When we read the paper – plenty of people still do – we scan the headlines and then the pic and if that gets us in – we will read the first paragraph.
In an age where we are being bombarded with information we increasingly need to process it quickly and decide if we are interested.
Hence I believe we all need to develop a Headline to defines what we do in terms of the benefits we bring to people and back it with a paragraph that adds value to that.
In fact your headline should develop interest and prompt a question …. while your paragraph should answer it … even if not asked!
When we ask people what they do when we are at a networking event we actually mean “what can you do for me?” or “what is it that you do that is of interest to me?”
If I meet someone and they tell me they are CEO of XYZ Ltd all I know about them is their job title and I can them allocate some level of importance. However when the next person tells me they are CEO of ABC Pty Ltd I still don’t know much about them.
In fact if I asked 50 CEOs what they do they would all tell me something different …. so why tell me your Title when I really want to know your headline.
So work out your headline and your opening paragraph and for print communication – eg your LinkedIn profile – use a photograph that sums you up as best you can.
This approach is working for me and I am sure it will for you. Save your time and mine by giving me your What’s In It For Me line and not your Job title.
LinkedIn gives you the hint. When you are completing your profile it asks for a Professional Headline …. but almost all that I see are just a repeat of the person’s current job title.