Today, our guest is Donna Serdula, who specialises in LinkedIn branding and optimisation. Donna has a decade of experience assisting professionals in unlocking their full potential on the platform. Join us as we learn from her expertise and discover the secrets to building a standout personal brand on LinkedIn.
Meet our guest
Name: Donna Serdula
What they do: Donna Serdula is the Founder and President of Vision Board Media, a bespoke branding agency renowned as the pioneer of LinkedIn profile optimisation, and the go-to choice for executives seeking professional and employer branding services.
Interesting fact: Donna Serdula started her company in 2009, well before LinkedIn became the widely recognised platform it is today. She pioneered recognising the significance of LinkedIn profiles as more than just resumes, understanding the need for individuals to showcase their stories, value, and authenticity to build meaningful professional relationships.
Don’t brand yourself perfectly for where you are. You’ve always got to keep expanding and aligning it to new opportunities and a future vision of yourself because that’s what’s going to propel you forward, and it’s not going to anchor you to where you are right now.
Confusing your goals can lead to alienating your target audience. If you’re doing it for sales but are really writing to a recruiter and showcasing yourself like a job seeker, why would anyone want to work with you? It’s clear that you’re going to be jumping shortly.
I love being embedded in people’s careers and being there for them, watching them grow, develop, pivot, and leapfrog in their professional path. We’re there to help them tell that story along the way.
We begin our conversation with Donna sharing her background story, highlighting her early recognition of the importance of LinkedIn profiles in building professional connections. With a background in sales and marketing, Donna realised the need for individuals to showcase their authentic selves and value on LinkedIn, leading her to establish her company Vision Board Media, which has optimised over 8,000 profiles to date.
According to Donna, one of the biggest mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profiles is not understanding their purpose and objectives on the platform. She emphasises the importance of being strategic and aligning your profile with your target audience’s needs, whether for job-seeking, sales, reputation management, or showcasing expertise. Confusing your goals can lead to alienating your desired audience and hindering your success on LinkedIn.
Donna provides insights into her typical customers and the individuals who seek her expertise while also emphasising the importance of avoiding the limitation of growth by branding oneself solely based on the current situation. She highlights the need to continuously expand and align one’s personal brand with future opportunities and a vision of oneself, as it serves as a driving force for career advancement and prevents individuals from being anchored to their present circumstances.
We talk about the pivotal moment in 2016 when Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn legitimised the concept of branding on the platform, leading individuals and companies to see the bigger picture. Donna shares how companies are now embracing the idea of empowering their employees to develop their personal brands while seamlessly integrating them into the company’s brand. By going beyond mere resume copying and pasting and focusing on authentic storytelling, this strategic approach empowers employees and positively impacts both the individuals and the company as a whole.
In terms of changes over time, Donna pointed out that LinkedIn has evolved beyond just having a strong profile. She highlighted the shift towards content creation and active networking on the platform. Users now have the opportunity to engage with their network, post valuable content, share stories, seek and provide advice, and participate in meaningful conversations through comments. Donna expressed her enthusiasm for this transformation, as it has made LinkedIn a true networking platform.
We host engaging conversations about naming, branding, and entrepreneurship, exploring everything from initial triumphs to the hurdles along the way. If you’ve got insights on innovative branding strategies, lessons learned from entrepreneurial ventures, or thoughts on the significance of a solid domain name strategy, and you’re keen to chat about them, we’d love to hear from you!
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