Mark Lee has been described as the most networked accountant in the UK. Who better to talk to about building your professional network?! Networking on LinkedIn is a key part of this. Particularly at the moment when meeting up in person is so difficult.
Mark is a man of many talents. He runs his own business mentoring accountants and tax advisors. Mark is Chairman of the Tax Advice Network. He is also Treasurer to The Magic Circle and a former Chair of the Tax Faculty at the ICAEW.
There are millions of qualified accountants and finance leaders around the world. Each individual has their own unique combination of soft skills, hard skills and personal values.
This podcast episode will help finance leaders to stand out on LinkedIn and tailor your inbound content.
The benefits of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the main social media platform for senior finance professionals. LinkedIn offers an amazing free service for finance leaders to market themselves and build their network.
Many finance professionals do not enjoy networking events. They are constantly being pounced on by salespeople. LinkedIn offers a good way around this.
Very few finance leaders have received proper training on how to maximise the benefits of LinkedIn. For example:
- How do you stand out amongst the crowd?
- What is the best way to tailor your inbound content?
- Which types of people should you connect with?
Standing out amongst the crowd
LinkedIn can be incredibly valuable for building your personal brand and obtaining new roles. It is essential to optimise your professional profile well in advance of when you actually need it.
Your history of LinkedIn posts, collaboration and endorsements takes a while to build up. When somebody searches for you online, your LinkedIn profile will be the first thing that they see.
It is important to use the right photo and strapline. You should also update what you say about your previous roles so that your LinkedIn profile is relevant now. Clearly state what problem you solve for people who are reading your profile.
Most people fall into the trap of simply re-writing your LinkedIn profile every time you think about moving roles. Whilst this does have some impact, you will miss the opportunity to demonstrate your full expertise. This can be more powerfully portrayed by the quality of your network and what they say about you. Adding endorsements, blog posts and articles will also further enhance your overall impact.
If you achieve something great then tell people about it. Find a style to powerfully portray your achievements, without sounding like your own biggest fan…!
Video posts can also be a fantastic way of giving people a change to get to know you online. They profile your personality and help show what you are like to interact with.
For more details, finance leaders should work through Module 4: Build your own brand within your Future CFO Programme Home – GrowCFO
Networking on LinkedIn
Very few finance leaders have a proper strategy to build up a powerful LinkedIn network. Networking on LinkedIn is about quality not quantity and you need a proper plan.
Start by connecting with your known contacts and people who you have previously worked or interacted with. After that, you should also be very picky about who you accept connection requests from.
Also think carefully about who you request to connect with on LinkedIn. Networking is important and you want to create a powerful network. This network should demonstrate your profile, as well as provide you with insightful content. There are huge benefits to networking on LinkedIn with people who regularly share value-adding posts, videos and articles.
Many people worry about constantly being sold to on LinkedIn. However, it is easy to adjust your notifications to minimise spam messages. If necessary, it takes seconds to remove any connection who keeps spamming you.
For more details, finance leaders should work through Module 5: Grow your own network within your Future CFO Programme Home – GrowCFO
Personalising your newsfeed
The LinkedIn algorithm attempts to personalise your newsfeed based upon your interests. You can easily educate the algorithm by liking and commenting on posts that you find helpful.
Likewise, you can click on the three dots next to any post. Click accoringly to tell the algorithm which post categories you no longer wish to see. LinkedIn will respond accordingly and will stop showing you these types of posts.
Remember – you are far more likely to receive content in your newsfeed from your first connections. Therefore, think about who these people should be.
Following people and groups will also educate LinkedIn around your interests. You can easily activate these and tailor them over time.
A few final words of caution! Never share more on LinkedIn than you would be prepared to share with an audience of random people. This is what you are doing every time you post something into social media…!
Find out more about Mark Lee at his website, bookmarklee.co.uk