Whether you’re an experienced financial advisor or new to the field, LinkedIn can be an amazing place to start promoting your business— as long as you do it properly. With over 250 million active monthly members, posting on LinkedIn can be an easy way to tap into your desired audience. In this guide we will walk through 7 simple steps that you can take to optimize your LinkedIn for the greatest chance of success.
1. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a great headline.
This is essentially the digital version of a business card except much more versatile. Rather than using this space to tell people what your job is, consider an informative slogan describing how you can help out potential clients. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Helping people pursue financial freedom
Passionate about helping others navigate to retirement
Leading financial advisor with X years of experience
Need help saving money?
Do: Feel free to be creative. Depending on your target market, emojis may be acceptable (but don’t go overboard!).
Don’t: Be wordy — try and keep it to 8 words or less.
The entire point of this section is to pique people’s interest just enough to encourage a click on your full profile.
2. Pay attention to the about section.
Use this space to highlight what type of work you do, why you do it, and what makes you stand above the competition. It’s important to consider that this will likely be one of the first things a potential client reads about you, so be sure to include your personal voice while still maintaining a sense of professionalism. Especially in the age of remote work, you want your personality to come through.
Do: Highlight your successes in a humble manner. Feel free to mention any awards or recognitions you’ve received.
Don’t: Be overly sale-oriented. This is a space for individuals to get to know you better and begin building trust. They aren’t looking for an elevator pitch on your company.
It’s important to keep this section relatively concise; keep it under 650 characters. Remember that even though this section should be about you, it needs to engage and hold your audience’s attention. Don’t share all the gritty details of your 6-month internship. Get straight to the point about why someone would care.
3. Properly complete the job history section.
Whether you’re new to the industry or an experienced veteran, it’s crucial to highlight your experience. It’s a best practice to use bullet points for this section with no more than 3 or 4 (in rare circumstances, up to 6 may be OK).
Do: Make sure that every part of a job is filled out. This includes company image, location, time spent working there, and the brief description for each position.
Don’t: Use this space to highlight every miniscule aspect of working there. As a rule of thumb, you should include your daily responsibilities, any new operational changes you created or helped implement, and other impressive statistics you played a role in.
If you have work samples to include, be sure to add them for each of your roles. This can be a great way to show off your skills further.
4. Get a great headshot
Your profile image is the first thing someone will notice about you on LinkedIn, whether they searched for you, you came up in recommendations, or you showed up organically in their feed. The reality is, you have a split-second window to make a good impression. Having a clean, professional headshot is the best way to nail that first impression.
Do: Feel free to use the camera on your smartphone (just have someone else take the photo, selfies aren’t ideal!). Make sure that the image is from shoulder level above and you have an inviting facial expression.
Don’t: Use that dated headshot in front of a green screen.
People on the internet will make a lot of assumptions based on your image. Like the phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” show off the professional you want to be seen as.
5. Use the cover photo to your advantage.
Rather than just including a generic photo of whichever city you live in (or worse, no image at all!), try and get a photo of yourself working or speaking at an event.
Do: Use this real estate space to highlight what services you provide, your website, and usernames for other social media channels you have a presence on.
Don’t: Use small text, this is difficult to read on mobile devices.
6. Leave recommendations for trusted individuals and co-workers.
Not only will this help strengthen your relationship with your co-workers/employees, it’s a great way to build backlinks to your profile. Each time you leave a recommendation for someone else, it’s featured on their profile — allowing you to grab the attention of even more eyeballs.
Do: Be very specific and thoughtful with your remarks. Be sure that each recommendation is tailored to the person you’re giving advice to (no one wants to receive a generic compliment!).
Don’t: Air dirty laundry or mention what they need to improve on. Leave that constructive criticism for a private conversation.
The more you give back, the more you will receive.
7. Remain active and engaged.
This is one of the most underestimated features of LinkedIn. By actively commenting on other people’s posts within your industry, you will begin to build and establish credibility as a knowledgeable and helpful resource.
Do: Feel free to share your opinions and topics about various business and industry practices, just be mindful of doing it in a positive way.
Don’t: Leave generic comments like “Great insight!” or a slew of random emojis.
By continuing to engage with relevant posts on LinkedIn you will be shown in more user’s feeds.
Are you a financial advisor that wants to expand your business? These additional resources can help you do just that. If you’re interested in learning more about creating an optimal social media presence, check out Why Should Financial Advisors Build a Personal Brand Online?. We also recognize that COVID-19 has thrown a huge wrench in our day-to-day lives, and that includes our marketing campaigns as well. Learn more about how to adapt and strengthen your email marketing: The Master Guide to Email Marketing for Financial Advisors.