When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn stands as out as the go-to platform for showcasing one’s expertise, building meaningful connections, and promoting career growth. Why? Because LinkedIn is the only social media platform for business professionals. 

Whatsmore, it offers a comprehensive suite of tools tailored specifically for professionals, including impressive profile features, targeted job search functionalities, industry-specific groups, and a vast network of professionals spanning various fields and industries. 

And with its user-friendly interface and emphasis on professional engagement, it is a prime environment for building professional relationships, sharing insights, and staying updated on industry trends and opportunities.

But how do you stand out on such a platform? There are over 1 billion other users, all vying for attention and trying to establish their presence. It starts by building credibility – showcasing your expertise through compelling content, actively engaging with your network, and consistently presenting yourself professionally.

In today’s article, we will explore the unique benefits of using LinkedIn for professional networking, including strategies for thought leadership on LinkedIn, and share some tips for crafting your identity and building credibility.

Why Your Identity Matters on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a list of your experiences and skills; it’s your digital persona, your online representation of who you are as a professional. Every section of your profile—from your headline and summary to your job experiences and skills—paints a picture of your professional identity. It’s not just about listing your accomplishments; it’s about bringing them all together to tell a compelling story about your journey, your expertise, and your aspirations. 

Here is why your LinkedIn identity matters, particularly if you want to establish thought leadership on LinkedIn:

  1. First Impressions Matter: Just as a polished resume and well-prepared attire leave a favourable first impression in face-to-face interactions, your LinkedIn profile is the first encounter in the digital landscape. Recruiters, hiring managers, and potential partners often rely on LinkedIn as the primary source to learn about your professional background. A well-written profile with attention to detail grabs their attention and sets the tone for further engagement. Conversely, a neglected or incomplete profile may convey disinterest or lack of professionalism.
  2. Building Trust and Credibility: Trust forms the bedrock of any professional relationship. A robust LinkedIn identity significantly builds trust and credibility within your network. You establish authenticity and reliability by consistently presenting your achievements, skills, and experiences. Moreover, sharing industry insights, participating in discussions, and endorsing others’ skills reinforce your expertise and thought leadership, further enhancing your credibility. A trustworthy LinkedIn profile not only attracts potential employers and clients but also fosters meaningful connections with peers and influencers.
  3. Networking Opportunities: LinkedIn’s vast network presents a fertile ground for building valuable connections. A compelling profile acts as a magnet, drawing like-minded professionals, mentors, and collaborators into your orbit. By showcasing your expertise, passions, and aspirations, you attract individuals who resonate with your vision and goals. Engaging actively through comments, shares, and personalised messages amplifies your visibility and enriches your network. Whether seeking career advancement, mentorship, or partnership opportunities, a strong LinkedIn presence paves the way for fruitful networking endeavours.

Tips for Shaping Your Identity on LinkedIn

So, what’s the secret to building a standout identity on LinkedIn?

1. Polish Your Profile

Start by giving your LinkedIn profile a makeover that shines a spotlight on your professional background. Think of it as sprucing up your digital storefront to attract potential clients and collaborators. Optimise every section of your profile to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements in the best light possible. Choose a professional profile picture that exudes confidence and approachability, as this is the first thing people notice. Write a catchy headline that succinctly summarises your expertise and what you bring to the table. Then, dive into your summary section and paint a vivid picture of your unique value proposition—what sets you apart from the crowd? 

Remember, your profile isn’t just a resume; it’s your chance to tell your story and leave a lasting impression.

2. Share Engaging Content

Keep your LinkedIn feed buzzing with content that captivates and educates your audience. Share insightful LinkedIn articles, industry news, and thought-provoking perspectives that showcase your expertise and passion for your field. Don’t just regurgitate information; add your own spin, share personal anecdotes, or pose questions to spark discussions. Through consistent content creation on LinkedIn, you position yourself as a thought leader and go-to resource in your industry. Plus, engaging content encourages likes, comments, and shares, boosting your visibility and expanding your reach even further.

3. Get Social

LinkedIn isn’t just a platform for broadcasting; it’s a hub for building meaningful connections. If someone comments on one of your LinkedIn articles, respond politely and spark a discussion. Take the initiative to engage with your network by actively liking, commenting, and sharing their posts. Show genuine interest in their updates, congratulate them on achievements, or offer words of encouragement. This isn’t about self-promotion but building relationships and supporting others in your professional community. By being social on LinkedIn, you not only strengthen existing connections but also attract new ones who appreciate your engagement and camaraderie.

