Developing Your Voice


Determine what voice you are going to use for your profile information (e.g., summary, awards): first person, third person or a combination/ neutral position.

If you are a well-known individual with many accolades, it often makes sense to write in the third person. This is similar to an author’s bio at the end of their book—as you will see from this awesome author at the end of this amazing book. Even though the author penned the book— the bio is usually written in the third person. The downside to writing in the third person is that it isn’t as personal.

The first person is how most of us should write on LinkedIn. Keep it short, personal and tell a story. The story should center on what is most beneficial and interesting to the reader—not what is most interesting to you.

Whatever voice you decide, the key is to keep your viewers engaged and avoid putting people to sleep with the first few sentences. Just like a good journalist, lead with the headline.

If you don’t feel you have much to say—keep it short! There is beauty in brevity.

Use the 1-2-3 template below to help make your summary relevant and interesting:

  1. Include an interesting fact about you—the more personal, the better. For example, Scaled Mt. Everest, performed at Carnegie Hall, won a childhood spelling bee, appeared on a game show, etc.
  2. How does the above interesting fact relate to what you do today or what did you learn from this experience that will help your clients today?
  3. Do you have a roster of clients, credential or a fact you can point to as proof of your skills?

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-12-12-03-pmShaquille O’Neal’s (yes the 7’1” hall of fame basketballer) summary, although a bit long, is a good example of a showcasing a personable approach.


Shaquille O’Neal—First Person Example


Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s CEO, takes a third person approach with information about the past and current experience:


For more tips like this from Erik check out his new book How To Sell on Linkedin.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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