Captivate with your LinkedIn headline

Oct 18, 2020

Make a great first impression, showcase your experience and expertise, and stand out as a top architect in your market.

Attracting new architecture clients is all about nurturing relationships with prospects and referrers. Unlike some other industries, there is no magic button you can press to build those relationships. You can’t simply run a few Facebook ads and expect people to suddenly hire you. Creating meaningful, trusting relationships with prospective clients takes time and effort.

But where do you start?

  • Cold calling?
  • Zoom meetings?
  • Local networking events?
  • Virtual trade events?
  • Sponsorships?
  • Social media?

The truth is, you are probably doing one or more of these already, but your results may be hit or miss. In this article, I’ll show you how LinkedIn can play a role in helping you to make a great first impression with ideal prospects and referrers you meet in real life and online.

Why LinkedIn? According to Omnicore, 167 million people, nearly half of the United States population, are on LinkedIn. Savvy architecture, engineering, and construction firm owners already know that LinkedIn is a proven platform for finding, attracting, connecting to, and nurturing beneficial relationships with potential clients and referrers. It’s also a go-to resource your prospects use to research and learn about firms and the people behind them.

What makes LinkedIn so great? We asked a group of 76 architects to Google their own names. An overwhelming majority, 82 percent, reported that a link to their LinkedIn profile appeared on the first page of search results. You really can’t argue with results like that. Clearly, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when it comes to online search.

Your LinkedIn profile is like a personal billboard. Because LinkedIn is so well known and widely used, anytime you meet someone or they are referred to your firm, it’s very likely they will end up on your LinkedIn profile page. This makes your profile a key component for helping you make a great impression with prospective clients. And, when you get your LinkedIn profile right, it plays a key role in helping busy people to quickly understand why you are someone worth getting to know more about.

You have to think of it like your own personal billboard. Knowing how busy people are, you want to make sure viewers get a great first impression of you, otherwise they are likely to pass you by.

Why your LinkedIn profile headline is so important. Your profile headline, just like the headline on a billboard, needs to quickly convey the important details that will convince someone to learn more about you.

In our recent in-depth article about LinkedIn, you’ll find detailed insights, and proven tips and techniques to use on every section of your LinkedIn profile. But, for this article, let’s focus on your LinkedIn profile headline, as it’s a very important part of the puzzle.

What is a LinkedIn profile headline? When someone visits your profile, they’ll first see your photo, name, and your headline. Many people simply use a job title as their profile headline. This is a huge lost opportunity and it results in being ignored and overlooked.

When a prospect is scanning the top of your profile, what they really want to know is what you do and why they should care. “Founding architect” or “studio principal” makes you sound ordinary. They are not looking for “just an architect” they are looking for someone who can solve their unique problems.

Grab your visitor’s attention with something like “Award-winning modern luxury home designer for select clients who want to enjoy the coastal Florida lifestyle.” Much more compelling and informative, right?

Give them a taste of what you have to offer. Tell them exactly what you do, who you do it for, why you’re different, and, ideally, what you provide as a benefit.

How to write an effective LinkedIn profile headline. Here is a simple formula to help you get it right: Keyword(s) + Target Audience + Benefit = Awesome Profile Headline

  • Keywords. Use keywords in your headline to make it easier for your target audience to find you:
    • What do they search for?
    • What are they looking for help with?
    • The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your ideal clients to find you.
  • Target audience. Mention your target audience so they know that you work with them specifically. For example, if you want to design eco-friendly homes, include the words “eco homes” or “green homes” in your headline.
  • Benefit. Outlining the benefits you provide your clients will grab their attention. If you consistently save restaurants tens of thousands of dollars in build-out costs, include that. Make it clear why your ideal connections would want to connect with you.

Three important tips for your LinkedIn profile headline:

  1. Keep your most important info in the first 80 characters of your headline. When you appear in viewers’ news feeds, those 80 characters are what will show up in the abbreviated preview.
  2. When editing your headline on a desktop computer, LinkedIn only allows about 120 total characters of text. However, if you edit it using the LinkedIn app on your mobile device, you’ll have nearly double that amount of text to work with.
  3. Adding relevant hashtags to your profile headline will help you get found by people looking for your services. But don’t go overboard, three hashtags are enough.

Use your LinkedIn profile to attract prospective clients and make a great first impression. LinkedIn makes it easy to find, connect with, and communicate with the people you want to meet. It’s the first place to go when prospects are researching contacts they may be thinking about doing business with.

Think of your headline as a key element in communicating how you and your firm are different.

By putting some time and effort into writing a great LinkedIn profile headline, you can elevate yourself above every other architect. The more you can fine-tune your headline, the more you’ll find that your target audience finds and connects with you.

But, if your profile is incomplete or out of date, if it’s not clear what kind of value you can provide, or if there are major gaps in your work history, what kind of impression will that make?

For more in-depth tips and techniques, check out our article “Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract Your Best Clients & Prospects.” You’ll find detailed insights and step-by-step advice to improve every section of your LinkedIn profile. Make a great first impression, showcase your experience and expertise, and stand out as a top architect in your market. Get started today!

Bryon McCartney is a managing partner and the Chief Idea Guy at Archmark Architect Branding and Marketing in Estero, Florida. Bryon and the Archmark team are committed to the goal of providing value to 100,000 architects by 2030 by helping firms to leverage branding, marketing, and virtual networking to build resilient and sustainable firms. Bryon is a featured author, podcast guest, and speaker for AIA, ASLA, Entrearchitect, Inside the Firm, and SMPS.

For further information, visit ARCHMARK | Architect Branding & Marketing at To connect with Bryon on LinkedIn or visit

Click here to read this week's issue of The Zweig Letter.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.