Connection: Four Simple Steps to Help You Grow Your Client Base Using LinkedIn
Are you bombarded with messages urging you to use social media for networking and business development? Are you overwhelmed and at a standstill as to how to proceed? In this blog, I’ll be introducing you to four simple steps to get you started with LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn? It is the premier business connection network and used by more than 660 million business professionals around the world.
As always, be sure to check with your Compliance department to ensure you are following your firm’s policies regarding the use of social media and that you have the proper disclaimers.
The four steps to getting started with LinkedIn are:
- Create a brief profile for the front page of your LinkedIn account.
- Introduce yourself to prospects using the Note function.
- Post articles and comment on what makes them interesting.
- Get referrals from your existing client/contacts.
Creating a profile for the home page of your LinkedIn account.
You can create a profile on your home page to introduce prospects to your specialties as an Advisor. Do this by writing out your Unique Value Proposition (“UVP”). Have a brain storming session with your team and/or family to figure out what really sets you apart from your competition. Some tips for the brain storming session include:
- What sort of market are you most drawn to work with?
- How successful has your marketing effort been to date? What’s working well? What are your strengths and accomplishments? What are your current issues, challenges or barriers?
- What makes you unique? Why do prospects become your clients and remain your clients?
Introducing yourself to prospects using the Note function.
Using LinkedIn to search for potential prospects is a good idea. Perhaps your UVP is targeted to small business owners. Resist the temptation to just push the button to send a LinkedIn invitation to a prospect. Instead use the “Add a Note” function which gives you 300 characters to indicate why the prospect should “Link-In” with you. Be sure to include a couple of benefits or highlight common “pain points” to let these prospects know how your expertise can help. If the prospect sees a benefit in “Linking-In” with you, they will be less likely to ignore your request.
Post articles and comment on what makes them interesting.
Most people get overwhelmed because they think they have to write articles on LinkedIn to attract attention. While that may be your ultimate goal, you can get started on LinkedIn without self-authored material. Look for interesting articles a prospect may find helpful and personalize the discussion by adding your own opinion. For example, you may find an article about how important Financial Advisors are in peoples’ lives. You could post this article and ask your network: “On a scale from 1 to 10 how would you rank your current Advisor?” Follow this with another question such as, “What would it take to get them to a 10?” The sooner you engage your network the better.
Get referrals from your existing client/contacts.
Look at the LinkedIn clients with whom you are already connected and go through their contact list. Select those contacts to whom you would like to be introduced and ask your client permission to contact them. If they know the type of client that you are looking for (i.e. business owners or executives) your existing clients will likely be more inclined to help. I have helped many Advisors obtain referrals from their existing client base and it was successful because:
- Once your existing client connections understand the type of clients you are looking for, they can help in identifying who among their contacts can benefit most from your expertise.
- Once you have permission to use their name to approach these new prospects, the prospects will be more likely to accept your invitations because they trust the existing contact’s recommendation.
- It also can offer you another touch point with your existing connection/client and in some cases an opportunity to collect a testimonial.
The techniques I mention are included in the free LinkedIn service. Once you are more comfortable and successful using LinkedIn, there is a paid subscription you may want to explore. Among other features of a subscription to LinkedIn is the opportunity to see the name and contact information of visitors to your LinkedIn profile. Of course, there are other social media options such as Facebook and Twitter. As you speak with existing clients as well as new prospects, get in the habit of asking them which form of social media they are most likely to use.
As usual, there is a song in the title of this blog post. What is the song and who is the rock group who sings it?
For more than 25 years, I have worked with Advisors helping them build their businesses. My commitment to you is to partner with you in your practice and offer solutions to help build your business.
The contents of this blog are the personal views of the author and not necessarily the views of Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. The contents are provided as general in nature and should not be relied upon nor construed to be the rendering of advice. Readers should consult with their own compliance/legal advisors for advice on their specific circumstances before taking any action as sales and prospecting activities are subject to regulatory oversight.