3 simple strategies to improve your LinkedIn presence
More than 40% of investors start their advisor search online and 44% say they get or search for financial advice on digital media.1 In many ways, prospective clients expect to already know a lot about you before you even meet.
Your social media presence—particularly on LinkedIn—offers a connection point for digitally savvy investors. By building your personal brand, cultivating connections (and getting comfortable with social media compliance), you can make a good first impression and boost your chances of getting a first meeting.
Build your personal brand
You don't have to be a beverage company or restaurant chain to be a brand. Everyone has a brand. A brand is simply what people think of when they hear your name. The dad at school drop-off? His brand is positivity. The barista at the local coffee shop, she tells it like it is. When you see them, that's what you expect.
For advisors, high-quality service means keeping a sharp eye on returns, tax alpha, concentration risk, and long-term financial goals. But these things are only a small part of why a client might invest in you. Who you are as a person also matters a lot. So, who are you? What's the you-ness that clients respond to?
It starts with being yourself.
- What makes you different from other people?
- What are your interests?
- What gets you excited?
- What do you believe in or support?
- What do you like to share with other people?
Once you have a sense of your personality, you can focus on your story as an advisor. This story is the "why" behind your work as an advisor and should inform everything you do and say.
To find your story, ask yourself:
- Why did you get into finance?
- Why did you become an advisor?
- What do you love about your work?
- What do you love about your clients?
Once you understand what excites you about being an advisor, you can weave it into your LinkedIn profile (and everywhere else you or your firm may appear online).
To update your LinkedIn profile, start with:
- What does your "About" section say about you?
- Does your current background photo support your story?
- What work experience can highlight your story?
- What key words from your story can help you stand out to readers and search engines?
For example, an advisor who grew up in a family that struggled financially can use their "About" section to talk about the value of planning and their mission to help clients build generational wealth. This advisor's sensibility and history can inform blog posts about 529 plans, shared articles about entrepreneurship, and congratulatory replies when connections get a big promotion.
When two people become "friends" on LinkedIn, it's called a "connection." Your connections can see your updates on their home feed and can send you direct messages via LinkedIn. Generally, only people who know each other connect on LinkedIn, which means it's important to nurture your connections over time.
Some of your most important connections can be clients, prospects, and professionals who might someday refer their clients to you. Here are a few tips for connecting and staying engaged.
- Turn meetings into connections
Chance encounters can create lasting connections if you're intentional about them. Send people you meet a connection request on LinkedIn so they can view your profile and get your contact information. If you have a business card, include your LinkedIn profile URL with your other contact information.
- Search for people you know
LinkedIn's advanced search can help you find the profiles of old friends, former colleagues, distant family, and many other people you already know. LinkedIn also allows you to sync your email contacts so that you can discover more people you know on LinkedIn.
- Add your profile address to your email signature and website
Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and learn more about what you do.
- Follow influential voices
Anyone your clients might find interesting should be on your radar and followed. This is especially helpful if you have a well-defined client niche such as doctors or attorneys. The people your clients find influential can help you tap into their world and provide you with content you can share that they'll find helpful or interesting. Financial news sites and industry influencers are also good places to look for shareable content.
- Join groups
LinkedIn offers a variety of groups for people with shared interests. There are groups for startup founders, telecom professionals, finance geeks, and more. Join a group and look for a chance to jump into the conversation.
- Create content
The more content you create, the more opportunities for people to find you. Post original articles, videos, infographics, white papers—anything clients might find valuable or helpful.
- Stay Active
A healthy LinkedIn presence means posting fresh content at least once a month and liking, commenting, and sharing content posted by connections weekly. Even a couple minutes a day can make a difference because engaged on LinkedIn not only helps you create good vibes around your personal brand. It also creates opportunities for connections and their networks to notice you.
Get comfortable with compliance
The SEC's updated marketing rule went fully into effect in November 2022, modernizing for the internet age what had been a patchwork of rules and guidelines.
The new rule is good news for advisors who had been wary of jumping into social media because it offers more clarity than ever before. Firms that are ready to get active on social media might consider these compliance tips:
- Partner with your compliance officer
Get your compliance officer involved early. Check in on your LinkedIn plans, ask for their input, and be clear on the lines you can't cross. By approaching compliance in a collaborative way, they'll better understand your perspective and why it's so important to be on LinkedIn.
- Socialize compliance guidelines
The more people who know the rules and understand what your firm can and cannot do on social media, the easier it will be for everyone at your firm to help it stay compliant.
- Get some ideas ready
Compliance officers need time to carefully review content before it goes live. Working ahead on your ideas and sharing content with generous review time can make it easier to collaborate while sticking to your social media strategy.
Be somebody on LinkedIn
Maintaining an active, thoughtful presence on LinkedIn is essential in today's digital world. And it doesn't have to be difficult. Engaging on LinkedIn a few times each week can set the stage for authentic connections that grow into lasting relationships. The first step is to get out there and show what you have to offer.
What you can do next
- Explore our Virtual Practice Management programs in RIA EdCenter™ to learn more about optimizing your growth strategy through marketing.
- Consider a custodian that invests in your success. If you're thinking about becoming an independent advisor, contact us to learn more about the benefits of a Schwab custodial relationship.
1. Valerie Rivera, "2020 eMoney Consumer Marketing Survey Results: Financial Professionals Must Adapt Their Prospecting to the New Reality," December 8, 2020, https://emoneyadvisor.com/blog/2020-emoney-consumer-marketing-survey-results-financial-professionals-must-adapt-their-prospecting-to-the-new-reality/.