A lot of financial advisers now realise that LinkedIn has emerged as the premier medium for building and retaining a network of business contacts. However many don’t realise the full potential that LinkedIn offers them. In this article, I offer 5 tips that will help advisers to maximise the benefits that they can get from LinkedIn.
1. Build up your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your own professional shop window to the world. Most financial advisers now have a website that is their online shop window and sets out the types of services offered by your business. LinkedIn complements this by enabling you to communicate important information about yourself, helping to convince people that you are a business contact worth having! In a business such as ours where your reputation and business profile are critical assets, this is a very useful personal shop window.
So make sure your profile is clear, accurate and sets out why you are someone people should connect to. Put effort into completing every section as this information could help a prospective client to decide whether to deal with you or not. You should aim to be a sought after connection!
2. Build up your Connections
LinkedIn helps you to build up your network of connections. First of all, you can easily check which of your email contacts are on LinkedIn and then connect with them. You can then easily identify past and former colleagues and former school and university classmates and then connect with them too. Finally LinkedIn will suggest people for you to connect with based on your current LinkedIn network connections.
An extra tip. Personalise every invitation. Even if it’s just “Hi Eamonn, I’d like to add you to……” everyone loves that little bit of extra, personal effort!
A word of warning…… Don’t start firing off invitations to connect to people that you don’t know, no matter how much you might like to know them! You run the risk of being seen as “spam” and LinkedIn can then restrict you in the future to only sending invitations to people where you have their email address.
3. Use LinkedIn for Research
Before you go to meet a prospective client, check them out on LinkedIn. You might uncover a nugget that will help your meeting. Maybe you went to the same school, have an interest in common or have some mutual connections. Even if none of these, knowing a little bit about them will show them your interest in them and what they do.
When you come back from the meeting, invite them to connect, thanking them for the meeting. Now you’ve the opportunity to stay on their radar into the future!
4. Join and Participate in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are a great place for like-minded people to share ideas, seek help, discuss issues and solve problems. One of the best examples of this is the Qualified Financial Advisors of Ireland group which now has over700 members! These QFAs have a very active forum in which they seek help from each other in relation to products and technical challenges, and also discuss industry related issues. Sometimes in a very robust fashion too!! I know a good number of QFAs really value the interaction within this group.
There are many other groups you can join too that can help you in a variety of areas relating to your business. These groups are only as good as the participation in them so join the conversation!
5. Add Value to your Connections
LinkedIn is not just a fancy “little black book” where the aim is to have as many connections as possible. It is an interactive tool that allows you to provide great content to your connections; whether this is content you developed yourself or indeed useful content you found on the web. The key question is, will it add value to your connections? As a financial adviser, there are many opportunities for you to provide useful financial content, helping you establish a thought leadership position among your contacts. Your aim is that your connections really welcome and value your updates.
So develop a plan to deliver content. Start adding value and as a result, build stronger relationships.
I hope you found this useful. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn by clicking on the button at the top of the page! If you ask me in the invitation, I’ll happily give you some quick feedback on your own current profile!