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by Alex low | @Alexander_Low

Can we have a template for InMails? Can’t I just get a content writer to author my Profile, or just copy yours? I will get my PA or Marketing to post on my behalf.  

These are questions I get asked regularly in my workshops or 121 coaching sessions. I can always tell when a client has been sheep dipped en masse through a “social selling” training programme. I am now starting to spot the signature style of the trainer or organisation too which has “trained” on social.

You cannot apply a template or boilerplate approach to how you write your LinkedIn profile, ask for a referral or send an InMail or how you share content. Others may disagree, but I will explain why I believe this.

You are unique, you are not a replica of any of your colleagues, the person sitting next to you on the train, bus or conference. Your style, the way you speak, look, behave, is unique to you. It is what gives you your personality. It is what makes you human. 

Yet, if you look on LinkedIn (I am going to focus on LinkedIn , however this can be applicable to all social platforms), we find, for the large part, an army of corporate drones. Automatons, who all look the same and say the same. You all present yourselves in the same, templated CV led approach, preaching how brilliant you are at what you do, with a recommendation from Bob or Jane your co-worker, “who enjoyed working with you” 

Even those who have told me that they have been through social selling training, I can tell from their profiles, that :

  1. a) they have been given a template, which then everyone copies
  2. b) the training hasn’t landed – probably because it was delivered online to a large group, or worse a pre-recorded video

I can also tell when someone has had their profile written for them; the worst examples of this are when it’s written in the 3rd Person and reads like a politician’s biography. It’s just awful. Please, please, please, if your profile is written in the 3rd person, stop reading this and change it now.

The same applies for when asking for referrals, connection requests or InMails – you cannot copy and paste a template email, sending out the same dull message. It look automated and lacks an authenticity; or that you actually care.

What you can do is work within a loose framework which gives you the freedom to add your personality. This is the approach we take at Digital Leadership Associates.  I want each of you to have your personality shine through your digital profiles. I want your voice to be unique in the market. This cannot work if you are constrained by, or told that you have to copy this template, use this wording or language etc; it won’t give you the freedom to express yourself. 

Much like any sales processes, they follow a process and framework, but this is open to interpretation by each of you where you will add your own unique flair and personality to it. People buy People, not corporate robots. Your clients / customers will be buying into your style, approach, personality – of course backed up by a good story and content.

And it is this that will separate you from the competition. 

I change and update my profile every 2 months or so, I play around with the content, style, summary & headline. I like to keep it fresh and up to date with the latest thinking and updates. I work within the framework, but make it mine. If you look at my profile, Tim’s or Adam’s – they are all unique, yet are based on the a fundamental framework approach, which we then interpret to suit our style and voice.

Now, please do not copy ours, because that is not you. If you want to chat about your profile, feel free to connect with me and let’s help you break free and find your unique style.

People who read this post also read these:

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How to Roll Social Selling Across an Organisation – How to make it Stick!

If Columbus can do it, why can’t you?

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