How to Ramp Up Your LinkedIn Headline and Summary

September 2, 2015 by
linkedin headline and summary

My LinkedIn Profile

Social Media is hot right now. I’ve been building content for my clients’ LinkedIn Profiles recently and have started creating a LinkedIn Creative Brief. Answers to the questions in the brief provide me the info I need to write an effective LinkedIn headline and Summary for my clients.

I thought I’d let you in on some of what I’m including in the Brief to give you an idea of what you should be thinking before you write your LinkedIn headline and Summary…or before you ask me to write them for you.

First off, though, let me define the terms. The Headline consists of the words just under your name on your Profile. You can use LinkedIn’s prefilled job titles or complete this section with your own words. ALWAYS use your own words here.

Your Summary is just after the heading titled Background. LinkedIn allows you 2,000 characters here and this is what I’ll be talking about below.

Here’s my LinkedIn profile. Here are some of the questions I ask of my clients that will help you with your Linkedin headline and Summary…

What Are the Keywords Your Target Customers Would Use to Find You?
You may not realize it, but LinkedIn is very search engine friendly. Not only can your prospects search for what you do on LinkedIn, their search can also produce your LinkedIn profile on Google.

So, list the words you want to be found with and be sure they’re in your headline and in the text of your Summary. Some of the keywords I have placed in my headline and Summary text are: web content writer, website, blog, social media, strategies, marketers, web copy.

What Do You Do? What Are Your Products and Services?
Start out getting your headline right by getting specific about what you do. This is the best place for your keywords, overwriting the canned job descriptions LinkedIn provides. For me, it’s: Web Content Writer | Website, Blog, Social Media Strategist | “Content First” Advocate for Marketers. Notice how I get my keywords into my headline so they make sense. (What’s “Content First” Advocate? Stay tuned for an explanation in a post to come.)

Remember, if you sell telephones for example, you’re not a VP of Sales, you’re an Experienced Telecommunications Specialist.

Who Do You Help? Who Buys Your Product or Service?
I like to start out the Summary naming my audience if I can. In my case, it’s business and non-profit marketers. This isn’t so easy if you offer many different products or services. But bringing in your audience at the start is a nice way to make that important connection with your reader.

If you do have short paragraphs about each of your services, mention who they’re for in each paragraph.

What is the Major Pain Your Marketplace Faces?
How do you help your customers get rid of their pain. How do you make their lives better. For me, it’s writing content for their online marketing that generates traffic, engages their website visitors, and gets them leads and sales. I create visitor centric text that powers up their underperforming websites.

Why Are Your Unique?
Here we get into your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is difficult for most marketers and business owners busy with the day to day transactions of their businesses to drill down to.

This is where as an “outsider” I can really help. After analyzing your business, I can see more clearly than you probably can why you are different than your competition.

For my Summary, I state right in the first paragraph my USP, “…But I don’t stop there. Once we’ve agreed on a winning strategy, I personally write the special web copy to make it work.”

Why is that unique? How often do you hear from your web designer/developer that after they present a plan, they need content from you? Often, I’ll bet. I’m a planner AND a writer.

What can you come up with that makes you unique?

There’s more to a complete and effective LinkedIn Profile. One of the toughest things about it is that it’s not easy writing about yourself. But that’s exactly what you have to do for LinkedIn. Answer the questions above and you’ll be well on your way to a good Linkedin headline and Summary.

Until next time,

Nick Burns is an SEO web writer specializing in persuasive copywriting and content marketing. He provides clients a winning content strategy plus the special web writing to make it work. You can contact Nick here.