Stepping into a CTO role: What we learned from Linkedin personal branding rockstar, Chris Reed

We recently spoke to Chris Reed, author of the international bestseller “How to become a Linkedin Rock Star” about how to build a personal brand as a CTO on LinkedIn. Standing out from the crowd is essential if you’re looking for your first role as a CTO or you are looking to step into an interim CTO or fractional CTO role — and building your own brand on LinkedIn will help you achieve that.

Chris spoke at lightning pace about the various ways users can engage with LinkedIn and how to harness the power of the platform. He covered a lot of areas around thought leadership, finding a job through LinkedIn, what to include (and not to include) in your profile, how to avoid pigeon-holing yourself and lots more.

Here were three of the interesting things we learned:

We learned that Chris used LinkedIn to build a network and find a job in a completely new area

Chris fell in love with LinkedIn when he moved to Singapore and he actually used the platform to create a local network from scratch.

He discussed exactly how he achieved that. He looked firstly to his existing network on LinkedIn and asked who they knew in Singapore that they could introduce him to. From that, he was able to arrange lots of informal meetings and coffees, discuss his situation and managed to get three job offers. Chris made the point that whilst it wasn’t LinkedIn that got him those offers but it was the catalyst that led to it all.

Whilst in Chris’s case it was a new country, the same principles of harnessing the power of Linkedin to work your network could easily be applied to a new industry or job role.

We learned how easy it is to start building a brand because only 1% of people actually post content

Chris said that as with most social networks, 1% of people post content, 9% of people engage with it and 90% of people read it.

With this in mind, he said that it’s easy to stand out above others just by starting to add original content to the platform. By using this principle you can begin to establish your brand within an industry.

It’s also possible to start going down the thought leadership route. You can get started simply by thinking about what questions people tend to have about a topic or problem areas that they come across and offering the answers and solutions. If you’re doing this regularly you can quickly establish yourself as a go-to person on LinkedIn.

We learned that it’s important to post new content daily, but not always important to spend too long thinking about it

Chris said that people don’t engage with LinkedIn anywhere near as much as other social networks (17 minutes a month on LinkedIn compared to hours a day). So if you want to have a better chance of catching people you need to be posting every day.

He did also say, however, that in his personal experience he has spent hours crafting some posts that haven’t necessarily been as effective as he thought, whereas other posts have had over ten thousand views and hundreds of comments.

To watch the whole session you can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VWMhywojnU&

We run a group for Aspiring CTOs. It’s a place where those who want to be in a CTO role at some point in the future can network with others who have similar aspirations. If you’d like to find out more take a look here -http://meetamentor.co.uk/aspiring-ctos/.

Founder of RecWorks (Tech Recruitment), Tech Career Hacker, Java User Group Founder (LJC), London CTOs Organiser, Mentor Match-Maker

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