It’s a big world out there, and LinkedIn can make it feel a bit more connected. But how do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out and show off your firm’s professionalism? We put together 10 simple steps you can take to push your public profile to the next level and boost your networking game.
It’s important to remember that your profile is not only public to anyone searching LinkedIn, but also to anyone that uses search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, giving you an opportunity to add a new search-friendly way to promote yourself. So remember, you are putting your company out there for anyone who used the internet to see, so it’s here are ten days for you to create a fire LinkedIn profile that is sure to impress anyone.
1. Include a Headshot
This is the first tip for a reason, and that’s because it’s the simplest and most important part of your LinkedIn profile. A headshot is a no-brainer, hardly takes any time, and sets the overall tone for your profile. If you need to take a new headshot remember that LinkedIn is a professional space! On some platforms, you can have a little more fun with your profile picture, but remember this is not your personal Facebook or Instagram account. While it’s good to appear warm and friendly in your picture, be sure that your are dressed nicely and are exuding professionalism in this picture.
Adding a professional picture on your profile will add a face to your name and make online connections feel more personable. Be sure to choose a photo that resembles you, has the right expression, and is also a professional representation of your company. Credibility and professionalism can easily be established by just one picture. Of course you want to make a good first impression, so choose wisely when making your profile.
In addition to your headshot/profile picture, you can now also add a background photo on your LinkedIn profile. Adding this is a great chance to get more creative and choose something representative of your company! Pick something that highlights your brand and what you do. Think about what people instantly associate with your business and start there.
2. Optimize Your Public Profile URL
Next, we recommend optimizing and customizing your public profile to make it as easy as possible for searchers to find your company. When you your public URL, you can remove unnecessary and lengthy numbers at the end to make the URL more memorable and easy to share. This may sound difficult, but you can customize your URL in just a few simple steps:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage once logged
- Click “View profile”
- On your profile page, click “Edit public profile & URL” on the right
- Under “Edit URL” to the right click the edit/pencil icon next to your public profile URL
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box
- Click “Save.”
3. Get Creative With Your Headline
LinkedIn will automatically use your current position at your organization as the default for your headline, but don’t stop there. Instead of just leaving it as is, you should think of your headline as a mini elevator speech, so 120 characters or less. This should describe what you do and how you are different from others in the financial world. Think outside of the box to choose something that represents your brand in a creative way.
4. Include Links to Your Blog, Website and Other Communication Sources
Consider adding links to your blog posts, whitepapers, social networks, and other online platforms to boost your click rates and generate more traffic to your website. More people will notice your firm if you plug your work on these outlets. You can add up to three websites on your introduction card on your LinkedIn profile, so take advantage of that space by adding links to your websites you want your clients to see. To add any website to your profile, follow these simple steps from LinkedIn:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
- Click “View profile”
- Click “See contact info” in your introduction card
- In the “Contact info” pop-up window click the pencil/edit icon
- In the “Edit contact info” pop-up window, click “Add website”
- Copy and paste your website address into the “Website URL” field
- Choose the type of website from the dropdown list
- Click save
5. Post Articles Through LinkedIn Pulse
Instead of simply linking to your blog posts, it would actually be a better idea to publish them as an article on LinkedIn. Experiment ⚗️ with syndicating content from your blog to LinkedIn Pulse and using it to promote subscription to your full blog. This publishing feature is free and available to all LinkedIn users, so there’s no excuse not to start! With articles housed directly on your profile, prospects have an additional way to reach your content and your financial services company, not to mention all of the SEO benefits.
By using LinkedIn Pulse, people will be able to follow and share what you publish right through the app. Including some of your own content, such as a blog post you wrote about a trending topic in the industry or updates on a new service or project your company is working on, is an easy and interactive way to keep your followers up to date and interested. But, be careful to focus on providing value for others, not just promoting yourself or your company!
6. Optimize Your Profile for Search Engines
Obviously, you want to be discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms, so be sure to add keywords to various sections of your profile related to your industry and company. These can easily be added to your headline, your summary, or your work experience. Then, when people search that keyword, your profile will be more likely to come up in those searches. In turn, more traffic will be driven to your website, and who doesn’t want that!?
7. Add and Update Contact Information
LinkedIn InMail is only available to Premium users, it’s important to include other ways for anyone to contact you even if they don’t have a premium subscription. Include your email, phone number, website and other social media channels as ways of communication. The more channels of contact, the more accessible your company will be.
8. Engage in Groups
Perhaps you have a specific niche or are passionate about helping nonprofits, women in transition, medical professionals or an array of other populations. There’s likely a LinkedIn group that your niche is involved in, so research groups that might be relevant to you and your business and start engaging with them!
The key here is not only to be part of the group, but also to ENGAGE in the group! This can be achieved through posting content in the group and engaging in others’ posts with something as simple as a comment or like. These quick and simple interactions that take seconds can help establish rapport that may lead to a solid connection with a larger pool in your niche.
9. See Who’s Viewed Your Profile
This LinkedIn feature gives advisors great insight on who might be interested in working with you, and this is incredibly important if you want to turn prospects into potential clients. Keep track of who views and interacts with your profile. Has someone been checking out your profile that you’ve be interested in connecting with? That might be the “in” you’ve been waiting for to connect!
In order to uncover this data, you’ll first have to allow others to see who you are. To enable this, click your thumbnail image in the top right and click “Privacy & Settings.” From there, click “Profile Viewing Options” under “Privacy.” Make sure to check off your name and headline. To see who’s peeked at your profile in the past 90 days, follow the steps below:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your homepage
- Click “View profile”
- Click “Who Viewed Your Profile” from your dashboard page
10. Consistency is Key
Although this may be last on our list, it is still one of the most important tips. A stagnant profile page on LinkedIn will not produce any results, which will make all of your hard work a waste. With that being said, remember it takes time to establish consistency! Building connections, creating a distinct profile and creating rapport is not something that will happen overnight. Keep your connections alive, put the time in daily and don’t forget to stay responsive and present! We recommend creating an editorial calendar to map out your content so that you are able to update your followers regularly. You could even consider using a social media scheduling app like Hootsuite, Coschedule, and others to ease up the daily time burden for you.
By completing and mastering these 10 important steps, your LinkedIn profile will be one of your most professional platforms that will bring you new connections, clients and insights. There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for advisors to leverage and connect with important prospects. Make sure you are maximizing this easy communication platform to connect with clients and establish your professionalism to a world of potential connections.