describes you accurately, and you will be able to revise your CV and LinkedIn profile accordingly.

3. The widest possible dissemination

You know who you are, you know who you want to seduce and for what purpose, it’s time to take action and exploit your networks!

First task: clean up your network, keeping only those contacts that can be useful for your professional project. Focus on colleagues, competitors, suppliers, partners, opinion leaders, etc. in the sector of activity that interests you. This is not cynicism, just the necessary mastery of your community. Expand your network as much as possible to multiply the possibilities of interaction.

Second task, get yourself noticed by being active on LinkedIn. This is not about “like” or simple sharing, but about structured, argued, value-added comments that will put you in the category of experts in your field. All this without forgetting the specific positioning you have chosen for yourself.

Last point, don’t limit yourself to being active on LinkedIn. Physical meetings are just as important to expand your network, to get yourself noticed: congresses, trade shows, conferences, internal company parties? internal opportunities are not lacking, it is essential to take part in them.

#BackToBasics is yours!

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