How to Fully Utilize Your LinkedIn Profile
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My series, A Financial Advisor’s Guide to Creating Your LinkedIn Profile and Making the Most of It, helps financial advisors discover how LinkedIn marketing works so they can effectively use its best practices and strategies to grow their business.
In a recent article, I covered the ins and outs of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for search engines to raise your visibility and grow your network. But optimizing your profile is just the beginning. LinkedIn provides a wealth of opportunities to enhance your marketing efforts as a financial advisor. Here is how to take full advantage of everything the platform has to offer.
Grow with groups
Join the LinkedIn local and professional groups relevant to you and your practice.
LinkedIn groups are hubs within LinkedIn where you can meet other professionals with similar interests, affiliations or a shared locale. Groups are a great way to join in conversations and become known in new circles outside of your network of current and past colleagues. While you don’t want to use groups to blatantly promote yourself, being an active member of a group is a powerful way to share content, stand out, and become known for your expertise.
When you join a group, introduce yourself and briefly share what you do and how you help clients. If the group seems like a good fit for you, make a commitment to pop in often to stay on top of the discussions and comment when you have something valuable to add in support of your fellow group members.
As with anything, you get out what you put in when it comes to LinkedIn groups. Every person reading your comments could be a potential referral source or client.
Your LinkedIn profile is only as effective as your network. Many people make the mistake of keeping their LinkedIn connections limited to people they know personally, such as current and past co-workers, trusted professional colleagues and friends. To fully utilize LinkedIn in your marketing strategy, you have to intentionally and strategically grow your connections.
It used to be the case that people closely guarded their LinkedIn connections, most likely concerned that connecting with someone they didn’t know could reflect poorly on their reputation. However, carefully expanding your network beyond people you know personally and growing your connections is a best practice. You can always remove a connection if they turn out to be someone with whom you would rather not associate.
The larger your LinkedIn network, the more potential you have to engage with someone within your network that might become a valuable referral source or client. More contacts mean more visibility for you and your business. Look for new LinkedIn contacts who can expand your reach and enhance your experience on the platform. You can begin to discover people you would like to connect with by taking advantage of the search feature. Enter key terms such as “business networking” or “estate attorney” to find and connect with the right people.
By thinking through the kinds of professionals you want to connect with on LinkedIn and getting creative with your search, you will find lists of people, groups and events that can further your LinkedIn marketing efforts. Use as many different keywords and phrases you can think of and conduct searches on a regular basis. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to growing a thriving network of connections on LinkedIn.
In the past, only top influencers could use the LinkedIn publishing platform. But it has been open to everyone for a while, so you can and should be publishing your content directly on LinkedIn.
When you post content on LinkedIn Publisher consistently, it helps you gain visibility, boosts your authority as a financial professional and supports your lead-generation efforts.
You also gain a higher reach on the platform. The posts are indexed in Google search results. Depending on engagement, your post may reach second- and third-level connections. Your article will also show up in the feed of people who follow the hashtags you use, and then they can follow your content without even connecting.
The content you publish on LinkedIn should be timely and relevant, but don’t hesitate to repurpose existing content from your blog.
Marketing effectively on LinkedIn means marketing consistently. Once you create a strong profile, grow your network and get active, make the commitment to stay active. This is the only way you will build momentum. One of the best ways to ensure you stay active is to download the LinkedIn app to stay connected more easily on the go. You can always turn off the notifications so it doesn’t become a distraction.
By using the LinkedIn app, you can spend your downtime while standing in line at the home improvement store to engage with fewer silly Facebook memes and more valuable business-oriented content. While there’s nothing wrong with a few minutes here and there of escapism, you’re better served using your screen time towards your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
LinkedIn premium or sales navigator
LinkedIn premium or sales navigator can be useful for financial advisors who want to get more out of LinkedIn. Those paid upgrades are only helpful if you are truly going to take advantage of the features and commit to at least 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn. Otherwise, it’s not worth the money or time.
To decide if it would be worth your time, here are a few features of LinkedIn premium or sales navigator:
- A 90-day list of who has viewed your profile and the keywords that led them there
- A ranking among your industry peers
- List of the top 100 most viewed people among your connections and colleagues
- Keyword suggestion feature to help you build your profile
- Open profile where any member on LinkedIn can reach out to you
- Send direct messages to anyone on LinkedIn via InMail
- Customer support
- Sophisticated search, tagging, lead tracking (sales navigator)
- CRM integration (sales navigator)
If you are new to using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, start out with the basic features in your free account. Once you get into the swing of it, if you find yourself limited in what you can do for free, you may want to consider upgrading to a premium account.
If you’re familiar with LinkedIn Profinder, you might be wondering if it’s something you should use for your marketing. LinkedIn Profinder is a professional services marketplace where people can search for independent professionals in specific service categories.
Profinder can be beneficial because it allows potential clients to set criteria to conduct a search and discover your profile. Once you have optimized your profile, Profinder is one of the best ways to leverage it and many advisors find the leads they get from Profinder worth the minimal monthly cost.
Check out my detailed article here about the wonderful benefits of LinkedIn Profinder.
LinkedIn offers a valuable variety of features, functionality and upgrades to effectively market your financial advisory services and grow your business.
In an upcoming article, I will cover some final tips and advice about using LinkedIn.
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.