How do you fascinate on Google+?
This is a post taken from my Google+ Profile that I wrote after seeing Sally Hogshead’s TED Talk video on Fascination.
In this week’s lineup, one of the videos was a +TEDx from Sally Hogshead, a hall of fame speaker and leading expert on fascination. In this video, Sally speaks on the topic of fascination, which was indeed fascinating and was a topic that I couldn’t shake from my thoughts; especially, in the Google+ profile realm.
Sally relates how in an online world, we now have the attention span of about 9 seconds. Think about that…9 seconds to make an impression on someone viewing your profile, your service, your product; 9 seconds is a short time to fascinate someone to go any further. How then, do we fascinate?
In her talk, Sally lists 7 fascination triggers that can grab the attention of others; they are (watch the video for her descriptions):
In the beginning of her talk, Sally opens with the topic of online dating, which if anyone has ever tried it, can be incredibly intimidating and competitive. Online dating is not much different from our own Google+ presence – we are trying to win the attention span of others and grow our own network. How then, can we apply this to our own Google+ network growth?
I’m by no means the Google+ power-house with thousands of followers, but I have learned a thing or two from my experiences with online dating (yes, I’ve done it and am not ashamed), my own business, and my own life that I believe can be applied to growing a Google+ network by creating a fascinating profile.
Just like in online dating, Google+ provides you an opportunity with your Tagline to fascinate that 9-second-attention-span-visitor. People see this as they hover over your profile pic and when they read the About page of your profile. Is your tagline fascinating?
Again, I’m not proclaiming to be an expert (as I’ve changed my tagline numerous times and even did so again this morning), but I have seen some pretty boring taglines. I grew up in a family of engineers who speak in 1’s and 0’s; unless this is what you’re going for on your profile, take the time to come up with something more fascinating and enchanting – again, you have 9 seconds here.
+Guy Kawasaki in his book, What the Plus, refers to your tagline as your personal elevator pitch (notice the theme? Not a lot of time to fascinate someone). Your goal here, is to grab the attention span of your viewer and bring them in for some more.
This is the area where Sally’s 7 fascination triggers can really come into play. When I first began my journey in online dating, I set up my profile much like everyone else. It was filled with the boring I do this and do that and I love this and I love that. Trust me, as you begin to see these same profiles over and over with just a different face, nobody stands out anymore (unless they are so incredibly gorgeous that it doesn’t matter what their profile says, but if that’s the case, you realize they are probably out of your league or it may not be their real picture )
I realized after I had been on the dating site for a few weeks and was not having any success that I had to do something different. What was I going to do?
I took my entire profile and scrapped it! I re-wrote my profile with very short stories of my life that I would tell my prospective date about me – I wanted to fascinate her. At the fear of sounding like a bragger, it worked! I’m not going to say it worked because of some special writing skills I may have (which I don’t) – it worked because it was different!
In a world where everything is the same, something different not only stands out, it’s fascinating! (Remember Dodge’s old slogan? Think Different)
Again, I’m not a pro at writing profile introductions, and like my tagline, I’ve re-hashed it numerous times and will likely continue to do so. Just do yourself and your reader a favor – do something different; something fascinating with your profile introduction.
If you want more inspiration for this, I highly recommend you watch Simon Sinek’s +TED Talk How great leaders inspire action. In this talk, you will learn that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Profile & Cover Photos
I’ll end with the topic of your profile and cover photos.
In Guy’s book, What the Plus, he offers some rules-of-thumb for creating a profile photo:
- Show your face
- Use a tight shot
- Go asymmetrical
- Do it well
The purpose of your profile photo should be to give a good first impression. People are quick to make judgments and with a 9 second attention span, judgment will be had very quickly. Make it count. (Also, read Guy’s book, it’s what converted me to Google+)
Earlier this week, Google updated the cover photos to be very large. There was a huge reaction to this and many people were upset; however, I looked at this as a positive.
Again, our topic is creating a fascinating Google+ profile that will help you grow your network. Take the opportunity to design a fascinating cover photo. When someone clicks on your profile, this is the first and largest thing they see and as such, it should fascinate someone to want to scroll down to read your tagline and profile introduction.
Here’s some tips I have for your cover photo:
- Make it high quality (you’re doing yourself a disservice having unintentional graininess or low quality photos)
- Tell a story – your cover photo should show who you are or what you do
- Make great design – to me, design is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of a profile – it tells a lot about who we are. If you are serious about having a fascinating profile, take the time and/or reach out to get help with your cover photo design. Consider joining +Paul Biedermann’s community re:Design to engage with others who know and love design. There are resources out there for you, you just have to be willing to use them.
In closing, we only have a small window of opportunity to hold the attention of those viewing our profile. We can make it count by creating a fascinating profile based on the triggers Sally Hogshead reviews in her TED Talk.
Please reward yourself by watching Sally’s video and applying it to your life.
Also, please add to this list of creating a fascinating profile; share profiles that you believe are fascinating; tell me where you think I’m right and/or wrong. This is a topic I believe we can all benefit from.
I look forward to hearing from you!