A Great LinkedIn Profile for Bankers
When I'm helping my banking clients network professionally and build influence, we talk about Linkedin for bankers. Most of them see the need to have a presence on the world's largest business directory. The problems you have if you're a banking professional are these:
- Your bank has strict guidelines for participation in online networks.
- You're not sure how LinkedIn works.
- You're uncertain exactly what to put up there in your profile.
Let's give you some help with that last one by answering the question: What makes a good LinkedIn profile for bankers?
LinkedIn has over 140 million users as of today. It's international, and although it was heavily USA populated a while ago, the UK is one of the fastest growing countries involved.
So let's think through your profile. We'll start with your objective. LinkedIn is basically an advertisement. And like any ad, you want it to perform. You want people to:
- Find you (either by searching on your name or on certain keywords, like banker + Oxford)
- Rate you (be impressed by you and what they see, and find useful information)
- Connect with you (engage, introduce, recommend, follow up)
So your objective is to help people do these three things. That means telling them what you do, but more importantly, how you do it, why you're difference from all the other bankers on here and what you can do FOR THEM. In other words, how you can help them.
Here are some of my best linkedIn profiling tips:
- Have your photo in there. This is a must. You're in a people business. It makes you familiar, trusted and REAL. If you don't have one, bring in a digital camera to work and have somebody take one.
- Use more bullet points rather than lists of things (click here to see how I've done mine).
- Think HELP, not SELL. Think about your wording in terms how how you help people and how you make a difference rather than what you do or have done.
- Use keywords with variations (e.g. banks, banking, banking professionals and bankers, or finance and financial, or funds, funding and funding solutions).
- Stick to 3 or 4 lines of text per paragraph. Short and punchy.
- Put your mobile in there. Your email is public. Why not your mobile? Who knows who might call you? And it's on your card anyway.
- Brag about your exceptional team of experts so it's not just about you.
- Brag about your extensive professional contacts throughout your town/community/region.
- List any other companies/banks you've worked for. This makes you easier to find and highlights your varied expertise/experience. It shows your progression and your ability to produce in various situations.
- Show your connections. If you don't have many, get some more. Connect to internal colleagues, professionals in your community and your existing customers and clients.
Very often clients and other professionals search for you on LinkedIn to AFTER they've met you somewhere else (say at a networking event). They want to verify or clarify what they've seen. They want corroboration. They want to check you out. Just like you're doing to them!
Not being on there is a big mistake. Being on there in a non-descript, boring and generic way is probably just as bad.
For some world class insight on how to make the most from LinkedIn as a banking professional, check out this brilliant audio interview with renowned LinkedIn strategist and lead generation specialist, Tim Bond.