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Your LinkedIn Housekeeping Checklist for 2017

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 (LinkedIn are in the process of rolling out a completely refreshed user interface so it's worth going through this checklist now):

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 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?
  • 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. Un-tick 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 Connections, 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. You may also want to export your contacts to Excel for easy reference - do this soon as this feature isn't available on the new version of LinkedIn!

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.

 Happy tidying up!

Top LinkedIn Features for Hedge Fund Professionals

According to Hedgeweek, over 90% of hedge funds are using at least one social media platform, with LinkedIn being by far the most popular. However, in my experience the majority of hedge fund professionals have only a basic understanding, quite naturally, of how to use LinkedIn – the typical user simply posts their education and experience on their LinkedIn profile, connects with people he/she meets at industry events, and then not much else. Similarly, many hedge funds have a LinkedIn company page but many are simply a company bio and make no effort to engage with their followers. Despite hedge funds being severely limited in terms of who they can market to, LinkedIn still offers some great features for hedge fund professionals:

  • Your profile is not a CV! Unless you’re looking for a new job, you should treat your LinkedIn profile as the face of your personal brand and as a marketing and business development tool. Make sure you have a professional photo (not your Facebook pic!) – your profile is 14x more likely to be viewed if you have a photo. You need to write an interesting and engaging summary which gives the reader a reason to want to connect with you – don’t just bullet point your career highlights, tell the reader what you or your firm can do for them. You can also upload a firm brochure or other multimedia, making your profile much more than an online CV.

  • Even on the free version of LinkedIn, there are some incredibly powerful search features. By clicking on the Advanced button, you can find a specific type of business professional, in a particular industry, within 10 miles of a postcode anywhere in the world. For example, if I run a keyword search for ‘family office’ within 10 miles of a Mayfair postcode, LinkedIn provides me with 2,152 names! Experiment and you will be amazed how powerful this search tool is.

  • LinkedIn Groups are a great way to meet people with a common interest, position yourself as an expert or thought leader and raise your professional profile. Some of the larger LinkedIn Groups for hedge professionals include Hedge Fund Group and Hedge Fund Professionals Worldwide Network.

  • Post content – a great way to stay on the radar of your LinkedIn connections, posting content on LinkedIn once or twice a week takes just a couple of minutes. Obviously, any of your own content needs to be client-facing and signed off by Compliance, but you can also post articles from the likes of the FT or Bloomberg that you think is going to be of interest to your contacts. This is a powerful way to build credibility, enhance your visibility and position yourself within your target market.

  • A LinkedIn Company Page for your firm gives people a choice – they may prefer to follow the firm as a whole rather than connect with a specific individual. Again, you need to be posting content on a fairly regular basis (at least weekly) to build a following, and not merely limit your Page to a simple firm bio. You may also want to create sub-pages (Showcase Pages) of your main Company Page to target particular market sectors.

As you can see, LinkedIn is so much more than an online CV and somewhere to store your contacts. With a little tenacity, you can utilise LinkedIn as a core element of your marketing and business development activities.

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