Welcome to the second installment of the Social Media Profiles for Financial Advisors series. Here, we're going to explore LinkedIn and how, as a financial advisor, you can utilize it to help grow your business.
You’ve probably heard of LinkedIn. You may even have a profile set up and made some connections with other users. But are you utilizing it in all the ways it can help grow your business? Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of LinkedIn.
Understand How It Works
Unlike other social media channels that have a personal aspect to connecting, LinkedIn was designed to make professional connections and network with other professionals. While some users don’t use it for anything more than an electronic resume, it can be a valuable tool and possibly your main professional social media platform. Why? Because like any social media platform, content is meant to be shared. If you’re networking with the right people (i.e. influential people within your industry or prospects), you can connect in a virtual environment without having to make it to the after-hours mixers or luncheons just to make one or two contacts.
Optimize Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile isn’t just a resume. If leveraged correctly, it can be an online billboard featuring your qualifications, connections and experience. The most valuable real estate is what LinkedIn calls the “headline.” This is where most people simply put in their title. This is what shows up in a search and can help people decide if they’re going to view your entire profile and ultimately connect with you. Why not make your headline more about what you do, not simply your title? For example, instead of “Chris Smith, Financial Advisor,” you could turn that space into a brief sales pitch: “I help my clients realize their financial goals and dreams through responsible money management.” Just keep in mind that you have a 120-character limit for your LinkedIn headline, so short and sweet is the way to go. Your profile can also be a source of traffic back to your website, so be sure you have it linked to your profile as well.
Like any social media network, LinkedIn moves fast. Be sure to log in regularly to respond to connection requests (similar to a friend request on Facebook) and read the latest posts from your network. The news feed also makes you aware of any of your network members’ work anniversaries, professional milestones and even career changes. This is a good way to keep up with the happenings of your network and send simple “congratulations” messages. You can even see when it’s someone’s birthday. You may be surprised how a simple birthday wish can brighten someone’s day and possibly open a door to new relationships.
Post Original Content
While it’s always a good idea to share content from others, the most active LinkedIn users make regular posts to their LinkedIn pages with original content. Somewhat like a blog, this content is shown to all of your contacts in their feed. This is a great opportunity to share relevant trends in the industry, highlight a successful accomplishment or even provide some professional tips. Be sure to keep content generic or evergreen, so you can recycle it down the road.
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Take Advantage of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are subgroups full of members who have something in common. That may be an alumni group from a college or university, or perhaps a group of a certain profession or career. There is really no limit to the types of groups you can find on LinkedIn, so joining a number of them is a great way to make more connections. If you're not sure where to get started, visit LinkedIn Groups. With an estimated 1.5 million groups, you’re sure to find many that you can benefit from joining. And once you’re in the group, remain active and contribute to the conversation – you’ll get even more out of it.
Recommend and Endorse Others
LinkedIn offers endorsements and recommendations as a way for members to essentially vouch for one another. If you had a positive experience working with another LinkedIn member, you can endorse them by simply checking boxes matched with their skills. From there, that member is notified and immediately prompted to endorse you for skills relevant to your field. This virtual “back scratching” makes it simple and convenient for users to endorse others without it becoming too time consuming.
LinkedIn also offers reviews, which, while a little more in-depth, can speak volumes for the person’s experience and skills pertaining to their profession. A good way to get a review is to simply ask your contacts for one. However, if going this route, it’s best to only ask those contacts you have actually worked with in the past. Both reviews and endorsements will appear on your LinkedIn profile below your work history, so it’s worth your while to get as many as you can.
There you have it – some important tips for marketing on LinkedIn. By following these tips, you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a marketing platform that can make valuable professional connections and increase your AUM. Happy connecting!