10+ Ways Accountants could benefit from an up to date profile on LInkedin

Mar 19, 2024 | Business development

Although Linkedin tells us that over 300,000 UK based accountants have profiles on Linkedin, this is not the full story.

Many of those profiles are out of date, unhelpful and inactive. Which is a shame as there is much that accountants can do on Linkedin to benefit their career, profile and success.

And an out of date or incomplete profile could well be undermining your networking and other marketing activities too.

A good number of the 300,000 accountants on Linkedin are regularly active but many are disillusioned, disappointed or simply have better things to do with their time.

As a long time user of Linkedin, advocate and adviser to accountants I doubt that all accountants NEED to be active on the site.

Also, you do not NEED to post ‘content’ and you should absolutely resist the idea of allowing anyone else to be active on the site on your behalf. The same goes for the idea of using Generative AI to post or comment for you. It’s obviously inauthentic and will do you more damage than benefit.

Whether YOU would benefit from being active on the site depends on YOUR objectives, plans and ambitions. And these will also determine what actions would be a good use of your time.

REALISTIC OBJECTIVES FOR USING LINKEDIN

  • To maximise your career options
  • To support your marketing efforts elsewhere
  • To support your networking activities
  • To short-cut your networking activities
  • Pre-retirement planning
  • To support your recruitment efforts
  • To learn stuff
  • To have fun
  • To keep in touch with friends, colleagues and connections
  • To boost your reach
  • To generate leads

LESS REALISTIC OBJECTIVES (despite the hype)

  • To boost or build your business brand
  • To boost or build your personal brand
  • To win new clients (of the type you really want)

I probably need to clarify why I suggest these 3 are less realistic than the others.

In brief, it takes a lot of time and a lot of posts to have any chance of them routinely reaching a wide-enough audience. And then to secure genuine name recognition with that audience.

Of course it can be done. BUT do you have the time and inclination to do all that’s necessary?

And, yes, there are surveys showing that some accountants claim to have won new clients as a result of their activities on social media and on Linkedin. BUT..

…are they winning the sort of clients you would welcome? Or are they too small, too simple or too cheap to be of real interest to you?

And remember that, despite those surveys, few accountants will ever WIN new clients without first engaging with new leads. Linkedin can help you generate leads but YOU need to be able to engage prospects just as with leads generated through any other marketing or networking activity.

WHY DO YOU NEED A DECENT PROFILE?
The starting point for ALL of the possible objectives listed above is that your profile MUST present you in a good light.

There are 3 key reasons for this:
1 – If anyone meets you or is recommended to contact you in real life, chances are they will look you up online.

Invariably the search results will show your Linkedin profile well above/before your website. (And lots of smaller firms’ websites don’t mention the owner/partners’ names so they don’t show up in such searches at all)

2 – Imagine attending a networking event and seeing someone who looks shifty, cannot introduce themselves effectively and who seems to want to hide what they did before their current role. So many profiles on Linkedin do much the same and effectively discourage many people from getting in touch.

3 – Whatever your objectives on Linkedin, you want every element of your profile to have a positive impact on the type of people you most want to influence. You want your profile to work FOR you, rather than AGAINST you. First impressions count!

Until your Linkedin profile is up to date and ticks enough boxes you will struggle to achieve many of the objectives listed above.

SHOULD YOU BE PASSIVE OR ACTIVE ON LINKEDIN?
If you are busy enough, with limited ambitions to generate new clients and recommendations and referrals via Linkedin you can afford to have a passive profile on the site.

This means you may dip in and out of Linkedin every now and then, but essentially your profile is simply there to support your off-line marketing and networking activities.

A more active approach is required to actually secure any benefit from the facilities available through the Linkedin platform. BUT…

…Despite what some advocates suggest I am also happy to confirm that you can ignore their advice to post regular content on Linkedin. Unless you enjoy doing so. And unless you understand the platform sufficiently to be confident that posting regular content is the best way to pursue your objectives on the site.

If, as is often the case, your real objective is to generate more leads, then it is perfectly possible (and I argue, easier) to do this WITHOUT posting loads of content on the site and hoping the right people will see it and, as a result contact you (via your profile). This is because of the facility to use Linkedin to shortcut the normal networking process, to identify and reach your ideal target clients directly.  The same goes for potential introducers and referrers.

 

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