21 Jul 2014

Get the Most Out of LinkedIn

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Polish Your LinkedIn Profile

With all the buzz over social media “darling” networks like Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to forget the less glossy applications. LinkedIn is far more prosaic than Facebook and, frankly, a lot less fun than Twitter. But because of its business focus and broad professional user base, LinkedIn should be a part of any marketing strategy, especially for fiduciaries.

The Importance of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a good place on which to set your digital footprint. It can help you grow your network, which in turn enables you to find your next engagement, get advice, establish thought leadership, and build your business. Sheer numbers indicate that having a profile on LinkedIn is desirable to fiduciaries. LinkedIn says it has 43 million total members in 200 countries and territories.

Another important reason to be on LinkedIn is: LinkedIn profiles appear high on Google rankings. So, if someone wants to find you, and uses Google, chances are your LinkedIn profile will pop up close to the top of the first page. The most important thing to know about LinkedIn is that, like other social networking platforms, getting the most out of the network is up to you.

Create or Update Your Profile

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, create a profile. If you created a profile hastily in the past and haven’t been back to the site since, now is a good time to revisit it and make sure it accurately reflects the expertise you offer. Chances are your profile has been viewed by other people

When you update your profile, spend extra time positioning yourself. Don’t begin and end with your job title. The profile format on LinkedIn may look like a resume, but it’s more generous. You can highlight and editorialize your achievements easily. Your profile should include a professional headshot, and a clean and clear “positioning statement” about who you are and what you do in your “headline.”

Once you’ve created a robust profile, make it a point to keep it up to date. LinkedIn enables you to include links to articles you’ve written, presentations you’ve given, your firm’s website, your blog, and news about important cases you’ve won. Keeping your profile up to date can help to keep you top of mind with your connections because they will be notified when you make major changes in your profile.

As you enrich your profile, beware of embellishment. As reported on the Lawyerist blog, the CLE speakers from the American Bar Association said to “make sure that you’re not saying anything on LinkedIn in your personal or company profile that you wouldn’t say on your website.”

Making Connections

When building connections on LinkedIn, the website says that quality counts over quantity. After all, the purpose of having a network is to use it to make connections that matter. Your connections are directly linked to your personal brand.

LinkedIn suggests that you only connect with people you actually know or with whom you have done business. That’s because once you connect with someone, you’re making your connections visible to him or her. In turn, he or she is visible to your connections.

However, there are a number of people on LinkedIn who eschew this point of view and cast as wide a connection net as possible. They call themselves LIONS. A LION is a LinkedIn Open Networker. Richard Krasney, a wealth manager in the New York City metro area is a LION who says that his open-networking philosophy has reaped enormous benefits, including client referrals. “I looked at LIONS as connectors, and I saw that there was a lot of value in being a connector on LinkedIn and having lots of experts at my fingertips,” he said.

Whether you adopt LinkedIn’s suggested approach to connecting, or that of the LIONS (which runs counter to the LinkedIn use policy), the most important thing to do with a network is to use it to achieve your goals. Whether you use LinkedIn to help a colleague connect with someone in your network, or ask one of your connections to introduce you to someone else, your connections aren’t just a virtual, semi-public Rolodex. Your connections are useful; they are people who can help you meet others (and vice versa).

As Your Business Grows, BMS | TrustWorks can help

As your practice starts taking off from your social media activities, we’d like to remind you that BMS offers free software that helps fiduciaries and their staff automate many routine, time-intensive tasks involved with the administration of your cases. TrustWorks, our no cost software, allows you to keep track of assets and the funds received as those assets are sold off. In addition, when it comes time to distribute funds, our engine allows you to account for the most complex of distributions and even lets you set aside reserve funds for monies that need to be set aside for later. You can even do all banking functions such as writing checks and request wire transfers all through our TrustWorks software platform. Learn more by visiting us at: BMSadvantage.com/TrustWorks.