Executives leading banks, credit unions, and financial brands of all shapes and sizes know the value of a strong personal brand–especially one that engages and activates an audience online. For many, LinkedIn–with its penchant for connecting professionals and clear link to B2B opportunities–is the ideal medium. But, when it comes to actually using LinkedIn to build a powerful personal brand or engage in thought leadership, leaders are often stymied. Many worry about tooting their own horn or don’t realize how much actual insight and truly authentic thought leadership they have to offer. Those who do, tend to be unsure about where to start, what’s worth sharing, or how to do it in a way that resonates. Here we’ll move beyond strategies for using LinkedIn to build your financial brand and even for social selling to provide tips, insights, and practical takeaways for executives interested in using their personal LinkedIn pages more effectively.
We’ve seen a lot impact the financial services industry over the last few weeks:
- A war beginning in the Ukraine
- International sanctions affecting almost every business industry
- A college campus shooting in a bank’s community
- Winter storms raging across the Midwest and New England area
- Strategy meetings for a bank to give away a million dollars to local nonprofits
- Publicizing a new social responsibility initiative
- February recognizing Black History Month
- Oh, and there’s still a pandemic. Can’t forget that.
It is in these moments that leaders have a choice: whether to engage or not. In each instance when leaders choose to lead, things get better.
It may seem like a little, but sometimes the smallest acts echo the loudest. By taking a moment to engage, these leaders authentically represented themselves and further reinforced their brand.
A misconception about engaging in thought-leadership at an executive level on LinkedIn is that it requires a significant amount of time. These examples prove otherwise.
“Thought leadership adds a human element to your brand and puts a face to your best research, ideas, knowledge and industry expertise.”
Tips and Best Practices for Executives to Get Started on LinkedIn
You know planning is a vital ingredient to success. But, when you are pulled into meetings or impromptu conversations that interrupt your day, it’s difficult to set time to prepare to overcome these obstacles. So, we’re stepping in and making it easy for you to build a plan that you can pull from at a moment’s notice.
Tips & Best Practices:
- Write. Aim for a particular audience ( your community members, employees, customers, the government, etc.). Check our blog content marketing strategy 101 as a resource to help you define your audience.
- Listen. Does your financial brand generate reviews today? Are you listening to them? Check out our blog about integrating Digital Listings & Reputation Management into Digital Strategy. Are you paying attention to what and who is engaging your financial brand on social media today?
- Visualize. Think about the various images through which you can share your thought-leadership. Photos, videos, and infographics are great places to start.
- Categorize. Are there particular topics you do (or do not) want to discuss? Remember, you are leading by example for your financial brand. What you engage and share in terms of content will empower others in your organization to do the same.
- Collaborate. What other organizations can you tag to cross-promote people and organizations in your communities?
- Engage. How can you contribute to the conversation? Follow organizations that connect with your financial brand in person. These would be organizations like your chamber of commerce, non-profits, brand supporters, and even customers.
- Provide updates on your financial brand’s happenings (earnings releases, acquisitions, new initiatives, employee news).
- Engage with, share, and recap news from community organizations, including updates from your local chamber of commerce or timely insights about local economic development initiatives
- Tag partners and customers to let your network know who is working with you, on what types of projects and initiatives, and the impact that work is making (important: be sure to get permission from them first).
- Tag and recognize local professionals and businesses doing great work in the community that aligns with your brand and passions.
- Highlight your own community involvement, service work, engagement efforts, and networking events. Check this blog for more information: How to communicate your impact as a financial brand.
- Share what the financial brand is posting and add your own commentary. This amplifies your brand’s messaging and marketing.
- Gather testimonials from satisfied clients. Your financial brand should share those testimonials and can then reinforce (and thank) those who give you permission to share.
- Use professional resources to source ideas, including national or state association publications, industry subscriptions, podcasts, and blogs.
- Share content written by others who complement and align with your brand (but aren’t competitors).
- When in crisis, take the lead. You and your financial brand have an opportunity in moments of crisis to help your community. Learn more about this at our blog Financial Brands Helping Communities in Crisis
As an executive of the financial brand you serve, you lead by example. You do this every day in how you manage meetings, conduct conversations, make decisions, and–ultimately–how you serve your staff, customers, and community. Your leadership provides a path that guides others toward a common goal. Usually, that common goal is fulfilling the mission and vision for your financial brand.
In leadership and project management, we find efficiencies when everyone is “swimming in the same direction”. As you continue to engage in LinkedIn, you will get a better pulse on your company, gain more insights from your community, and build stronger relationships in-person because of your digital efforts.
Social Assurance is here to help you succeed. If you’d like to discuss thought-leadership, long-form content, or blog writing for your financial brand, please contact me. I’d be delighted to learn about your strategic goals.
If you need more support to understand Digital Listings and Reputation Management, download our complete guide to helping your financial brand manage your online presence.