Be Bold with your LinkedIn Professional Headline: Why this is the most valuable real estate in your LinkedIn Profile

When done well, your social media accounts can be a great source of lead generation and do wonders for your brand presence.  The opposite is also true of course and poorly monitored or partially completed social media accounts can damage your sales.  It’s important to maximize every available space and the key information areas differ from platform to platform.  With LinkedIn, the professional headline is an area which can have a huge impact on your sales funnel.  It’s also very commonly overlooked so provides a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

What is your professional headline and why is it important?

Your professional headline is the text that appears beside your name on your profile page.  (LinkedIn gives you 120 characters in the headline edit box – use them!) Importantly, it also shows up next to your name and picture in search results.  These three pieces of information are what you have to get someone to click through to your profile, above those around you.  There’s a good chance that your professional headline is currently your job title and company name; that’s what LinkedIn defaults to and having this ensures that you look like every other profile out there.

What should you put instead?

So we’ve established that your title and company isn’t going to get you noticed.  But what should you put instead?  Your headline is the first opportunity you have to sell yourself to prospective customers and you need to keep this in mind when deciding what to write.  In short, your headline should state what you do and why someone should want to engage with you; what pain do you solve or value do you add.

As an example, my professional headline is “Business management and growth strategies expert with over 20 years of business development experience.”  It tells people where my expertise lies and what they can expect me to do for their business.  It obviously isn’t enough space to go into any great detail but it should be enough to get people to click through to my full profile, where they can read about me in more detail.

Things to think about

Just by changing your professional headline to a value statement as described above, you’re already elevating yourself into an elite group of LinkedIn users.  Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you really create an impact:

  • Think about keywords – what sort of words are people going to search for if they need the skills you have to offer? Try to incorporate these into your headline.
  • Be specific – don’t try to be broad and appeal to everyone. Really drill down on what you’re great at and position yourself as an expert in a smaller field.
  • Be creative – if it’s in your character naturally, it’s perfectly acceptable to tread the line between humorous and professional.

So head to LinkedIn right now and change your professional headline to something more appealing.

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