Building a LinkedIn profile for sales and business development – with the goal of finding and attracting new clients – is very different than building a profile to find a job or advance your career. It’s all about positioning and perspective.
As a financial advisor, it’s also particularly challenging as a result of compliance restrictions.
When you first join LinkedIn, you’re walked through a form asking for all kinds of information about your past professional life. Most people simply start popping in information based on what they have on hand without giving it much thought. When they are finished, voila! a profile based on everything they did in the past; a full biography.
That may be fine if you’re looking for a job, but is that really what clients and potential clients care about learning about you? No! While they want to know that you have the credentials and experience, they are more interested in how you can help them and if you can help them than what job you held right out of college.
Your profile should be more “client-centric” than “employer-centric” meaning that you’re speaking to clients and potential clients and answering the questions that are most important to them.
I say that the LinkedIn profile is “part art” because you have to think about the proper positioning of your information to intrigue people to learn more and engage with you. You have to approach your LinkedIn profile just as you would any other marketing or advertising piece. It has to be interesting, engaging, entertaining and informational in order to hold the reader’s attention. You need to differentiate yourself from other advisors because the average person assumes that all financial advisors do the same thing.
Your profile also needs to be memorable, which means it needs to be a little out of the norm – often very tough to do if you work with a large financial services company.
Picture a Picasso painting. Once you’ve seen a Picasso painting are you ever going to forget what a Picasso painting looks like? The same with your LinkedIn profile…there are hundreds of thousands of financial and investment advisor profiles on LinkedIn. Is your profile going to blend into the forgettable paint-by-numbers profiles or are you going to be a Picasso? What can you do to stand out and be memorable?
The LinkedIn profile is also “part science” because you want to make sure that if someone is looking for an investment or financial advisor that your profile shows up in the mix, AND you want to get people to take some sort of action when they view it. Search optimizing your profile is tricky and the LinkedIn Ninja for Financial Advisors Training Program walks you through all of the things you can do with your profile to increase your odds of ranking high in search results.
Finally, I say that the LinkedIn profile isn’t about you because it’s really supposed to be about the people you’re trying to attract as clients. If a perfect prospect is looking at your profile and they don’t know or understand what it is that you do for your clients AND that you specialize in working with them, then “Game Over,” you just lost.
Try to look at your profile through the eyes of a potential client. Does the information make sense? Are there any holes in your story? Why would I want to contact you? I know that type of mental shift can be tough, so if you aren’t sure, then ask your clients what they think about your profile! Why guess when you can go right to the horse’s mouth?
Need help with your profile or using LinkedIn as a financial advisor? I have some solutions for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.