Did you know that 61 percent of marketers say generating traffic and tracking down leads is their top challenge? Writing the best headline for LinkedIn that you can, however, makes a huge difference.
This might sound easy, but there are a few things you need to consider before getting started. Luckily, we’re here to walk you through the basics.
Read on to learn everything about creating the best LinkedIn headline.
Do Your Research, Know Your Audience
Before you even log in to LinkedIn, it’s important to sit down and get to know your audience.
You might feel tempted to treat your profile as a resume, but it’s actually the opposite here. Your profile is a sales asset, and you’re looking for business relationships — not employment opportunities.
Using LinkedIn to generate leads is completely possible, but if you start by targeting the wrong people, then it’s never going to work. Specifying these things before you attempt to write your headline gives you a clear end goal.
If you need inspiration, try looking at your competitor’s profile. Don’t copy what they have, but draw inspiration from what they did well, and avoid the things you don’t like.
If you’re already in a specific industry, then you might have keywords in mind without even realizing it. A lot of times, common phrases or buzzwords that you drop regularly become keywords, but just because you know a few keywords doesn’t mean you understand the impact they can have on your headline.
Put simply: keywords are commonly used phrases likely to be typed into the search bar. They’re meant to make you, your business, or your services easier to find, and they’re great for developing leads.
They’re also great to place in event names and descriptions, and even in group names if you decide to one day create one.
Salespeople, for example, can utilize keywords like, “sales representative,” “sales associate,” or “sales director” to introduce themselves. From there, you should include your value proposition.
So, if you sell automated bookkeeping software, your headline could look something like: “Sales Representative: Saving businesses time and money with automated bookkeeping processes.”
Keep It Simple
Often, you’re going to find that less is more when it comes to LinkedIn headlines for professionals. There’s no use in using large words if they don’t make sense. This can be easy to do when you’re trying to impress colleagues and prospects, but you want to keep it relevant to the leads you’re attempting to generate.
This also goes for keywords. You should identify the top 10 for your position, and then aim to use 3-5 of those in your headline. From there, you can sprinkle the others throughout your profile.
Yes, you’re marketing yourself, but bragging is just going to turn people away. Words that get used often are also going to make eyes roll. Here are a few to avoid in your headline:
The golden rule for every aspect of lead generation: show, don’t tell. If you truly embody the words you want to write about yourself, then there’s no need to say them. People are already going to see that you’re great at what you do.
Tell a Story
With that being said, turning to story-telling is a great way to highlight your achievements. Naturally, you’re going to want to turn toward the more impressive ones, but it’s also important to show off your relevant accomplishments — even if they’re not as impressive as some of your other stories.
The trick is to hook prospects in with a descriptive, keyword-enriched (not stuffed) headline, and then tell your story throughout your profile. This will also help once potential client inquiries roll in and other conversations begin to roll around since you’ll be able to see who actually read through your profile and who simply skimmed over the basics.
To start, you’re going to want to master your elevator pitch with a good summary. Show off some of your personality here while painting a picture of your skills and capabilities. Remember that you’re limited with what you can include, so make it worthwhile to read.
Once you’ve finished your summary, give it a readthrough. Look for keywords linked to a story, and then place them in your headline. Ideally, if you have three quick anecdotes laid out in your summary, then you want three words to add after your job title and value proposition.
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the basic principles, you might have a better idea of what to include in your headline, but there are a few scenarios that can make getting started to feel intimidating.
If you still find yourself struggling, here are a few examples to help along the way.
Maybe You’re a Student
If you’re a student with little to no professional sales experience, you don’t need to worry. In fact, highlighting this in your headline can be really helpful. Here are a few words you can include in your headline:
It’s completely possible to freelance while you’re a student, and it’s an excellent way to start building a solid clientele base to carry into your professional career. If you’re not quite sure about the area you’re looking to go into, you can keep your headline general and use it to leverage opportunities from multiple areas. For example:
- Aspiring sales director
- Freelance sales associate
- Student entrepreneur
These give you a solid foundation to start upon, but they’re not going to nail you to a specific niche (like bookkeeping, software, B2B, B2C, etc.). They’re a great jumping-off point to help start building leads that turn into a niche.
