Wondering whether it is the right time to invest in your online presence? You may have heard that LinkedIn is a great place to establish or further develop your authority in the online space. Well, you haven’t heard wrong.
However, it is not wise to throw statements out there without supporting evidence. An intelligent approach would be to take unsupported claims with a pinch of salt. So, how do you find out whether what is trending, LinkedIn is worth your time and effort?
It is pretty simple – the numbers never lie. So let’s take a look at some rock-solid statistics, which will banish any doubts you may have.
Some people may argue that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can have a much higher impact than LinkedIn. For example, Facebook has around 2.5 billion users, making it the world’s biggest social media platform.
Although Twitter is often considered as outdated by certain people, the numbers are showing the opposite. Twitter still has 336 million monthly active users with around 500 million tweets daily.
Instagram, on the other hand, is attuned mainly to the younger generation. Around 71% of its users are under 35 years of age. Despite this, it broke the 1 billion mark back in 2018, and currently have around 500 million users. Pretty amazing for a platform mainly created for sharing mobile photos.
So where does LinkedIn fit into the financial advisor marketing picture?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and, to date, has over 675 million active members in around 200 countries.
The rate at which LinkedIn has grown over the last few years is nothing short of incredible. In India alone, the platform has grown its user base 20 times for the last 10 years. And this trend is likely to continue its upward movement as LinkedIn becomes more popular amongst people of different ages and positions, as well as working and social backgrounds.
So why choose LinkedIn instead of other social platforms if you are a financial advisor? Consider this:
- Over 44% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75 000 a year, which is above the average for the USA and Europe
- 61 million LinkedIn users are influencers on a senior-level, and 40 million are decision-makers.
- 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn
- More than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn on a regular basis
- 46% of social media traffic that lands on a company’s site comes from LinkedIn
The advantages of using LinkedIn for B2B purposes are obvious. Ultimately, this results in getting a foot in the door of different companies, reaching many clients and getting their attention with a single initial outreach.
What about B2C, you may ask? Interestingly, statistics indicate that only around 4% of Financial and Insurance Advisors are actively using LinkedIn to connect with their target clients. They are also the same people who have an established system and strategy for generating leads through LinkedIn.
Just imagine what opportunities are hiding in this unsaturated market. Furthermore, recent research conducted by HubSpot suggested that LinkedIn had an almost 3 times higher (277%) visitorto-lead conversion compared to Facebook and Twitter.
This further proves our point that LinkedIn is the best social media platform to be focusing on in 2020, for both B2B and B2C oriented people.
Nevertheless, utilizing the maximum potential of LinkedIn will not happen overnight. In order to prepare for successful ventures and make LinkedIn your trusted partner, you have to consider the 6 essential steps that will skyrocket your profile performance.
Without wasting time, we will start with:
#1. Prepare for Success from the Start
You should begin your journey by aligning your LinkedIn profile with success from the get-go. Above all, strive to create a profile that represents you well, and outlines your unique way of conducting business.
Simply saying that you are one of a kind and different than any other financial advisor out there, is not particularly convincing. Try to really focus on that one thing in your personality and expertise that adds true value in the eyes of a potential customer.
If you are still not sure what your strengths are, then follow this guide to find out. Once you have determined your unique selling point, post it on your profile and let it work for you.
Another important aspect when setting up your profile is your headline. It should summarize who you are, as well as what you offer. If you manage to include a part of your USP, even better.
An often ignored aspect is your profile image. To truly make a good first impression and appear as the professional you are, the image needs to be professional. The elements of a great headshot are as follows:
- There is eye contact, you should be looking directly at the camera
- There is good lighting on your face without any weird shadows.
- It is framed from the chest up
- You decision whether or not to smile in your photo will depend on the message you are trying to convey. We definitely recommend smiling. Here is why.
Also, don’t forget to list your current position, and at least two of your past positions to provide evidence of your expertise. Use the summary section to stress how you have contributed during these jobs and what you’ve learned from the positions, instead of just making it sound reputable.
#2. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Maximum results
The chances that you will set everything up correctly on the first try are minimal. You should always try to improve and optimize your LinkedIn profile to be as effective as possible.
To illustrate this better, I will give you an example. Imagine a team of professionals in the auto racing industry. Your LinkedIn profile is the race car. The team will run the car around the track to see how it performs.
Then they will get the car back into the pits to analyze the data. Subsequently, they will make all the necessary changes and optimizations in the hopes of making the car run faster when it is back on the track.
