LinkedIn has quickly become the number one social platform for professionals and businesses, and it continues to expand.
It is the perfect place to boost business and connect with the world’s professionals to create sensational ventures, seek new opportunities, and network with like-minded industry influencers, brands and professionals.
To get noticed and start engaging on LinkedIn, you need to have a completed profile. (For help completing your profile, check out our blog on How to Set Up a Killer LinkedIn Profile.
One of the first things people notice about profiles is the heading. It is your unique 120-character hook that helps people find you in LinkedIn’s search function, and it should be more about what you do and what you can offer people, instead of what you are. It should be exciting, enticing, and memorable, and it should make people want to click on your profile and not your industry competitors’ profiles.
So, are you making the most of your profile heading? Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to construct a super-amazing LinkedIn heading, let’s take a quick look at some facts and pointers.
Heading Best Practices – an Overview
LinkedIn Headings Best Practices in a Nutshell
In short, your heading should:
- Show off your personality – your heading should demonstrate your personality so that others can depict what kind of person you are without having to meet you.
Example of an informative heading:
- Highlight your talents – focus on what you’re good at; the skills that have contributed to your success and business, and the talents that will continue helping you to grow.
- Mention opportunities you can create – what opportunity are you looking for? What benefits do you bring to a business/industry?
- Use keywords – keywords are incredibly important in LinkedIn, especially in your headline. We’re going to get into that a little further on in the article, but you should figure out what keywords are appropriate for the work or industry you are involved in. Make them catchy.
"The for Executive Career Brand, your headline needs to be SEO-friendly if you really want to maximize it. That includes, according to Guiseppi, relevant keywords target audiences will be searching for."– Meg Guiseppi
- Have a clear value statement – your heading should be clear and viewers should be able to understand it.
- Human potential – LinkedIn may be a professional platform, but you are still a human. Remember to unleash your human potential with your heading pitch.
What Not to Do in Your LinkedIn Heading
Your headline plays a massive role in your branding. You may want to use your current job title as your heading, but a lot of people prefer to brand themselves in a more unique and individual way.
You may want to show your areas of specialization. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do in your header:
- Don’t list your skills is such a broad way that people won’t be able to figure out what you do.
- Don’t display yourself as a “jack of all trades.” Choose one or two things you are exceptional at and emphasize those.
Words to Avoid in Your Headline
- Experienced or strategic– this is just fluff, you don’t need to use praising adjectives to blow your own horn!
- Savvy, a change agent, a multi-skilled professional – insecure people stoop to self-praise and you don’t want to come across as insecure.
- Nationally recognized– this is just plain grovelling, and a poor branding choice at that. Instead, tell people what you love doing and what your passion is.
- Award-winning – this makes you look a little insecure about your credentials. Tell people what your work is before you tell them how it has fared.
- Problem solver – confident people won’t beg strangers to connect with and like them.
LinkedIn Heading Quick Facts and Tips
- Use keywords other people might use when looking for your services
- Use vertical bars to separate phrases
- Do not use uppercase letters
- Don’t just describe who you are or what you do
- Put a human voice or personality to your headline (check out our article, How to Get Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Just Right to really put the human touch to your profile).
- The headline should be made up of 1 – 3 lines under your name
- The headline space allows for 120-characters
So, that is a quick overview of what to do and what not to do with your LinkedIn heading. Now, let’s get down to creating a superior, powerful, and memorable heading for your profile.
How to Use Keywords in Your Headline
We mentioned a little further up that keywords are incredibly important on LinkedIn, especially so in your heading.
More than 95% of professionals use LinkedIn for recruiting and businesses purposes. With close to 500 million members on the platform, you risk getting lost in the clutter. So, the trick is to use the right keywords to make sure you are found by the right people.
“Vice President,” for example, is not a keyword, it’s your job title. Prospects, clients, and other people looking to connect are not going to search by job title. Rather, they look for certain products, services, and skills – in other words, your keywords.
