People love stories, but they're not limited to the shelves of Barnes & Noble. Today, we're showing you how to tell a compelling story with your LinkedIn profile. It's time to put your strengths forward and grow your influence!
People love stories. They have for centuries, and they will for centuries to come. Stories stir emotions, and they’re engaging, making readers return for more. Stories, though, aren’t limited to the shelves of Barnes & Noble or Kindles around the world.
Stories can also be an effective marketing tool and, when it comes to LinkedIn, the perfect way to generate engagement, build your network, and grow your influence on the platform.
In this post, we’ll show you how to tell your story to achieve impressive LinkedIn growth.
In simple terms, storytelling is the art of telling stories. It’s been used for centuries by different cultures, each with its own stories and narratives, to entertain, educate, preserve culture, and instill moral values.
It was not until the 2010s that marketers started to use storytelling as a tactic to market and generate awareness about businesses and brands. And nowadays, it’s become a more prevalent, popular, and necessary strategy to strengthen brands around the world. It’s no surprise when you consider that, as mentioned earlier, people have loved stories for ages.
But why is this? Why do people gravitate towards stories? To answer this question, we’ll need to move away from our history lesson and look at the science of the physiological effects stories have on humans. When people hear stories that resonate with them, it increases the level of oxytocin.
This hormone, in turn, increases feelings and emotions like trust, empathy, and compassion. Apart from this, oxytocin also influences our social behavior, augments our motivation to work with others, and influences our social behavior. It goes further than this, though.
When we hear stories, unlike facts that activate our brains’ data processing centers, it activates our brain's sensory centers. Likewise, when we tell stories, our brains’ sensory centers are also activated.
As a result, this causes our brains to react as if we experience a story for ourselves when we hear it.
Ultimately, considering the physiological effect stories have on us, they have a second-to-none ability to create powerful connections between tellers and listeners or readers.
Once you understand the ability stories have to connect people, you too can harness their power to grow your influence on LinkedIn. When you do, you’ll:
Ultimately, when you tell authentic stories, you’ll create engaging content that your audience wants to read instead of content they just scroll by without noticing.
On LinkedIn, this engagement attracts new connections and helps you communicate your message more clearly.
Now that we've seen what storytelling is and why you should use it to grow your influence on LinkedIn, let's look at what stories you can tell to do this. Fortunately, the possibilities are endless when it comes to storytelling on LinkedIn.
You can, for example: tell stories about your:
Remember, no matter what stories you tell, they should be relatable to your audience. To ensure your stories are relatable, you should first understand who they are. When you do, you'll understand their needs and expectations and identify the challenges they experience.
Once you've identified your audience’s challenges, you’ll understand how you can solve them. In addition, you’ll also find inspiration for your stories in your audience challenges. And by providing the solutions to their problems in your stories, you'll make your content relatable while still giving it your unique style.
We’ve now come to the essential part of this post; how you can tell your story on LinkedIn. Here, it’s important to mention that your story is not limited to a single piece of content, one post, or your personal summary.
No, it’s how your entire profile, the sum of all its parts, combines to tell a story way beyond who you are. As a result, compelling storytelling on LinkedIn encompasses everything you present on the platform, and there are several steps you need to go through to ensure that your story is told as it should be.
Think about your headline’s purpose. Yes, it’s to hook readers and make them want to read the rest of your profile. Sure, you can use your current position as your headline, but how effectively will that persuade your audience to click through?
You should focus your headline on what value you bring to the table. This allows you to highlight your personal brand and prove what you stand for.
Here is a perfect example of a headline that demonstrates value.
While your headline is the hook that lures your audience in, your summary is where you get to tell your story; the story where you are the hero. It’s this story that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Now, think of any story you’ve read recently. What made you turn the page?
Firstly, like any other story, the first few lines of your summary should be compelling. This is even more important when you consider that only these few lines are displayed when someone views your profile. So, only these few lines can encourage them to click ‘read more.’ Your summary’s introduction should tell the reader who you are, what goals you have, and what value you provide.
Once they’ve decided to read more about your story, you should focus the remainder of your summary on identifying with your audience. To do this, you’ll highlight their challenges to evoke strong emotions, and then, to get their full attention, offer solutions to their problems and tell them more about the benefits of connecting with you.
