Steps to Creating a Great LinkedIn Professional Headline

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If you are a business owner and your ideal customer is a business as well, you may need to look at LinkedIn as the platform that your customer would be using most often.   Here are some important points about LinkedIn:

  •  50% of LinkedIn members have decision-making authority for their company.

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  •   LinkedIn is a network with 65 million business professionals around the world.

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  •  LinkedIn members  have an average household income of $109,000

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  • There is a new LinkedIn member every second

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  • LinkedIn has over 225 million users and is the worlds largest professional network.

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  • A brand leader is not going to turn their back on 200 million prospects

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  • If someone searches for you on Google, your LinkedIn profile will show up.

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  • LinkedIn helps keep you up to date by following your industry leaders.

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Getting Started

Make sure you do not have a duplicate profile.  You can do this if you go to search and put in your name, if you have not already created a profile, then create a profile and log in. You can create a company page if you like, but if you are just starting your business, it is best to wait until you have grown a bit.

Only 120 Characters

The next step is going to be your professional headline. This is what I consider one the most important part of your profile.  Some call it your Professional Headline and I have heard others call it your Branding Headline

  • LinkedIn allows 120 characters for your Professional Headline, including spaces.

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  • This is Professional Headline is Prime Real Estate on your LinkedIn site

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What you basically want to do is state what you do and how you do it.  In every case this is going to be the first thing that your visitors see.  You can choose to use a branding statement or your area of expertise.  Your choice of key words will determine if you are found on a first page search or not.   LinkedIn did a survey and found that users found the Headline more important than the summary, but not as important as the Experience section.   The reason I state this as being an area of vast importance is that it is on your home page and is used to accomplish a search

  •  Professional or Branding Headline can only use 120 characters, less than a tweet

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Your Professional or Branding headline should be consistent with what you have done with your other social media platforms, even the picture you choose should be similar to what you use on other platforms.  I like to recommend that you use similar colors and fonts as a part of your branding.  Consistency is key and of course it just plain looks better and more professional

Banner Headline,  Smiling photo

Banner Headline,
Smiling photo

no picture, no information

no picture, no information

When I first joined LinkedIn, I would accept anyone that said they wanted to connect without a second thought.  Of course as I learned more about the platform, its purpose, and how it is meant to work, my actions have changed accordingly.  If I do not know a person, and they request a “connection” (the equivalent of friends on Facebook) the very first thing I look at is their photo.  LinkedIn tips, picture of self.  Next thing I look at  is the Professional or Branding handle.  If there is not one or a weak one, I will not accept that connection.  I have found this to be true with many other LinkedIn users.  Because it is a Business to Business platform,  I expect the person to have taken the time to be serious about their role on the platform.  If the Headline of the person requesting to connect is weak or unclear, I cannot help but wonder if they are hiding something or if they are just new to the business or platform.  I do not have time to review the complete profile of every person asking to connect.  It is important that the Headline attracts the attention of your viewers.  It is in essence, a mini Summary.

Constructing that Headline

I have a few hints and tips I have accumulated over the years to help you develop that headline:

  • Start with stating what you do. For example I am an author, social media manager,coach, speaker and so on.
  • Next state who you help.  In this case that is going to be your ideal customer (for help determining that click here)Next fill in your solution,
  • And end it with what your customer  will  accomplish by the service or product

This is what you actually are doing “I am (fill in the blank).  I help (fill in the blank-ideal customer) with (fill in the blank-your solution) so that (fill in the blank).

An example would be “I am a social media educator.  I help small businesses through the haze of new information so that they can live the life of their dreams quicker”

Obviously that is more than 120 characters, so you want to break it down into something short, concise and direct.  Use a word counter tool to help you save time. Get one here

You can keep working and rewording until you have accomplished your goal of a concise, key word rich  and solid Headline.

Level of Importance

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If someone wants to connect or “link” with you, you will receive an email telling you so.  LinkedIn is more professional and is unlike Twitter or Facebook, it is meant to be business to business.  If you choose to connect with someone, you will be asked to tell how you know this person with a multiple choice answer.  (This is great in preventing too many spammers into your network.)

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  • Endorse those you respect

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  • Good manners never go out of style!

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Conclusion

If you follow these simple steps, you will soon be making the connections that you are looking for.  Take the time to endorse, engage in groups and continue to see LinkedIn work for your business.

Your Turn

What tips do you have for LinkedIn?  Please share below:

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