Do I need to pay for LinkedIn?

A question that I am asked more than any other in my workshops is whether, as a wealth manager, you need to pay for LinkedIn, so I am going to try to answer that question here. I will focus on comparing the free version of LinkedIn with Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s multi-feature platform for individual users. There is a middle-tier premium version, Premium Business, but the differences compared to the free version are marginal. I hope you find the comparison useful.

I’m not going to cover every feature, only those I consider particularly useful for wealth managers, so if you click on this link you will find a quick overview from LinkedIn of their different plans. Here is my breakdown of the free features versus Sales Navigator (‘SN’):

  • Who’s Viewed your Profile – the free version of LinkedIn allows you to see the last 5 people who viewed your profile, SN let’s you see everyone in the last 90 days

  • InMails – SN allows you to send up to 20 InMail’s per month to people you aren’t connected to (0 on the free version). InMails allow you to send much longer messages and attach documents and presentations, and (generally speaking) people are more likely to open and read these than a standard email

  • Advanced search filters – SN contains 44 different filters to search for leads. In addition to the filters on the free version, there are filters such as job function, seniority level, postcode radius and company size, amongst others. This is very useful for micro-targeting leads if you have a particular target market

  • Extended network access – SN allows you to see your 3rd line network and beyond, the free version only takes you to your 3rd line network

  • Bespoke news feeds for leads – after saving leads to a custom list, SN creates a dedicated news feed just for those leads, which removes the noise from the standard news feed. I really like this feature as this news feed will offer suggestions to get in touch with leads e.g. they have posted an interesting article/post, or we have both liked the same article/post

  • Saved leads – once you have run searches for leads, you can then save as many searches as you like. On the free version, you can only have a maximum of 3 searches saved at any one time

  • Lead & account recommendations – after you have run several searches, SN will recommend leads and accounts to you that meet your search criteria

  • Notes & Tags – similar to most CRM’s, you can add your own notes and tags to your lead list. Not that useful if you must use your ‘native’ in-house CRM anyway

  • TeamLink – if you are part of a sales team, SN’s TeamLink feature will ‘pool’ all of your team’s networks and suggest the most effective route to a new lead. Very useful if you’re not competing with fellow team members!

  • Salesforce CRM integration – if your firm uses Salesforce, you can sync your SN activity with that CRM system

  • In conclusion, for the ‘average’ LinkedIn user who dips in out of LinkedIn a few times per month, the free functionality will be more than sufficient. However, for those users who are actively seeking high quality, qualified leads from LinkedIn, I believe Sales Navigator is worth the £69.99 per month investment, as most wealth managers would probably only need to sign-up one new client per year to easily cover this cost.

*** As always, there are FCA Financial Promotions rules and GDPR implications to using LinkedIn (free or paid), particularly if you are using the platform for lead generation/client acquisition ***

Your 2019 LinkedIn Housekeeping Checklist

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 presence for 2019:

Your Profile

  • Is your headshot up-to-date? LinkedIn isn't a dating site so your photo really should be a reflection of you! Add in a background image as well to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Check that your contact information and website links are still current - click on the 'Me' menu > View profile > See contact info.
  • Is your professional summary, work experience and other sections a fair 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? Do you need to add in any personal milestones or achievements from the last 12 months?
  • Do your media attachments need updating? If you work for a regulated firm, make sure any brochures that are attached are the most up-to-date version.
  • 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!
  • Update any of the Optional sections of your profile, such as Certifications, Organisations and Languages
  • 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 the Companies and Influencers you are following. I'm a big fan of keeping these lists to around 10-20 of each, otherwise I simply can't keep up-to-date with everything that is happening on my news feed. Unfollow those Companies and Influencers you no longer want to follow, and leave any Groups that are no longer relevant to your objectives.

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 don't get told that you have removed them. To do this, go to My Network, then click on your number of connections on the left-hand side. To remove someone click on the 3 dots next to their profile, then Remove.

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 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
  • Select your profile visibility
  • Ads (data-sharing) - in this post-GDPR world, make sure your data isn't shared without your permission

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

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

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