LinkedIn: The Professional Social Network
As the “professional” social network, LinkedIn is particularly beneficial to those in the financial services industry. Not only can you position yourself and your bank for others to find your services, you can actively monitor your clients’ profiles to stay abreast of major life changes – promotions, relocations, and retirements can all mean changes in a person’s financial situation, one that may just require your expertise.
Being present on LinkedIn can help you build rapport with clients by sharing industry news relevant to their lives, and position yourself as an expert in the field to those who are looking for some help. As a member of the financial services sector, compliance regulations for social media are a major consideration. When you manage your LinkedIn account with Gremln, you can archive, monitor, and regulate you and your team’s social media presence in a compliant fashion.
Before you can share your expertise and be searchable to potential clients, you first need to set up your profile. Gremln’s Get Started Guide will take you step-by-step through the profile creation process, and on the road to making the most of your LinkedIn social media presence.
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When you first sign up for LinkedIn, you will need to provide your name and email address.
You’ll then be asked to immediately confirm the email address, so be sure to check your account for a message from LinkedIn. Follow the link provided in the email, which will verify your address and get you logged into your account.
If you need to change your settings for any reason, hover over the icon in the top right corner of your screen, and select “Privacy and Settings” from the drop down menu.
You’ll be able to upgrade your account if you want to take advantage of any of LinkedIn’s paid features, change your primary email address for people to get in contact with you, change your password, and adjust your privacy settings.
LinkedIn recently revamped its Settings page, so be sure to check out all the options you have available to edit and personalize your profile. You select how people are able to contact you, adjust your privacy controls, communication settings, group and company settings, and edit your personal account information.
Now that you are logged in and have your privacy settings taken care of, you’ll want to build your profile to best present yourself to your audience. From the main navigation bar at the top of the page, hover your cursor over “Profile” and select “Edit Profile.” Here you can enter your name, professional headline, your location, and add a photo.
Keep in mind, as LinkedIn is a professional social network, you’ll want your image to reflect that. If you don’t have a professional headshot, consider using an image that is high resolution, nicely cropped, and is of only you. (Photos of you with your kids are great, but LinkedIn isn’t the place for them!)
When you click “add a photo” you will be asked to upload an image. You can use a .JPG, GIF, or PNG file, provided it does not exceed 4MB in size. The square image must be at least 200 by 200 pixels, and no more than 500 x 500 pixels.
In the “Background” section, you can provide a summary to give a snapshot of your position and area of focus. This is another great place to use the keywords that are most associated with your current position. You don’t want to stuff your summary full of keywords so that it is cumbersome to read, but letting people know what you specifically do can help them find you when they are searching for a new banker or service.
Adding your experience will let people know where you’ve worked and what you’ve accomplished in your professional career. You can share your job descriptions, promotions you earned, and awards you received.
It may not seem relevant to include your alma mater, but remember – this is just one more way a potential client may identify with you and decide to move forward with you regarding their personal finance needs.
Take full advantage of all the different sections LinkedIn offers for you to describe who you are and what you do. The more you are able to share your skills and areas of expertise, the more likely you are to find those clients who are looking for someone just like you. Everyone’s banking and financial assistance needs are different, so your particular mix of skills and professional interests could be just what someone is looking for. Don’t be shy! You can add up to 50 skills -- which you can then be endorsed for by your contacts.
You can also provide additional information, such as your professional interests, personal details, and contact information.
To expand on your personal profile, you can also include information about volunteer work you do, boards you may be on, projects you’ve taken on, honors and awards you’ve received, languages you speak, additional certifications you’ve earned, and publications where you’ve been published. Not only should you be proud of the work you’ve done, you never know what personal connection a potential client may look for in a financial analyst.
If you are looking to dive even deeper into your LinkedIn presence, check out Gremln’s tips for becoming a LinkedIn Super User. We show you how to fully flesh out your profile, build business leads, and generate traffic to your company page and website.
Gremln’s Get Started Guide provides financial services professionals like you with the information you need to finally dive in and get started with social media! Our previous posts provide advice on how to determine your purpose & voice, and step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Once you feel you've gotten a handle on how to actually set up your profiles, you're one step closer to a successful social media presence.