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Best Online Payroll Services




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Want to get right to the point? My top picks for the best online payroll services are definitely Gusto and QuickBooks.

Choosing an online payroll service is both easier and more complicated than ever before thanks to the hundreds of options to choose from.

There is no shortage of options on the plus side, which increases the likelihood of finding the perfect service for your business.

Conversely, with so many services to compare, making a final decision is not always easy.

However, we’ve worked with dozens of teams and have been involved in paying hundreds of people over the years. With our combined experience, we narrowed it down to the five best online payroll services to choose from.

Gusto Logo


Best for Sole Proprietors

Focus on paying yourself with ease using features like automated pay runs, seamless onboarding, electronic tax payments, and more. Paid plans start at $25 per month.

The Best Online Payroll Services Options to Consider

  1. Gusto – Best payroll service for sole proprietors
  2. QuickBooks – Best for integrating with QuickBooks Accounting
  3. ADP – Best for startups and fast-growth companies
  4. SurePayroll – Best for household employees
  5. – Best free online payroll service

When Does It Make Sense to Invest In Online Payroll Services?

Regardless if you have one employee or 100+, payroll compliance is extremely important. Not only does it ensure that your employees get paid on time and in full, but it also helps protect against costly penalties.

Whether you rely on a payroll service is a personal decision. You don’t have to use an online service, but you do have to maintain compliance with all local, state, and federal tax agencies. 

It makes sense to invest in an online payroll service if you want:

  • To avoid the time-consuming process of running payroll yourself
  • To ensure accuracy
  • Someone on your side who can help you maintain compliance
  • A service that provides your employees with important information and answers to their questions

For those who are on the fence, comparing the pros, cons, and features of multiple services can help you decide if it’s the right decision.

#1 – Gusto — The Best For Sole Proprietors

Gusto Logo


Best for Sole Proprietors

Focus on paying yourself with ease using features like automated pay runs, seamless onboarding, electronic tax payments, and more. Paid plans start at $25 per month.

As a sole proprietor, it’s easy to overlook the importance of choosing an online payroll service. After all, you’re the only employee, so you don’t see much need for professional help.

But then you meet Gusto.

Companies of all sizes can use it effectively, but it really shines if you’re a sole proprietor. 

From tax payments to year-end filings, Gusto allows you to do everything electronically. This saves you time and money, while also eliminating the possibility of something important getting lost in the mail.

Furthermore, once you load all the necessary information into the system, you can set it to run payroll automatically. This is particularly helpful as a sole proprietor, as you don’t have to concern yourself with employees wanting to make changes. 

Plus, every time you hire a new employee, you need to add them to your payroll system. Gusto makes this easy with its simplified onboarding process. 

Some of the things you may not like about Gusto include:

  • Less than desirable customer support: It’s easy enough to get ahold of the sales department, but when it comes to support you may face some issues. 
  • Complex pricing structure: Starting at $25/employee per month, Gusto is priced to sell. However, as you learn more about its different plans, you may find it confusing. 

Gusto is a modern solution to processing payroll online. With more pros than cons, it’s worth a second look.  

#2 – QuickBooks — The Best For Integration with QuickBooks Accounting Software

QuickBooks Logo


Best for QuickBooks Integration

Well-known for speedy direct deposits, electronic filings, ease of use, and extensive training materials. Paid plans start at $14.50 per month with a 30-day free trial.

When it comes to name recognition, you won’t find many online payroll services with as much clout as QuickBooks. This is due in large part to the fact that many businesses are already familiar with QuickBooks accounting software. 

If you want an online payroll provider that efficiently integrates with your QuickBooks accounting software, start here. 

Top features include:

  • Industry-leading direct deposit speed: Your employees want to be paid on time, every time. And QuickBooks makes sure this happens. Direct deposits are quick and no later than the next business day. 
  • Electronic filing: Just the same as Gusto, electronic filing is never a concern with QuickBooks. From your monthly tax payments to year-end filings, you can cut paper out of this part of your business. 
  • Easy to set-up: With step by step tutorials, the set-up process should only take a few minutes. And once you’re familiar with the interface, it’s easy to add and remove employees.

