How To

February 23, 2023

How to build a personal brand on LinkedIn

Make your name known across the professional platform — without being cringe.

Anna Gullstrand, chief people and culture officer at Mentimeter

Anna Gullstrand, chief people and culture officer at presentations platform Mentimeter, is an avid LinkedIn user with more than 15k followers. In 2017, when she started her own business, Anna began to pay more attention to the platform: "I started posting advice and opinions and it was clear that it drove leads that made a financial impact. I've been hooked since," she says.

Here are Anna's top tips on how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn without being cringe, shared in Sifted's Startup Life newsletter. 

Give yourself a headstart

Starting out can feel like you’re shouting into a void. To kickstart your efforts:

  • Upload your personal mail-list to quickly connect with everyone you already know. They tend to be your biggest supporters in the early days.
  • Connect with top creators who write about topics you are interested in or want to write about. Comment on their posts — it will help them and their audience to find your profile.
  • If you find something you're knowledgeable or excited about, engage with it. You want to build real relationships.

Play around before settling on a strategy

Do you want to provide advice, opinions, personal reflections, guides or content about your brand values? Do you want to write about startup growing pains, life as a VC or being a mother in the workplace? Play around with different types of content, lengths, styles and themes. Once you’ve figured out what people respond to and what you want to write more about, build a strategy that articulates your key themes and content styles.


Be consistent

To succeed at LinkedIn, post regularly and, ideally, at the same time:

  • Find focused time to write your posts for the upcoming week. I spend two hours a week on it.
  • Use a scheduling tool (like Buffer or LinkedIn’s built-in feature) to post at least four days a week.
  • Schedule in another hour — maybe on your commute home or while you’re having your morning tea or coffee — to engage with comments.

Support your employer branding efforts

If you’re a founder, get your employees to post under their own names; it adds credibility to the company and positions it as an expert in its field — especially if they deliberately write content that reflects the company’s brand values. For example, I often write about employee engagement, which reflects Mentimeter’s mission. It also drives talent to your job openings as people know what your company does, what it stands for and what its employees are like. During the last quarter of 2022, more than 3,500 people visited Mentimeter’s jobs page from links on my profile. Many applicants specified they discovered the company through my LinkedIn.

Add images to your posts but never links

The platform doesn’t like it if you send people off of it.

On the subject of... building a personal brand on LinkedIn

💰 If you want to raise money, you need to post on LinkedIn. The most-followed unicorn CEOs on Twitter and LinkedIn raise as much as 20% more cash than their less-followed counterparts. One from the Sifted archives. 

🧱 Build a founder brand. As an early-stage founder with limited capital, building your personal brand can be one of the most cost-effective and compelling ways to build your company’s brand in parallel, according to Tessa Clarke, founder of food waste company OLIO.

📣 Don’t brag. Yes, you can share your good news but don’t constantly toot your own horn — it’s annoying, says the founder of mental health startup Sanctus.

⚔️ Beat the algorithm. If you want your posts to do well, you need to understand how LinkedIn prioritises content — then play the system. Social media management platform Hootsuite outlines everything you need to know.

🔍 Use it as a content testing bed. If you want to grow your brand by writing opinion pieces for publications like Sifted, VC Elena Mazhuha says you should test out what topics and formats are popular with your LinkedIn audience before pitching them.

Anisah Osman Britton

Anisah Osman Britton is coauthor of Startup Life , a weekly newsletter on what it takes to build a startup. Follow her on X and LinkedIn