Don't be an Encyclopedia Salesperson on LinkedIn
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
I wish I could light a match and burn every advisor’s LinkedIn profile page to the ground. Here is why advisor LinkedIn profile pages stink and how you should change yours for the better. My three-question test will let you see if your LinkedIn profile page stinks.
Why is my LinkedIn page important?
For those of you naysayers who don’t believe in social media and don’t care about LinkedIn, let me show you something. Open Firefox right now and type your name into Google.
It may not be the first one or even the second entry, but chances are that it’s somewhere on Google’s page one – assuming you have your settings configured properly, that is.
- You must fill in all the sections LinkedIn requires to make the profile complete.
- Your last name must be included (“Sara Grillo”, not “Sara G”).
- You must have elected the “public profile visibility” option.
- And a few other miscellaneous factors.
This is free visibility on Google..
When was the last time something was free? You can’t even get free WIFI at Starbucks without buying a latte macchiato.
Even if you aren’t prospecting actively on LinkedIn, you should have a LinkedIn page. In fact, you should have not only a personal LinkedIn page, but also a company LinkedIn page. The company page links to your website and is linked to by all your employees. That makes it a free referral source to your website.
Here is my company LinkedIn page. If you don’t have one, set it up.
Take this three-question test to see if your LinkedIn page is as bad as most that I see.
1. Is your LinkedIn title presumptuous?
Your title, which appears directly under your headshot, is one of the most important pieces of information on your LinkedIn page. If you mess it up, it kills prospects’ motivation to scroll down and find out anything about you.
Is this your LinkedIn title?
Name, CFP®, CFA, AIF, RICP, MBA, CPA, CPFA, AAMS
Financial advisor at Blue Brown Red Oak Pine Maple Hill Valley Wealth Management.
Send in the SWAT team ASAP because I’m about to OD on acronyms.
And while you’re at it, Your Majesty, please spare us the fancy titles like managing director, senior financial advisor, president, or owner. It’s good to show credibility, but that’s not what people care about.
I need everyone to understand one thing. It has to be about THEM not YOU.
THEM NOT YOU
THEM NOT YOU
Them not You
ThEM nOt YoU
them not you
ellos no tu (en español)
Did I make the point?
You need to tell prospects what you do for them – and don’t make it a cliché. Say it right there in the title: “I specialize in helping widows overwhelmed by the complexities of the Social Security system.”
Now that says something relevant. Doesn’t that present you as higher value than the next advisor?
2. Does your “about” section makes you sound like an encyclopedia salesperson1?
For someone selling a luxury service, why do you describe yourself in a scripted and bland way, like an encyclopedia salesperson?
I mean, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to say something show-stopping by putting a summary field right underneath your title and picture. Again, for free. This is free advertising.
And you mess it up?
Full fathom five thy father lies!1
Is this your “about” field or is it the advisor’s from down the block. Actually, it could be either of yours.
I work with individuals, families, people in transition, and business owners and help them achieve peace of mind by achieving their goal of achieving financial freedom using customized long term wealth preservation strategies. Contact me to schedule a consultation.
Geez, that’s a lot of achieving. Sorry – I left out the phrase about how you are a “steward of resources” or a “concierge.”
Concierge? Ha, this sounds like a Britannica script!
I’d rather have you talk about how you got first place in elementary school holiday concert for your recorder solo than read this jibber jabber.
The about field should contain a statement of the value you provide to your clients in non-cliché terms and is not 100% copied from the financial advisor next door. End it with a call to action that does not involve meeting for coffee. Get a lead magnet that will allow them to enter your sales funnel without having to meet with you.
3. Is your contact info insufficient?
Outdated or missing information in the contact section of your page is going to make it hard for an interested person to find out more about you. You don’t have to include your phone number, because vendors will start calling you.
But for goodness sake, when you’ve finally gotten the prospect’s attention, it is not time to pretend you are in the Witness Protection Program.
Include your website, email and other social media links where they can find you.
I wrote an e-book that will teach you how to talk to people on LinkedIn without sounding like the encyclopedia salesperson. You can buy it here.
If you need a coaching program to teach you social media, my membership sign up is here.
Sara Grillo, CFA, is a marketing consultant who helps investment management, financial planning, and RIA firms fight the tendency to scatter meaningless clichés on their prospects and bore them as a result. Prior to launching her own firm, she was a financial advisor.
1 In ancient times, before there was an internet, there were printed books known as “encyclopedias” with data on all sorts of topics. Those encyclopedias were sold by non-descript door-to-door salespeople.