LinkedIn is, by far, the most powerful networking platform for businesses and professionals. Not only do LinkedIn users use the platform to find the most relevant jobs and career opportunities but companies also use it to spread brand awareness about themselves and capture leads. Winning and retaining clients, especially in the financial services industry, requires you to build networks and connections, obtain referrals and nurture the leads effectively.

According to a joint report by LinkedIn and FTI Consulting, 71% of financial advisors say their target clients are active on LinkedIn, and 60% of financial professionals who tried finding leads on LinkedIn gained new clients.

So what are you waiting for?

Unfortunately, simply creating a LinkedIn profile or a LinkedIn Company Page won’t do the job. You will need to put in a little more effort than that. There are several things you need to keep in mind to attract targeted leads. Read on to find out what finance professionals need to know to be successful on LinkedIn.

Use a custom profile picture and URL

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform and there should be no scope for being sloppy. Your profile picture should be in business formal or business casual. Make sure not to use personal photos you would usually put up on Facebook or Instagram. Choose a photo that is of high quality and frames you from head to shoulder or head to waist.

Top tip: Name your headshot, banner and images – Google searches images pretty weightily. Before you upload your photo to LinkedIn – don’t simply name it your name, but include primary keywords or phrases people are using to find your products and services. So if you are a financial planner in London, the name of your photo might be “Expert Financial Planner in London”. When someone Googles that phrase, there is a good chance your image will come up in the search. It does take a few weeks for Google to index it, so give it a little time.

It would help if you also considered changing the URL of your LinkedIn profile to a custom one. Generally, the URL of a profile has an upper case, lower case, number, and punctuation marks. It is always wise to change this to something more legible. You can do so very easily by going to the ‘Edit public profile and URL’ option on the upper right-hand side corner of your LinkedIn profile.

Create an informative headline and summary

Your visitors shouldn’t be looking for information throughout your profile to figure out what you do in the financial world and how you can help them. You need to let the leads on in the first go what you do with an informative headline. Do not make it too vague or too long. Come straight to the point and let them know what your expertise in the financial world is. Further, add an optimised and informative summary. Include keywords and phrases in your headline, summary and job description – while you may think this is obvious, I am surprised how many people just have their title and company name in the headline.

Make sure your headline, summary and job description talk about the value you bring and that should always include those search terms as well. Explain clearly in 3-4 lines what financial domains you have an expertise in and how you can help them if they choose to get in touch with you. If you’d like to expand further, you can go into detail as well.

Create strategic content

Finance is a confusing world. People don’t really understand what is going on specifically behind the scenes with their money and when someone is looking for you as a financial professional on LinkedIn, they need to be able to trust you with their money and investments. This is why it is vital for you to show off a tad and let people know that you know the business and would be a great fit to handle their money

Create strategic content where you talk about new updates in the financial world, educate people on investments, etc. Let people know how smart you can be with money matters and when they know you are a trusted financial professional, they turn into paying customers quickly.

Grow your network and make yourself accessible

Being able to find new leads requires you to grow your network. Add valuable connections such as high net worth investors, potential referrals such as solicitors and accountants. You should also join groups where financial professionals and people looking for financial services are high (we have a handbook of the best groups available if you don’t have time to search yourself). Post your content in such a place as to increase the readership of your content. This will also bring more views to your profile.

Make yourself accessible to people. Add all social media links to your other profiles. You can also add a link to your website or an optimised landing page for better conversions. This allows visitors and leads a CTA or a step forward in what they should do next if they are interested in associating with you.

Maximise your Skills Section

As this section was created for recruiters to find candidates with specific skills, it is highly indexed by Google. Keep the key skills pinned in the top 3 of the list, as that is how many appear in your profile without having to click on “see more”. I would advise financial planning, wealth management and pensions for IFAs; technology, financial services and data for fintech entrepreneurs. In addition, ask your co-workers and network to endorse you.

Showcase your expertise

Use keywords and phrases in LinkedIn articles – As this is LinkedIn’s blogging platform and because it is LinkedIn and Content – Google is a sycophant. Label your images and be sure to include those keywords – see above!!

Top tip: Name your links in the Contact Information Section – Most people automatically choose “company website” but choose “other” from the drop-down and describe your link with keywords and phrases.

While the above will doubtless help you rank above the other financial service professionals with that bland unloved profile, I strongly advise to add this to a consistent outreach strategy.

Looking to learn more about leveraging LinkedIn and / transforming your profile into a showcase? Read more and contact me here

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