Get Linked: Use Social Media to Leverage Your Business, Yourself  

Everybody has a story, LinkedIn’s Jennifer Grazel told the room at the closing general session of FPA’s Annual Conference 2014. Your story starts with your personal brand.

How do you get a personal brand? Sign up for a LinkedIn profile, and review LinkedIn’s Professional Branding Checklist, of course.

Jill Schlesinger the Emmy-nominated business analyst for CBS News and esteemed facilitator for all FPA’s Annual Conference general sessions, told the audience that she wasn’t always a fan of social media, but that all changed when she met Grazel in 2013.

Prior to that, “I had the most reluctant relationship with social media,” Schlesinger said. Grazel “brought me into this world and showed me the power of connecting through social media.”

So in March of that year, Schlesinger signed up for a LinkedIn account.

“I now have 20,000 followers on LinkedIn who actually want to read about what I was saying,” Schlesinger told the crowd.

Grazel explained that more than 70 percent of wealthy investors have restructured their relationships based on content they’ve found through social media. Nearly half of investors LinkedIn surveyed indicated they would be interested in connecting with planners via social media, but in 2012, less than 5 percent had done so.

Also, approximately 62 percent of financial advisers LinkedIn surveyed said they had success across the board gaining clients via LinkedIn. Sidenote: there are approximately 600 million professionals in the world, and 50 percent of them are on LinkedIn, Grazel said.

“It’s a very effective medium,” Grazel said. “We want to understand how clients value the advice or interaction they’re getting from you on social media.”

Some practical tips Grazel gave included introducing three steps to carefully curating your LinkedIn profile to effectively tell your story.

  • Step 1: Understand your audience and craft a punchy headline, provide a compelling main photo (no frat party pictures, Grazel said), and fill your profile with SEO-friendly content that resonates with clients.
  • Step 2: Enhance your profile with rich content like videos and presentations.
  • Step 3: Share your interests. People connect better with you when they feel like they know you.
  • Step 4: Let your network speak for you. Ask for recommendations and endorsements.

For more information, or to see Grazel’s presentation materials, click here.

Ana Trujillo
FPA publications team
Denver, CO


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