Quickly now! Tell us something eye-catching, informative, and inspiring about yourself in 220 characters or less! This opening segment is 220 characters exactly. Of course, we counted! We’re professionals after all…
Describing yourself in a way that is compelling, entertaining, and informative is already difficult enough without throwing a character limit in there. But that is exactly what your headline for LinkedIn has to do. Your LinkedIn headline serves as your sales representative and your connection to everyone from potential clients to HR Reps and everyone in between. Striking a balance by writing a succinct, informative, and interesting headline is your best way to make an impression. So where do we start? That age-old question…
What do you do?
When a potential customer asks you “what do you do?” how do you answer? Chances are, you have a pitch already lined up. You may even have a call to action. The great thing about an in-person interaction is that they can gauge your personality, your trustworthiness and if your business is right for them in a 5-minute conversation.
A great headline for LinkedIn should serve as your digital elevator pitch. It’s that 5-minute conversation except you don’t get the benefits of tone and body language. You have to use a profile picture, a banner, and a few carefully chosen sentences or bullets that describe not just what you do, but who you are.
It’s a compilation of components that show exactly what you bring to the table. And we’ve gathered a few examples that show you how to do it right!
Include a Creative Hook
The first thing your headline should do is attract attention. Therefore, we recommend starting with a clean hook that is informative and maybe even a little entertaining. Take copywriter and marketing strategist Liz Willitz. The first thing you read on her headline is “’Liz is the #1 marketer to follow on LinkedIn’ – Her Mom”.
What does this tell us about Liz? Well for one, it tells us she can write a hook. For another, it tells us she has a great sense of humor. It is followed up with information that breaks down exactly what she does and how she does it successfully.
Buzzwords: Best Friend or Greatest Enemy?
The thing about buzzwords is that they get annoying. A person can only read the same sentence so many times before their eyes start to glaze over. But these terms and sentences exist for a reason. There are numerous ways to engage with them while still standing out.
Take, for example, Oscar Garcia. There are probably a thousand “International Speakers” on LinkedIn. In a beautiful twist, he describes himself as an “Introvert Turned International Speaker” which simultaneously provides a reversal of expectations and tells us a little something about him.
Don’t Be Generic
Generic descriptors are your greatest enemy. There is nothing less helpful to someone reading your headline for LinkedIn than when it says the exact same thing as the previous person. A non-specific headline might read something like:
“I’m a Social Media Strategies for XYZ company, and I specialize in creating engaging content”.
But a specific headline, like Portia Obeng’s, specifies not only how she helps, but who she helps and which platforms she works with. “I help women level up on LinkedIn and attract money-making opportunities | Let me show you how to build and engage communities on Instagram.”
This kind of specificity instantly tells the reader if her service is one that can help them.
Showing = Better Than Telling
The most powerful thing you can do on any social media is provide proof. Whether that’s social proof, in the form of reviews and statements, or, by allowing your proof to come through in your writing. That may sound impossible for a headline on LinkedIn, but you’d be surprised.
Let’s take a look at Fili Wiese. He’s an SEO expert, and he proves it with his LinkedIn Headline. Take a look at his headline above. Can you guess his keyword?
Not only does Fili Wiese tell us that he’s an expert at SEO, but he also shows it by seamlessly incorporating the term “SEO” into his headline in 5 separate ways. That number goes up to 19 when you look at his “about” section.
What do HR managers, job seekers, and potential clients have in common when they check out someone’s LinkedIn profile? They’re trying to find out more about you. We saved this step for last because it’s the one that people forget. We get bogged down in the buzzwords and the hooks and providing a detailed description of what we do that we forget that our headline for LinkedIn is an introduction.
Who are you? Be honest. We are absolutely putting the CEO of SizzleForce Marketing, Stephanie Nivinskus, on blast because she is always 100% herself and that is perfectly reflected in her LinkedIn Profile. From the star emojis to the joke about her teenagers you can clearly see her personality and tell exactly what she does.
Marketing Yourself Isn’t Easy
For some, selling yourself as a business or even as an employee can be extremely difficult. We’ve heard people say that they feel “icky” after trying to market themselves or their product. This “ick feeling” can even happen when writing a stellar headline for LinkedIn. The thing is, marketing shouldn’t make you feel icky! If you believe in yourself, your product, and your business, digital marketing should be the equivalent of telling your favorite people how excited you are about the things you’ve done!
If you’re feeling the marketing “ick”, or, if you feel as though something isn’t working with your marketing plan then we may have just the thing for you! We’ve created a short quiz that is designed to help you identify the holes in your marketing strategy. Get rid of the ick, check out our Quiz today!