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LinkedIn Profile Optimization: Writing an Inspiring Headline

Reading Time: 4 minutes
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When you meet someone new for the first time, it’s common for folks to ask about where you work and what you do. Most of us have a well-rehearsed elevator pitch to share about our business or brand.

On LinkedIn, your headline works the same way for those who visit your profile. They’re looking to that short snippet to learn about who you are and what you do.

We’ve been chatting a lot about optimizing your LinkedIn profile on our blog recently. For instance, we’ve covered how to fill in your basic details to get the ball rolling. Now, it’s time to dive deep into your LinkedIn headline, arguably the most important piece of your profile.

What Is a LinkedIn Headline?

Your LinkedIn headline appears under your profile photo and name. It’s also the bit of copy that shows up under your name throughout LinkedIn. The main goal of your headline is to define who you are and what you do in 120 characters or less. No pressure, right? 😊

Your headline is more than a descriptor, however. It showcases who you are to inspire potential customers and business colleagues to visit your profile.

An inspiring headline isn’t stuffy or overly professional. Instead, it should be personable. It should tell your unique story. It should answer the question: “Why you?”

How to Write an Inspiring Headline

To write an inspiring LinkedIn headline, follow this formula: state who you are and what you do for your customers. You can easily achieve this by following three simple steps.

1. Write to Your Audience

If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ve heard all of this before, but it’s critical for the success of any marketing effort: You must know your audience. You must then create a headline tailored for your audience, not yourself. This means taking your ideal customer avatar and using it to create a headline that speaks their language.

To start, drop the industry jargon from your headline. While some may argue that jargon works in the professional social media realm, we disagree. Simplicity will always be the best practice here.

Second, don’t be afraid to show personality. For example, emojis are great descriptors inside a headline and add a touch of your personality without going overboard.

2. Highlight the Value You Deliver

This step and the previous step go hand-in-hand. To speak to your ideal customer, you need to help alleviate their pain. Your headline can provide a sampling of what that might look like.

Start by asking yourself this question: What do I do to improve the lives of my customers? Once you have an answer, simplify it for your LinkedIn headline. (We’ve included some examples later on, so keep reading!)

3. Keep It Simple & Personable

Remember, you have up to 120 characters to inspire your profile visitors to connect with you. Keep it simple and only include the things that matter most. Also, it’s important to drop the ego here—you’re trying to connect, not show off. Allow the rest of your profile to highlight your achievements.

3 Powerful LinkedIn Headline Examples

There are many individuals on LinkedIn who have made the most of their headline space. Here are a few of our favorites found around the platform.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal

Shaneé quickly explains the value of what she offers through her online courses. Yet, she doesn’t stop there. She explains her ability to help you grow through life’s challenges by highlighting one of her own. Her addition of “Cancer Survivor” is not only personal but inspiring and a critical part of her brand.

2. Deliver Value

Our fearless leader, Cari Twitchell, uses her headline to deliver instant value. “Helping You Connect With Your Ideal Clients Online” explains quickly how she can help you and your business. Plus, her use of emojis shares a bit of her fun personality.

3. Simplicity Is Key

Dr. Jerrica Dodd uses her headline to state the most important things you need to know about her and her business. She also includes a bit of her personality by adding “Travel Enthusiast.” And don’t forget to note her value proposition at the end!


Brené Brown’s headline is another example of simplicity. In just four words, “Researcher. Storyteller. Courage-builder.”, she communicates exactly what she does.

Struggling With Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Headline?

While there’s a simple formula you can follow, it’s not always easy to put that formula into practice. Sometimes, it helps to step back and allow someone else to step in.

If you need some help, reach out to the Word Nerds. Send us a message and let’s create a headline that inspires, connects and converts.

Erin Larson