The benefits of QuickBooks are powerful, but there are some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • It’s best (and easiest) to integrate with QuickBooks accounting software: If you use this software, it’s not a problem. But if you don’t, you may find integration challenging.
  • Hit or miss customer service: As one of the largest payroll companies on the list, QuickBooks often struggles to keep up with the demands of its customers. If you have a question or concern, it may take a while to get help.  

When it comes to pricing, QuickBooks has something for everyone. In addition to a free trial, you can start for as little as $13.50/month plus $4/month for each additional employee. 

#3 – ADP — The Best For Scaling Companies

ADP Logo


Best for Fast-Growth Companies

Built to scale with fast-growth startups and small businesses. Flexible pricing and custom functionality to suit businesses of all sizes. Includes 24/7/365 customer support and seamless integration with ADP’s other business tools.

Much the same as QuickBooks, ADP is a well-known payroll service that offers solutions for businesses of all sizes.  

For small companies and startups looking to scale in the future, ADP is an excellent choice. The system can scale alongside your company, thus ensuring that you never experience payroll growing pains.

Here’s what you’ll like about ADP:

  • Flexibility: No two businesses are the same, and ADP understands that. And for that reason, they have flexible plans that allow you to get everything you need and nothing you don’t.
  • 24/7 customer support: When it comes to customer support, ADP is the top-dog on this list. With the ability to connect with an experienced support professional 24/7, you never have to wait for assistance. 
  • Easy to integrate with a variety of HCM solutions: As you grow, you may need ADP for more than payroll. It has products for things such as recruitment, retirement, benefits, and outsourcing. 

Now, let’s check out a couple of downfalls:

  • Upcharges: As you get up and running, you’ll find that ADP tries to sneak in upcharges on you. For example, there are set-up charges that can add up.
  • Required to call for a quote: Much the same as SurePayroll, you have to call ADP if you want a pricing quote. This can slow down the process, especially when competitors like Gusto and QuickBooks provide transparent online pricing. 

For scaling companies interested in doing business with a well-known provider that offers a variety of solutions, ADP is a good choice. 

#4 – SurePayroll — The Best For Household Employees

SurePayroll Logo


Best for Household Employees

Serving small businesses for 20+ years. SurePayroll is simple, cost-effective, and straightforward for busy household employers. Run payroll anytime and file your taxes electronically with full-service vs. self-service options.

For more than 20 years, SurePayroll has been serving small businesses in every industry imaginable. 

While any type of business can use SurePayroll, it’s payroll service for household employees stands out from the crowd.

If you have a household employee, such as a nanny or butler, you’re required by law to pay payroll taxes. SurePayroll has designed its service to be simple, cost-effective, and straight-forward, which is just what busy household employers are looking for.

Top features include:

  • Run payroll anytime, from anywhere: With SurePayroll, you can run payroll from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. As long as you have internet access, you can get the job done.
  • Full-service and self-service options: With full-service, SurePayroll takes over the entire process on your behalf. With self-service, you’re responsible for inputting the data necessary to run payroll. 
  • Tax filing guarantee: It doesn’t matter if you choose full-service or self-service, you’re backed by SurePayroll’s tax filing guarantee. If they make an error in your tax liability calculations, they’ll pay the penalty. Talk about peace of mind!

Potential downfalls of SurePayroll include:

  • It’s designed for small businesses. Even though mid to large-sized businesses can use the service, it’s features are geared more toward those with 100 employees or less. 
  • Outdated interface. Upon signing up, you’ll realize that the SurePayroll interface isn’t in line with what you’d expect in 2020.

SurePayroll also excels in customer support, with the option to contact an experienced payroll professional via phone, live chat, or email. 

In regards to price, SurePayroll requires you to complete the quote form on its website for more information. Cost depends on the number of employees and whether you choose full-service or self-service.

For household employers and small businesses, SurePayroll is solid across the board. 

#5 – — The Best Free Online Payroll Service

Payroll4Free Logo


Best for Free Service

Always free for up to 25 employees. Numerous free add-ons like a payroll calculator, employee portal, and detailed reporting. Direct deposit or standard check payment options. Customer support via phone and email.

Many sole proprietors and small businesses run their own payroll to save money. Even if it’s time-consuming and stressful, they’d rather deal with it than part with a dollar. 

