Your LinkedIn headline – why it’s better to be specific

How did you choose your LinkedIn headline? Was it a conscious choice or a default (job title, etc.)? Here’s my decision-making process:

First, my LinkedIn headline is this –

Financial Services Social Media Strategies – Only After I Prove They Work Myself 🔴 Speaker 🔴 Author of ROTOMA

I use almost all the characters I’m possibly allowed (120 as of this writing) to disambiguate what I do and how I do it. I first include the keywords for which I’d like to show up in search (Financial Services Social Media Strategies), a qualifying statement why people should listen to me (Only After I Prove They Work Myself), offset the text with two big attention-grabbing graphics to mention I’m a speaker (60 speaking gigs this year), and then mention our book as well.

Although law firms (in addition to financial services companies) are a large client base, I haven’t had anyone tell me “Spence, I see you only work in financial services. Too bad, because we were going to work with you at our law firm until we saw your LinkedIn headline.” Said another way, I don’t see a detriment to declaring a niche.

Check the terms for which you show up in search (found in Your Dashboard | Search Appearances), to see if people are finding you.

Do you see a drawback to being specific in your headline?