At Manchester Digital, we like to interview our members to find out a bit more about what they do and their work in the Greater Manchester digital and technology sphere. This week we're speaking with Rob Illidge from Vulse.
Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself?
We are Vulse, an AI-powered platform that helps people on their personal branding journey. We’re a small team with big ambitions, driving positive change in the social media landscape using groundbreaking modern technology.
What inspired you to launch a platform to help students and graduates build their personal brands on LinkedIn?
With over 15 years of experience in social media and working with businesses worldwide through the Social Republic agency, we noticed that many brands and their employees could benefit from building their personal brands. The problem was that they didn’t know where to start and many didn’t have the funds to enlist the help of external agencies. Vulse was created to help people overcome these obstacles with an affordable platform that helps them develop their personal brand, regardless of what stage they’re at.
We developed a range of tools that help people generate ideas and themes to speak about on LinkedIn. Our platform also encourages people to build consistency with an accounts score system that helps them keep track of their posting habits and also gives them dynamic tips. We also give our users guides and send weekly newsletters that keep them in the know about industry updates and trends. This helps them to begin positioning themselves as thought leaders.
How specifically does your AI-powered theme planner tool work to help users stay consistent with content?
Our Theme Planner tool is a favourite for our users and for our team as well. It was built specifically to tackle the issue of lack of inspiration when it comes to creating content. It’s simple to use and gives relevant, credible information.
The user simply needs to put in up to three keywords (the longer the better so the CTP can be more specific) and click generate. Within seconds, the platform will present three different pieces of relevant content for each keyword. The user can alter the tone of their content and choose their desired length for the post. After this, the user simply clicks on one of the pieces of content and they’re presented with a LinkedIn-ready post. You can even go in and tweak it before you post to LinkedIn. It’s a game-changer for content creators.
For those lacking confidence on LinkedIn, what core strategies would you suggest to start building their presence?
A good way to build confidence is to seek out active thought-leaders in your industry or, more generally, people whose content you like and resonate with. Don’t be afraid to interact; drop comments, repost with your thoughts, and make connections with people.
Getting involved in relevant conversations and sharing your opinions is a great way to begin establishing your digital presence.
You mentioned conducting workshops - what key principles do you try to instill about thought leadership?
Two key things we tell our audience is to stay informed and let your authenticity shine through.
Knowledge is power. Staying at the forefront of information and trends by reading reports and studies relating to your industry is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader. We always encourage our users to stay informed. It’s one of the major reasons we send out our weekly newsletter; to keep our community up to date with industry information, changing trends and relevant updates.
Secondly, authenticity is key. As LinkedIn gets increasingly popular, it is harder for users to filter out quality content. We encourage people to be forward-thinking and unafraid to let their personalities shine through. LinkedIn has evolved into more than just a platform where people share professional updates. Don’t be afraid to throw in a meme or share a story about your travels. You never know who will resonate with your stories.
What emerging LinkedIn features and use cases should people leverage to shape their personal brand?
Collaborative articles on LinkedIn are a great way to share knowledge and expertise. They’re unique to each person’s industry. The topics are determined by AI-powered questions, then developed by the editorial team, who create these articles by gathering insights from a group of experts. This is why we encourage people to follow and engage with content they’re interested in. Through this, you will open yourself up to a wider audience and amplify your reach which will positively impact your personal brand.