LinkedIn: So Much More Than a Resume

Betsy Hubbard
Betsy Hubbard // January 8, 2015

Are your clients impressed when they click on your LinkedIn profile? Or does your profile – or lack of one – make them less likely to take your calls?

You got on LinkedIn to expand your networks and enhance your reputation. But if you’ve essentially posted an old resume, it’s time to rethink your approach.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Using the default language when sending invitations to potential clients: “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” That’s basically saying that you want to connect but you’re not willing to spend a couple of minutes writing a personal message.
  • Cutting and pasting language from your traditional corporate bio. Avoid using generic descriptions (such as dedicated manager or driven sales professional). Instead, focus on what makes you unique and worth getting to know.
  • Leaving out keywords. Using the right words to describe your skills and expertise is a critical way to make it easy for clients to find advisors with your particular skills and expertise.

LinkedIn is a microsite about you. It tells clients a great deal about who you are and why they should spend time with you.

So it’s worth the effort to fully optimize your profile.

What are some fast fixes? Let’s focus first on those invites. When you see a long row of connect buttons on LinkedIn and click on one, you will automatically send LinkedIn’s default language to that connection.

But if you instead click through to that person’s profile page you can send a personal note explaining how you met or why you’re interested in connecting.

Another key way to set yourself apart from your competition is to open your summary by focusing on what you love about what you do. Describe what you do best and what motivates you.

And don’t be afraid to be personable and approachable. Consider how these leaders describe themselves:

  • Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is a “voracious reader,” and an “avid traveler.”
  • Huffington Post President and Editor Arianna Huffington is a “sleep evangelist.”
  • Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson is a “tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality.”
  • Nationwide Insurance CMO Matt Jauchius is an “infrequent and frightening golfer” and his colleague, Chuck Arida, Vice President of Content and Social Media, is inspired to “wow every day, on every cylinder.”

Keep in mind that casual does not mean careless. It’s important to be personable, not personal. LinkedIn is not Facebook. So as a financial professional, this isn’t the ideal space to share intimate details about your marriage (or divorce), your politics, religion or how passionately you feel about long, romantic walks with your partner or spouse.

The bottom line? Strong profiles must not only attract, but engage people’s attention – in a professional and friendly way. Anything less just won’t cut it.

Want to know more? Check out our new free guide, Bob is a Leader, and Other Mistakes Financial Professionals Make on LinkedIn.

The report offers more insights on LinkedIn for financial advisors as well as strategies for crafting a personable, engaging profile that can help you gain new clients.

Download Bob is a Leader, and stand out from the crowd.