This analogy represents the way online marketing works as a whole. You can’t expect to achieve the best results by just establishing a paid campaign or building a website. Optimization is key in every part of your digital marketing strategy, including your LinkedIn profile.
The good news is, since LinkedIn is regarded as a reputable source, your name or the name of your company will rank extremely well in search results. In order to get the most benefits out of this, follow these tips:
First, add relevant keywords to capture targeted clients and use hyperlinks to link back to your website, blog, or landing page. Having keywords for local searches is also a good idea. For example, Life Insurance Financial Advisor in Oakland. This is a great way to boost your SEO.
Second, create a URL for your profile that is unique. Also, ensure that all the information included in your profile is accessible to get maximum search exposure. Nothing should be omitted when you are trying to attract as many visitors as you can.
Third, engage in professional discussions on LinkedIn, comment on relevant posts, and answer some questions on LinkedIn Answers. This is a great way to be noticed by other professionals in your sector and establish authority.
Answering some common questions people post will make you seem reputable and send tons of traffic your way. Individuals with similar questions would likely seek your advice when they see you are knowledgeable and able to help others.
#3. Avoid Legal Problems by Being Compliant
All your forum posts, LinkedIn answers, and even status updates are required to be archived and supervised in compliance with FINRA marketing communication rules. Although permission is not required before engaging in an online discussion, it is still subject to regulations.
Les Abromovitz is an attorney and a senior consultant for NCS Regulatory Compliance with extensive experience and expertise regarding the RIA Advertising Rule.
Here is what he has to say about marketing compliance when advertising for financial advisors:
“When it comes to the RIA Advertising Rule 206(4)-1, false or misleading advertising content can range from obvious misstatements to seemingly innocuous errors.”
“For instance, an RIA’s advertising might explicitly or implicitly guarantee success or assure prospects that a particular strategy will work year in and year out when it won’t.
Alternatively, too many advisers describe their strategies, credentials, or background as “unique,” even though there is nothing all that unusual about their approach, academic achievements, or experience.
And ironically, aside from the potential compliance problem with using this description, it is doubtful that the word “unique” will resonate with prospects anyway, especially if they are seeing just about every RIA describe itself in the same way, too.”
Above all, you should avoid generalizing by providing specific advice. For example investing in a certain publicly traded stock can be great for an aggressive investor, but would be a bad choice for a person with a fixed income person who is less risk tolerant..
Advertising the purchase of any particular security in general is a major red flag for compliance institutions. So, refrain from doing this, even in your LinkedIn posts.
#4. Learn How to Up your Game with LinkedIn Connections
What is the greatest thing about LinkedIn? It is the fact that it is both a professional and a social network, therefore, combining the best of both worlds. LinkedIn works the same as any other social media channels where you have to connect with other people.
To grow your business through LinkedIn, it is crucial to learn how to leverage your LinkedIn connections. The majority of financial advisors prefer the approach of building a big network and usually add everybody they meet. This enables you to maximize the potential reach of your marketing efforts on this platform.
Another approach is to build your network by only adding your closest network of partners, loyal customers, or another specific group. This allows you to build more significant relationships with your targeted group.
Regardless of your strategy though, you should always apply some basic principles when connecting with others, such as being genuine and interacting on a more personal level than in your usual business meetings.
Here is some advice on how to go about connections:
- Initially connect with your first-degree network by adding contacts from other social networks, email, and other common resources. Here, it is a good idea to add your previous colleagues and classmates.
- Build your second-degree connections by searching for interesting and inspiring people in the connections of your already established network. They are likely to have similar interests and passions.
- Search for and join professional groups. Some of these groups have thousands of members and greatly increase your marketing potential.
- Add some advanced connections by searching for individuals with a similar background to yours. When you find somebody who you think can be helpful to you or vice versa, send an invitation.
- Always remember to personalize your messages and adapt them to the individual you are reaching out to.
#5. Get your Online Presence to Work Offline
It is not mandatory to keep it all online. Use the power of your online presence to support your offline marketing activities. A good start is to advertise events and public speaking sessions.
You can ask your existing connections to refer you as well. Especially the ones that you have built a stable relationship with. Those could be loyal clients. Referrals are a great way to promote your business, and on LinkedIn this can happen easily since it is a social media platform that positions you as a professional.
Ready to reap the rewards that LinkedIn can bring for your consulting business?
You can rest assured that by following the basic principles we’ve shared with you here, you will be on the right track to success with LinkedIn.
Take action today and start building and optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
Your amazing network of like-minded professionals and loyal customers is just a few steps away.
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