How to Turn Your LinkedIn Headline from Blah to Memorable
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Ever tried to pat yourself on the back? Awkward, right?
So why are you still doing it in your LinkedIn headline?
I, me, my…
I am glad (and not suprised) you know who you are, but I am here to see what ‘who you are’ can do for me.
You see your LinkedIn headline should really be all about me.
When I read an ‘I, I, I…’ headline, I want to connect with you to see what I can do for you.
When I read a ‘You, you, you’ headline, I want to connect with you to see what you can do for me.
See the difference?
So how do you create that perfect headline that says ‘connect with me because of what I can do for you‘?
LinkedIn Headline Need-to-Know’s
First things first: what’s your LinkedIn headline?
It’s what appears right under your name.
A few quick LinkedIn headline pointers:
- Your headline is the 1 – 3 lines underneath your name.
- you have 120 characters including spaces for your headline.
- Don’t just describe who you are and what you do.
- Write a headline that contains a benefit to the viewer.
- Use keywords others might use when needing your services.
- Use commas or vertical bars (|) to separate phrases.
- I suggest to avoid using symbols like ◊, ➤, etc – they certainly make your headline pop out, but not always in a good way.
- NEVER use all uppercase letters.
Also, according to LinkedIn User Agreement, you agreed that you wouldn’t:
Add content that is not intended for, or inaccurate for, a designated field (e.g. submitting a telephone number in the “title” or any other field, or including telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses or any personally identifiable information for which there is not a field provided by LinkedIn);
- Don’t add your email address, phone number, URL, etc. to your headline, since that’s not what it’s intended for.
Your LinkedIn Headline = Your “So What”
Here comes my favorite part of the post – the part where you and I are likely to disagree on.
When you first create your LinkedIn account, your LinkedIn headline is populated with your current job title and company name.
If you think that’s what your LinkedIn headline is for, you are sorely mistaken.
When I see headlines like that, I say to myself “So what?” and quickly move on.
Now some of you might’ve gone a step further and actually updated your LinkedIn headline to ‘better reflect who you are and what you do’.
Unfortunately, now you are just one of the multitude of…
- Digital Marketing Experts,
- Brand Evangelists,
- Social Media Consultants,
- SEO Consultants,
- Internet Marketing Consultants,
- …and so on and so forth.
I say that’s the quickest way to bury yourself among LinkedIn’s 30M users.
A successful LinkedIn headline should tell me what your value proposition or your ‘so what?’ is.
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Social Media Consultant? So what? So I can show you how to master social media presence no matter what your niche is.
Coach? So what? So I can help you see the bottlenecks in your business you are too close to home to see.
Speaker? So what? So I can convert your next conference attendees into your brand’s raving fans.
See my point?
Feature (who you are) vs benefit (what you can do for them).
Examples of LinkedIn Headlines that Stand Out
You know that LinkedIn tool that shows you examples of what other users in your industry are using for their LinkedIn headlines? (it’s accessible in the ‘Edit Profile’ mode after you click on the headline editing pencil)
I think it’s a great tool to see what not to do.
However, I wouldn’t recommend trying to learn how to be memorable from those examples.
I did find a few interesting headline examples that stood out to me as I was going through comments on my latest LinkedIn posts, specifically the one about dumping Facebook.
(yes, it pays to comment on my posts… always!)
So here we go – the LinkedIn headlines that stood out:
♨ Dan Stuart goes right for the benefit in his headline
♨ Dennis Brown (one of my favorite peeps on Google+) – benefit-driven headline as well, even though I’d work on polishing it a bit more.
♨ Russell Faust – definitely memorable, made me want to click on the link to learn more about him.
I also pulled some interesting headlines from my fellow TheLinkedInChallenge.com takers (the challenge is headed by Sarah Santacroce).
Not surprisingly, our first challenge was to create a memorable LinkedIn headline.
Let’s see how we did.
♨ Susan James – short and to the point.
♨ Catherine Crow – a great alternative to a ‘Social Media Consultant’, don’t you think?
♨ Stephanie Calahan – creates powerful imagery through great descriptives in her LinkedIn headline.
♨ Angela Edwards – if you want your team to be strategic, productive, and profitable, you can’t pass that headline.
About Ana Hoffman: 90% of your problems can be solved by smart marketing. Solving the other 10% just requires good procrastination skills. Can’t help you with the latter, but I do know a thing or two about smart marketing.Want me to prove it? Get my free “Mommy, Where Does Traffic Come From?” traffic report and we’ll go from there.