Do you know how important your LinkedIn profile is to new business these days?
Wait, before answering that question think about this…you’ve just met several potential clients at a networking function. Now it’s time to prioritize them, right? So you get on your computer to Google them, and then wait as your web browser returns dozens of matches. You click on the LinkedIn profile at the top of the list (because of Google’s algorithms), review the information and…form an impression about that person in a matter of seconds.
So why is it hard for you to believe that prospective clients are doing the exact same thing—only about you? And, yes, they’re forming this impression based on what is, or what isn’t, in your LinkedIn profile. That impression likely puts you into one of two categories with potential clients: 1) yes, this is an advisor I would consider working with; or 2) no, this is not an advisor I would work with. It’s that simple.
Why your LinkedIn profile is so important
Believe it or not, your LinkedIn profile can help you generate leads. No, not in a traditional way, but in a way that ensures prospective clients will get past your LinkedIn profile and “consider” working with you. First impressions matter and your LinkedIn profile is oftentimes someone’s first impression of you these days.
Here are four things your LinkedIn profile says to prospective clients and how you can make the most of them:
1) Your LinkedIn profile says you’re a financial professional
Prospective clients want to know who you say you are, so include your current employer and title in your LinkedIn profile, as well as any other relevant financial services experience. Prospective clients generally look for overall experience next, so list as much job history and detail as possible. If you’re just starting out, be sure to include any internships, volunteer opportunities or school projects that might help prospective clients get a sense of who you are. A photo is also a must! Prospective clients want to put a name to a face. Moreover, if they met you at a networking function, they want to ensure it’s the same person they met, so make sure you have a current, professional photo on your page.
2) Your LinkedIn profile says you’re relatable – we have something in common
Prospective clients not only want to see your job history and experience, but any affiliations you have, what school(s) you attended, as well as any discussion groups you’re a part of or what company’s you follow. This simply gives prospective clients more information about you and possibly helps them find something in common with you, such as a previous employer, favorite sports team, activity, alma mater or city you’ve lived in.
3) Your LinkedIn profile says you’re credible, likeable and, above all, successful
One of the most important things you can do on LinkedIn is to build your Connections. Why? Your Connections are an indication of how long you’ve been in business, how likeable you are and, let’s face it, how good you are at your job. The more Connections you have, the more successful you must be, right? No, not necessarily, but that’s the impression it sends prospective clients. So spend some time building your network. For advisors, I suggest having at least 250+ Connections.
4) Your LinkedIn profile says you’re practicing in the 21st century
Nearly half of investors want to connect with their advisors on social media, according to a 2014 Finect research report, but cannot find them or figure they are not on social media. Having a presence on LinkedIn will not only give your current clients a viable channel to communicate with you, but give prospective clients the opportunity to find you.
Having a strong LinkedIn profile is a must these days. The above tips should help you create one, so take the time now to review/update your profile then add Connections as appropriate. Remember, the more information and more Connections you have the better impression you potentially leave prospective clients.
What are you seeing in regards to your LinkedIn profile? How are you using LinkedIn for prospecting? What other functionality on LinkedIn are you taking advantage of? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter or via LinkedIn (be sure to follow your compliance guidelines).
For more information, check me out on Twitter, where I regularly share social media tips, advice, trends and more, including how to build your business with social. Follow me at @jonferchen.
Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company, member of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.
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