LinkedIn_how_people_search_2.jpgNearly everyone in financial services understands that LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. But to maximize the power of LinkedIn as a business development tool, you need to think about LinkedIn from an SEO perspective, not just from a social networking perspective.

LinkedIn is a powerful search engine, and you want your profile to come up when people in your target audience are searching for a financial advisor, investment banker, accountant, etc.—whether they are searching within LinkedIn or via a search engine such as Google or Bing. Just like you probably (or at least should have) spent a lot of energy building targeted keywords into your firm’s website, you also should make sure your LinkedIn profile contains the keywords that your potential clients use when searching for someone with your expertise.

Where to Build in Keywords

The three primary areas where you can incorporate keywords into your LinkedIn profile are:

Headline — Your headline on LinkedIn is the text that shows up directly below your name. This autopopulates with your current job title, but you can override this and write something more creative and descriptive. (Within compliance guidelines, of course.) Rather than defaulting to your title, you want to use this space to describe the value you provide and/or who you specialize in helping.

For a financial advisor, rather than just having “Vice President and Senior Wealth Manager” as your headline, you could have something along of the lines of “Financial Advisor Helping Chicago-Area Business Owners Prepare for Retirement and Succession.” For an investment banker, instead of simply using “Managing Director” (or whatever your title is), you might use “Investment Banker Focused on M&A and Equity Raises for High-Growth Technology Companies.” For an accountant, you’ll want to use your headline to describe what type of accounting you specialize in (e.g., tax, auditing, valuations, etc.) and what types of companies you work with.

Summary — This is your opportunity to paint a picture of 1) who you are, 2) how you can help clients with their financial goals, and 3) why you are uniquely qualified to provide this financial expertise. Avoid using industry jargon; instead use words and phrases that align with how your clients think. A simple way to do this is to describe the types of financial problems that you help clients solve, as well as what those solutions look like.

You have up to 2,000 characters here, so this is your opportunity to provide some details about what makes you, your team, your firm, and your approach unique. Use shorter paragraphs and bullet points to make it easier for the reader to digest.

Don’t just copy and paste your professional bio here. Instead, make your summary more personal and engaging. Use first- and second-person pronouns (e.g., I, we, and you) to connect with the reader. You can also upload compliance-approved videos, white papers, brochures, and other content to this section.

Experience — This is your chance to highlight how your previous jobs have prepared you to be a great financial advisor. Be sure to include a short sentence or series of phrases for each job describing what you actually did in that role. Your titles alone won’t mean much to people outside of the financial services industry. Also, don’t feel like you need to list every job and every role you’ve ever had; it is fine to limit your experience to jobs that are relevant to your current role.

Think Like a Client, Not a HR Recruiter

Remember, when you’re creating your profile, build in words that your potential clients would use when searching for someone like you, not words that an HR recruiter or staffing agency would use when trying to fill a position. (This is assuming that your top priority for using LinkedIn is to generate more revenue in your current job, not to find the next job.) So that means use straightforward, non-jargony language that describes the value you provide and who you provide it for.

There are a lot of people out there searching for professionals with your level of financial expertise. Build a profile that makes it easy for them to find you.

About the Author

Scott_Headshot2.1.jpgScott Wentworth is the founder and head writer at Wentworth Financial Communications. Scott and the team of writers and editors at WFC help professionals across the financial services industry build their brands by creating investment-grade white papers, bylined articles, newsletters, blogs, social media posts, and other forms of content marketing. To learn more, visit

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