Your content should always have a headline, and one of the most effective social media channels you post content to 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 following.
Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Headlines
A title serves a few important purposes, including, and possibly the most important of all, that your title be a testament to what you stand for and what it can do for your existing prospects and customers. Of course, the one thing you can never lose while writing your headlines is the professionalism that people expect of you. That’s the glue that holds your message together. On the other side of the coin, there are several things you shouldn’t do to avoid creating the perception that you don’t want to be associated with you or your business.
- Present a story that has a “normal” feel (stay away from what not to do): The headline you post on LinkedIn is meant to engage your readers and force them to keep reading 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. You can assume that they won’t if your title (and article) is so far off the beaten track that 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 you should write boring headlines. Sure, your headlines should be exciting and grab your readers. It’s just that they shouldn’t be weird and people should be able to relate to them. You should also try (every time) to publish headlines that stimulate the reader’s imagination. It is important to remember to do this in words only. You can use graphic images to help you include your reader in the body of your article, but you certainly can’t do that in your title. In your headline, you must make your readers fall in love with words alone. It is a necessary skill and you will probably have to work hard to make that happen. Just remember that it will be worth it in the end. Always remember to make sure your headlines are never confusing, boring, desperate, or habitual.
- Write a great headline (accept both): 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’s also important for you to realize that nothing (including its headline) is so permanent that you can’t review it until the moment you post it. In fact, you can review it all you want up to that point. Of course, you are probably well aware that you should always tell a story through your content and that includes telling a story through your headline. One important thing to remember is that even if you think your story is not that interesting, other people may not agree with you. Your story is probably extremely interesting to them and they will sincerely want to read what you have to say and quite possibly they will be able to take your story, learn from it, and apply it to their own situation.
- Match your headline with what you and your business stand for: As you write your headline, make sure it is closely related to what you are doing and what you are offering to other people. It should be a clear reflection of your experience and knowledge and should inspire your readers to read on to find out more about what you do and, most importantly, how you can help them solve their particular problem.
- Make sure your language choice is perfect: It is very important not to overlook the most basic and simple approach to writing your headline. The headline you write must be written in clear, concise and perfectly grammatical English. As ridiculously simple as it sounds, and therefore it may seem like it doesn’t even need to be mentioned, you might be surprised at how many people take it for granted. If the English used in your headline is not perfect, your reader will be distracted and move on to someone else’s content. It’s as simple as that. You certainly cannot allow 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 from your competitors. You have the ability to write awesome headlines and 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 your online presence. It is important to always keep in mind that you present the most effective visibility and exposure for other people online to react positively to what you are sharing.