iStock Photo ID 967951094 – credit: Inna Dodor
Bloggers note: Mike is a wordsmith, a skill we all should be lucky enough to perfect as well as he has. He is creative, musical, lyrical, and here he is whimsical, on specks and details. You will see him here again, I promise! Thank you, Mike.
Whatever you wish to communicate – on LinkedIn or anywhere else – start with a single, overall take-away message. The more everything that follows reinforces that one “North Star” guiding light … the more impact you’ll have on your audience.
Every detail counts … something I can illustrate from my work years ago as a brand manager at Lever Brothers. In the fiercely competitive world of detergents, toothpaste and other consumer packaged goods, it’s marketing communications (including what we called “product signals”) that make the difference in burning home a point in the minds of those you wish to influence.
Example: after intensive training in marketing, communications and strategy, I tend to imagine the world as a collection of pie-charts … segments of the market.
In the world of detergents, for example, some consumers want “high suds”, others prefer “low suds”. Some care more about whiteness; others care more about brightness. Some care more about quality, others care more about price, etc. I could build a giant pie chart representing them all.
Here’s a lesson I’ll never forget. We tested two identical detergent formulas; there was absolutely zero difference in the effectiveness of each batch on the wash. The only difference was the color of the (inert) paint specks we included in each batch. And here’s what we discovered:
If you make the color of the paint specks blue, many more consumers will pull the wash out of the machine and say, “Gosh, this wash is whiter!” Change the color of the paint to green, and they’ll tend to say, “This batch smells fresher!” Again, absolutely zero actual difference but the perceived difference is substantial.
So – to came back to where I began: every detail counts. And if your takeaway message is whiter wash, include blue product “signals.” If instead you’re aiming for consumers who care about brightness, change the paint to green to reinforce that message.
What does that have to do with LinkedIn? What do you want to convey here? If you look at my profile, you’ll see an image of a podium, microphone and audience. I chose an image to reinforce my expertise for the clients I’d like to attract: people who need to give presentations and can use my help as a writer and/or coach. You’ll see that WORDS are the central emphasis of my profile … I’m seeking new clients who could use my help to be more effective in using them.
One more piece of research: a Microsoft study in 2015 found that the human attention span (eight seconds) has actually, in our digital age, become shorter than that of a mere goldfish (nine seconds.) Which is all the more reason – again, on LinkedIn and anywhere else you wish to communicate something of importance – to decide on the take-away message and then, as much as you can, reinforce that message in multiple ways – all pointing to the overall “North Star” message you want to plant into people’s brains.
Mike Greenly’s Bio
Mike Greenly combines his gift for words with his experience as a Fortune 500 Marketing & Communications VP to help today’s executives and their teams .. WRITING their speeches, PowerPoints, video scripts, editorials, even ghost-writing books … COACHING their comfortable, confident and effective delivery on-stage … and being a motivational speaker, himself. Many client “testimonials” are available. When not using words to help his clients, Mike is a lyricist. He’s the author of “Our Great Virginia” ªsigned into law as the state’s anthem in 2015.) He’s had 11 hits on the BILLBOARD Dance/Club charts, including four #1’s and has had success in other genres – Choral, Pop, American Roots & Country.