Last month we published the first of a series of blog posts to help Financial Advisors use LinkedIn for prospecting. It covered the following topics:
- What makes LinkedIn such a powerful tool for Financial Advisors.
- How Financial Advisors can create a compelling LinkedIn profile.
- How Advisors can establish a powerful network of 1st and 2nd degree connections on this professional network.
Today’s post will give a few advanced tips for Financial Advisors to prospect through LinkedIn, with a focus on three key areas:
- How to build credibility and influence on LinkedIn.
- How to attract and connect with relevant leads.
- How to market your offers and establish stronger relationships.
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1. Search for prospects using LinkedIn Advanced Search
LinkedIn search is one of the most powerful LinkedIn features. It helps you search for anyone, based on different criteria, even if you don’t know them.
In addition to establishing connections with 1st and 2nd degree prospects, which we discussed in part 1 of this series, you can leverage LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to find prospects who belong to a specific demography, based on:
- Current and former company
This lets you look up people you might be meeting soon, and see if you have some common interests.
After performing the search, you can start connecting with these new prospects with a customized / personalized message or prospecting plan as you see fit. Furthermore, you can save this search in your LinkedIn and get email alerts whenever new potential leads match the said criteria.
2. Connect with key decision makers of organizations via company pages
Looking to do business at a corporate level? Interested in establishing strong connections with Key Decision Makers and Prospects who are outside your circles? LinkedIn Company pages can help get your foot in the door!
By actively participating in the Q&A’s and adding value to ongoing discussions on company pages, you can get noticed and establish credibility among current and former employees of the company. Here’s how Financial Advisors can use LinkedIn Company pages for prospecting:
- Prepare a list of your target companies by industry – Retailers, Law Firms, Real Estate companies,
- List the key decision makers for each of those firms by job title – CFOs, Sr. Managers, HR Head, or individual prospects working in those companies.
- Search and follow those target company pages. Stay on top of the updates, posts and discussions being shared.
- Find opportunities to interact with your prospects. You can do this by posting value-add comments to ongoing conversations, by answering questions, or by posting a relevant question yourself.
- Once you become a regular participant, members will start recognizing you. You can then take a closer look at your target prospects. Start following or connecting with them. The chances of your LinkedIn connection request getting accepted at this stage are much higher.
- After connecting, you will get a better insight into their interests and activities.
- You can then use this information to define your networking plan and getting an appointment.
The key here is to soft sell your services after establishing credibility as an expert on the subject matter.
So find the important decision makers or connect with people who can help you better understand the company structure, functions, policies, etc. Then focus on offering help to others. And only then, when relevant, mention what you have to offer as a service. Adding value and helping your LinkedIn connections to solve their problems should be your focus at all times.
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3. Share influential content as status updates and leverage the LinkedIn publishing platform
The content you publish, either as status updates, or on the LinkedIn publishing platform, helps strategically to create and maintain credibility as a Financial Advisor. Your network of connections will share and discuss your content which in turn will increase your social reach and attract more business prospects. Here’s how you can do that.
First, find the topics and the type of content which interest your prospects. Ask yourself:
- What are the prospects’ demographics?
e. g. Age 45- 55 years, Baby boomers, Male and Females, NYC Area, Industry – Any
- What do your prospects care about?
e. g. Retirement, College Funds, Personal Finances, Healthcare / Insurance
- What are your prospects’ concerns / problems?
e. g. Lack of financial planning, Minimal Retirement funds, Health – Alzheimer’s / Dementia, Single Parents, Rate of returns, etc.
- What are your prospects’ interests?
e. g. Golfing, Vacations, Networking, Financial Literacy, Investing, Stock Markets
- What are they discussing or posting questions about on Social Media?
e. g. High rate of interests, College fees, Home loans, Insurance rates, 401K
- How can you help them resolve their problems?
e. g. Financial Advice for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Personal Financial Literacy, Retirement planning, Portfolio Management etc.
Use the above information when choosing what content to share as status updates on your LinkedIn profile or company page. Furthermore, create a LinkedIn Editorial Calendar and start creating your own content to publish as long-form posts on LinkedIn.
Once you publish a post on the LinkedIn publishing platform, all your existing connections will receive a notification.
You can also choose to amplify the reach of your content by promoting it on other social media profiles like Twitter or Facebook.
Later you can repurpose the content and create a video, a white paper, or a case study and further engage your network on LI and reach out to more prospects with this new type of content. Remember, each time you post something on your LI profile or page, the prospects in your network see it in their news feed.
And finally, keep your posts updated. Addressing questions and comments on your LI post is also very important to establish credibility as an expert in your niche.
Financial Advisors can use the LinkedIn publishing platform to market their ideas and solutions. Well-formed content with eye-catching headings can act as magnets to attract business prospects.
4. Send custom LinkedIn messages to notify prospects about your offers and events
The majority of Financial Advisors’ prospects prefer to conduct business face to face. That’s why you or your company most probably organizes networking events, hosts free webinars, or sets up appointments with prospects to make new business connections. Such events also strengthen the relationship with existing clients and are a good place to get recommendations and referrals. But how do you get prospects and clients to attend such online and offline events?
In this digital era where we all receive numerous emails on a daily basis, perhaps, one of the most effective ways to reach out and get the attention of your prospects and clients is via LinkedIn Messages.
In order to keep your message from getting lost in the emails, try sending personalized messages on LinkedIn to notify your prospects and clients about events, webinars or informal catch-ups. Remember to send a private message to each connection with whom you want to strengthen the relationship. Do not send messages in bulk – they are not effective.
With a free LinkedIn Account, you can only message people who are your connections. Premium account owners can send InMails even to people outside their immediate LI network.
Note: Do not spam your connections with salesy messages and promo offers. This could annoy your connections and also harm your profile credibility.