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1 Guide to Brought to you by:

2 I ntroduction How can this guide help you? You ll learn LinkedIn basics through easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and illustrations that can help you build a profile that reflects your experience. How can LinkedIn play a role in your marketing strategy? LinkedIn is a natural extension of the goals you re already trying to achieve through marketing. It can help you: Strengthen your brand Find prospects Build relationships Enhance your credibility Nurture existing connections Share interesting content Guide to LinkedIn 2

3 How to create your personal profile If you re new to LinkedIn, this is a great place to begin. If you already have a profile created, skip to the checklist below to make sure your profile is complete. After you create a personal profile, create a company page to compliment it. You can find instructions on page 5. Creating a personal profile and company page help increase your findability. Steps 1. Go to: 2. Fill out the required information. 3. You ll receive an with a confirmation link. 4. Click the link to complete your profile and start adding connections. Findability noun findabil i ty Definition how easy it is for someone to find your business because of your online efforts via website or social media activity Basic profile completeness checklist: Professional photo Contact information: Business phone and address Company website Blog website (Check with your broker dealer, if applicable.) Summary (Find tips on page 4.) Skills and areas of experience (for example: fixed annuities, fixed indexed annuities, life insurance, retirement strategies, etc.) Current and past jobs (Title, company, dates worked, description of duties) Education Any honors or awards you ve received Custom URL for your profile Guide to LinkedIn 3

4 Profile roadmap Your profile summary is one of the most important aspects of your LinkedIn identity. It s a description that tells your reader who you are, what you do and how you can help them. The keywords you use are important, but should come out naturally as you re writing about the services you offer. Refer to the questions below for additional help with your profile summary. The image on the right can help you find some of the features discussed on the previous page. Questions to think about when writing your summary: Joe Smith Indepdendent insurance professional Des Moines, Iowa Area Financial Services What do you want your clients to know about you? How can you help potential clients? What services do you offer? Why do you love your job? How did you get into the business? What sets you apart? Personalize Keywords to consider Here are a few keywords to consider using in your profile summary. These are just suggestions. Some may not apply to your business. Retirement strategy Retirement goals Annuities/life insurance/securities, etc. Any special licenses or designations you hold (i.e. series 7, series 63, series 66, etc.) Financial strategy Insurance After you ve defined your list of keywords, weave them into your profile summary. your LinkedIn address See your status updates and recent activity Update your profile summary Joe Smith joined the group Independent Financial Professionals Join Group 7 days ago Summary Enhance your profile summary: Add a link to a video, image, document or presentation Guide to LinkedIn 4

5 How to create a company page Now that your personal profile is complete, you can add a company page for your business. You can easily post the same status updates here as your personal profile. Even if you don t post on this page, it can still increase your findability. Steps 1. Go to: 2. Fill out the required information. 3. You ll receive an with a confirmation link. 4. Click the link to complete your profile and start adding connections. Company logo Basic company page completeness checklist: Company description and company blog RSS feed link. Administrators for the page. Company specialties (list what your company does, refer to your personal profile skills for ideas) Large image x 220pixels (similar to Facebook s cover photo) Images: For the larger image, you can use a photo or hire a graphic designer to create an image. Guide to LinkedIn 5

6 Step 1 : Find prospects Using the advanced search feature, you can find current clients and new prospects to add to your network. Identify keywords to help search for potential prospects by using audience profiles. For help, search audience profiles on our blog ( Steps 1. Click Advanced next to the search bar to get to this screen. 2. Type in keywords related to your client base use the tips below. 3. Select a location to narrow the results to your community. 4. Choose one or more industries that are typical of your client base. 5. Specify a company name, if applicable. Tips for keyword searches Quotation marks Inform the search function that the whole phrase must be found, instead of searching each individual word. Example small business entrepreneur OR Informs the search function that either word or phrase is acceptable. Example small business entrepreneur OR business owner AND Informs the search function that the two or more words or phrases must ALL be found in the results. Example small business entrepreneur AND manufacturing NOT Informs the search function to exclude a word or phrase from results. Example small business entrepreneur AND NOT manufacturing Guide to LinkedIn 6

7 Step 2 : Make connections Send a personalized message Directly connect and send a personalized message. If you find a potential connection on LinkedIn, send a personal message. A person is more likely to accept a personal invitation than a system generated one. Get introduced You can ask an existing connection to introduce you to a potential prospect. Why connect? It keeps your connections up-to-date on your latest status posts like website updates, events, blog posts and interesting articles. It expands your network. Get introduced through one of your current connections. It increases brand awareness. It can build relationships. Taking a few minutes to read a prospect s profile can help you learn more about their life, and understand their particular circumstances. Guide to LinkedIn 7

8 Step 3 : Post status If LinkedIn is part of your content strategy, you should add weekly updates to your personal profile and company page. Here s how you post a status to your personal profile. You can copy and paste status updates you ve written ahead of time or links to interesting articles. Then click the Share button. After logging in, your home screen looks like this: When you post a status, it will appear in your connections newsfeeds like this update. Guide to LinkedIn 8

9 Step 4 : Join Groups Groups give you the opportunity to connect with people in your community. Through genuine interactions in those groups, you can build relationships and spread your brand. You can join as many groups as you d like. Browse group s for topics you would like to comment on, or feature in a blog post. Focus on local groups. This can help build credibility and relationships with people outside of your network. Types of groups to join Community-based Industry-related Industry influencers Local businesses Set the drop down menus to Groups to start your search, or to see what groups you have. Why join groups? Networking Relationship building Understand your audience Expand your client base Use side bars to do advanced searches Guide to LinkedIn 9

10 Step 5 : Be compliant Before you get started with social media, research the guidelines you re expected to follow. Read over the regulatory notices issued by FINRA. Visit to search for the following: FINRA Notice FINRA Notice FINRA Notice Refer to the NAIC whitepaper on social media. Simply visit and search for Social Media. It covers insurance company and producer uses of social media, regulatory and compliance issues and guidance for addressing those issues. Contact the carriers you work with to get their stance on social media. Even if you don t plan on mentioning them, you need to know their position. Check out our blog post for links to their guidelines: If you are securities registered or you re regulated by one or more regulatory agencies, you must learn your Broker/Dealer guidelines. Learn how to capture and retain your social media posts. There are multiple companies that offer this service. Remember: Social media communications need to align with existing regulations privacy, record retention, and rules related to advertising and marketing, etc. Guide to LinkedIn 10

11 Follow the globe! For more innovative marketing and educational solutions, you can follow. To get connected, scan the QR code with your Smartphone or visit: As always, feel free to give us a call at or visit our website at Don t have a QR code reader? Download one to your Smartphone and then scan the code to get connected. 2015, Ltd. All rights reserved

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