Does your engagement vibe on LinkedIn do you justice? Sue Parker explains how you put it to the test.
Most Australians will recall the hilarious line from the much loved movie The Castle when the bumbling lawyer Dennis (played superbly by Tiriel Mora) communicated his argument with ‘it’s just the vibe’
While poor Dennis couldn’t articulate the complex legalities of land legislation he did share the feeling and sense of injustice and purpose behind the case.
It’s Mabo, it’s the constitution … here is the actual moment of comic brilliance.
So what is the vibe of your LinkedIn profile and summary? Would readers get a sense of the real you and your personal brand when they read it? And do you share anything of your vibe and sense of who you are with clarity?
And if you have left an area of white space and zippo information – then that is another story for another time. Suffice to say – rectify that ASAP. Blankness is a vibe in itself.
Do you give off a vibe of being introverted, extroverted, humorous, academic, solemn, witty, erudite, articulate, sensible, pragmatic, eccentric, colourful, conservative – ah there are so many vibes that LinkedIn profiles can portray. And the vibe is both written and visual (aka your photo).
Your LinkedIn profile has many different purposes. Your intentions may be singular or numerous. They may be for business development, brand positioning, networking, career and job hunting, staff acquisition and recruitment, supplier research, academic interactions, PR or social proof.
There are many and varied reasons all of which will benefit from a personal profile with the right vibe aligned to what the purpose and your personal brand is.
Often we have no awareness of what we have missed out on. We don’t know who looked at our profile and decided ‘I don’t think that person is for my business or my needs. I don’t like the sound their profile or the feeling their photo gives off’.
Remember people frequently turn on their anonymous viewing settings. So you often will have no idea who stopped by. But the famous question from Dr Phil ‘How’s it working for you?’ is a good reality check.
If you are not attracting the level and type of responses and results from LinkedIn there could be a very good chance it stems back to the vibe of your profile. So you need to be really mindful of aligning intentions, vibe and outcomes.
And of course unless you have the luxury of hearing why someone didn’t connect, call or email, you are often none the wiser. Humans are funny creatures with a myriad of conscious and subconscious perceptions and interplays at work.
Fundamentally we are generally attuned to decipher and get a sense of a person, situation or company quickly (to minimise risk). And it’s that ‘feel or vibe’ that will impact positively or negatively on LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn opinions are made fairly instantly to those we don’t know and generally on a gut/ emotional level. And that is where the tone and vibe is crucial.
There is no value in trying to communicate a corporate vibe if you are a relaxed small business. Conversely it is futile communicating you are a relaxed people person if you are hard nosed, fiscally-oriented type.
Content and engagement
The vibe of your engagement and content is also crucial. How you comment on posts, how you write your content all forms part of the feeling, the vibe of your brand on LinkedIn.
Be respectful, clear and add value when you post your own content and comment on other people’s posts and articles. 1000s of members lurk in the background getting a sense of your communication style – albeit vibe. If you come across as rude or dismissive that just won’t bode well.
Be on your true communicate brand at all times. Etiquette and manners also are not old fashioned. They build a real sense of reliability and integrity. If you are belligerent, terse, a smart ass or dismissive, people will remember that vibe.
Top 5 LinkedIn vibe tips
1. First Person
Always write your profile in the 1st person. The 3rd person has a vibe of aloofness, arrogance and ego – just don’t do it. There are very clever ways to write and position senior and executive profiles with gravitas that do not diminish thought leadership value and authority (if appropriate).
Start with an honest personal inventory of brand you. What are your values, what do you stand for, what drives you, what concerns you, what do you want to make a difference in/for? What is unique about you? Show glimpses of your personality and style.
Be authentic for whatever is true for you and relevant to your business, career and objectives. This is not Facebook but to get the right results and attention you need to inject your humanness.
3. Content /Story
Your business journey and company culture also have a tone and needs peppering. The starting point here is what you do, how you got to where you are, what problems you solve and how you solve them. And what is special about YOUR business and working there.
As my fabulous UK LinkedIn colleague Angus Grady states: “amplify your value not just broadcast your benefits”.
4. Visual – Photos
Your photograph is an essential piece of your tone and vibe on LinkedIn. A photo will instantly attract or repel and must be congruent with the rest of the profile’s content and tone. Consistent messaging is key.
Gals: don’t put a glamour shot up if the only time you put on heavy make-up is for weddings. And Guys: don’t wear a suit if you only wear one for funerals.
5. Don’t be a Trump, Switzerland or Ostrich
Trump : over the top, brash, self-aggrandising, it’s about me.
Switzerland: vanilla, clichéd, not standing for anything much, could be anyone.
Ostrich: goes back to the earlier part of the article. If you have a blank summary space (or very little words) and no photo then you are in hiding. Not a great vibe.
6. Engagement Style
Be really mindful of what you say and how you say it on posts and content. Even if you pull down a dicky comment people will remember the vibe of you, without necessarily remembering what you wrote.
So given you are not about to run a case like Dennis on the Castle, how about checking what the vibe of your LinkedIn profile sends out? Ask friends, clients, staff? And give them permission to be honest. Perhaps wine, coffee or chocolates may persuade honest feedback.
But even for you, do you sound like you? Would your LinkedIn vibe inspire you?