For many years, the trend for delivering your first impression has been moving from real-world interactions to the digital world. Even now, as we move into the hybrid work environment with networking events and conferences that are almost back to pre-covid frequency, your first impression will likely be formed online.
But telling your story in the virtual world is a lot more challenging than introducing yourself to others in the real, three-dimensional world. To deliver something that’s authentic and compelling and will lead a decision maker to want to know you better, do this:
Double down on the human elements
When someone’s learning about you online, the experience is less visceral, less engaging. That’s because the screen on which they’re learning about you acts as a scrim, diluting your message and stripping the humanity from it. To counteract this, focus extra attention on your humanity so you can build an emotional connection with the viewer. That means you need to be clear about the six drivers of your personal brand—your values, passions, superpowers, differentiators, purpose and goals. Those human aspects of who you are help express your likability and make you interesting.
Get yourself a five-star rating
The other two elements of your story—accomplishments and accolades—deliver credibility. You must connect your human elements with the things that make you credible. When it comes to experience, focus on accomplishments and results, quantifying as much as possible. And for added credibility focus on accolades that were bestowed upon you. Credibility often comes in the form of others’ acknowledgement of your greatness. Include all the degrees, awards, media references and other acknowledgements that you received. That’s the equivalent of five-star ratings on Amazon.
Grab them from the start
To powerfully captivate in your online bio, you need to grab your viewer’s attention immediately. Instantly capture their interest so they’ll be eager to learn about you. Netflix knows that when you create a curiosity chasm (the space between what you know and what you want to know) viewers will stay engaged and binge. Create an enticing entry— something that’s unexpected.
Connect the emotional and the rational
To be mesmerizing, you need to make what you say and how you say it interesting. To do this, integrate the human aspects of who you are (emotional) with your accomplishments and accolades (rational), weaving them together to create a story that keeps the reader interested. Avoid the temptation to create a paragraph about your accomplishments and another about who you are as a person. Those two elements go together hand-in-hand.
Make your bio so differentiated and interesting that the reader remembers details about you long after having interacted with your story. To do this, integrate your brand differentiation and write with your personality. When you exude your unique style, your story stands out and remains top-of-mind.
Provide paths to learn more
The famous quote from P.T. Barnum ,“always leave them wanting more,” is essential. You want to tell them enough in your story to get them interested without sharing your complete A-Z biography. When you create intrigue, you spark action to learn more. Give the reader vectors to your chosen digital sources if they want to learn more about you.
Use rich media instead of words
When you can tell your story online through video, you come as close as possible to having a real-world conversation with the viewer. Your LinkedIn video story, which sits behind your headshot, is a great example of how video can augment text to deliver a more deeply-rooted connection. And to be truly captivating, create a one-to-two-minute video bio. Post it to YouTube with your name in the title so it shows up in Google when people search for you. Video is the next best thing to being there in person.
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