Personal branding tips for accountants on LinkedIn

Personal branding tips for accountants on LinkedIn

Since I started taking LinkedIn seriously in 2023, I’ve received more than 126,000 impressions and 1,907 engagements on my posts, but the most meaningful metric of my LinkedIn success has been the conversations, especially those offline.

Recently, as I was getting a haircut from my barber, he excitedly complimented me on my LinkedIn content, and said that my posts made him laugh, cry, and inspired him as he works on his entrepreneurial endeavors. This isn’t the first time I’ve received positive feedback about my online presence during offline conversations. I’m no LinkedIn guru, but I have seen great results from my investment in my personal branding on LinkedIn.

What’s the big deal about LinkedIn?

You might be wondering why I’m talking about LinkedIn. After all, isn’t TikTok the go-to platform everyone’s talking about these days? Well, yes, TikTok can be a great opportunity for accountants, as David DiNardo and Jason Staats demonstrate, but there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t overlook LinkedIn.

First, LinkedIn is investing in many new features such as collaborative articles, profile verification, LinkedIn newsletters, and premium profile enhancements that are ideal for personal branding. For example, I’ve added a custom button to my profile that links to my firm’s contact page, showing above each post I publish. This directly connects my personal branding goal (publish frequently) with my business marketing goals (drive leads for MBS Accountancy). 

The second reason why LinkedIn is a great investment for your firm is the audience and purpose of the platform. LinkedIn has always been the place for professional connections, and the new features I just mentioned only serve to make that purpose clearer. For example, as marketing trends toward authentic content from credible experts, social media companies such as Meta have added ID verification to weed out bots. They also add ways for users to demonstrate professional experience and expertise about a topic or their industry.

But LinkedIn has always been the platform to post your resume and connect with other professionals. Adding features such as custom buttons, newsletters, and better analytics only take this focus on a professional’s presence into the era of creators and personal brand-driven businesses.

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LinkedIn is investing in many new features such as collaborative articles, profile verification, LinkedIn newsletters, and premium profile enhancements that are ideal for personal branding.

LinkedIn profile 101: Basics to help you start on the right path

It’s okay if you haven’t touched your LinkedIn profile in years. I’m going to quickly recap the basics of building a great foundation so you get the most traction in your personal branding efforts on LinkedIn. Here’s what you need to get right before you start:

  • Invest in a professional photo or use an AI photo editor.
  • Customize your LinkedIn URL so it is legible and sharable.
  • Write an About section that tells your story, describes your services, and sells the benefits.
  • Include keywords related to your topic or industry so you’re easily found in LinkedIn searches.
  • Request endorsements and recommendations from peers, colleagues, and business partners.
  • Share industry news, personal insights, and your best tips for your audience about your niche.

Connecting the dots with your company page

While you work on your personal brand, there are many benefits in optimizing your company page, including the following:

You put a face to your business: As our marketing manager Adolfo Marquez constantly reminds us, “People connect with faces, not logos.” Said another way, it’s best to show "people" in your marketing so your audience is more inclined to “know, like, and trust” you to help them.

Promotions feel helpful, not salesy: Most companies talk about their services from their company page on LinkedIn, advertising services in between employee spotlights, and birthday posts. While this is fine, it’s also expected that a company will try to get clients or customers by talking about its services. What isn’t as predictable is when the founder or a manager of that company provides their perspective or insight about the company’s approach to their service. For example, I posted about why we hire to drive capacity instead of hiring to catch up to it. At the end of the post, I asked prospects to contact us if they needed a new accountant.

Synergy across your social: Sharing content between your personal profile and company profile maximizes your effort on both fronts; people are exposed to both whenever they visit your personal profile or company profile. You can also tag your company in your LinkedIn comments and posts without being embarrassed that the last update from your company was in 2020.

Mistakes to avoid in your LinkedIn marketing

Whether it’s your personal brand or your corporate presence, there are some big no-nos to avoid when using LinkedIn. I’m no marketing expert, but I’m working with Adolfo to promote myself and MBS Accountancy in a way that is authentically aligned with our brand values, yet also effective and based on proven tactics. Here are our guardrails for our LinkedIn activity:

Authenticity beats AI: The Hootsuite Social Media Consumer 2024 Survey revealed that 62% of customers are less likely to engage with content generated by artificial intelligence. While AI has certainly helped our firm become more efficient, we still review and edit each piece of content before it’s published on our blog or social media profiles to ensure it demonstrates empathy, and aligns with our business strategy and brand values. This also goes for AI comments on LinkedIn. Does it save time? Yes. Is it worth it? No. AI comments on LinkedIn are cringe, as the cool kids say.

Less links on LinkedIn: We alternate between image-with-text posts, posts with GIFs and memes, and even text-only posts. As we focus on LinkedIn, the one type of post we’ve decreased is the external link post. LinkedIn consultant John Espirian recently discussed links in LinkedIn posts, pointing out that including links in posts, although easy, can lead to a "slight visibility penalty." For best results, John recommends including links in comments or, if possible, sharing without a link and including your content in the post so people can consume your content right on LinkedIn.

Connect on LinkedIn with your audience and your industry

Aside from online results, I’ve come to appreciate the power of a polished LinkedIn presence in creating conversations and credibility among accountants, business partners, and others I meet when I’m away from my computer. It’s reiterated for me that the real power of social media comes when you combine it with in-person networking, rather than using it to replace in-person relationships.

Humans were made to connect with each other; although the methods may change over time, staying as authentic and personable as possible will help you outlast any platform hack.

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