The importance of a great introduction
Imagine we’re exchanging introductions with only a few seconds to spare – which of the following statements tells you more about me:
- “I am a marketing partner service advisor”
- “As a marketing partner service advisor, I can help you develop and execute a winning marketing strategy”
In the first statement, I’m simply stating my role, which doesn’t say much to most people. In the second statement, I’m describing the impact I can have on my stakeholders, and it increases the chances of me grabbing the attention of those who might be interested in my services.
In the digital world, an effective, attention-grabbing introduction is crucial, because you only have a few seconds before your leads and prospects move on to another e-mail, blog post or update.
Let your LinkedIn profile make introductions for you
Did you know that your LinkedIn headline can make introductions on your behalf? No, it’s not a hidden feature, but consider this – the headline is prominently featured (along with your name and photo) when your leads and prospects:
- See that you looked at their profile
- Receive a connection request from you in their e-mail inbox
- Find you in a LinkedIn search result
- See a Google search result that includes a link to your LinkedIn profile
- Look at your profile page
So why not modify your headline to one that provides a great introduction to who you are and what you can offer! You’ll increase your chances of getting the attention of the individuals who encounter you!
How do you modify your headline?
By default, your headline displays your role and company, but you can customize it to communicate almost anything you wish, up to 120 characters in length.
Go to your profile page, and click the pencil icon, to the right of your photo. In the Edit intro window that appears, go to the Headline text box and make your changes.
So, what makes a great headline?
The best headline is one that gets your target audience interested in you. It should arouse their curiosity and entice them to visit your LinkedIn profile page. How can your headline accomplish this? Well, in short, it needs to be about your audience as much as it is about you!
It should communicate your value proposition: Your headline should communicate your value to your audience. It should describe how you help them meet their goals or solve their problems.
It should be audience-centric: The value you communicate should focus on your audience’s needs, and not your achievements (however valuable they might be!)
It’s should be specific: If you write “Helping businesses achieve their highest potential”, your audience won’t know if you are a business development consultant, account executive or HR expert. If you write “Let me show you how the right software solution, customized to your unique needs, can help your business achieve more”, your audience knows exactly how you bring value to them.
It can include industry-specific keywords, where appropriate. If there are keywords familiar to your leads and prospects that will help communicate your value, do include them, but be cautious not to use too many. Even with a limit of 120 characters, a keyword-laden headline can give off an insincere, robotic, and generic vibe. When in doubt, keep it simple.
Audience-centric? Yes, but your headline should always be a reflection of you!
Now while your headline should describe the value that you bring to your audience, you should feel confident and comfortable with it. It should reflect who you are as a person. It should impart your personality and your experience.
While it’s no longer than two lines, your headline is an opportunity to introduce yourself to leads and prospects and make a great first impression. If they immediately see the value that you can bring to them, there’s a greater chance that you will hold their interest, make them curious about you, and entice them to check out your full profile. And of course, a great profile is a great starting point for building new relationships, sharing your expertise, and fostering trusted collaborations!