With, you may be able to get the best of both worlds. If money is what matters most, you’re not likely to find a better deal.

As the name suggests, allows you to use its service free of cost. It’s able to do so by placing ads inside the software you use to run payroll. Yes, it can be distracting, but it’s a good tradeoff if you’re looking to save.

Top features of include:

  • Free for up to 25 employees: As long as you have 25 employees or fewer, is always free.
  • Variety of free add-ons: You can do more than run payroll with Add-ons include a payroll calculator, employee portal, and detailed reporting. 
  • Direct deposit or paper check: Let your employees choose, so you can pay them the way they want.

Areas of concern include:

  • Outdated interface: If you want a pretty, intuitive interface, isn’t for you. It’s outdated and difficult to navigate.
  • Ads: has to make money somehow, and they do so by placing ads inside the software. This can be distracting to both you and your employees. 

As a smaller online payroll service, is able to provide above-average customer support via email and phone. 

Although it lags behind the competition in some key areas, is 100% free. And for some, that’ll always be enough to win them over. 

Methodology For Choosing The Best Online Payroll Service

There is no right or wrong way to evaluate online payroll services, but some details deserve more attention than others. We focused on a variety of factors to ensure a comprehensive breakdown of each, with a focus on:


Some people want nothing more than the basics, while others need a service with a full set of features. 

Top features include a payroll calculator, direct deposit, electronic tax payments, and the ability to manage both W-2 employees and 1099 contractors. 

Built-In HR Features

On top of basic payroll features, it’s important to consider benefits, employee dashboards, and other critical HR features. This is especially true if you’re a small business, since you probably don’t have a human resources department.

Most online payroll services include some type of benefits management, including things like:

  • Group health insurance coverage
  • Vacation, time-off requests, and holidays
  • A self-service employee dashboard
  • Automated taxes, depending on your state


Money, money, money. When choosing a payroll service, consider the financial impact on your business. Some services, such as are free of cost, while others, such as Gusto, are at the high end of the scale.

The key is to understand what you get in exchange for your money. 

Customer Support

Customer support is a critical component of any online payroll service. Even if you know how to use the system and trust your provider to do the right thing, there are sure to be times when you have questions. 

The best providers in regards to customer support are available via phone, email, and live chat. 

Gusto Logo


Best for Sole Proprietors

Focus on paying yourself with ease using features like automated pay runs, seamless onboarding, electronic tax payments, and more. Paid plans start at $25 per month.


Gusto and QuickBooks are our top recommendations for most users because they’re easy to use, affordable, and packed full of powerful features.

However, there are other high-quality options to choose from.

So, don’t forget to use the methodology outlined above as you go through the process of choosing the best online payroll service for your business.

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They want to cancel their subscription? OK I don’t need them!




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You are building a product and you put your hurt and soul into it. You’re rewriting the details, crafting perfect pixel design, generating leads, ads campaigns, cold outreach, and publishing on all channels.

You present a perfect demo, onboard a new subscriber, and then he churns.

At that point you get mad and start making excuses:

  • “they don’t understand the product”
  • “they were using it wrong anyway”
  • “their business sucks”
  • “I don’t need them”

But honestly, YOU DO.

I went through the same process but eventually realized that:

A subscriber that wants to cancel the service actually tells me a lot about how the product can grow.

Once you reveal churn hidden opportunities, you can take action to prevent churn and make your way to the holy grail of negative churn.

It makes sense – positive growth depends on having CAC/LTV metric, it’s as simple as that. You are already spending a lot of greens on CAC but how much are you spending to increase LTV?

Let’s say you have 1,000 subscribers paying $10 monthly subscription = $10,000 monthly revenue.

Assume your monthly churn rate is 6% so the next month you will have 940 paid subscribers and $9,400 in revenue, and the month after that – 883 paid subscribers and $8,830 in revenue.

If you run the calculation until the end of the year, you will see that on month 12 your monthly revenue is $4,760. Let’s see what happens to your LTV if you lower your churn rate from 6% to 1%: In the first month you will have the same $10,000, but at the end of the year your revenue will be $8,860.

Your LTV went from $4.76 to $8.86 -> that’s a 86% increase!

The article is written with love by me, the founder of Churndler.


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Analytics Consulting




Your analytics should tell you everything. 

