LinkedIn is often the social media channel financial planners want to talk about when it comes to their marketing. It makes sense; after all, the network is traditionally made up of millions of business owners and successful professionals, which often form the perfect marketing targets of a financial adviser.
Of course, before you dive into LinkedIn it’s important to establish whether it’s a viable channel for your financial marketing. In other words, first, you need to think about strategy:
- Who, specifically, is my target market on LinkedIn? Is the market big enough?
- What are my objectives, precisely? Which SMART goals do I want to achieve in 6-12 months?
- Which tactics are open to me on LinkedIn? Should I leverage my personal profile, for instance, or would it be better to primarily focus on our financial advice business page?
- What sort of investment would be required to implement my plan (i.e. time and money)?
These sorts of strategic questions are vital to answer at the beginning. Many financial advisers fail to do so and simply start spending hours on LinkedIn, making connections, publishing posts and commenting on others’ without any clear direction of where they should be going.
Such behaviour is often driven by a feeling that you should be “doing something”, and LinkedIn seems to make the most sense on the surface. Some financial advisers simply engage in social media because that’s what their competitors are doing.
Assuming you have good reasons to believe LinkedIn could hold a valuable place within your marketing strategy, how can a financial planner or adviser leverage this tool towards their goals?
Find a short guide below on this question, which we hope you find helpful. You can also find out more about how we help financial planners with their digital marketing here.
Build a strong set of profiles
Regardless of whether you plan to use LinkedIn Ads or simply focus on growing your LinkedIn presence organically, you need to look the part. Nobody is going to want to follow a business page with no logo, content or brand assets. Neither is anyone going to want to connect with a bland, poorly-written or presented personal LinkedIn profile.
At the outset, therefore, make sure you have a strong and consistent brand to implement across all of your profiles. Here, you might need to think about developing your logo design, colour scheme and imagery if these are outdated or poorly-designed. If so, we can help you with that.
Assuming you have a strong logo and corporate visual identity, however, make sure these are integrated consistently across your own LinkedIn profile, your financial planning business profile as well as any staff LinkedIn profiles who are willing to let you incorporate your branding (remember, their own profile s their personal property; not your company’s).
At this point, your profiles need strong content. Personal LinkedIn profiles need compelling, authentic biographies and personal recommendations to encourage your target market to connect with you. Perhaps you can also include some LinkedIn Long Form Posts to some thought leadership on different areas of pensions, investments and other financial planning subjects.
Your business profile also needs great content. This might include links to articles on your website, posts showing branding infographics or posts featuring an animated explainer video which shows clients and prospects how your service works.
Start connecting with your audience
Now that you’ve got a credible, consistent presence on LinkedIn, it’s time to start reaching out to your target market and build up your following. Broadly speaking, there are two ways you can do this:
- LinkedIn Ads, which involves advertising your brand to a defined audience on LinkedIn.
- Making personal connections, which involves approaching individuals directly to connect with you.
Depending on your audience and goals, it might be appropriate to include both approaches in some form. Regardless, there are some pros and cons to each tactic which are important to be aware of.
LinkedIn ads are a powerful way to get your brand in front of more pairs of eyes, quickly and without spending hours every day making personal connections. You can also be quite specific with who you target your ads towards, using criteria such as job title, industry and location. There are also some useful analytic tools you can use to check on how your ads are performing and make appropriate adjustments.
There are downsides to LinkedIn ads, however. Of course, you have to “pay to play” for this to work. Usually, you can pay LinkedIn either for each click someone performs on your ads (pay per click), or pay for every 1,000 people who see the ads on their platform (cost per mille). Admittedly, the cost does vary depending on a range of factors, but it can quickly add up if you’re not careful.
Other issues you need to consider with LinkedIn ads are the user journey (i.e. if they click on the ad, where do they go and how easy/intuitive are the steps?), and the “lead magnet” you use (e.g. will you offer a downloadable guide?). Quite a lot of infrastructure needs to be set in place for this kind of campaign to work, and to get the best out of it you really need to be regularly monitoring, split-testing and making improvements.
Making personal connections is a great way for financial advisers to build stronger relationships with their audience on LinkedIn. Most users are typically receptive if you send them a personalised message, asking to connect with them. These relationships can build as they then read your Long Form Posts, engage with your posts and you engage with theirs. Eventually, you can build up hundreds and even thousands of connections, possibly gaining new clients from the conversations you’re having.
The main drawback of this approach is time. It takes a lot of effort to find someone you want to connect with, write a personalised message, build up a relationship with them, and do this repeatedly with other users on LinkedIn. The platform also places restrictions on how many connection requests you can make within a given time frame, and you might need to upgrade to their professional account to take this approach to the lengths you might want to take it.