Many people use LinkedIn to search for a new job. As a financial professional, you want to use LinkedIn to search for new prospects, and strengthen your relationship with current clients. So in a way, your LinkedIn profile is like a mini-resume. Your profile is successful if it helps prospects and clients have confidence in your abilities and want to engage your services.
Here are three easy ways “powerpack” your LinkedIn profile and make it work for you.
Power Tip #1: Write a Dynamic Summary
Your Summary is a paragraph that describes what you do, and what I can expect if I work with you. Many people skip the Summary and just list their employment history. This can be a missed opportunity. Recently I saw a profile of an insurance professional who had been in the industry for 25 years. Since he skipped the Summary and just listed his employment history, his 25 years of experience was listed in the same way (and in the same number of words) as his previous two jobs, both for a year each in the food services industry!
View your Summary through the eyes of a prospective client. It should help your reader understand what is important about you. Here is an example of an advisor with a great Summary:
Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor, and principal at XXX, Inc., a fee-only financial planning service to help you with mapping out a secure financial future. We offer both hourly, as-needed assistance and investment management. We assist you with comprehensive financial planning; investment advice and portfolio evaluations; college financial aid planning; retirement and estate planning; and cash flow management. We're accessible, dedicated to your success, and non-judgemental. The only thing we sell is advice tailored to your needs.
Notice how many of this advisor’s phrases contain keywords that would be used in a Google search. Also, she is a fee-only advisor, and she is not afraid to let you know how she does business. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
Power Tip #2: List Your Specialties
LinkedIn offers you an opportunity to list your special services and abilities. This is your chance to list some specific areas where you can really be of service to your prospective client. Here is an example of a good Specialties List:
College aid; goal setting; accumulation and withdrawal strategies for retirement; financial management during major life changes.
Potential clients only know what you tell them, so create a Summary and Specialties List that speaks to their needs. If you have won awards, mention them. If you are a thought leader, say so. Let your clients know they are picking the right person when they pick you.
I’d recommend that you go to LinkedIn and read the Summaries and Specialties Lists of several professionals you admire, and follow their examples. Remember, your profile should be written in a ‘natural manner,’ for people you want as clients.
Power Tip #3: Get Yourself a Custom URL
Normally, when you set up a LinkedIn profile, you are given a default URL, but you can establish your own using your own name. Your custom URL will raise your ranking in the SEO standings and make you just that much easier to find. Remember to check with your home office for any compliance issues that might be raised by this step.
Make it your goal to create the same atmosphere on your profile that you have in your office. Put a great photo in the photo spot. Use a keyword-rich headlines and descriptions. Use every component available there and you will attract new clients, and your current clients will be more likely to come back and do more business with you.
Craig Faulkner is CEO of FMGSuite, a company dedicated to creating digital marketing tools for today's financial professional. For more ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, check out his free online video course, TheArtofDigitalMarketing. You can also follow him @fmgsuite on Twitter.