LinkedIn is a great place to make connections with your clients- insurance agents and brokers, promote your expertise as a wholesale insurance broker, and nurture the connections you have. But there’s a definite set of do’s and don’ts for LinkedIn—points of etiquette that it’s important to know and conform to if you want to make a good impression. Here are a few LinkedIn missteps it’s important to stay away from.
Having an unprofessional photo—or not having one at all. Especially in insurance, it’s important to have a good photo. Avoid a photo that gives off a casual, not-at-work vibe, one that’s goofy or silly, or having no photo at all. People without photos give off the impression that either their account is a spam account or they don’t care about how they come across. Use a photo of you that’s well lit and be sure your appearance is neat and professional.
Focusing on quantity of connections, rather than quality. Don’t just connect with everyone who wants to connect with you. LinkedIn isn’t like Twitter—it’s not a place to just accumulate a large number of connections. Your connections, ideally, should all be people you know professionally in real life—or people you share a strong professional interest with.
Posting non-professional content on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to post and curate content, but it’s important not to treat it like a casual atmosphere. Wholesale insurance brokers have an opportunity to build their reputation for expertise on LinkedIn by posting information that’s relevant to the retail insurance agents and brokers they work with. Don’t waste your platform by posting on non-work-relevant, or even worse, controversial topics. That type of post is better suited to a platform such as Facebook.
Network with an eye toward helping, rather than asking for help. Networking can be difficult for a lot of people, because they approach it with an eye toward getting things from the people they meet. Instead, ask yourself how you can help the people you connect with. Maybe it’s by posting content you know the insurance agents you connect with will want to read, or forwarding a particularly important contact an article of interest, or giving them advice on something work-related.
Don’t try to connect with people indiscriminately. Some sources don’t advise you to try to connect with people on LinkedIn you don’t know in real life. It’s okay to connect with people you only know online, but be sure you know why you want to connect with them. If you have a common connection, it’s always best to ask for an introduction. If you don’t, look at their profile to make sure you have professional commonalities, and avoid sending copy-and-pasted messages.
LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with insurance agents and important industry partners, but it does have a few rules of basic etiquette to follow. Approach networking on LinkedIn like you would in real life: put your best foot forward and focus on how you can help others, rather than how they can help you. With these guidelines, you should be able to make a great impression.