How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

Melonie Dodaro  •  LinkedIn

How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

You have only three seconds to capture attention with your LinkedIn headline to make them want to know more about you and, hopefully, encourage them to connect with you.

Are people clicking on you in the search? Are they then sending you connection requests?

If you answered No or I don’t know, it’s likely your headline is to blame.

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

Your headline is the bait. The role of your LinkedIn headline is to create curiosity or intrigue, so a viewer is interested in learning more about you.

If your headline isn’t doing that, then you are losing opportunities.

Three seconds to get their attention, and if your headline fails at this, they are gone forever!

In this article, you’ll learn how to capture attention in the most valuable part of your profile. It’s time to turn your LinkedIn headline from boring to attention-grabbing.

LinkedIn Headline Tips: From Boring to Memorable

1. Include the keywords you want to be found for in your LinkedIn headline

Having an impressive LinkedIn profile that isn’t found in the search results is not helpful if you offer a service that people would search for on the platform. By including one or more keywords within your headline it increases the chances of your profile showing up higher in the search results for what you want to be found for.

I am sure you are familiar with how people search on Google. How they search on LinkedIn, however, is a little different.

Often, on Google, people search for information, whereas on LinkedIn, they search for a person.

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

On LinkedIn, they are more likely to search for specific skills or titles as here they are more inclined to be looking for a person to teach them how to do that or someone to write their LinkedIn profile for them. In this case, the person might use search phrases such as LinkedIn expertLinkedIn consultant, or LinkedIn profile writer.

People will often search for title-based keywords or skills on LinkedIn. So, consider including these kinds of keywords in your headline.

One big mistake I see people make is they try to be creative or funny with their headlines. They write their LinkedIn headlines from their perspectives.

Instead, they should speak the language of their ideal prospects or use terms their prospects may use in their searches.

Pay attention to the words and phrases your ideal clients use because this is the language you want to include in your profile. After all, your goal is to help them understand you are someone who could help them, so tell them about it in their language.

By doing so your headline and profile will resonate with your ideal clients, and you will make it easier for them to find you in their searches.

2. Determine the LinkedIn headline style that is right for you

You can take several approaches to create a compelling headline.

I teach people about four different styles of LinkedIn headlines. Choose one depending on what’s most appropriate for your expertise, industry, and target market.

The four headline styles are:

  • Client-centric – use it if your top goal is to attract more clients using LinkedIn
  • Ego-centric – use it if you have an established personal brand/career, or you’re an influencer, a high-level executive or someone in the public eye
  • Mission-centric – use it if you are building a company brand or have a mission bigger than you
  • Keyword-centric – use it if you have a skill that people are often looking for on LinkedIn

Client-centric LinkedIn headlines

When writing a client-centric headline, you want to address what you offer and to whom. The power of the client-centric headline is that you can tell your ideal clients you are someone who can solve their problems.

I work with several target markets. One of them is B2B companies with sales teams where I teach them effective social selling techniques. The first LinkedIn headline example below would speak to this target marketing.

The second example is also client-centric, and it speaks to a niche I serve in the Public Sector, which is Economic Development and Investment Promotion Agencies. These Government agencies are tasked with attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to their regions. I provide FDI LinkedIn training to help them connect with decision-makers via LinkedIn.

Client-centric LinkedIn headline examples:

Example 1: I help B2B sales professionals ditch cold calls for warm calls and leverage LinkedIn and social selling to fill their pipeline.

Example 2: I help Economic Development and Investment Promotion Agencies attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) using LinkedIn.

Ego-centric LinkedIn headlines

A well-written LinkedIn headline that showcases you and your accomplishments, increasing your credibility, is very powerful.

An ego-centric headline helps you build your authority and establish trust with your prospects.

While the ego-centric headline might not capture your ideal clients attention in quite the same way as the client-centric headline might, it works for some people.

This type of headline is more likely to put your potential connections at ease and increase the likelihood that they’ll accept your connection requests for two reasons:

  1. they will be impressed by your accomplishments
  2. they will not be concerned that you’ll try to sell them something.

Here are a couple of examples of ego-centric LinkedIn headlines. You will notice that in both examples, the author highlighted their accomplishments and awards. These accomplishments are very effective in quickly building and showcasing their credibility.

Ego-centric LinkedIn headline examples:

Example 1: Helped build one of Canada’s high-tech success stories | Inc. Fastest Growing 50 | Canada Award for Business Excellence

Example 2: Recipient of 2018 Forty Under 40 | 2018 Fastest Growing Companies (3963% Growth) | Inc. 5000

Mission-centric LinkedIn headlines

A mission-centric headline is appropriate if you or your company has a big mission that your target market would be interested in and inspired by.

To write a mission-centric headline, use your position title, company name and its mission or vision statement, or simple state your company’s mission as you would on your website.

Mission-centric LinkedIn headline example:

Example: Our mission is clear, for every pair of shoes purchased online or at retail, we will donate a pair to a child in need.

Keyword-centric LinkedIn headlines

If you have a skill that people are often looking for on LinkedIn, consider stacking your headline with keywords or skills.

There are many skills people will look for when searching for a service provider on LinkedIn; as examples, they may be looking for someone who provides copywriting, website design, sales funnels, or software development. In cases such as these, you may find it beneficial to use a more keyword-centric headline.

Keyword-centric LinkedIn headline example:

Example: LinkedIn Expert | Social Selling Training | Keynote Speaker | B2B Lead Generation

3. Make use of your 120-character limit

You have only 120 characters to write your LinkedIn headline, so it is vital to maximizing them.

You might be able to create a headline with fewer characters, but why not make use of as many characters as you can, to increase the opportunity to be found and to have a headline that connects with your ideal clients in a more meaningful way.

You do not need to choose one LinkedIn headline style. You could easily incorporate two headline styles using your 120 characters.

For example, in my headline, I could include “Int’l #1 Bestselling Author” (ego-centric) as well as “I help B2B companies attract clients on-demand using LinkedIn” (client-centric).

Int’l #1 Bestselling Author | I help B2B companies attract clients on-demand using LinkedIn.

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

4. Ensure your LinkedIn headline stands out

Scrolling through the search results, will your lead, prospect, or connection notice your LinkedIn headline?

It is not enough to show up in the search results as you will be competing with many other profiles there. Your headline needs to capture the viewers’ attention and make them want to click on your profile to learn more. An attention-grabbing, intriguing statement will encourage them to click on your profile.

Three tips to craft a captivating LinkedIn headline:
  • Make sure your ideal clients can quickly identify that you offer what they’re looking for.
  • Use LinkedIn Advanced Search with your chosen keywords to see how you show up in the search results in comparison to your competitors.
  • Track how many views your profile has had in the last few days or weeks, then adjust your LinkedIn headline and watch for any change in the number of profile views.
How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline

The best LinkedIn headlines speak directly to your ideal clients

The golden rule when writing a captivating LinkedIn headline is to speak directly to your ideal clients. Just like the rest of your profile, your headline should highlight the specific benefits you offer your target market.

Everyone is in a hurry, and your ideal clients 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.

To learn more about how to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out, watch video one in my new three-part LinkedIn Leads video series here.

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