How to tidy up your LinkedIn profile for 2015

It's that time of year when I like to refresh and update my LinkedIn presence - over the course of the last 12 months, you may have found yourself connecting with people you don't know, adding sections to your profile that are no longer relevant, as well as a whole multitude of other LinkedIn activities which you have no recollection of doing! So here is my New Year checklist for tidying up your LinkedIn account:

Your Profile

·         Is your photo up-to-date? LinkedIn isn't a dating site so your photo really should be a reflection of you!

·         Check that your contact information and website links are still current - click on Edit Profile then Edit Contact Info.

·         Is your professional summary, work experience and other sections a reflection of your day-to-day activities. Remember, if you have attended one of my workshops you will understand the importance of telling the reader 'what's in it for them' - LinkedIn is not just an online CV. Why would the reader want to engage with you?

·         Tidy up your Skills & Endorsements - this is one of those sections that really can get out of hand very quickly. Remove any skills that are no longer relevant, add any new ones, and remove any endorsements from people you don't know!

·         Scroll down to the very bottom of your profile where you will find a list of all the LinkedIn Groups you are a member of, as well as all of the Companies and Influencers you are following. I'm a big fan of keeping these lists to around 5-10 of   each, otherwise I simply can't keep up-to-date with everything that is happening on my LinkedIn newsfeed. Untick those Companies and Influencers you no longer want to follow, and leave any Groups that are no longer relevant.

Your Connections

I like to have an annual cleanse of my connections, otherwise the number can get out of hand. You have probably connected over the last 12 months with people you don't know or have never met, so it is worth going through all of your connections and removing those that are no longer relevant (or have annoyed you!) - remember, they won't get told that you have removed them. To do this, go to Connections, then Keep in Touch, and when you scroll down the page you will see a list of all your Connections. To remove someone, just hover over their name, click on More, then Remove Connection.

Your Settings

In this era of data protection and online privacy, it is important to check that the visibility of your data is set to a level you are comfortable with. I won't go through all of the various Settings here, but the ones to pay particular attention to are:

·         See where you're logged in (all of the locations where you are logged in to LinkedIn)

·         Set the frequency of e-mails (this will tidy up your Inbox)

·         View your applications (a list of all third-party sites that have access to your LinkedIn account)

·         Select who can see your connections

All of these can be found by hovering over your photo in the top right-hand corner, then click on Privacy & Settings.

If you think I may have missed something, please add it to the Comments box below. Happy tidying up!

Key Benefits of Social Media for Wealth Managers

Cast your mind back 15-20 years to a time when many of us thought that email was a passing fad and would quickly go the way of the fax machine as a means of communication. Here we are in 2014 and e-mail is now an integral part of our lives and in many cases has replaced the telephone and face-to-face contact. It is now considered second nature. Despite some naysayers, social media, whether we like it or not, is now a standard way of communicating. It is therefore imperative that the private banking and wealth management industry fully embrace social media as a matter of urgency – those firms that don’t do so risk being left behind. Imagine trying to run any sort of business nowadays without having access to email – that is how social media will be viewed in the coming years.

There is a huge amount of research available extolling the benefits of social media, but here are some interesting statistics that are relevant to our industry:

  • There are 1.1 million Google searches every month for “financial advisor”;
  • 28 per cent of millionaires are on LinkedIn;
  • 71 per cent of financial professionals have a Facebook profile, 81 per cent are on LinkedIn, 26 per cent are on Twitter;
  • The average age of a LinkedIn user is 41. Ninety-five per cent are university educated, with an average household income of £65,000;
  • Of investors with at least £250,000 to invest, 75 per cent of them have used LinkedIn for investment research.

These figures are only set to increase as the industry begins to understand how effective social media can be, not only in terms of client satisfaction but also upon the impact on your bottom line - an IFA client of ours recently attributed a 15 per cent increase in assets under management to his social media activities.

There are an almost unlimited number of benefits to incorporating social media into your overall marketing/business development strategy. Social media can help you to:

  • Raise brand awareness, as well as preserve the key values associated with your individual firm, by engaging with clients, prospects and fellow professionals online. TIP – use, for example, Twitter, blogs, and Facebook to keep clients informed of firm, market and product news.
  • Expand your professional networks by connecting with centres of influence and key decision-makers. TIP – use your LinkedIn profile and its advanced tools to raise awareness of your client proposition.
  • Acquire new clients and deepen relationships with existing clients. TIP – use Facebook and Twitter to connect with luxury brands that cater to the demographic of your clients and prospects
  • Monitor what the wider community is saying about your brand, products and services. TIP – it is imperative that you use dedicated software designed to monitor what your clients and employees are saying about your brand online; you must also use this software to retain all social media activity for seven years, in accordance with FCA guidelines on record-keeping.
  • Ultimately, to grow your business, gain client trust, and add significant value for key stakeholders

The two most common perceived barriers to entry, compliance and brand damage, should not be a hindrance as both can be controlled and managed with a comprehensive and well-thought out business strategy.

You may also want to check out my free guide, 7 Key Benefits of Social Media for the Wealth Management Industry, which you can find on my LinkedIn profile.

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