LinkedIn: How Advisors can Get Started in 5 Steps

LinkedIn

There are a bunch of articles on “Top ways advisors should use LinkedIn to do this complicated thing and that fancy thing!” But it feels like no one takes the time to simply explain “How advisors can get started on LinkedIn in case (heaven forbid) you’re not set up yet”.

Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet? Want to be coached through it? Have no fear. Blueleaf’s got your back.

Follow these 5 simple steps.

1) Check with compliance.

Compliance can be a first concern for advisors who are about to join LinkedIn. If applicable, learn about the company LinkedIn compliance policy. This shouldn’t be difficult or take too much time because chances are you won’t be the first to ask. Keep in mind, compliance often explains what you can’t do, but neglects to say what you CAN do. Play around on LinkedIn and appreciate what you CAN do with the features, rather than harboring on what compliance says you can’t.

2) Sign up.

As with many things, the biggest hurdle is getting started. Sign up for LinkedIn. The site makes set up quick and easy by walking you through the first basic steps, so don’t feel intimidated. Go to www.LinkedIn.com and, as Nike says, “just do it.”

3) Write something in your profile “Summary”.

Sure, you will list your job title, company name, past experiences, and education. However, you should spend most of your time and energy writing a few strong sentences in the “Summary” section. This is the part of a LinkedIn profile most people actually read. It’s your chance to mention your background, advisory services, and list a few specialties. Keep it brief – no more than 7 or 8 sentences. If you need a little inspiration, read the Summaries of your colleagues or (better yet) your competition. How are they using the space to communicate with the LinkedIn community?

4) “Connect” with clients.

On Facebook people have “Friends”, on Twitter people have “Followers”, and on LinkedIn you’ll have “Connections”. Connecting with clients should be a no-brainer for advisors, but many don’t. It’s a valuable means of communicating with many clients at once. Plus, you’ll get insight into their network and potential referral opportunities.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the length of your client list. Take it in bite-sized chunks. Make a point to search LinkedIn for X number of clients every day until you’ve searched for them all. Enter a client’s name in the search bar, find them in the list, click the blue “Connect” button and write a quick sentence to personalize the invitation. They’ll appreciate that you reached out. Now, here’s where the magic happens.

5) Be active.

Ok, you’re signed up and have a growing list of “Connections”. What now? Do stuff. In general, being active on LinkedIn means two things: (a) commenting on what your connections post (appear on your Home feed), and (b) sharing useful content that will appear on your connections’ home feeds. Commenting on others’ posts makes you visible to their networks (cool, huh?) and add a personal touch to your service. Then, posting things yourself via a status update will help you establish yourself as a thought-leader. Take a few days to watch how others share content and don’t be scared to give it a whirl. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the dividends.

 

BONUS!

You can also use LinkedIn to “join groups” and “follow” companies. This is a great way to get information that is most interesting to you. Click here to see Blueleaf’s LinkedIn page. Follow us! We post interesting articles, offer free downloads, and share other cool stuff.

Carolyn McRae Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!