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We never want to be the bearer of bad news, but we suspect that you are guilty of making the biggest mistake on LinkedIn. The reason we think this? Because we were guilty of it, too.

As professional marketers, we like to think that we have it all figured out. Blogging, check. Facebook Business posts, check. LinkedIn, check? First, let’s look at how this mistake started happening in the first place.

LinkedIn first launched in 2003 as a place where jobseekers and companies could connect on the Internet. It made sense, then, to make your LinkedIn profile read like a virtual resume. Most users laid out their experience, education, certifications, and other things that would help them get a job. Simply put, it was all about you.

The Mistake

Fast forward to more than 13 years later. It seems absurd to treat social networks the same as we did when they first launched, but for most of our LinkedIn profiles, that is exactly what we’re doing. Your LinkedIn profile likely reads like a resume, is focused on yourself, and lacks dynamism.

While your credentials and work experience are undoubtedly impressive, clients and prospects care more about how you can offer value and solve their problems.

The Solution

This brings us to what you can do to stop making this mistake. Instead of having your LinkedIn profile serve as your online resume, you should make it focused on how you can help a specific, target audience achieve their goals. Why should a client or prospect choose to work with you over your competitors?

The good news is that the answer to this question is usually pretty clear for financial advisors and other service professionals. It’s likely that you serve a specific market, such as pre-retirees and those living in retirement, and help them with specific concerns, such as supplement their income, learn about low-risk investments, or plan for their legacy.

Make It Happen

Start with the Summary section on your LinkedIn page. Your summary should answer a few questions: what you do, who you work with, what makes you different, and a call to action. Here is an example:

I help women achieve financial empowerment by providing a safe space for them to ask their questions. I partner with leading attorneys and accountants to provide a holistic financial planning experience. My planning process is different than others because I meet with my clients in their home and don’t talk over their heads. If you would like to get started, contact my office at 555-555-5555.

This is a very basic example, but you can tell how client-centric it is. It talks about what this advisor does, who they work with, and how they help. It doesn’t go into detail about the advisor’s experience (this can be somewhere else on the profile), but instead focuses on the benefit of working with them.

If you would like a little more guidance on how to answer these questions on your profile, check out one of our past Live Video Broadcasts all about branding. The accompanying whitepaper will help you establish your mission, craft a unique value proposition, and more.