Remember, though, that you should be authentic and honest throughout your summary.
Take a look at the following example. Doesn’t it just persuade you to click to read more?
Remember, your audience has a problem and is looking for someone to solve it. It’s here where your experience comes in as it highlights your successes.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding, so it’s one thing to read about your skills and expertise in your summary but an entirely different thing to see how these skills and experience provided value to other companies.
To make the best use of your experience section to tell your story, you should use the correct language and structure. In the fiction world, it’s said that the story must flow, and it’s no different when setting out your experience. So, in a sense, your experience section supports you as the main character in your story.
And in this role, your experience helps you get the message you want to communicate.
Richard White illustrates perfectly how to use your LinkedIn experience section to your advantage. Pay particular attention to his tone and how his decision to display passion affects you while reading:
While your summary section can help you communicate your goals and value, and your experience section supports them, your skills section can help you stand out from the crowd.
This is simply because setting out your skills and expertise in full detail can make your profile more discoverable and, by implication, help you grow your network.
LinkedIn allows you to publish content on the platform, create posts, and share content. This allows you to not only, as mentioned earlier, highlight your creativity but also get to share your thoughts and opinions.
In other words, you’ll get the opportunity to, through your storytelling, establish yourself as a thought leader that others actively seek out for solutions and advice.
When creating this content, it’s vital that you offer value. Now, you can offer value in several ways, from providing concrete solutions to your audience’s challenges to using novel approaches to working and sharing success stories.
No matter how you offer value, you should never forget to be authentic, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and tap into your audience’s emotions.
You’ve now crafted a dynamic headline, an engaging summary, and an experience section that shows your success.
You can now also outline projects you’ve worked on. This allows you to outline experiences relevant to your professional goals. As such, you can delve into the finer details of the projects, how you planned them, what challenges you experienced, and how you solved them.
Finally, recommendations from others can be a vital part of your story. You can almost see the recommendations you receive as the supporting cast of your story. They allow you to not only illustrate the value you offer and the solutions you provide but also allow you to build a strong reputation, trust, and loyalty with your audience.
This allows you to create strong relationships and grow your influence on LinkedIn.
You’ve now seen how you can tell a compelling story on LinkedIn to attract new connections, increase your reach, grow your professional network, and, more importantly, be more influential. However, how do you know if your profile is getting the message across? How do you know if the story you’re telling resonates with your audience? How do you know where you can improve your efforts?
The answers to these questions lie in LinkedIn personal profile analytics. And this is where Inlytics comes in.
Our platform provides valuable insights into how your profile performs and your content’s performance. These insights show you if you’re reaching the right audience with your story and how well it resonates with them.
As Veronica Tiberio of the Peer Network puts it, “Inlytics is helping me by providing valuable insights into my LinkedIn profile. It has an important role because it helps me build credibility and a good reputation, which is important not just for me but also to the company I work for.”
What sets Inlytics apart is that, unlike most other LinkedIn analytics tools out there, the platform focuses on providing deep insights into personal profile performance.
According to Veronica, this is one of the reasons she gravitated toward Inlytics: “I have seen many software creating dashboards with data about LinkedIn company pages, but no one seemed to care about the personal LinkedIn profile, and I think that's due to a lack of understanding of how important it is. I was really happy to run in your software because being aware of how my profile is doing, helps me to have a better understanding of the value of the content I publish and whether or not it resonates with the audience I am targeting.”
Inlytics’s insights, which most other platforms don’t provide, include everything from:
In other words, these insights show you if you’re targeting the right audience, how well your story is resonating with them, and where you can improve to increase your reach and influence.
According to Veronica, “By using Inlytics, I was able to understand which content had a wider reach and I could also check the demographic data to be sure that I was targeting the right audience. So, I adjusted my content strategy and improved the performance of my posts. Inlytics helped me not only to instantly access my posts’ statistics but also provided me with valuable advice to improve my profile.”
Ultimately, storytelling can be an invaluable tool if you want to grow your influence on LinkedIn. And if you want to know if you’re telling the right story, Inlytics can give you the insights you need.
To learn more about the platform and how it can help you, register for free today.