How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

When people see you in the search results or land on your LinkedIn profile, are they clicking through to learn more about you? Are they then sending you a connection request?

If you answered No or I don’t know, then there is a good chance that you need to turn your LinkedIn headline from boring to memorable and really stand out. The goal of your LinkedIn headline is to get your ideal clients attention and make them want to learn more about you.

Your LinkedIn headline is the MOST critical part of your profile because, along with your name and profile photo, it is the first thing anyone will see when they find you in the search results or land on your profile page.

Your headline will determine whether they will take the time to click on your profile to learn more or click away. A well-written and client-focused LinkedIn profile makes the difference in gaining a connection (possible lead or client) or being ignored.

You only have seven seconds to impress a potential client or connection before they click away. 7 seconds to impress!

Before You Start Editing Your LinkedIn Headline

Before you begin making changes to your LinkedIn headline, it is a good idea to turn off your Notifications if you don’t want your network to be notified for one reason or another.

You do this by going to the Settings & Privacy page and selecting Privacy. In the section How other’s see your LinkedIn activity, click on Sharing profile edits. If this setting is set to Yes, click on it to set it to No. It will auto-save.

How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn Headline Tips: Go From Boring to Memorable

How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

1. Include the Keywords You Want to Be Found For In Your LinkedIn Headline

There really isn’t much sense in creating a LinkedIn profile that will impress your ideal clients, if it doesn’t get found in the search results. Including keywords within your headline factors can increase the chances that your profile will show up higher in the search results.

There will be times when someone is searching for a person who offers what you offer. If potential leads are looking on LinkedIn for the products or services you provide and you’re not showing up in their search, that’s a lost opportunity.

Now, you are already familiar with how people search on Google.

How they search on LinkedIn, however, is a little different. Often on Google people will search for information, whereas on LinkedIn they are searching for a person.

For example, if someone is looking on Google for information on how to create an excellent LinkedIn profile, the person might search using the keyword phrase, how to write a good LinkedIn profile.

On LinkedIn, they’ll be searching for someone to teach them, or someone to write their LinkedIn profile for them. In this case, the person might search using keywords such as LinkedIn expert, LinkedIn consultant or LinkedIn profile writer.

People will often look for title-based keywords on LinkedIn, so it is essential that these are the kinds of keywords that you include in your headline.

One big mistake I see people make is trying to be creative (or funny) with the language they use in their headline. They write their LinkedIn headline from their perspective, rather than speaking the language of their ideal prospects and clients or what they may be searching for.

Be aware of the words and the phrases commonly used by your ideal clients because this is the exact language that you want to include in your profile.

So, do your homework and speak the language your ideal clients speak. Doing so will make it easier for them to find you in their search and will ensure your headline and profile resonates with them. Your goal is to help them understand and that you are someone who could help them, when they land on your profile.  

2. Determine the LinkedIn Headline Style That Is Right For You

If you really want people to check out your profile, then you need to grab their attention.

I have three styles of LinkedIn headlines that I teach people to choose from based on what most appropriate for their expertise, industry and target market. These three headline styles include:

  • Keyword Focused
  • Client-Focused
  • Credibility Focused

Keyword Focused LinkedIn Headlines

If you choose to use a keyword focused headline, you can select two or three keyword phrases you want to be found for. In most cases, it’s not effective just to pack your headline full of keywords. Your headline also needs to generate the interest of your ideal clients, so they want to learn more about you.

Here are a couple examples of a keyword focused headline. Notice in the first one, you’ll see the keywords LinkedIn Trainer and Social Selling Expert, which are terms I want to be found for.

In the second example, I want to be found for Social Selling Speaker and LinkedIn Expert.

LinkedIn Headline Examples:

#1 Bestselling Author, LinkedIn Unlocked | LinkedIn Trainer / Social Selling Expert Showing B2B Companies How to Turn Cold Connections into Clients

International #1 Bestselling Author of LinkedIn Unlocked | Social Selling Speaker | LinkedIn Expert

Client-Focused LinkedIn Headlines

When writing a client-focused headline, you want to address what you offer and to whom. The power of the client-focused headline is that you are able to share with your ideal clients that you are someone who can solve their problem.