Your LinkedIn heading should summarize your brand – personal or professional – and incorporate keywords that people looking for you or your brand are most likely to type in the search box when they want to connect.
Take a good look at your competitors to find out what keywords they are using. What words do the people and businesses you are targeting use in their job descriptions, in their professional profiles, on their websites, and even on their social media networks?
Keywords can help you to maximize lead generation, too. See our blog, How to Generate Qualified Links Through LinkedIn to learn more.
Just think about this: there are close to 2 million monthly searches for the words “website designer” in the United States alone. If you are a website designer, you need to do what you can to stand out above that crowd.
Pick two or three keywords that you think (and that the keyword tools tell you) will help people find you on LinkedIn and use them in your heading.
The Headline Pitch
Ask any authority figure and they are sure to agree: pitching is one of the key tools to success.
Essentially, it is a gateway tool to profitable partnerships and ventures. It is your ability to communicate your uniqueness and value through your heading. It is also your chance to let people know what your vision is and what you do.
The perfect pitch is probably more than you realize. It is something that is awash with opportunities. In fact, many famous change-makers and wealth-creators throughout our history started with little more than the perfect persuasive pitch.
What Exactly Do You Do?
How do you answer this question? Whenever we ask someone what they do, there are two main problems we encounter:
- Vagueness – people struggle to explain what they do clearly and in a way that inspires, ignites, or excites a desire in others to do business with them
- Length – people struggle to keep their information concise and succinct. In one-on-one communication, we usually get just 30 to 90 seconds before a listener switches off. On LinkedIn, you get 1 – 3 sentences in your headline. Make those sentences compelling, and you are almost guaranteed to open up a conversation that leads to the results you really want.
Here’s another problem: too many people rate themselves just seven or eight out of ten. In other words, they are underrating themselves!
Do you think this really reflects the true potential of an awesome pitch? Consider that everyone looking to connect with you has at least 50 connections in their LinkedIn network. If people connect with you and like what you have to offer, they are going to want to tell their network about you, share resources with you, and give time to what you have to say or share. If you rate yourself low, you’re letting too many opportunities fly by with every interaction you have on LinkedIn.
Once you get this right, then you can effectively answer the question, “what do you do” within your heading. Your answer, you will find, can potentially unlock highly valuable resources. The trick is to prepare a short answer that leaves people wanting to know more about you.
Your Pitch Should Solve a Problem
As a business person, you know that people do not buy something unless it solves a problem for them. While they may not say it in such a way, they may say they have a:
The bottom line is that they will only spend their money on things that fix an unmet need.
According to Surawat Promyotin, CEO at STYLHUNT, the problem/solution is the number one section where pitches can quickly fail if not constructed properly.
There is zero value in constructing an idea that does not serve a purpose or create a solution. There is no point to a pitch unless you are aiming to resolve something.
There are two key types of problems people are looking for solutions for:
- An unsolved problem people have as a consequence of political, social, or technological change.
- Something businesses or people are already buying or doing which you can do or provide better, more conveniently, and more cost effectively with greater emotional benefit.
Your Pitch Should Be Grounded in Reality
For your pitch to pack a real punch and offer value to people looking at your profile and searching for your brand/business, your ideas should be inspired by genuine insight.
People want to know how your ideas in your pitch came about. Typically, ideas grounded in reality are born from one of these insights:
- Industry insight – you are industry influencer; you know your niche inside out and you know how things can be done better, cheaper, quicker, and more consistently. You have your finger firmly on the pulse and know what trends the future is going to bring and you will be at the forefront of those trends.
- Technological insight – you have identified a way to create or use technology that will solve a real problem or offer an exciting new benefit to your network, leads, and associates. You can see that there is fresh, new opportunity to combine your niche with new technology to make life easier.
- Customer insight – perhaps you were out shopping for something and you just couldn’t find exactly what you wanted, or the service was poor, or you discovered something horrifying. Maybe you just knew that things could be done better. So, you are on a mission to set things straight and make things better.
