In our soon-to-be released paper, Advisory Firms of 2030: Growth by Specialization, we continue to look at how advisory firms are moving from an advisor-centric business to one that is more client-focused. Our premise in the Advisory firms in 2030 series is that successful firms will have to provide a more personalized, transparent and customized approach to planning and advice to stay relevant and competitive with mega firms and digital providers.
In the paper, we profile five firms that are leading the way in providing that specialized approach to their clients. One thing that is not unique, however, is their use of social media. Each of the five firms use social media to get their name and brand out. In today’s post, Shannon Gallagher, our Social Media coordinator, notes that many advisors create a LinkedIn profile only to let it go dormant. She encourages them to give it a refresh and stay active. LinkedIn is your online resume and helps drive prospect and client awareness.
Please enjoy Shannon’s post and ask, “Are you maximizing your online presence?” --- JDA
As a millennial, social media is engrained into my everyday life, 24/7/365. I use it every day — even for my job — and so do those closest to me. It’s something I grew up with since middle school – which I have learned was a very different upbringing, technologically speaking, than that of many of my colleagues from other generations.
With that said, I consider using social media an easy task; however, for some financial advisors that I work with, social media can feel like a scary world to succeed in. For many, just getting started seems overwhelming. Today, I thought I could provide a handful of easy to use and quick go-to tips to step in to your social media presence, specifically on LinkedIn.
First things first – is your profile up to date?
Think about the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile. Many advisors set their profile and never touched it again. Let’s start with your profile picture. How outdated is it? Is it a clean and professional headshot or did your significant other take it in your kitchen? I’m hoping it’s not the latter, and if it is, think about getting a professional headshot taken. Even taking one against a white background with an iPhone on Portrait Mode will suffice — the camera quality is pretty amazing.
Now, let’s look at your profile page. Look under your picture and you’ll see there is a place for your job title and a summary of your responsibilities. Be sure to update these to accurately reflect what you currently do. Instead of the job title, think about adding your value proposition as it means more to your target prospects. Be specific and don’t forget to add in your latest accomplishments — it’s okay to boast a little on LinkedIn — everybody does it and it shows your audience you are constantly striving to be better. Next, look at your contact information and revise it so anyone looking to contact you can easily do so – it amazes me how hard some people make it to have prospects and clients actually contact them.
Lastly, review each section of your profile and update them to be most current. Have you created new services? Have you started volunteering somewhere? What are new skills you can add? Think of LinkedIn as your digital resume for the world to see.
Oh, one more thing to mention — ask someone from your office to spell check your page for you. Your audience may not read absolutely everything on your page, but they may notice your misspellings.
Next, build a rapport with your audience
LinkedIn is the “online home of your professional brand.” That being said, it’s a social platform to provide users with the ability to engage and interact with their audience. It creates a place to build relationships with your clients and prospects, enhancing the client experience before they even start working with you. And instead of directly selling to your prospects, why don’t you let your social profile sell you by sharing valuable content to build your credibility?
I recently sat in on a meeting with a few of my colleagues who mentioned that a financial advisor they work with was in need of some help when using LinkedIn. I didn’t quite know what I could possibly say to help, as I am not a financial advisor, but as I started speaking, they were shocked at how simple my next point was, and how helpful it could be.
Make yourself noticed on social media. What do I mean by this? Start to like, share, comment and post more often than you may have been doing before. It sounds so simple, yet users sometimes get into the habit of just scrolling through their LinkedIn timeline and forgetting how interactive the platform really is. The more your name is “connected” to quality and relevant content, the more your audience will notice you and associate your name with valuable content. Like I’ve said before, it’s all about building a rapport with your potential clients, and you can do that by showing interest in what you do and in what they need to do. If they see you providing comments on finance-related material or sharing articles on the latest updates in the industry, they will start to follow your input on other things you are sharing. This brings me to my next point.
To share or not to share? That is the question.
A very important benefit of using LinkedIn is having the ability to position yourself as an expert as a financial advisor (or in any industry, for that matter). You can create your audience based on what you are liking, commenting on, and sharing. On your profile, there is even an area called “Activity” and it lists every activity you have done through your account, whether it be liking a video or commenting on one of your connection’s statuses. Everyone on LinkedIn can see this activity so use this as a reminder to consistently be active and more specifically, to be active on relevant content that will intrigue your audience. If you are providing educational and informational commentary on financial posts, your audience can come think of you as that expert they would like to work with. And if you’re unsure whether or not to like, comment on, or share something, the answer should be yes (if it’s relevant).
Remember, LinkedIn is a social platform meant to create friendly and professional conversations. In doing so, you may just have the ability to make some indirect sales, too.
Remember to check with your Firm or Firm’s Home Office before implementing any of these suggestions.
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