Tools like Google Analytics are incredibly valuable for businesses. Once you’re setup, you’ll have everything you need to analyze your performance data properly. Instead, many companies have realized that their analytics tools have introduced a lot of unexpected problems. 

They’re not getting the kind of value they need. 

That’s the good news. Most companies think their data is clean; that they’re making good decisions with the data they have. Most of these companies are wrong; they just don’t know it yet. This is why companies need analytics consulting. They don’t know what they don’t know. 

Today, I’ll show you how to find the right analytics consultant for your business.  

4 Ways an Analytics Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

Many companies make the wrong assumptions. Using a tool like Google Analytics, clients think all they have to do is drop the tracking code into their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It sounds easy, but it often isn’t. 

There’s more to it than that. 

This is why you need an analytics consultant. With the right consultant, you’ll have the education you need to grow your business. You’ll be able to pull insights out of your data using a variety of methods. Each of these strategies is important because they have a cumulative effect on your business. 

Here are four ways analytics consulting can help you grow your business. 

1. Exclude spam traffic via bots, scrapers, and spiders

How much of your traffic comes from real visitors? How much of it comes from bots, scrapers, and spiders? According to Imperva, almost half of all internet traffic is non-human. In 2014, Google introduced an obscure setting that enables you to filter out bots and spiders listed in IAB’s Interactional Spiders and Bots list. This low-key setting is buried in Google Analytics, but it’s incredibly important; many small businesses still aren’t aware of this setting. 

You’ll also need help to filter out referral spam.

Referral spam is basically fake website hits; these bots, scrapers, and spiders land in your site. Site owners send their spam to your site. They hope you’ll see these referrals in your Google Analytics account, clickthrough, and visit their site. 

This junk traffic poisons your data. 

It gives you false readings based on inaccurate data. Your site may be more or less profitable, depending on your visits-to-spam ratio on your site. This isn’t something many businesses watch for in their analytics reports. 

A good analytics consultant will consistently filter the variations of spam traffic (e.g., direct spam traffic, referral spam traffic, etc.) out of your reports, so you get a clear picture of your marketing performance. 

2. Help you analyze your data properly

A lot of companies don’t know how to analyze their data properly. According to Forrester, between 60 and 73 percent of a company’s analytics data goes unused. Companies collect lots of data on customer activity, but they aren’t using it, why?

There are lots of reasons. 

  • Companies don’t know what they have 
  • Companies aren’t aware of the value of their data
  • They don’t know how to evaluate or analyze their data
  • Their data isn’t available to those who can use it 
  • There’s too much data to go through and not enough time to use it

Think about it. 

Right now, your company has valuable data about your customers. This is data you can use to attract more customers, lower expenses, grow faster, jump ahead of competitors, etc. 

If you’re unaware of the data, you can’t use it. 

A good analytics consultant will help you analyze your data properly, showing you what you have and how you can use it to grow your business. 

3. Identify the list of problems you’re trying to fix

Your data isn’t as valuable without context. 

If you know the problem you’re trying to solve, you have a pretty good idea of the answers you’re looking for in your data. 

That’s the problem though. 

A lot of companies treat their analytics tools as a technology issue. They focus their attention on the obvious issues like hardware or software. They rarely treat their analytics as a question and answer tool. That’s exactly what it is, though. 

Target had the right idea when they started their analysis with a problem/question. 

Remember the story?

“If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?” It’s a creepy story that shows the power of questions and problems. A great analytics consultant will help you discover the issues you’re trying to solve and the questions that need answers. 

4. Focus your attention on the metrics that explain why

Analytics tells you what happened — what visitors did when they arrived on your site, the ads they responded to, what they read most often, etc. It doesn’t tell you why visitors do the things they do. Understanding what is important, but it’s more important to understand why something happens. 

Focusing on the right metrics is the answer. 

The right analytics consultant will help you answer the “what” — basically looking in the rearview mirror. But they’ll also help you look ahead; They’ll dig deeper, showing you the why behind visitor and customer behaviors. 

Your analytics consultant should provide you with the education and support you need to squeeze more value out of your data.

