Your content must always have a headline and one of the most effective social media channels in which you publish content is LinkedIn. In general, headlines are extremely calculated (or, at least, they should be) and there is a set of rules that will be worth your while following.
The dos and don’ts of your LinkedIn headlines
A headline serves a few important purposes, among them, and possibly most important of all, is that your headline is a testament to what you stand for and what you can do for your prospects and existing clients. Of course, the one thing that you can never lose as you are writing your headlines is the professionalism that people have come to expect from you. That is the glue that holds your message together. On the other side of the coin, there are several things that you shouldn’t be doing so that you don’t create a perception that you absolutely don’t want to be associated with you or your business.
- Present a story that has a “normal” feel to it (stay away from the don’ts): The headline that you post on LinkedIn is meant to grab your readers and to compel them to read on until the end of the article. After your readers have finished reading, you want them to want to share your content with people they know and trust. It can be assumed that they won’t do that if your headline (and article) is so far off the beaten path that the readers can’t relate to it. It has to be something that touches them on a human/emotional level. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should write boring headlines. Your headlines should certainly be exciting and they should grab your readers. It is just that they shouldn’t be weird and people should be able to relate to them. You should also try (every time) to post headlines that stimulate the imagination of the reader. It is important to remember that you have to do this with words only. You can use graphic images to help you rope in your reader in the body of your article but you certainly can’t do that in your headline. In your headline, you have to romance your readers with words only. It is a necessary skill and you will probably need to work hard on making that happen. Just remember that it will be well worth it in the end. Always remember to ensure that your headlines are never confusing, boring, desperate, or usual.
- Writing a great headline (embrace the dos): Sometimes, it is easier to identify what you shouldn’t put in your headline than what you should put in your headline. Of course, it is also important for you to realize that nothing (including your headline) is so permanent that you can’t revise it up to the point when you publish it. In fact, you can revise it as much as you like up to that point. Of course, you are probably very well aware that you must always tell a story through your content and that includes telling a story through your headline. One important thing that you should remember is that even if you believe that your story is not that interesting, chances are extremely good that other people will disagree with you. Your story is probably extremely interesting to them and they will sincerely want to read what you have to say and, very possibly, they will be able to take your story, learn from it, and apply it to their own situation.
- Marry your headline to what you and your business represent: As you are writing your headline, make sure that it is closely connected to what you are doing and what you are offering to other people. It should be a clear reflection of your expertise and knowledge and it should make your readers be inspired to keep reading to find out more about what you do and, most importantly, how you can help them to solve their particular problem.
- Make sure that your choice of language is perfect: It is very important not to overlook the most basic, simple approach to writing your headline. The headline that you write must be in clear, concise, perfectly grammatical English. As ridiculously simple as that may seem and, thus, may see as though it doesn’t even need to be mentioned, you may be surprised at how many people take it for granted. If the English used in your headline is not perfect, your reader will become distracted and move on to someone else’s content. It is as simple as that. You certainly cannot afford for that to happen. However, remember that you have the power to prevent that from happening.
Your headlines are a wonderful opportunity for you to show how you stand out among your competitors. You have the ability to write amazing headlines and to intentionally include elements in your headline that work well for your business and to omit elements that you know are not good for your business and for your online presence. It is important to always keep in mind that you present the most effective visibility and exposure so that other people online will react positively to what you are sharing.