You are buying into the idea that LinkedIn is the business prospecting tool of the 21st century. You are working from home with time on your hands. Hitting keys seems more painless than dialing for dollars. Yet you are still a casual LinkedIn user, wondering why people aren’t interested in engaging with you. What can you do?
1. See what your firm offers.
Leaders didn’t buy into the LinkedIn concept just because advisors asked for it and Compliance said, “Well, OK.” They did studies. They sought out best practitioners. All this information resides somewhere. Call your regional sales manager. Ask about best practices.
2. Hire somebody.
You are an independent advisor. Hardly a day goes by without getting at least one pitch on LinkedIn from someone telling you they can increase your traffic, leads or engagement. Do some online research. Magazines have likely compared services. Find out which ones consistently deliver results for advisors with a similar practice. Hire one of them, ideally on a pay-as-you-go basis.
3. Social Selling Index.
Like Santa knows who has been naughty or nice, LinkedIn knows how well you are using the platform relative to your network and people in the same field. Do an internet search on “LinkedIn Social Selling Index.” One of the top results should take you directly to your score. See what they measure. It’s another best-practices approach.
4. Connect with prospects.
You have lots of clients in XYZ firm. It’s located in the next town. Think about what you have to offer, something they would consider of personal value. Let’s assume your firm produces research reports. Do a LinkedIn search for people at that company. Focus on second-level connections. Clients at that firm who you already connect with should likely be connected to other people at that firm. (If not, connect with those clients first!) Send a personalized invitation: Mention that your firm does research. You find LinkedIn is a good way to share it. You have (X) shared connections. Build your network.
5. Review your messages daily.
I do it first thing in the early morning. Someone made the effort to write to you. Write back. Even if they are selling something, politely say “I don’t think there is a business overlap.” Messages will come for a variety of reasons.
6. Join LinkedIn groups.
Post regularly. Answer comments. Comment on others’ posts. The logic is simple. Your niche is CPAs. Your state has a CPA society. Read the group rules. Assuming they don’t say “CPAs only,” apply to join their LinkedIn group. Post educational content. Your archive should have plenty. Be an active group member. If someone comments on your post, send them an invitation to connect. Suddenly, you are growing your network by adding CPAs.
7. Review notifications.
You will see prompts, people who liked your post. People who commented on your group posts. People who looked at your profile. Birthdays. Work anniversaries. New job. (Did someone say IRA rollover?) Compose your own text message — don’t use the boilerplate. You might not know them that well, but you are making an effort. Some people will respond. Now you’ve got a conversation started.
8. Post content.
This one’s obvious. Even if your firm has restrictions, they probably let you do something. You should have a compliance-approved archive. Post regularly, personalized as much as you can. Engage with people who like or comment. Use hashtags. You are raising your visibility.
9. Engage with connections.
The easiest time is at the moment of initial connection. You send invites. You get invites. When they become a connection, send a short note thanking them for connecting. Set selling aside for the moment. Look at their profile. Find something interesting to comment on. Share something about your life. It lets them know there’s a human out there.
10. Develop a messaging strategy.
This is how you hit the mother lode, people who might actually do business! I built several lists. Once a month, each list gets a personalized (boilerplate) message with an article link. It’s something I think they will find extremely relevant to their industry or job. Since it’s once a month, I mention it’s my monthly message so they don’t think I’m sending something constantly. People get used to hearing from you. Many don’t reply. Some do. You should occasionally get the “I find your articles really valuable” message. Those make your day! You have reasons to reply.
Does this take time? Yes. Are you raising your visibility? Yes. Does this need to be a constant daytime activity, chewing up working hours? No. You can do this first thing in the morning, repurposing that time you would have spent commuting, since you are working from home.
— Related on ThinkAdvisor:
- High-Earning Prospects Are Easier to Find Than You Think
- 12 Ways to Build Your Book as a Rookie Advisor
- 10 Hidden Tricks to Be a LinkedIn Power User
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.