Financial Advisor's Guide to LinkedIn: Getting Started

By Loic Jeanjean and Lisa Craviero, Advisor Websites on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Welcome to our complete LinkedIn guide for financial advisors. For those of you unfamiliar with the business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn offers a number of features that will help increase your visibility within the financial industry and promote your services.

With over 85 million members in over 200 countries and growing, LinkedIn is the easiest way to network with industry professionals, and has become extremely useful when prospecting for new clients. It’s also a great tool for staying informed and involved within your community. These users are well-educated and have an above-average household income, making this user group an extremely attractive source to target; finally LinkedIn also reports that executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members. With so many valuable opportunities to connect, no wonder why LinkedIn is the most recommended social networking site for advisors and our personal favorite.

What can you do on LinkedIn?

●     Manage an online portfolio of your accomplishments and achievements

●     Find and be introduced to potential clients and industry professionals

●     Promote your business and services with a company profile

●     Join financial groups and enter into discussions with industry professionals

●     Post new job listings for your business, or alternatively, find new job opportunities

We're excited to guide you through every feature and opportunity available, from creating your profile all the way to putting up your own ads. We've broken down the features into simple easy steps and added in a number of helpful hints and ideas along the way.

Part 1: Getting Started

This first section is all about getting started. It will focus on getting your account setup, choosing your plan and adding basic information to your profile so that you are ready to begin connecting and networking with others.

The actual sign-up is a very short, simple process that will take you less than 5 minutes.

1.    Once you're on the LinkedIn homepage, enter your details and click on the Join Now button.

2.    The next page will ask you to enter a few employment details.

3.    You will then have the option of searching through your email contacts and adding people you already know. You are able to skip this option by clicking ‘Skip This Step’ in the bottom right hand corner. (Don’t worry; you can always add email contacts at a later time)

4.    You will then be asked to confirm your email address. Go to your inbox and check for an email from LinkedIn. Open it and click on the confirmation link. Once you've confirmed, you will be asked to choose your plan level. For beginners, the basic plan is perfectly fine. Congratulations, you now have an account!

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