11 tips to master LinkedIn

Here’s how financial advisers can use the professional networking site to build credibility and find prospects.
By Ravi Samalad |  05-06-18 | 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

Most advisers are already using LinkedIn. But they there may be a mystery surrounding the usability of the platform. Let’s look at how advisers can use LinkedIn to increase visibility and find prospects.

For those who don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet and those who have one but are not active, here are some things you need to do to engage with prospects.

1. Photo

The first thing visitors notice on your profile is your photo. Make sure you use a professional headshot. It is best to avoid putting photos from parties, vacations, weddings, or a photo along with someone else even if you have cropped them.

2. Background photo

Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to use a background photo. It appears behind your profile photo in the introduction card on your profile. It can be any image which resonates with the services you provide. A background photo can add sparkle to your profile.

3. Personal URL

Your default URL has your name followed by some numbers. To simplify this, LinkedIn allows users to customize their public profile URL.

Follow these steps to customize URL:

  • Visit your profile and click on edit.
  • On the extreme right-hand side on top, hit the ‘Edit public profile and URL icon.’  (You can either use your name or your company name. If you have a separate page for your brand, then we suggest use your personal name.)
  • It'll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  • Click Save.

4. Information card

The information card displays your personal and professional status when people visit your profile. Use this section to add headline, current position, education, location, contact information and summary.

Use headline feature to showcase how you can help prospects rather than putting the default designation and company name. ‘For instance, Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Analyst providing estate planning and wealth management services to HNIs.’ Use keywords in headlines which prospects would search on LinkedIn.

After you’re done with headline, use the next tabs to mention your experience, qualifications and accomplishments to build credibility. You can also add awards and honors received for your accomplishments. In the ‘Edit Intro’ section, write a short bio about yourself, preferably in first person narrative to make it personal.

5. List your skills

You can add skills in this section which are relevant to your practice. Just key in a few words and the search engine will show relevant suggestions. Financial advisers can list skills like behavioral coaching, investment advisory, financial planning, insurance planning, derivatives, mutual funds, consulting and so on. This will help you showcase your expertise to prospects.

6. Join groups

You can join up to 100 groups on LinkedIn. Pick top two to five groups which you want to be part of. Joining a group of ‘Financial Advisers’ may not serve the purpose since you are looking to attract clients. Look for groups where your ideal prospects are members. Visit these groups on a daily basis which will help you get opportunities to participate in conversations. This will allow you build new connections who can eventually become your clients.

7. Get in touch

You need a combination of quantity and quality of networks. So connect with people who are relevant.   You might have 500 connections on LinkedIn. Of these, only 200 may be your potential clients. Touch base with existing connections by sending them a personal message. To take your relationship offline, ask your connections if they would like to catch up over lunch.

8. Share updates

You can share your thoughts in the form of a short update on news developments which impacts investors. For instance, what would be the impact of SEBI’s new rule on recategorization of funds on investors? If the content is good, people will start engaging with you by asking follow-up questions. This can be a good way to connect with people offline. Keep in mind that your updates should be relevant to your connections. Generally, three updates a week is a good frequency.

9. Publish Articles

Sometimes, conveying your thoughts through short updates may not be possible. To write in-depth pieces, LinkedIn has a feature called ‘Write an article’ which appears right at the top of your homepage.

LinkedIn allows you to share drafts with your connections to get feedback on the content before you publish them. You can also add images, videos, podcasts, slides, tweets, and others by clicking the ‘Add Multimedia icon in your post. Add hashtags# in your posts to help your content reach your target audience. Your articles can be found by people within LinkedIn and while searching content on Google. Having your public profile visibility set to "everyone" will allow your articles to be found outside LinkedIn.

10. Get introduced

Look through the connections of your existing clients on LinkedIn. If they are connected to a person who looks like your ideal prospect you can ask your client to get yourself introduced to that prospect. Go to the profile of the prospect you wish to connect with and scroll down to come at the ‘Mutual Connections.’ Mutual connections are your first-degree connections. Once you find your well wisher in mutual connections, drop him/her a message to get yourself introduced to the prospect.

Alternatively, if your connection has been recommended by one of your ideal prospects, it means that they know the person well. You can ask that connection to get an introduction to the lead.

11. Take it slow

Don’t send a personal message immediately after someone has accepted your invitation to connect, especially if you wish to seek a favor. This will look salesy. Engage with them by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts first. Build credibility and then approach them for a meeting.

To sum up, here are some thumb rules to keep in mind while using LinkedIn for prospecting:

  • Some might think that social media is waste of time. It is true that you might get distracted by irrelevant feeds. To tackle this, you can write down a checklist of things you will do on LinkedIn on a daily basis so that you achieve your desired objective.
  • Check notifications, comments, invitation to connect every day. Spending at least 10 minutes on LinkedIn every day can help you stay abreast of clients who have changed jobs or got promotions. This can be an opportunity for you to increase wallet share.
  • Don’t go overboard on pushing your own agenda. Keep it balanced. You also need to interact with others content and participate.  Don’t treat it as a sales strategy. Think of it as a means to build deeper connections.

Also read: Tips to master Twitter.

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Jul 4 2018 10:25 PM
Very very useful tips. Though I enrolled myself as a member in Linkedin, I am not actually used the website. Now I came to know to use this in a best way.
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