Financial Advisors and the LinkedIn Summary

whyWhen working with financial advisors on their LinkedIn profiles, a majority of them do not have a LinkedIn Summary. My inclination is to believe that the clean slate leaves many feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task of talking about themselves. What do I say to not sound dumb? Do I write this in first person or third person? Why don’t my connections just go to my website to see what I do? Let’s help you get answers (and some help!) on getting this important task off your social media to-do list!

What do I say to not sound dumb?

This is a real fear. I know many highly decorated advisors who are very smart chaps (and chappettes!) and when you hand them a pen and paper to write a few sentences about themselves, they freeze up. Think about it for a moment. We know what we do for a living, but how do we say this so we don’t sound conceited, or worse, dumb to a potential client?

First, let’s talk about what the LinkedIn Summary is there to do. The biggest mistake I see people doing is going right into what they do at their job…wrong! The Summary section is your chance to tell your “why”. Why are you in this business? Why do you like working with people and businesses? This is what make you human and people really do want to get to know you on a deeper level.

So how do we make sure you don’t sound dumb? Just be yourself. Honestly, just be you. Come from your heart and say why you do this work. That’s much more important than trying to sound super professional and probably unapproachable. An example is my own:

As the Manager of Advisor Engagement Services at Ash Brokerage, I want to share my passion of social media with the financial services professional. As a six-year-old child, I lost my mother to lung cancer. It’s a mission of mine to tell the insurance story every day so it helps others plan for unexpected events.

I’ve used a lot of keywords in this (my title, my company, what I do which is  ‘social media’, financial services, insurance).  This helps optimize my profile so Google can find me in searches, but you can read this and get a sense of who I am as a person.

Our “why” will evolve over time too.  When I started in the insurance community more than twenty years ago, I did not come in with a ‘why’ that is as strong today. It developed through those years, and so will yours so updating your profile is very important.

If you come from your heart, you won’t sound dumb – I promise you.

Do I write this in first person or third person?

You always write in first person.  Always, always, always.  This is a conversation of sorts.  If your name is John, you wouldn’t go into a cocktail party and say, “John likes music.  John likes horseback riding.  John believes every young family should have term insurance.” That would make you sound dumb (look at the first question of this article!).

Write in first person.  Be conversational.  Use words from your heart.

Why don’t my connections just go to my website to see what I do?

If you’re counting on folks to go to your website for everything then you’re not being realistic. With the shortening attention span of consumers today, you’ve got seconds to make an impression.  Use your profile landscape to be interesting, heartfelt and informative.  If clients go to LinkedIn to find out what you do, then be sure you’re there.  You’re not guaranteed they will go back to search for your website and not get caught up looking at cat videos or making Amazon purchases, forgetting they were supposed to be finding out information about you.  Seize the opportunity to be relevant!

If you have questions about your profile, let me know. I enjoy talking with advisors and seeing them be more active in social media.

Be bigger, better, and more BIONIC!

Sheryl Brown – the @BIONICsocialite

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