Nearly 10 million South Africans are on LinkedIn, with close to three quarters having completed tertiary education. It’s the professional space on social media, and a place where financial advisers can network and build reputations.
Build your brand, reputation and expertise on LinkedIn
Being a familiar face on LinkedIn will help establish you as an expert in your field. You and/or your business’ name will become well known and your reputation as a trusted professional will grow. All good for future business!
There are two ways you can build your brand on LinkedIn - either through your personal profile or through a company profile. Both options require regular commitments and time. Building your reputation through your company profile will also require a commitment to build your business’ brand. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you using both, if you have the time!
Build your brand and reputation through your LinkedIn company profile
Establishing your business and brand through a company profile on LinkedIn will show readers, visitors to your profile, clients, colleagues and staff that you are a professional business committed to your clients and passionate about your industry.
However, setting up and maintaining your company profile does require a little extra. In addition to all the correct, and clearly articulated but brief company information, such as a tagline (one line description of your business), overview and contact details, you will also need:
- A company logo
- Professional images and photos
- Regular updates of your profile page, which LinkedIn recommends doing once every quarter
You can do these yourself but a digital marketing agency, graphic designer and/or photographer is better placed to help with these as they are the experts in these areas. You can also use information from your website if you have one, such as a company overview.
Be consistent in your branding
The best brands are instantly recognisable because they are consistent in message and appearance. You can build your brand by making sure your content and images are consistent across all platforms. For example, you want the same look, feel, overview and contact information on all your social media platforms, email signatures, business cards and website.
You also need to maintain your page and keep it current with regular posts, engaging with readers and building your followers. One way to do this is to schedule posts, such as twice a week, and commit to replying to comments to your posts. You should also invite colleagues, clients and other business professionals to follow you to build your network.
Tips for posts
Posts don’t need to be long, unless you have an in-depth article to share or concept to explain. Your posts can be as short as a few lines on something topical or even a quote from a well-known expert on a personal finance topic. The key is to post regularly and be active and engage with others on LinkedIn.
- Post original content that you create, such as an article on a topic close to your heart and your business
- Share posts of other advisers, businesses and product providers, with a comment on your thoughts on the post
- Comment on and like relevant and interesting posts
- Reply to comments on your posts
- Keep it professional - posts and comments should be relevant to your business and your industry
LinkedIn offers good tips and advice to help you set up and get the most out of your profile, such as in these three links:
Build your reputation through your personal profile
If you have a personal profile you can also choose to use this to build your brand and reputation. Many advisers do, and have become familiar faces and sought-after industry experts. You won’t need logos (although if you have use) but you will need to make sure your profile looks professional. And, as with a company profile, post regularly. For example, schedule time in your diary twice a week to post original articles on an industry topic or share your thoughts in a few lines on an industry issue. You can also share relevant posts with comments and insights. Take some time after your post to engage with readers on it by liking or responding to any comments.
Build your connections
This is key to building your reputation. 500+ connections is a good initial goal as this is the number where your exposure is significant (more people will see your posts).
- Invite staff, friends, family, clients and colleagues to connect with you, and connect with other financial services professionals
- Join relevant groups, such as financial adviser, investment and insurance groups
- Follow product providers, suppliers, fellow advisers and industry bodies on LinkedIn
All good things take time
Growing a business is a process, with occasional slow periods and occasional spurts. LinkedIn is the same. There will be initial booms and then quieter periods. Keep working at it, sharing and commenting on posts and you will build your reputation and your business.