How to Get Started With an Analytics Consultant

Avinash Kaushik has a three-step framework he uses to help analytics consultants support their clients. He calls it Data Capture. Data Reporting. Data Analysis. The nice part about this framework is the fact that it’s easy for both clients and consultants. 

Consultants can use each of these buckets to analyze your goals, objectives, and the results they want to accomplish with each. 

You’re basically goal setting with this framework.

Here’s a closer look at each of these three buckets and the goals for each of these. 

  1. Data Capture: Work in this bucket is focused on audits or updating data capture methods (e.g., updating, editing, or customizing tags). This step is especially important because it determines the quality of what comes afterward. If you’ve done a good job with your data capture methods, you’ll have accurate data and reporting you can use for your analysis. 
  2. Data Reporting: Your consultant sets up the reports you need on the intervals required. Your consultants help you identify the reports you’ll need, and they provide you with the reports you need regularly. 
  3. Data Analysis: This is what Avinash calls an open-ended assignment, but it’s one you’ve provided to your consultant. You’re asking them to answer specific questions for you — your consultant should be able to show you what to measure, what your data is saying, what to do based on your data, and why you should do it. 

Here’s what this means for you. 

You’ll want to find an analytics consultant or agency that can handle all three steps in this framework. This also means you’ll need a clear idea of problems you’re dealing with ahead of time. 

Measuring the ROI of Analytics Consulting Services

Many companies don’t understand analytics.

If you don’t understand analytics, that’s okay; you just need to know whether you’re generating a return on your analytics investment. According to Nucleus Research, analytics returns $13.01 for every $1 invested

Your consultant should be able to calculate your return on analytics investment

This obviously much easier if your consultant is focused on the data analysis bucket. Suppose they’ve made several data-driven improvements to your site over three to six months. Their recommendations have lead to an increase in revenue, profit, or a return on investment for you. They should be able to verify your return on investment using the worksheet I’ve linked above. 

The good news is the fact that analytics, as a discipline, is data-driven.

Checklist For Finding the Right Analytics Consultant

Choosing the right analytics consultant requires a very different set of skills. If you’re working with an independent analytics consultant, you’ll need to approach this in one of two ways. 

  1. Choose a consultant with all of the skills needed to perform across all three buckets (data capture, reporting, analysis). 
  2. Choose an agency with analysts and implementation specialists needed to generate the results you need. 

Here’s a list of the skills needed for each of the three roles in your buckets. Avinash breaks these skills down in detail in his web analytics consulting framework post

Here’s a quick summary. 

  • For the data capture bucket, your consultant should have the skills of an implementation specialist. They’re experienced with tag managers; they understand data dimensioning and working knowledge of tracking variables. 
  • With the data reporting bucket, your consultant should be familiar with report creation in your analytics platform; they should also have a master list of the custom reports you’ll need for various options. It’s also ideal if your consultant has a working knowledge of his own set of customizations. 
  • For the data analysis bucket, your consultant should be a web analyst. Your consultant should be comfortable with advanced statistics and analytical techniques. They should be experienced in descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. 

If you’re working with an independent consultant, they should be an industry veteran with the skills I’ve listed above. If you’re working with an agency, they should have employees with the skills for each bucket. If you have implementation specialists, you can handle data capture and possibly reporting. 

Just make sure they’re a fit for that role. 


Many companies aren’t familiar with analytics consulting. They’re not entirely sure how analytics impacts their organization. That’s okay, as long as the ROI is there. 

Using a tool like Google Analytics, many companies assume that all they need to do is customize the tracking code, drop it onto their web pages, log into their account, and begin analyzing their data. It should be that easy, but it isn’t. 

There’s more to it than that. 

With most companies, their analytics data goes unused, they collect lots of data on customer activity, but they don’t know how to squeeze value out of their data. Analytics consulting can help you evaluate your performance data properly. Choose the right team,  and your data will tell you what you need to know. 


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10 Tips For Writing a Winning LinkedIn Headline




LinkedIn’s 690 million members include 180 million senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers and 10 million C-level executives. 

Hence, there are a lot of influential people on LinkedIn that have hiring power and purchase power. Whatever you hope to achieve from using the network, you’ll want to make a good impression.

Your headline is the first thing that people see aside from your profile picture. It’s how decision-makers will find you. It’s how you get people to notice you and what will make them want to visit your profile to learn more. Thus, it’s safe to say your headline is pretty important.

