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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.

5 Social Selling Tips for the Socially Savvy Wealth Manager

Have you heard of social selling? Many wealth managers I speak to have not, yet they may be doing it without realising it. The basic idea is that an increasing number of businesses are using the major social media platforms (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter in the case of financial services firms) to 'sell' without actually 'selling', which is a dirty word to most wealth managers!

In terms of the business case for the proactive use of social media to build your business, according to LinkedIn:

  •           Just over 63% of social sellers report an increase in their sales revenue, versus 41% of non-social sellers
  •           84% of social sellers use LinkedIn; 48% use Twitter
  •           74% of consumers do research online before making a buying decision
  •           65% of buyers feel that a vendor's content had an impact on their decision to buy
  •           Your next generation of clients are 5x more likely than previous generations to think that social networks will be the hub of their financial information in the future

Pretty compelling stuff. So here are my top 5 tips for wealth managers to get to grips with social selling (actually they are more like questions you should be asking yourself, but hopefully they will stimulate the grey matter):

1) Just because you have a LinkedIn profile doesn't mean it is resonating with your prospects and clients! Is it       written in the first person? Have you written an interesting and engaging summary that is not just a list of your career achievements? Have you added a company brochure or other material to your profile? Is it keyword-optimised?

2) Have you run advanced searches for your target clients or introducers, saved them and set up alerts? How much can you find out about your target contacts before you connect with them? Please don't just send a generic invite when you connect - tailor it to the reader.

3) Does your employer have a LinkedIn Company Page and are you following it so you can like, comment and share regular updates with your contacts? Are you following your competitors, introducers and target firms on LinkedIn and Twitter?

4) Do you have a content strategy, either at a firm or individual level? How often do you post? Are your posts informing and educating your clients (good) or is it a sales pitch (bad)? If someone engages with your posts, what is your process for responding?

5) Sync up your phone's address book with the Twitter app and follow all of your contact on Twitter. This is great way to stay informed and may provide 'social signals' as a reason to get in touch.

As you can see, there is a lot more to social selling than merely having a LinkedIn profile. Many of my clients are thinking about how to 'future-proof their business and social selling is a great way to begin this process. Finally, check out your personalised Social Selling Index to see how effective your LinkedIn activities are.

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