Maybe you’re a new grad, or you’re just switching over to the sales industry and you’re looking to build your leads from the ground up. You might have some experience — enough to have a niche — but not enough to highlight multiple achievements or milestones.
In cases like this, it can be smarter to start with your overall goals. Here are a few:
- “Helping managers keep their employees productive and engaged”
- “Saving businesses time and money with automated bookkeeping processes”
- “Dedicated to helping you gain clients and time with sales automation”
For there, if you have the space, you can point out your specialties. A fully fleshed out headline could look something like this: “Dedicated to helping you gain clients and time with sales automation | Business analysis | Product management”
It points out your goals and specialties and gives clients a direct idea about the things you might have to offer them.
What If You Have Achievements, But Don’t Know Where to Start?
On the other hand, you might have experiences, achievements, and even good rapport with big-name companies. In these situations, it’s perfectly fine (and even expected) that you highlight these things in your headline.
You might not know which achievements to start with, though, or you might feel like they’re not relevant to your industry. In these instances, it’s best to get specific.
Start with writing down anything you might want to include like:
- Former roles at prestigious companies
- Extensive experience in a certain role
- Your role in a prestigious project
Narrow your list down to six or seven opportunities, and then narrow it down even further from there. If you’re having trouble, you can turn to colleagues or other professionals in your industry. Take a look at the things they’ve included in their headlines, or reach out and ask for advice.
In some cases, keeping your list to three specific examples is best, but that might not always be the case for you.
List Your Experiences
Once you decide on your achievements, though, how can you go about incorporating them into your headline?
Briefly listing out your relevant experiences is a great way to let prospects know where your specialties lie. You might be a jack-of-all-trades, but if you have a niche then it’s great to highlight it.
Let’s go back to our bookkeeping example from earlier. A great way to add to that would be, “Sales Manager at (insert company or business name) | Revenue Operations | Forbes Council Member | Saving businesses time and money with automated bookkeeping processes.”
It’s filled with keywords and points out prestigious roles that could be relevant to some leads, but it does it all without being flashy and confusing.
Keep Your Headlines Honest
The secret to generating lasting leads is to keep your headline, summary, profile, and entire online presence honest. It’s important to be confident and to show others what you can do for their business, but it’s also important to keep your primary goal in mind so you don’t start attracting the wrong clients.
It’s easier to see inauthenticity than you might think, and if good companies detect that, they’re going to turn away from your business as a whole.
How LinkedIn Groups and Events Can Help
Once you’ve crafted the perfect headline and have your profile optimized for leads, you can turn your attention to other things, like LinkedIn groups and events.
They’re the perfect opportunity to position yourself within a community so you can learn more about what’s trending in the industry, and also where your skills could be most valuable.
You don’t have to be selling anything to take advantage of these groups and events, though. It might be even easier to build rapport with others if you aren’t. The important thing to remember here, though, is to always be genuine.
If you’re just joining groups or attending events to gain leads, people are going to notice.
While generating leads can be one of the reasons you partake in these things, you should always have another reason for getting involved. To help yourself combat inauthenticity, you should try to only work with people and events that mean something to you.
Remember quality over quantity here. It’s better to have a few leads that you know are interested in you and your services rather than hundreds of prospects that you have no hope of converting.
Which Groups Should You Join?
Put simply, the best LinkedIn groups to join are ones relevant to your industry. You can also opt to create one yourself and invite peers or colleagues on your own.
When it comes to creating groups, you put yourself in control of building a list of ideal prospects and peers ready and willing to help each other out, rather than joining a group of people that might already have established relationships.
While joining groups is never a bad thing, there are still instances where, while you might be accepted, you might feel like an outsider that’s never truly accepted. If you decide to create your group, it’s important to avoid this at all costs. Create a list of people you know would make good additions, and then work to send them all invites.
To make this step easier on yourself, you should turn to a LinkedIn lead generation automation tool. You’ll still get your message across, but you might not feel as overwhelmed while doing so.
Ready to Write the Best Headline for LinkedIn?
Now that we’ve told you everything you need to know about how to write the best headline for LinkedIn, it’s time to begin brainstorming. If you’re still unclear on what you’d like your headline to convey, remember that creating a target audience can have a major impact on the way you present yourself.
If you find yourself on LinkedIn a lot and need help streamlining your process, Salesflow can help. Click here to learn all about our services and how they can help you today.