So, I thought I’d share my top tips for creating an effective headline with you. But, first, let’s look at the basics:

What is Your LinkedIn Headline?

Your headline is the tagline that appears under your name on LinkedIn and at the top of your profile page. The headline used to be limited to 120 characters. But, here’s some good news, LinkedIn extended the headline to 220 characters in 2020. So, you have a little more space to sell yourself, share your vision or whatever it is you’d like to express via your headline.

What Makes a Winning LinkedIn Headline

There are some important criteria for creating an impactful headline. The best LinkedIn headlines do the following:

Make Use of Keywords

Keywords aren’t the only thing your headline should include. But they are key to helping the right people find your profile. Keywords can include your job title, skills and areas you specialize in. Place keywords towards the beginning of your headline and then expand with further information.

Express Your Value

Expressing you or your company’s value means sharing more than the tasks you carry out. Your headline should be driven by the benefits of the services you provide and the kind of results you achieve. For example, rather than saying you do tax planning, you’d say you help businesses to save money.

Are Unique

A winning LinkedIn headline is one that stands out from the crowd. Think about how many people do the exact same job as you or offer similar services. You can give yourself a competitive edge and encourage more people to visit your profile by making your headline different.

Help You Meet Your Goals

You need to think carefully about why you’re on LinkedIn and what you hope to achieve. This should inform what you include in your headline (and the rest of your profile). If you’re not sure about what you can accomplish on LinkedIn or how to go about it, you may wish to speak with a social media consultant.

Now let’s look in more detail at exactly how you can create a winning headline:

1. Get Inspiration

By default, LinkedIn uses your job title and employer as your headline. What a snooze fest. If you want to do better, the first step is to get inspired.

Search for people in your field or who have similar roles to you. Take a look at how they’ve formulated their headlines. See what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Of course, you shouldn’t just nab somebody else’s headline. But, doing this will help you come up with ideas for how you want your headline to appear.

Also, pay attention to those who appear at the top of the search results for your industry. What keywords do they use? Note these keywords as they likely contribute to why these pros are doing so well in the search results.

2. Ask Yourself These Questions

When you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn headline to maximize its impact, it’s a good idea to have a little brainstorming sesh. Here are some questions that will guide you when you’re coming up with ideas:

  • How would you describe yourself to a new colleague if you only had five seconds?
  • What makes you different from others with the same job title?
  • Why should users click on your profile?
  • What are your most in-demand skills?
  • What are your biggest accomplishments?
  • What makes you unique?

3. Choose the Right Keywords

Include relevant keywords in your headline so that you appear in more search results. 

To do this, you’ll first need to think about who you want to find your profile on LinkedIn. A recruiter? A potential lead? Influencers you hope to connect with? And so on…

This will guide you in figuring out the right keywords to use. For example, you may include your specific skills or specialisms to get found by recruiters with the most relevant job opportunities. 

In this example, we don’t just have a “developer”, nor do we just have a “chatbot developer”, the user goes even more specific with the terms “Facebook Messenger Marketing” and “Automation Practitioner”:

Whereas, if you’re using LinkedIn to network and boost your authority, you may want to use broader terms. Your job role might be “Artworker” but in order to be found by more people, it’d be a very good idea to include the term “Graphic Design”.

4. Include Your Unique Selling Proposition

Keywords alone aren’t enticing enough to get users to visit your profile. State the value that you provide by doing what you do, in particular something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

There’s a simple formula you can use to express this: I help X do Y by doing Z. Here’s an example from an accounting consultant:

When she says “I help women build profitable businesses”, she outlines the beneficial results of her work, not just the tasks that she performs. You should do something similar.

You can also use data to drive your point home. Here an email marketer shares the average results he achieves:

There are tons of relevant data points you could include to prove your value, such as the number of customers you’ve helped achieve a particular outcome or the results of an impressive case study.

5. Share Your Achievements/Credentials

When you make self-aggrandizing claims on LinkedIn, people will either think you’re arrogant or full of it. Instead, you should go by the old adage, “Show don’t tell”. Show that you’re great at what you do via your achievements or credentials.

