How to control the mind of your LinkedIn visitor (part 1 + video)
“There is nothing wrong with your television set.
“Do not attempt to adjust the picture.
“We are controlling transmission.
“We will control the horizontal.
We will control the vertical.
“Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear… “
Growing up in the 1960s, those lines opened every episode of “The Outer Limits” – a science fiction TV show – one of my all-time favorite shows (see short video, below).
The Outer Limits mesmerized its TV audience. Wouldn’t you love to control the minds of your LinkedIn visitors like that?
Suppose you could get inside your visitors’ heads, move them to action, and make them do what you what them to do – NOW!
The ability to remotely control the human mind already exists – we call it “advertising”
Companies have been scientifically perfecting this form of “mind control” for at least 120 years – but few people apply any of these principles to LinkedIn (or their resumes) – a wasted opportunity!
The “Mind Control” Profile: Part 1 of a Series
In this episode, I’ll show you a time-tested copy writing tactic that can boost your LinkedIn profile “above the noise.”
I can’t promise your LinkedIn visitors will morph into mind-numbed zombies. I do promise you can direct your visitors’ perceptions and thinking with much more control than you realize.
For example, your profile can “mesmerize” your visitor by asking provocative questions and entering the “conversation” that is already happening inside his or her mind. This tactic will stop your LinkedIn visitors in their tracks – but right now, hardly anybody is doing it!
Question: I’ll show you a tactic, but are you ambitious and hungry enough to apply it? Everybody wants to stand out, but many are too fearful to step into the spotlight – they’re silently thinking, “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” More about that later.
Most LinkedIn profiles are as boring as hell, so here’s your opportunity to shine!
Browse a hundred profiles, and you’ll discover they all look about the same. For example, go to www.google.com/images and search for “great Linkedin summaries.” Browse about 50, and you’ll see what I mean – they’ll put you to sleep faster than Ambien!
Above: I quickly skimmed about 100 profiles during this Google search. But hardly any of them engage the reader directly. Boring!
Mind control tactic #1: To move your visitor to action, write your summary using the second person (“you”). Get inside their heads by engaging them in conversation. Hardly anybody does this – now you know the secret!
- Nearly all summaries are written in “first person” or “third person” – or even “no person.” The second person (direct address) is hardly ever used, but it trumps them all for best engagement.
- Which “tribe” of visitors really matters to you? First decide who you want to attract, “Target X,” and then talk directly about the frustrations of “X” [specific problem]. For example, “the volatility of FX and availability of raw materials for electronics manufacturing …” Make it very specific (sometimes called a “dog whistle”).
Example of a second person summary – your strongest-possible connection with readers:
ADVANTAGES of second person: You’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competitors – even competitors from better schools, better companies, or the top whatever.
- Charismatic: Visitors will rate you as an exceptionally good communicator, because you’re the only person who engages them in a conversation.
- Passionate: You’ll trigger emotions that bond you and your target audience – visitors will feel the heat (“he gets me”).
- Branded: Writing a profile in second person forces you to decide on 1 or possibly 2 roles where you excel – you can’t hide under dead verbiage.
CHALLENGES of second person: If second person is strongest, how come so few profiles are using it? First, most people are not aware this option even exists.
- Difficulty: For several reasons, these profiles can be difficult to write. For example, voicing a profile in second person will raise the reader’s expectations: If I engage you with questions, then I must WOW you with some answers — I cannot hide, because I’ve stepped into the spotlight.
- Fear: Second person feels risky to some people – it feels a little too “out there” and personal – especially if you are currently employed by a company (see above, “doable but difficult.”) Some readers will love your message – your writing voice – and others will intensely dislike you.
- Extra work: A second-person summary works like a sales letter, which usually requires a call to action (CTA). What do you want visitors to do when they visit?
YOU CAN CONTROL YOUR “ENGAGEMENT LEVEL”: A second-person summary is not 100% second person – it’s always a mix of second- and first-person. For example, as a small-biz owner, I’m always pitching my services. So my own profile (see above) is about 75% second person. But a corporate CFO might dial that back to 25% – works like the variable dimmer on a light switch.
Next best profile: a strong “first person” story = a great connection with readers
To whom you are writing – an engineering manager? Fellow patent attorneys? The first person summary works best when you tell a story that does 2 things:
- Ties into your personal career goal.
- Resonates with your target audience: First, select an audience and then tell a fascinating story that resonates with them, for example:
But the TYPICAL LinkedIn summary fails to connect. Example below: NO story. NO connection with readers. It’s all “I, me, my.” Weak & boring.
Roughly 1/2 of summaries look like this example:
- Problem: The writer focuses on “I, me, my” instead of “you” – the estimable visitor.
- Boring: Who are the most boring people? Usually boors who talk about themselves too much, right? Very common problem on LinkedIn profiles.
Worst case: The “third person” summary (about 1/3 of profiles). No connection with readers. Deadly boring
Avoid using third person, except for program guides at conferences or seminars; a speaker’s bio, or maybe an old-fashioned bio on a corporate “About Us” page.
- Otherwise, forget third person – especially on LinkedIn – it’s all wrong for the social-media era.
- If you are a bona fide member of the royal family – like Prince Charles here – okay, go ahead and write about yourself in third person.
No “one size fits all” for LinkedIn summaries
The optimal design for your profile depends on several factors: the size of your career accomplishments, the raw fodder of your personal story, your industry, and your employment status, for example: corporate employee, business owner, independent consultant, or military.
In the best case, maybe you can devise a “mind control” profile that grabs them by the collar, pulls ‘em into your profile, and sells them on the spot. Otherwise, just do your best to connect with your visitors.