The Power of Likeability and How to Use to Get There

4 min read

A Quick Refresher on Likeability and Common Ground

In my last blog, I talked about some basic concepts around Online Reputation Management.

Common ground is so powerful because of its impact on likeability. Whether it is an interest or passion, a shared hometown, a favorite sports team, or anything they find relevant or meaningful, they end up thinking, “I am like you.”

The beauty of that is that when you think, “I am like you”, it means nothing more than “I like you”. The end result is a simple one, if you can empower people to find more common ground with you, your likeability may increase dramatically.

The Pragmatics: You have more control over how much people like you than you may think

Why not try to use for that exact purpose? Your goal with your profile and Backstory should be to increase the likelihood that people will find something in common with you, and typically good things can come from that.

The simple route is to try to provide the most meaningful and comprehensive surface of who you are. Our tendency, especially for those of us who are more privacy-focused is to hold back, with a “strictly business” approach. In this case, I would recommend that you do the opposite.

Don’t be afraid to share your true self on After all, it’s about you. My one, non-negotiable rule is that you are genuine. What you put out there must be a true reflection of yourself, so much so that you are willing to defend it and are comfortable talking about in depth.

Let’s go through a few ideas around how can help you find more common ground:

Your Profile and Backstory

  • Photos: The old cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words” still rings true. Let your photo tell your story without words.
  • Profile & Background Photos: Choose a photo in which you are doing something you do incredibly well. This could range anywhere from kiteboarding to reading, it all depends on you. It should be an illustration of who you are and open the door to common ground.
  • Choose a background photo of your favorite place to travel, your favorite book, a quote that defines you, anything you feel illustrates part of who you are.
  • If you’re artistic, don’t be afraid to make your favorite piece your background. Think about it: You’re finding common ground with two people: artists and art appreciators.
        • Showcasing your creativity with a photo that really stands out shows that you are a risk take
  • Interests:
    • Focus on interests that you truly pursue and love
    • Don’t list them in a descriptive way; use visual storytelling.
      • “Traveling, sharks and boats.” Is frankly, boring.
      • Wouldn’t you agree that, “Night scuba diving with the hammerheads of Gordon Rock, Galapagos Island,” delivers a more visual experience for the reader even though both describe the same thing?
      • You are giving a huge amount of surface for people to find in common and you’re making yourself more memorable by telling a visual story.


  • Headline: Revisit the visual storytelling blog post for a step-by-step how-to on how to create an absolutely awesome, memorable bio.
  • Work History: Use the most meaningful jobs you’ve taken on simply because it can increase the likelihood that people will find that they worked in the same industry or even the same company.
  • Education:
    • List all of the schools you’ve attended, as people looking for you may also be alumni.
    • Add things you’ve done outside of school.
      • Train your brain to think of things that other people would resonate with: Sports, building organizations or clubs, etc.
    • Use the “When did you finish?” section to share a story:
      • Example: “I finished in 2013, but I will never forget the time that I helped organize a bike ride for charity.”
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