Align Your Pitch to Your Story
When people read your LinkedIn header, they should be able to tell why connecting with you is a great idea. For an idea to hold someone’s attention and garner interest and traction, it must be aligned with your beliefs.
An exceptional pitch will leave people feeling like you are “the one” they should be connecting with. It goes back to solving a problem for them, as in the example images earlier on in this article.
A strong pitch will align with your personality. It will set you apart as a key influencer in your field.
Your Pitch Should Uplift People
Never finish your headline pitch on a flat note. Finish with a vision or an idea that will get people who have found you on LinkedIn excited. People tend to forget everything you say, but they will remember how you left them feeling – just in your heading. So, aim to deliberately end on a positive note.
Don’t Forget Your Brand Essence
What is your brand essence? In short, it is the heart and soul of your business, and therefore makes up an important part of your heading pitch. Your brand essence should define, in just a few characters, what your brand promises or what you stand for.
Five key elements of the brand essence are:
Let’s Construct Your Pitch
Now that you know the foundations of your headline pitch, life is about to get a lot easier. Once you have these foundations in place, you can easily come up with your LinkedIn heading.
It is important to get your foundations in a logical order so that you can share your ideas with people in a way that is easy for them to follow and will entice them to connect and engage with you.
Don’t Forget to Be Interesting
People often forget that LinkedIn is a social network. It’s about, well, networking. Be funny, be interesting, and be memorable. By not taking yourself overly seriously, people are more likely to be drawn to a down-to-earth personality.
Examples of pitches:
The Value Proposition
- Do you have a value proposition?
- Which problems can you solve that your customers and prospects need?
- Why should someone want to connect with you or choose to hire you or your business?
- What do you want people to hire you to do or why do you want them to engage with you?
Your LinkedIn headline should answer these questions. It should definitely not just be a random title, like “sales team member,” as we mentioned earlier. A title doesn’t solve problems and it certainly isn’t going to attract attention.
Let’s say you are a motivational speaker and you want people to hire you to speak at their workshops and conferences. If that’s the case, you will use the word “speaker” in your heading. It just makes sense!
7 Steps to Crafting the Perfect Value Proposition
Once you have constructed your perfect pitch and you understand your brand essence, you can create a powerful value proposition from the below seven step formula. This will clarify the value that you can offer others.
1. A Clear Idea
This is a quick, easy-to-read description of your business. It is completely straight forward and there are no frills or fluff.
2. Who Is It For?
This is a simple description of your key target customers or customer segments.
3. What Problem Do You Solve?
This is a clear description of the main problem you solve for those looking at your profile.
4. What Makes You Different?
Pick out five differentiators that make you unique that will make people want to connect and do business with you.
5. Why Can You Be Trusted?
Prove your credibility to people who come across you.
6. Prove Yourself
Prove your point of difference to readers and your network.
7. The Ultimate Benefit of Mission
Earlier, we mentioned that it is how you make people feel that will ensure that they remember you. How do you want people looking at your profile to feel?
It’s Time to Take Your Heading for a Spin
- Once you have crafted your pitch and considered your value proposition, create a couple of different versions of your headline.
- Next, do a little A/B testing.
- For the next few months, swap out your heading every two weeks and keep track of which one you used and when.
- Go back to your profile data to determine if one headline attracted more views on your profile than others.
How to Update Your LinkedIn Headline
Adding a headline to your profile and updating it is really easy:
- Log into your LinkedIn profile
- Click on “profile”
- Click on “edit profile” from the drop-down menu
- Click on the pencil icon which you will find under your name
- Type your headline text
- Click “save”
LinkedIn truly is a powerful, professional social networking site for those looking for business developments, opportunities, and the chance to engage with customers. It is also an excellent platform from which you can position yourself for the most successful profile possible.
Powerful headings help people to find you, understand you, and want to work with you. Start with a strong, impactful headline using your pitch and value proposition, and you’re sure to grow your network in no time at all.
Need help? Contact GlobalYogi Labs today!