Are you positioning yourself for success online as a financial advisor? LinkedIn is the place to do it.
As the world’s largest business-oriented social network for working professionals, it’s where your colleagues, associates, and prospective clients are spending their time online. It’s also where you’re likely showing up first in searches as the people you meet Google you. You should always strive to make the best possible first impression with your LinkedIn profile.
My series A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Creating Your LinkedIn Profile and Making the Most of It helps financial advisors understand how LinkedIn marketing works so you can properly use its best practices and strategies to connect with prospects, gain more clients, and grow your business.
Getting Found on LinkedIn
Think of your profile in terms of how it will show up in search engines outside of LinkedIn and within LinkedIn’s search.
Search for anyone’s name online and chances are their LinkedIn profile will be one of the first search results shown by Google. More than likely, your prospective clients and anyone looking to collaborate with you will research you in advance. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s prominence in search engines to stand out online.
More specifically, to get the most out of LinkedIn as a marketing tool, optimize your LinkedIn profile to show up prominently and stand out within the platform.
To ensure you are getting the best search engine optimization (SEO) results from your LinkedIn profile, I recommend you do the following:
Fill Out Your LinkedIn Profile Completely
Fill out your LinkedIn profile thoroughly and completely. Take advantage of every inch of digital real estate and feature.
Make a strong first impression with a friendly professional headshot as your profile photo and an attention-grabbing header image that reflects your role as a financial advisor. Those images will show up in Google under your name and will set you apart when someone lands on your profile within LinkedIn.
Your headline should be more than your job title. Include relevant keywords and a compelling statement that lets people know who you are, what you do, and who you serve. This headline will show up under your name throughout your LinkedIn activity, so it needs to stand out and make people take notice.
The summary section is your opportunity to tell your professional story and illustrate your expertise. It should capture readers’ attention within the first few lines so they’re interested enough to click and read more about you. Make it succinct, skimmable, and impactful from start to finish.
Your current experience and job title headline should also incorporate keywords, highlight your services, and showcase your accomplishments.
Thoughtfully complete each section, including media links, education, skills, projects, volunteer experience, and more. Include keywords whenever possible, think in terms of who is reading your profile, and prioritize what you want to be known for and how you want to be seen.
Claim your LinkedIn custom URL and make it something easy to remember. All LinkedIn members can have one custom profile URL at a time. Ideally, it should be your first and last name. If you have a common name, include your middle initial or some variation of your name and professional brand. Alternatively, you could use your name and “financial advisor” or include professional designations, such as CFP® or MBA.
Expand Your Network by Making Connections
Your LinkedIn profile is only as powerful as your LinkedIn network. The more you expand your network, the more visibility and exposure you will gain. The larger your network, the more potential you have to engage with someone within your network who might become a valuable referral source or client.
Expand your network by becoming more active and therefore attracting attention and inbound connection requests. The more active and engaged you are on LinkedIn, the more likely you will show up high in search results and the more likely people will see your profile and content.
When you engage with posts shared by other LinkedIn users within your network, you will show up more often in the timelines of your connections as well as the timeline of the person who shared the content. And when you share original or curated content, you are also increasing the likelihood that you will show up more frequently and prominently on LinkedIn.
The most direct way to expand your LinkedIn network is to send out personalized connection requests. When you send requests to people you know or you’ve met, remind them how you know each other and include a quick personalized note stating why you would like to stay connected.
If you would like to connect with someone you don’t know, such as a local professional who offers a service that is complementary to yours – an attorney, accountant, or real estate broker, for example – let them know why you are messaging them and want to connect. Perhaps your offices are nearby, you have some connections in common, or you’ve noticed and appreciated an article they published.
Making connections is essential to optimizing your profile.
Your LinkedIn profile is far more than a digital resume. To get the best results out of your LinkedIn marketing efforts as a financial advisor, start by optimizing your profile for search engines and for building your network.
In my next article, I will cover how to fully utilize your LinkedIn profile in your marketing efforts.
Download a free copy of A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Creating Your LinkedIn Profile and Making the Most of It here.
Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisors. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them.