How to Create a Stronger LinkedIn Headline

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Your LinkedIn headline is the most critical part of your profile because, along with your name and profile photo, it is the first thing people see when they find you in search results on LinkedIn and Google or visit your profile. It even gets pulled into any comment you make on LinkedIn!

Spend the time to customize your LinkedIn headline like the examples included in this article. Otherwise, LinkedIn will pull in your current job title and company as your headline, and I know you can do better than that.

On Google, people search for information; whereas on LinkedIn, they search for a person, underscoring the importance of your headline.

Your headline is a powerful tool to garner interest in you and reinforce your personal brand. The role of your LinkedIn headline is to create curiosity and interest in your profile, so a viewer is interested in learning more about you and your background.

Speak the language of your target clients and prospects; use terms they might use in their searches...

If your headline isn’t doing that, then you are losing opportunities for effectively branding yourself and potential new business and referrals. Plus it costs nothing to customize it!

The overall purpose of your LinkedIn headline is to tell everyone on LinkedIn who you are, what you do, and why you’re someone with whom they need to connect.

For SEO purposes, include keywords for which you want to be found in your LinkedIn headline.

Always be client/customer-centric in crafting your headline. Speak the language of your target clients and prospects and use terms they might use in their searches. By doing this your headline and profile has a much higher chance of resonating with your ideal clients, and you will make it easier for them to find you in searches.

You have only 220 characters to write your LinkedIn headline, so it is vital to maximize each one. You should use as many characters as you can to increase the opportunity to be found. I use the pike symbol between the phrases in mine - and I think it's a useful way to break up the information.

Here's my LinkedIn headline formula:

What I do | Adjective or phrase on why I do what I do | Adjective or phrase on what differentiates me from others | Descriptive words on what I bring to the table

A final word to the wise, while you want to highlight your strengths and uniqueness in your LinkedIn headline, be careful to not sound too boastful in it or you can turn people off. I recommend steering clear of calling yourself an "expert" or "renowned" or "award winning" - let your professional background and achievements speak for themselves.

If you are in sales, you also don't want to come across too salesy. Make sure you aren't overly trying to close the deal in the headline. Let your accomplishments shine through without going overboard.

It is well worth your time to invest in crafting a strategic LinkedIn headline - do it today!

In this video I talk about the importance of customizing your LinkedIn headline.

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Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2B companies, professional associations and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients and achieve greater brand recognition. She also serves as outsourced chief marketing officer/marketing department for smaller firms. Over her nearly 20-year legal marketing career, she has worked at and with a broad range of big law, mid-size and small firms, which has given her a valuable perspective of the legal industry. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra.

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