What’s your most impressive achievement? Have you won an award perhaps? Been featured on top media outlets? Sold a bunch of books? Grew a well-known company? Those are the kind of things you’ll want to share.

This professional shares the fact that he’s been a LinkedIn Top Voice honoree four times and sprinkles in some serious social proof by mentioning his work with Mark Cuban:

Furthermore, certain credentials that are recognized by people in your industry will give you clout. For example, in the marketing world it’s good to be Google-certified, like this pro:

Share credentials relevant to your position to show that you’re not just messing around, you really know what you’re doing.

6. Use Natural Language

Keep your headline free of jargon, particularly if you’re using LinkedIn for sales or lead generation. If a prospect doesn’t understand what you’re selling, you won’t have much luck.

Similarly, make your job title clear and simple unless you’re seeking a specific job role. Again, users you want to connect with may not understand what you do. Even if you think the term “Business Development Manager” is clear, trust me, simplifying it to “Sales Manager” is much more transparent.

Also, avoid buzzwords. After a time, every Tom, Dick and Harry will be using the same trendy terminology to describe their services. Thus, your words become meaningless.

And saying that you’re a “Guru”, “Ninja” or “Wizard” is a bit cheesy and old-fashioned. It won’t help you in the search results either. When was the last time you searched for a ninja on LinkedIn or anywhere for that matter?

Try to use simple, everyday language to explain your role or value proposition. Here’s an excellent example from a marketing professional:

Her target audience, small businesses, may not be familiar with or fully understand industry terms so she offers a straightforward, benefit-driven value proposition.

7. Don’t Put “Unemployed”

Even if you’re currently looking for a job, you shouldn’t put “Unemployed”, “Seeking New Opportunities” or similar in your headline. 

The thing is, recruiters or companies aren’t searching for the term “Unemployed” on LinkedIn. You only get a couple hundred characters for your headline, so it would be better to utilize that space for keywords that they are likely to search for, and your experience, specialisms, credentials etc.

You can show that you’re looking for work on your profile instead. At the top of your profile, you’ll see a section that says, “Show recruiters you’re open to work”. 

Simply, fill in details about the type of role you’re looking for and the location. You can even change the settings so that your current employers won’t see that you’re seeking work.

8. Share Your Mission

Maybe you’re not looking to promote yourself. Perhaps, you’re in the process of growing a startup or maybe you or your company are trying to achieve a wider goal that you want people to know about.

If this sounds like you, then you should definitely share your vision in your headline. In this example, the professional shares what he does “mass transit” but also why he does it “to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more connected community”:

You could use a similar formula. Start with the what and then go into the why. If you’re unsure about how to phrase your goals, you can always take inspiration from your company’s mission statement.

9. Show Your Personality

Like with any other social media platform, users skim through their LinkedIn feed, groups and even search results at speed. So, you need a headline that’s going to make somebody stop and take notice.

Get creative and use your headline to express your personality. Not only will it make you stand out but it’ll also make your profile memorable.

Here’s an example from an SEO manager with a quirky sense of humor:

Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to be the Kevin Hart of LinkedIn. There are other ways to express your personality via your headline. Perhaps, you want to project positive vibes or enthusiasm. 

You could even share a little personal tidbit about yourself. Maybe you do PR during the day and rule at Settlers of Catan by night… This kind of thing will also help start conversations between you and new connections.

10. Keep Your Headline Updated

It’s easy to set and forget your headline. But to get the most from it you need to keep it up to date.

Firstly, be sure to add new skills, achievements, career developments and so on when they arise. Your skillset will develop over time and your headline should reflect this.

Moreover, you may wish to test the impact of your headline and update it accordingly. When you make an alteration, keep an eye on the number of people who have viewed your profile. 

With LinkedIn Premium, you can also see who has viewed your profile. Therefore, you can discover if your headline is attracting who you want to attract or your target audience.


You can use your LinkedIn headline to get noticed by influential professionals and encourage more people to visit your profile. A winning headline combines relevant keywords and your unique value proposition.

Don’t forget to think carefully about who you hope to attract with your headline. And don’t be afraid to sell yourself as long as it doesn’t come across as too boastful.

Take the first step towards creating a great LinkedIn headline. Do some research to see what works well in your industry and brainstorm ideas for your own headline.


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