LinkedIn has become one of the most widely accepted social media platform among broker-dealers, RIA’s and insurance professionals.

As the main virtual business hub for information on professionals, LinkedIn presents an incredible opportunity for financial planning practitioners to gain new clients. Here are five tricks you can use to stand out from your competition.

1) Photo and Title. The majority of the pictures I see on LinkedIn remind me of high school or college graduation glam shots – a suit, tie, blue shirt and a faux gray background. These won’t separate you from your competitors. Instead, use a picture that demonstrates your personality and your professionalism at the same time. See if you can even get your logo in the picture.

And if your title is somewhat bland or not descriptive enough, like "Wealth Manager" of "Advisor," then add a sound bite or two to tell people a little more about yourself.

2) Summary. Your summary gives you an opportunity to share your elevator pitch about your practice. Don't use this space to list your past positions -- you've already done that in the "Experience" section. And if people really want to see your CV, then they can ask for it down the road.

Instead, include items that may engage the reader to learn more about you. Who do you specialize working with in your practice? Do you have technical expertise people should know about?

3) Videos. LinkedIn has now given users the capability to link to stories, videos and other items so viewers can learn even more about a particular person on LinkedIn. Having a few pieces of compelling content may get someone to click the box and move them to your website to learn more about you and your company.

4) Thought Leadership. Making sure that you are active with commentary within your selective groups and in general is incredibly important. When you comment frequently, you gain recognition and become more visible on the LinkedIn mobile platform when your connections log into their accounts. Guess what happens the more people see your picture and your name? You become top of mind for more introductions and referrals.

If you are short on time, try using a program like Buffer or HootSuite to manage your posts during the off hours so it appears that you are active all the time.

5) More Connections. This has never changed in the world of marketing: The more people you know, the more people you can get connected to in the business world. This isn’t Facebook -- you aren’t posting your family vacation photos or you in a Speedo. Your task on LinkedIn is to make connections with other professionals who might become your clients. So make sure you are adding connections every single week.

To learn even more about how to use this platform to grow your business you can take courses through websites like or

But remember, even a small investment in learning how to use this medium can lead to bringing in some big clients and becoming more targeted in getting to new prospects. It pays for advisors to be on LinkedIn, so start getting connected today.

Ted Jenkin, CFP, is the co-CEO and founder of oXYGen Financial.