I have several target markets that I work with, the primary one is B2B companies with sales teams. The first LinkedIn headline example below would speak to B2B companies with sales teams.

The next example is also very client focused as it speaks to a niche that I serve in the Public Sector, which is Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). These Government agencies are tasked with attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to their region. I provide FDI LinkedIn training to help them connect with decision makers via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Headline Examples:

Ditch cold calls for warm calls by leveraging LinkedIn and social selling to fill your sales pipeline.

I help Investment Promotion Agencies and Professionals attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) using LinkedIn.

Credibility Focused LinkedIn Headlines

A well written LinkedIn headline that showcases your credibility is very powerful.

A credibility based headline is where you can start to build your authority and establish a level of trust.

While the credibility headline might not capture your ideal clients’ attention in quite the same way as a client-focused headline, it can actually make the connection process easier. This type of headline is more likely to set your potential connections at ease, and they will be more likely to accept your request because there are impressed by your accomplishments and not likely concerned that you are going to try to sell them something.

Here are a couple of examples of credibility focused LinkedIn headlines. You will notice that in both examples their accomplishments and awards are highlighted. These accomplishments are very effective in quickly building and showcasing credibility.

LinkedIn Headline Examples:

Helped build one of Canada’s high-tech success stories | Inc. Fastest Growing 50 | Canada Award for Business Excellence

Recipient of 2017 Forty Under 40 | 2018 Fastest Growing Companies (3963% Growth) | Inc. 5000

3. Make Use of Your 120 Character Limit

You only have 120 characters to use for your LinkedIn headline, so it is vital to maximize them.

You might be able to create a headline with fewer characters, but by not making use of as many of the characters as you can, you may be losing out on the opportunity to be found for another keyword or simply further establish your credibility.

And you do not need to choose one LinkedIn headline style, you could incorporate two styles into your 120 characters.

For example, you could use aspects of both a keyword and credibility focused headline.

Here’s an example, I include Int’l #1 Bestselling Author (credibility), and then I also add my keywords such as LinkedIn & Social Selling Keynote Speaker (keywords).

The key is that your LinkedIn headline is compelling enough that people are going to click on your profile or accept your connection request.

Watch this YouTube video I made on How to Write a Captivating LinkedIn Headline.

4. Ensure That Your LinkedIn Headline Stand Outs

When a lead, prospect or connection is scrolling through the search results, will your LinkedIn headline stand out?

It’s not enough to just show up in the search results as many different profiles, including competitors, will be listed in the results. Your headline needs to capture your prospects attention and make them want to click on your profile to learn more.

Including a compelling statement that will capture their attention and intrigue them is a great way to get them to want to click.

Three LinkedIn headline tips to make you stand out:

  • Can your ideal clients quickly identify that you offer what they’re looking for?
  • Use LinkedIn Advanced Search with your chosen keywords and see how you come up in comparison to your competitors.
  • Track how many views your profile has had in the last few days or weeks, then tweak your LinkedIn headline and watch for any change in the number of profile views.

The Best LinkedIn Headlines Speak Directly To Your Ideal Clients

The golden rule in writing a captivating LinkedIn headline (or profile) is always to aim to speak directly to your ideal clients. Whether it’s your headline, summary section or otherwise, you should still hit the points that highlight the specific benefits you offer your target market.

Everyone is in a hurry, and they just want to find that right person to help provide the solution they’re looking for. The more succinctly you get this across in your LinkedIn headline, the more viewers and prospects will be drawn to your profile and encouraged to take ACTION, by reaching out to you.

What did you think about the LinkedIn headline tips in this post? Tweet me, or drop me a note in the comments. If you have any friends or colleagues that should read this too, please share it with them.

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