How to Optimize Your New LinkedIn Header

In case you haven’t noticed, as of earlier this month LinkedIn Premium users have a big new perk: Facebook/Twitter-style banner headers. LinkedIn was already an amazing tool for prospecting, and this new feature gives users the opportunity to stand out and send a strong message to their profile visitors. The new feature also means visitors have to scroll down to view your profile – most of the good stuff is now “below the fold” – so setting up a customer header is more than just a nice perk. It’s a requirement to keep your visitors’ attention.

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What’s Different About the New LinkedIn Header

Well, it exists, for starters. Until now, LinkedIn users have been limited to our profile photo and headline to differentiate ourselves from the herd. The new header adds  nearly 600,000 square pixels of space for users to play with in establishing their professional presence on the website. dimensions of the new linkedin header Image credit: Integrated Alliances The new header won’t affect how you appear in LinkedIn search results, so you’ll still want to make sure you’ve optimized your LinkedIn headline and profile photo to stand out and communicate value through the site’s search function. The new header serves to help your profile itself stand out and communicate what you’re all when visitors click into your profile.

Why You Should Care

As we mentioned above, most of your great LinkedIn Premium profile content will now be below the fold. You also have a pretty new canvas to work with to capture your visitor’s attention. You’ll need to give visitors a good reason to scroll down by capitalizing on this up-front real estate. Not only will setting up your new LinkedIn header set you apart from the crowd, setting it up well helps you plant a positive impression. It shows you’re ahead of the curve, tech-savvy, and resourceful. Check out the before and after for Charles’ profile: cb_LinkedIn_before Charles Bernard New LinkedIn Header Pretty big difference, right? The new header is also an incredible opportunity to emphasize your personal brand. By and large, LinkedIn profiles look the same – it can be difficult to establish (as a user) or identify (as a visitor) a personal brand on LinkedIn. The new header lets you announce your personal or company vision and mission right off the bat, so visitors don’t have to sift through your summary or job descriptions to get at the common thread.

How to Optimize Your Header for Sales

According to Jill Konrath, top sellers use LinkedIn more frequently and more strategically than their counterparts to get better results from their prospecting activity. The new header setup gives top sellers another avenue to make a great first impression.

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1. You Solve Problems

The same best practices for introducing yourself anywhere hold true for introducing yourself on LinkedIn. Emphasize the value you add and how you solve your prospects’ problems – not how great you are or your company is. Steer clear of “Best ___” and “#1 ____” unless you’re sure that’s what your audience is looking for. In the example above from Charles profile, for example, we’ve chosen the sentence “Change the way your salespeople think and act so they sell more.” This is a quick snippet of the CFS methodology and approach and  drives right at the results our target market is looking to achieve: sell more.

2. You Are Notable

For some reason, LinkedIn hides the “awards and recognition” section at the very bottom of your profile. Bring these to the foreground by adding them to your new header image. Adding the logos from awarding organizations is a particularly nice touch.

3. How to Set it Up

Don’t have access to Photoshop or another image editing program? Try Canva, a free online image creation tool that lets you create beautiful graphics quickly and easily. Canva provides pre-sized templates for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ headers, but doesn’t yet have a template for LinkedIn. You’ll need to use the “Use customer dimensions” options to enter the LinkedIn canvas size (1400×425). You can also choose from one of LinkedIn’s pre-made backgrounds. It won’t be personalized, but it’s better than the catch-all LinkedIn blue. Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 3.53.33 PM

Great Examples of the New LinkedIn Header in Action

Mike O’Neil put together a great resource on the new LinkedIn header. Not surprisingly, his profile is a great example of the header in action. He’s chosen to highlight his industry accolades, which emphasize his expertise and credibility in his field. Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 4.17.58 PM

Kurt Shaver is an expert in social selling, and has developed an eye-catching graphic that lets visitors know immediately exactly what he’s about.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 4.20.23 PM

Jo Saunders made great use of her brand colors to illustrate her work and her geographic focus in her new LinkedIn header. Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 4.20.42 PM

That should help you get started updating your new LinkedIn header. Let us know how it’s working for you in the comments!

By | 2016-10-17T16:34:24+00:00 June 23rd, 2014|Sales Success|0 Comments

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