Financial advisers often talk to us excitedly about the marketing possibilities of LinkedIn.
It makes sense. After all, it’s a professional social network, great for reaching lawyers, entrepreneurs and other successful individuals who are likely to need advice regarding their pensions and investments.
In this guide, we’re going to outline some of the marketing possibilities presented to financial advisers by LinkedIn. We’ll also give some tips on how to best use this social media platform for your marketing goals. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out for a friendly chat with one of our team.
LinkedIn Profiles: A Brief Recap for IFAs
For a brief recap, LinkedIn is a social network originally aimed for business networking. You create a personal profile much like you do on Facebook, for instance. Yet the content of this profile will look much more like a CV, outlining past positions, qualifications and skills.
It’s for this reason that LinkedIn is used a lot by recruiters and headhunters, and they scour for candidates to fill their job roles. Yet it also presents a number of marketing opportunities to IFAs as well.
For instance, much like on Facebook you can connect with other LinkedIn profiles, allowing you to more easily follow one another, share content and communicate.
This obviously presents some great opportunities to network with your target market, building relationships so that one day they might approach you when they need a financial adviser.
LinkedIn Business Pages
There is another type of profile on LinkedIn, of course, in addition to your personal profile. This is your company LinkedIn page, which details aspects of your business to interested parties.
Much like on your personal profile, you can post news, blogs and updates on your company news feed so your followers are updated on your thoughts, views and events.
Another important aspect of LinkedIn to touch on is their advertising platform.
Similar to other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn allows its members to post sponsored content and ads to specified users on its social network.
This obviously extends your brand reach far beyond your immediate personal network, but there is a cost implication and time commitment to running ads like this, which you will need to consider.
So, with that quick overview concluded, let’s look in more detail at how LinkedIn can be used in financial adviser marketing.
Which of the Above is Most Important for IFA Marketing?
In our opinion, the most potent marketing channel on LinkedIn for financial advisers is your personal profile. Not your company page or the advertising platform. Why is that?
There are a number of reasons for this, but a very important one comes back to the nature of your industry. A financial advisers’ business model hinges on trusting, long-term and often intimate relationships with clients. As a result, even big financial adviser firms need strong personal brands within the firm, who will inspire trust and confidence within current and potential clients.
One of the best ways for a financial adviser to do this is via their personal LinkedIn profile.
People connect with people. That’s why a financial adviser’s business page on LinkedIn rarely get the same level of engagement compared to the personal profiles of IFAs attached to it.
This isn’t to say your business page is irrelevant. Just don’t expect it to do more than it can realistically do. At the end of the day, it should be active and updated regularly with great news and content. But most people on LinkedIn are going to be engaging with other people via personal profiles. So that’s where financial advisers should focus their marketing efforts.
LinkedIn ads can also present some interesting marketing opportunities for IFAs, and it is beyond the scope of this article to go into great depth on this subject.
Suffice to say, LinkedIn ads can be useful for building brand awareness amongst your target market if you are a larger firm with a national focus. At the regional or local level, however, there are unlikely to be sufficient volumes of users for a large advertising campaign worthwhile. Since this is where most IFAs tend to operate, you are usually better off investing in a marketing strategy for your personal profiles.
How Financial Advisers can use Personal LinkedIn Profiles to Gain Clients
If you are a solo financial adviser, or part of a small firm, then here’s a general marketing template for your LinkedIn profile which you may want to consider.
First of all, make your profile look amazing. That means getting a professional profile picture, tidying up your biography and updating your skills, qualifications and experience.
Second, get a few articles published on your profile. They don’t have to be long, but try and stagger them out a bit. Make these insightful, interesting and relevant as possible to your target market.
Third, start connecting with people on the network who meet your target market profile. Aim to add 10-20 people a day, and within 3 months you’ll have 1,000 relevant connections on LinkedIn.
Don’t be nervous about approaching people out of the blue and asking to connect. You can either send a simple request on its own, or better yet accompany your request with a short, personal message:
“Hi John, I wondered if we could connect? I wrote an article on my profile about starting a pension. If it interests you, I’d love to share more advice like this with you. Regards, Barry”
Many people will ignore your request or message, of course. Yet some will accept and respond. It’s just important you don’t go in for the hard sell at that point. Start conversations and build rapport and relationships.
If they like your content, consider asking them if they’d be interested to receive your newsletter with similar tips and insights. For people like this, make a note in your CRM to get in touch with them every so often to see if they need any financial advice.
In the meantime, keep publishing content to your profile. Share updates and posts. Engage with people on their posts and updates. Keep in front of your audience, and keep in their heads. When the time does eventually come when they want some financial advice, you’re most likely to be the one they approach.