32-LinkedIn-Profile-No-Thanks.-

My friend and client, Holly Wolf, is chief marketing officer at Conestoga Bank and she is one of the brightest, most insightful marketing executives I know. Holly is a superior strategist, someone who understands the big picture and who is fearless in her application of early adoption industry technology to achieve her bank’s objectives. Moreover (and this is what impresses me the most about her), Holly successfully convinces key decision makers to implement her innovative solutions. In the world of bank marketing, this is a tough thing to do. Why? Because bankers (and other left-brained financial services types) are almost pathologically risk-averse.

When Holly and I first met, I was vice president of marketing for a recently bought-out community bank, and we connected immediately because we fought in the same trenches. When I created Dana Dobson Public Relations & Copywriting, Holly hired me as Conestoga Bank’s official LinkedIn profile writer for senior leadership, business development officers and customer-facing personnel. When someone new comes on board, Holly gives me a call and the result is a powerful, optimized LinkedIn profile. Occasionally, there are bankers in her midst who stubbornly cling to their anti-Internet inclinations. It inspired her to write the following email:

SUBJECT:  LinkedIn Profile

Hi,

I want to be sure we’re all on the same page with the LinkedIn profiles. Having your LinkedIn profile updated is an optional upgrade we offer. You don’t HAVE to do it, but we recommend it. Here’s why:

1. Why update my profile? I’m not looking for a job. That’s so 2013. (LOL.) Today, LinkedIn is a tool millions of people use to look for qualified prospects for business deals. It’s important that your profile reflect the job you do now and HOW it HELPS other people so they can find you.

2. I’ll just do it myself. You could. But our writer uses the style that helps improve your chances of getting noticed for what you do and helps people find you. If you are comfortable sharing your login, she’ll even update it right on your profile.

3. I don’t want to be inundated by recruiters. That probably won’t happen, because you’re not out there for that reason. Your profile won’t say, “looking for an opportunity,” or “searching for the next job.”

4. But I never (worked in another bank, got an award, sat on a board of directors, went to college, received the Nobel Prize or had a book published). You are correct. But I can tell you that you were hired because of what you offer the bank—your skills, your contacts, your knowledge. So, let’s focus on that rather than what you don’t have. And, if you need help with that, call me. I know what you bring to our organization. We take pride in hiring good people. That’s why we hired YOU. Take a look at (commercial loan officer name’s) LinkedIn profile. I think it’s a GREAT example of sharing your skills in a way that means something to the customer. Look at other team members’ profiles. Don’t just think “title/job description.” How do you make things better for other people?

Share those things that you want to share, or that you feel will make you stand out. Being the president of the South Philly Business Association is great. Being a volunteer at your church shows you’re committed to the community. Having lived in the area for many years means you know the lay of the land. If you’re not comfortable sharing something, simply don’t.

You are your own worst critic. Our writer’s job is to show you all you have to offer. She’s on our team. Her job is to make you look good. She’s not an investigative journalist trying to dig up dirt. She’s making us look our best.

5. Yes. You DO need to use a photo.

You’re going to be hearing the term SOCIAL SELLING quite a bit in our 2016 business plan.   It’s increasing the awareness of our sales team through social channels.  This is an important first step.  AND, you have a way to monitor how well you are connecting with people on LinkedIn. It’s an exciting time to be in your role.  We’ve got tools to help you.

Now…are you ready to take the first step?

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Thank you, Holly Wolf, for allowing me to share your email.