There are many tricks to building a LinkedIn profile that sets you apart from the competition. Your Profile Summary is the main place for you to “tell” your network and visitors to your profile what they really need to know most about you and your practice to get them to take action and connect with you.
As someone using LinkedIn for sales and business development, the manner in which you approach the Profile Summary is significantly different than those using LinkedIn to find a job or position themselves for future career opportunities. That’s because the message that is most important to their target market – potential employers – is an understanding of what they’ve done in the past that qualifies them for a particular job.
While your clients and potential clients do care that you are qualified to be their investment or financial advisor, what they want to know most about is how you can help them today and in the future. They want to know what makes you the advisor they should pick or recommend.
That means you should approach the LinkedIn profile summary more like an elevator speech than a biography. You should clearly outline your differentiating factors and competitive advantages. Most importantly, you should clearly identify your target market – the people you help the most. Because, if a perfect prospect is looking at your LinkedIn profile and they don’t know that you specialize in working with them, GAME OVER, you just lost.
When it comes to identifying your target market, you want to be as specific as possible. This doesn’t mean that you are saying you exclusively work with people who meet this description, but that you specialize in working with these people. When you call them out as a specialization or focus, they will pay more attention to you.
If you’re thinking that you don’t have a very specific target market, you may be surprised to learn that you do if you dig deep enough. Ask yourself some questions:
Do you work more with: small business owners or employees? business owners with companies in specific industries? business owners with employees? employees in specific careers or industries? employees at specific companies? adults with specific lifestyles? couples with children? couples within 5 years of retirement? people who are already retired?
“I’m willing to work with anyone who is serious about their money and reaching their financial goals. With that in mind, I have a deep understanding of the benefits and retirement programs of the major employers in Austin and I’m one of the few who work directly with the University of Texas ORP.”
“It doesn’t matter what level you are in the P&G hierarchy as we work with everyone from administrative assistants and secretaries to senior executives. If you are fully vested in P&G’s retirement program, I can help you navigate the complex decisions you will need to make to take full advantage of your benefits.”
“I work with people in all walks of life and life styles. Our best clients are people who have worked hard in their working years and are now thinking about retiring. I help them build a plan so their savings can last them the rest of their lives. Many of our clients want to leave an inheritance to family and charities, we help them do that efficiently.”
“We are most effective working with closely held companies of less than 100 employees, especially medical practices and the building trades.”
This target market identification isn’t just for the people who fit your target market; it’s for everyone else in your network as well. Think about it…most people know multiple advisors and they want to be in a position to make referrals when a referral makes sense. So, if they know that you are the advisor who specializes in working with dentists, and they know people who are dentists, they can easily see the connection and make the referral.
By more narrowly defining your target market, it will make it easier for your target market to find you and for others to refer them to you. Your LinkedIn Profile Summary is the ideal place to share this crucial information.