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How to Write Seriously Awesome LinkedIn Headlines for Small Business

LinkedIn is a powerhouse for small businesses and entrepreneurs to attract new clients and buyers. But with a network as big as LinkedIn, how do you keep your brand from being lost in the crowd? One key way is your LinkedIn headline — the line of text that appears under your profile name. Learning how to use LinkedIn headlines for small business and entrepreneurs will take your profile from lost to found.

Let’s look at what makes this small facet of your LinkedIn profile so vital and what you can do to make the most of it.

Why Your LinkedIn Headline Matters

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your brand’s landing page. After all, it ideally has all of the information potential clients want to know before using your services.

Your LinkedIn headline is like a sign on the door to your landing page. It tells people what to expect in your profile — and ultimately, helps them to decide whether it’s worth opening the door and reading it. 

This would be an easy choice if you were the only business in town. But there are 830 million people on LinkedIn — and possiblly  thousands who have your background and skills.

When someone searches for a professional in your industry, he or she is met with a long list of candidates. The person sees only a few details, including your name and, you guessed it, your LinkedIn headline.

An engaging LinkedIn headline is essential if you want to stand out as a small business or entrepreneur on the platform.

And with only 220 characters at your disposal, you must carefully choose each and every character.

Here are 8 ways to craft effective LinkedIn headlines for entrepreneurs. 

How to Craft the Best LinkedIn Headlines for Small Business

1. Be Approachable

The primary goal of your headline is to get people to read more. To do this, your headline needs be warm and inviting.

Weave in details about your personality and passions that paint you and your brand as more human and less robotic. This could be details such as family-oriented, down-to-earth, and balanced, to name a few.

Here are a few examples of inviting LinkedIn headline snippets…

We care about your success

Emphasis on honesty and integrity

Small business with a neighborhood feel

2. Include Job Title and Skills

The first two things people look for in your LinkedIn headline is your job title and skills. This helps them to determine whether you are a good fit for their needs. If you’re a small business, instead of a job title you would include a title that describes your overall brand — executive coach, business consultant, B2B marketing agency, financial planning services — to name a few. 

Of course, be brief. But you should never skip these two details. They are the foundation of your headline.

3. Optimize It with Keywords

As much as snazzy descriptions might make your brand seem more cool, it won’t have any effect on LinkedIn’s search engine algorithms.

If you want a chance of showing up when people search for your skills, include a keyword or two in your headline. For example, people are more likely to search for social media marketing expert than marketing ninja. So find another way to include your ninja skills in your headline.

How do you discover which keywords to use?

Look at job descriptions. People are most likely searching for the same keywords that they use in their job description. Make sure to read the entire description — not just the title — to see what specific skills are sought. 

Another way is to search on LinkedIn yourself. Type in search words relevant to your business and see if they are preferred on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re a fractional CEO, is the term interim CEO also used? 

Pro tip: Don’t stuff your headline with keywords. Keep it to 2-3 keywords at most. This will make you more likely to rank for the keywords you do use and prevent your headline from becoming weighed down and ungainly.

4. Go Deeper

As we already mentioned, your job title and skills are the foundation of your LinkedIn headline. But some entrepreneurs and small businesses make the mistake of simply writing a short title and calling it done.

Why is this a mistake?

Because your title doesn’t mean much.

You see, it’s not just a matter of telling people what you do. You also want to stand out from the pack and intrigue your audience. When people see something different, it naturally catches their eye. That is what you want. Of course, include a basic title or description —  but don’t just leave it at that. Go deeper.

Here are a few examples of how you to do this…

Personal branding coach with a passion for individual and business growth

Digital marketing expert that has worked with brands like HP and Microsoft

Sales expert with 20 years of experience with SaaS brands

5. Highlight a Specific Offering

This is one key way to help your headline stand out. Ask yourself, “What does my small business offer?”

Be as specific as you can, using numbers and percentages whenever possible. This gives your audience a concrete number to hold onto. It’s not only impressive, but it lends authority to your brand and helps people to remember you more.

Here are some examples that might help…

Increase sales retention by 300%

Up to 10,000 monthly website visitors

Campaigns that deliver 20% ROI

6. Keep It Professional

When writing LinkedIn headlines for small business or entrepreneurs, it’s important to keep everything professional.

This means keeping it clean and appropriate. Avoid polarizing and controversial subjects like politics and religion. Don’t use foul language. Don’t get too informal in your language.

Bottom line, if you wouldn’t say it during a job interview, keep it out of your LinkedIn headline.

7. Be Creative

There’s no one LinkedIn headline formula that works for everyone.

We’re giving you the broad strokes here — the major points you don’t want to omit.  But ultimately, you need to add your own stamp. There’s nothing that can make your profile distinctive than your own creativity.

Think about what sets you apart.  It could be the qualities and values that you bring to the table. it could be your background. It could even be a traumatic experience you survived and now are helping others do the same. Don’t be afraid to explore these areas.

8. Include a CTA

A CTA, or call to action, invites your audience to take the next step.

Specify what next step you want your audience to take when they view your headline. Do you want them to join your social media or newsletter so that you can nurture them into a loyal client? Or do you want them to sign up for a demo or a quick strategy session call?

Whatever that next step is, include it right in your headline. This ensures that your visitor will see it right away.

Examples of a CTA might include…

Sign up for our newsletter

Check us out on Facebook

Schedule a free demo

Schedule a free 30 minute strategy session

Purchase my new book

Check out my blog

Pro tip: Use your banner image in conjunction with your CTA by promoting your offer or invitation in both places.

Concluding Thoughts on LinkedIn Headlines

LinkedIn headlines have a specific job — getting people to view your profile. The LinkedIn headline tips will help your headline perform at peak efficiency, meaning more clicks through to your profile.

You will know longer be invisible on LinkedIn but an engaging presence.

When we’re talking about LinkedIn headlines for entrepreneurs and LinkedIn headlines for small business, you want to make the most of those 220 characters!

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, author, coach and marketing and branding authority is the founder of Thriving at 50 Plus, a coaching program that helps baby boomers find more purpose and meaning in life. Wendy over the last 30 years has helped many business owners and executives become well-known, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™. Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets.

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