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5 Ways to Develop a Conversational Style on LinkedIn

Real Talk: Develop a Conversational Style on LinkedIn – 5 Ways

One of the things I often find is that LinkedIn profiles are written in the third person like a resume. Yet, I think that they should be in the first person because it is telling a story about you, written by you. It comes across as more authentic and honest this way. The same goes for your posts, newsletters, and articles. Because LinkedIn is a platform where you are reinforcing your personal brand, speaking in a conversational tone is what will set you apart and help you to build connections and rapport with others. This is similar to how you might post on other social platforms including Facebook and Instagram. 

How to you sound more like you would in a conversation with a friend

Here are some communications strategies I find foster valuable connections with stakeholders:

1. Share Personal Anecdotes and Stories

People love stories, especially those that present a leader as human and relatable, dealing with the issues and problems they themselves do. Telling stories of daily challenges and goings are a perfect means for allowing your audience to get to know you and form a personal connection. They may even inspire the topic of your content. It’s helpful to also share “lessons learned” as these are key takeaways from what you’ve experienced. 

2. Use a Friendly Tone 

In your content – articles, newsletters, and posts – speak directly to the reader as if you’re talking to them 1:1 by using the words “you” and “we.” Also, be casual versus formal in the language you choose. This initiates engagement and long term interest. When you can use common buzz phrases and contractions, which skews your content toward the familiar and positions you as relatable.

3. Be Responsive

Check back on your posts, articles, and newsletters to see who’s commenting and what they’re saying. Be sure to respond in some way even if it’s a “like.” You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn and how their comments can inspire future content. For my clients, I often lift comments and put them in posts, tagging the commenter; this is a strong engagement tool. 

4. Read It Aloud

You’ll be surprised at how different a post sounds when you read it aloud to yourself. It’s always a good idea to read your content aloud to make sure it lands well with readers. Check it against the tips I’ve provided here to ensure it’s in sync with what you want to say and that it sounds conversational vs. formal. 

5. Use Illustrative Graphics that Show You in Action

Selecting powerful graphics, including snapshots that show you delivering a presentation or engaging with other people, underscores your authenticity. For example, I was able to position an executive who had been perceived as super corporate as a human, accessible leader by using a photo of her from a company charity program stuffing backpacks at a team event. Since the goal of her LinkedIn program was to create a feeling of belonging among team members, this exemplified “walking the talk.”

Showing who you are through various anecdotes and stories, using conversational language is always more interesting and engaging than a fact-based post or profile. 

Julie Livingston

Author Julie Livingston

Julie Livingston is president/founder of WantLeverage Communications

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