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7 easy but effective steps to stand out on LinkedIn and build an impressive profile

Published by admin
May 24, 2024

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social networking platform, so there’s plenty of opportunities to impress your target audience.

However, with more than 17,000 UK-based financial advisers/planners on LinkedIn as of May 2024, there’s also plenty of competition.

And, once you know that this figure has grown by 6,000 since June 2023, it can be easy to assume the competition is too high, and there’s no point in trying.

However, keep in mind that there are over 28,000 active financial advisers and planners in the UK. So, if you’re on LinkedIn, you’re already one step ahead of thousands of people in your profession as long as you’re using it effectively.

Much like the competition didn’t stop you from embarking on a career in financial services, the number of online peers shouldn’t deter you from spending time and effort on LinkedIn.

Your profile needs to be impressive because:

1. Potential clients and professional connections will visit it (either by accident or design)

2. Google will index it, so it will appear in their search results

3. You’re up against a lot of competition!

So, where do you start? Keep reading to learn how to ensure your personal profile is effective, stands out from the crowd, and impresses potential clients.

  1. Profile URL

We recommend having your name hyphenated with your business name i.e. “phil-bray-the-yardstick-agency”.

For starters, the hyphens make the URL more readable. Most importantly, if somebody searches for you or your business, either on LinkedIn or Google, the chances are that they’ll find your profile fairly high up in the search results.

It’s also more memorable than the ugly string of default letters and numbers LinkedIn will have auto-assigned you when the account was made, and looks more elegant when you share your URL.

2. Name

Similar to your profile URL, make yourself easy to find by changing your name on your profile to something more identifiable. With over 39.7 million LinkedIn users in the UK alone, it’s possible that there is another profile with the same name as yours.

Yes, people can filter by job title, but you can make yourself easier to find by adding your specialism after your name. Mine, for example, is “Phil Bray ➡️ Financial Services Marketing Specialist ⬅️”.  

That way, whenever someone tags you in a post or comment, potential clients will understand exactly how you can support them, without even viewing your profile.

Have you gone for letters on the end of your name, such as DipPFS? Unless your prospects are in the financial services profession, it might take a Google search to figure out what that means, so pick something in plain, easy-to-understand English.

3. Picture

Put a face to your name – what’s more identifiable than your picture?

Your profile picture should communicate who you are and portray your professional image. It should be high-quality, not blurry or pixelated, so it’s best to use a camera, but most new smartphones will do the job too.

Wear the same thing in your profile picture as you would to meet your clients or professional connections. It offers continuity to their digital and in-person experiences with you, and builds rapport when they see that you’re the same person you present yourself to be online.

As we said earlier, people buy from people, so having a picture adds a level of trust that a default silhouette simply can’t. LinkedIn says you’ll receive 21 times more profile views than those without a picture. Need we say more?!

4. Banner

One of the first things people see when they click on your profile is your banner – the image that sits behind your profile picture. Many people either don’t change it from the default, or pick something pretty but completely ineffective. Both choices are a huge missed opportunity.­­

Here’s what you should include:

  • Social proof

This can be as simple as adding the Google reviews widget showing how many reviews you have and how many stars. For example, as you can see below, mine says “180+ 5-star Google reviews”.

Or you could have your VouchedFor rating widget on there… even better if you’re a Top Rated Adviser!

The point is, you need something from an independent, unbiased third-party showcasing evidence of the support you give to your clients and professional connections.

  • A snappy statement explaining what you do and who you do it for

This should be short and to the point. Outline what support you can provide for the audience you’re trying to attract through LinkedIn. Ours stands out in bold at the top of our banner image below – “Marketing excellence for the financial services profession”.

  • Contact details

Although you have a dedicated contact section on LinkedIn (which should also be filled in), not everybody is going to make it there. So, your banner image needs to display:

  1. Your telephone number
  2. Your website address
  3. Your email address.

See how we’ve incorporated these elements into our LinkedIn banner here.

image

5. Headline

Your headline is prominently displayed below your profile picture and appears next to your name in the search results. So, it’s important you get it right.

Most people default to just adding their job title, but this is another missed opportunity. We’d recommend updating it to something more descriptive and creative.

You should explain:

  • What you do
  • Who you do it for
  • Why people work with you.

For example:
“Financial Planner and Founder of [insert firm name here] | Independent financial planning for business owners and senior executives in Nottingham | VouchedFor Top Rated Adviser in 2024 🏆.”

But you can be even more creative than that if you have something time-sensitive you’d like to promote. In late April/early May, I updated mine to “Book your place on our next FREE webinar: Everything you need to know about client surveys in 2024 | 10 am Wednesday 22 May | Click the link below to book ⬇️”.


6. About section
The about section can be seen as an extended version of your headline. We’d suggest using YayText to insert bold and italic text and emojis to highlight key points and make the all-too-familiar block of text more readable.


These tools and techniques mean visitors to your profile will take away key information even if they just skim-read this section.

Take a look how I’ve done this in my about section here.

7. Featured section

You can use the featured section to pin important content to your page, showcasing things you’re especially proud of.

This could be a LinkedIn post, a page from your website, a link to an award win, or a press piece. It could also be social proof in the form of a client testimonial video demonstrating the value of financial planning, or even a link to your newsletter sign-up page on your website.

We’d suggest having no more than three pieces of content in your featured section. Once you add more than that, your visitors will have to scroll to see the additional material and, in our experience, they just won’t.

We can help

If prospects are impressed by your profile, they’re more likely to accept a connection request from you and engage with your future content. And, even if they don’t need financial advice/planning right now, maintaining a regular presence on LinkedIn should mean that, when they do, it’s you they think of.

If you’d like an explanation of how to update each section of your LinkedIn profile, have a read of our step-by-step guide to building the perfect LinkedIn profile here.

Finally, we’re currently running an exclusive offer to rebuild your profile to help you:

  • Specifically target your ideal clients
  • Impress prospects who find you on LinkedIn
  • Help you stand out from your peers and competitors.

The first 10 people to take advantage of this offer will get a full profile rebuild for just £495 + VAT. After that, the price will rise to £695 + VAT.

The first six slots have already been snapped up, so get in touch by emailing hi@theyardstickagency.co.uk and we’ll be in touch to arrange next steps.

Phil Bray, Founder & Director at The Yardstick Agency               

Via

Emily Lang, Marketing & Operations Assistant at The Yardstick Agency