4. Rack Up Endorsements and Recommendations

Don’t underestimate the power of social proof in strengthening your professional reputation on LinkedIn. Reach out to colleagues, supervisors, and clients and kindly request endorsements and recommendations that highlight your skills and expertise. These testimonials serve as a stamp of approval, validating your capabilities and boosting your credibility in the eyes of potential employers or clients. Plus, seeing glowing recommendations from credible sources can instil confidence and trust in your profile visitors, making them more likely to engage with you or reach out for opportunities.

5. Dive into Discussions

LinkedIn groups offer a treasure trove of networking opportunities and industry insights waiting to be explored. Join groups that align with your professional interests or niche and immerse yourself in discussions. Share your expertise, ask thoughtful questions, and contribute valuable insights to the conversation. By actively participating in group discussions, you not only establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority in your field but also expand your network and forge meaningful connections with like-minded professionals. So don’t hesitate to dive in, share your expertise, and watch your influence and authority grow within your niche community.

With these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a LinkedIn identity that turns heads and opens doors.

Maintaining Credibility on LinkedIn

Building credibility on LinkedIn is no small feat—it requires dedication and effort. But once you’ve earned that trust, maintaining it becomes just as crucial. Here’s how you can ensure your credibility remains intact:

1. Be Authentic

Authenticity is the bedrock of trust in any relationship, including your professional presence on LinkedIn. Being authentic means staying true to yourself and your values in all your interactions. Share your genuine experiences, insights, and perspectives without any pretence or embellishment. People can spot insincerity from a mile away, so be genuine in your communication. Authenticity resonates deeply with your audience and helps build a genuine connection. By being authentic, you invite trust and credibility, laying the foundation for meaningful connections and engagements that can propel your career forward.

2. Stay Professional

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform, and maintaining a professional demeanour is paramount. Whether you’re posting updates, engaging in discussions, or messaging connections, always uphold the highest standards of professionalism. Avoid controversial topics that could potentially alienate your audience, and steer clear of language or behaviour that could be perceived as unprofessional. Remember that everything you do and say on LinkedIn reflects directly on your professional reputation. By conducting yourself with dignity, respect, and professionalism, you not only safeguard your reputation but also enhance your credibility as a trusted professional in your field.

3. Stay Updated

Your LinkedIn profile is your digital representation in the professional world, and like any resume, it needs to be kept up-to-date. Regularly update your profile with your latest accomplishments, skills, and experiences to accurately reflect your current professional standing. Review and refine your profile periodically to ensure it remains relevant and complete. Keeping your profile fresh and updated demonstrates your commitment to professional growth and development, signalling to potential employers, clients, and connections that you are actively engaged in your career and constantly striving for excellence.

4. Monitor Your Online Presence

Your LinkedIn profile is just one piece of your online presence, and it’s essential to maintain consistency across all platforms. Regularly monitor your online presence by conducting a Google search of your name to see what information is publicly available. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile aligns with your personal brand and professional image, and take proactive steps to address any inconsistencies or negative information that may arise. Managing your online reputation effectively is crucial for maintaining your credibility and ensuring that you are perceived positively by potential employers, clients, and connections.

5. Seek Feedback

Continuous improvement is key to success in any endeavour, and your LinkedIn presence is no exception. Don’t hesitate to seek feedback from trusted colleagues, mentors, or peers regarding your LinkedIn profile and activities. Constructive criticism can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement and help you refine your online presence to better align with your professional goals. Embrace feedback as an opportunity for growth and use it to enhance your credibility and influence on LinkedIn. By actively seeking feedback and making necessary adjustments, you can continuously improve your LinkedIn presence and position yourself as a credible and influential professional in your field.


Your identity on LinkedIn plays a critical role in shaping your professional reputation and credibility in the professional world, especially in terms of thought leadership on the platform. By carefully crafting your profile, sharing valuable content, engaging with your network, and maintaining authenticity and professionalism, you can establish yourself as a credible and influential presence on LinkedIn. By following these tips, stay consistent in your efforts, and watch as your LinkedIn presence becomes a powerful asset in your professional growth.

StraightIn is a leading LinkedIn marketing agency based in Manchester with an office in Chicago. With our new personal branding package, we can help improve your professional image, boost your credibility, and establish yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn.

If you would like to learn more about our personal branding package or any of our other services, get in touch with us today.