Linking Up On LinkedIn

This article was first featured in Financial Advisor Magazine on May 1st, 2021. 

Most financial advisors I speak with are either seeing fantastic results from social media—or none at all.

Those seeing none might start to believe it isn’t an effective marketing tool. But that’s far from the truth. In fact, advisors who participated in a 2019 Putnam Investments study said they received an average AUM of $4.9 million from social media initiatives.

So what should advisors like you do to see social media success? The key is to establish an effective content strategy, one that attracts prospects and grows your following.

Here I will outline five proven ways you can create an effective content strategy for social media. And though many of these tips could transfer to other platforms, they are specifically designed for LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn? According to HubSpot, the platform is 277% more effective at generating leads than other social media platforms. So if growing your business through this medium is your goal, then read on.

Start With An Optimized Profile

Your profile will act as the foundation of your brand on social media. Before you start posting, you’ll want to ensure your profile is optimized. Here’s how you can do just that:

  • Provide high-quality images: Your personal profile should contain a high-resolution branded banner and profile picture. Your profile picture should be well-lit, professional, and friendly.
    • Optimize your headline: Beneath your profile pictures is your headline. This should be clear and concise by answering the following: Who do you help, how do you help them, and what makes your services different?
    • Tell a story with your profile: Your “about” section should not just repeat your experience, which is already shown on your profile. Tell a story here instead, showing how your experience, goals and brand come together.

Share The Right Content

Seeing results from LinkedIn requires a content strategy, which includes understanding what types of content do and do not work.

As a bottom line, the content you share needs to be valuable to readers. If it is not, then they will not engage.

The content you share also does not need to always be original. Yes, it is good to share your blog posts, but you can also reshare content from other users by offering an alternative opinion.

Here are some of the most effective forms of content for attracting prospects on LinkedIn:

  • Original content: These are your blogs, podcast episodes, videos, polls, quotes or graphics—all the material you or your team has created.
    • Reshared content: These are similar items, but they come from well-known publications or users and are reshared with an alternative opinion or perspective.
    • Native content: This is content that does not link away from LinkedIn.

The last item on our list is particularly important for the LinkedIn algorithm, which we will cover later in this article.

Write Your Copy For Your Audience

Many social media users think the bulk of their message relies on their content. That’s not entirely the case.

Yes, your content is important, but it’s the way you frame your content that determines whether it receives engagement or not. And the best way to frame your content is to understand how to write copy that’s directed toward your audience.


Most posts you see will ask readers to engage. But posts like “Read our latest blog” only leave the reader wondering, “What’s in it for me?”

The best copy answers this question by telling readers the benefits of engagement. Here are a few rules to consider when writing posts for social media:

  • Avoid first-person language and focus on the reader.
    • Make your copy actionable and active. Avoid passive language.
    • Provide benefits, but be specific.
    • Always provide context, especially when you’re sharing complex content.

You Can Grow Your Audience Without Even Posting

One easy way to grow your audience is simply to engage with other people’s posts. Make a list of your top prospects, key centers of influence, influential clients and even reporters active on social media. Go into LinkedIn and ask to connect with them. Not all may accept, but it’s likely most of them will. If you can include a relevant personal note with the request, all the better.

At least several times a week, you should go to your notifications to see if any of your connections has posted. Every time you see one of their posts, engage by not just liking it but by writing a thoughtful comment. “Congrats” or “Nice article” is not going to cut it. Write several sentences and they will undoubtably take notice.

If these individuals post something interesting, share it and add your opinion in the caption, tagging them so they see that you’ve shared it. Believe me, they will be thrilled and take notice.

Even if you’ve never met these people if you interact with them consistently, you will start to see them engage with your comments, too—and likely with your posts. When they comment on your posts, tag them, which will bring your posts to their attention.

Once you start receiving comments, be sure to respond back. This can create a conversation that results in more engagement, increasing the performance of your post.

Of course, you may not have all day to reply to comments, so be sure to prioritize. Reply to the earliest commenters if you can, as the first hour of engagement is often the most important.

Understand The LinkedIn Algorithm

You have to stay on the right side of the algorithm if you want your posts to get a healthy level of feedback.

Here’s what you should do:

• Post content as frequently as possible: The algorithm prioritizes consistency.
• Prioritize engagement: As we said before, engagement is a measurement of the success of your post. Comments, reactions and reshares all help measure the popularity of your post.
• Consider timing: The first hour of a post’s engagement is important to its overall success. For this reason, you’ll want to post your content when your audience is more active. Of course, this will depend on your unique audience. When first starting out, I would recommend testing different times of day and measuring the results to find an optimal posting schedule.
• Use tags: Make sure to tag other users when appropriate. This will alert them to your post and result in increased reach with their response. Hashtags should also be used to include your post in an ongoing conversation. Be sure to use no more than three hashtags per post.
• Avoid external links: LinkedIn wants to keep users on the site, so any links that lead away will be frowned upon by the algorithm. If you need to include a link in your post, instead include it as the first comment on your post. Then, let readers know to look for the link in the comment section.

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