Most advisors are on LinkedIn but many have no idea what to do next. Most have a profile and many have over 500 connections. However, according to recent statistics only 27% have ever posted anything on the network. Yet, study after study shows that over 90% of high net worth investors not only participate on social media but use social media to assist them in making financial decisions. 73% use LinkedIn as a primary source of financial information.
An extensive study conducted in 2013 by Cogent Research and LinkedIn found that over 50% of high net worth investors, regardless of asset size, are actually seeking out information such as: market and economic trends, commentary, new product information, company background and product performance updates. There is no question that LinkedIn can be an amazing tool for building and nurturing new and existing relationships. It is also one of the most powerful platforms advisors have for building credibility and establishing themselves as knowledgeable experts. But where do you begin?
Social media is just that—social, which means it’s a contact sport that requires daily commitment and engagement on your part. Begin by determining in advance how much time you’re willing and able to devote to LinkedIn each day. It is a process and just like real life, relationships take time to build. However, because everyone is on LinkedIn for the same reason—business, it allows you to be more direct in your interactions.
To be successful on LinkedIn, you must develop a system for taking full advantage of the tools it offers. A daily to-do list will help to drive you toward LinkedIn success. These are some of the results-oriented tasks you will want to include on your to-do list.
1. Weekly: [1 hour] Plan your weekly posts once a week in advance.
- Plan on posting something of value six days per week and include Saturday. People generally have more time to spend on LinkedIn on the weekends so capitalize on that by posting content on Saturday. Over time, regular and consistent posting of valuable content establishes your credibility and expertise.
- Every Friday, review your firm’s pre-approved posts to choose articles and reports you want to post the following week. Pre-schedule your posts to go out each day so everything is automated. It’s far more efficient and a real time-saver when you choose content once a week rather than trying to decide what to post each day.
- Put yourself in your client’s place and determine what information you think clients and prospects would perceive as most valuable. Remember, high net worth individuals are looking for information on market and economic trends, commentary, new product information, company background and product.
2. Daily: [10 minutes] LinkedIn groups are a powerful tool for developing new relationships and establishing yourself as the knowledgeable expert. Engage!
- Look for the groups where your clients and prospects are likely to be, not where other advisors are. Every advisor has some natural niches hidden in their book. Spend some time examining your book to find them and join groups related to them.
- Make a list of your groups to refer to each day.
- When your post appears, start discussions in the groups you belong to by sharing the post in your various groups.
3. Daily: [15 minutes] Read & comment on content posted by your connections & in your groups. This is the “social” in social media.
4. Daily: [5 minutes] Send a thank you message to anyone who connects to you. It’s also very important to comment back to anyone who comments on your posts and send a thank you message to anyone who “likes” something you have posted.
5. Daily: [5 minutes] Look to see who’s viewed your profile and send a message to each person who did, thanking them for stopping by and ask them to connect with you. Include a few words about the content you post, giving them a good reason to connect.
6. Daily: [15 minutes] Spend some time each day reviewing your 2nd degree connections for people you might want an introduction to either via LinkedIn or offline.
7. Daily: [10 minutes] Develop your own LinkedIn drip system which consists of sending 3-4 personalized messages a day to people you’ve chosen from your connections. Include a short note with a link to one of your recent posts. Explain that you thought they might find the post interesting and you wanted to be sure they saw it.
By spending just an hour a day you can begin to harness the power of LinkedIn to broaden your reach, build and nurture relationships and establish yourself as the knowledgeable expert you are. An hour may seem like a large time commitment but truth be told, most advisors easily waste over an hour every day. Successful marketing is a marathon not a sprint so commit to your LinkedIn hour first thing in the morning every morning.
What is the ROI on your hour a day? At first, probably nothing. Remember it’s not a miracle. It’s a process. However, if you are consistent what usually happens is after a few weeks, you start to see a couple of people “liking” your posts and you may even receive a comment here and there. Consider these your LinkedIn building blocks. Use these opportunities to nurture relationships.
According to a 2014 Putnam Investments Survey of Financial Advisors, 66% of advisors engaged in social media gained new clients as a result of it. Of those, 39% brought in assets of over $1M which was up from 29% in 2013. If you commit the time, LinkedIn can become a powerful addition to your business development activities. All it takes is a system, some discipline and an hour a day.
For more information on using LinkedIn to build your business, check out our May webinar series: