More and more Financial Advisors (FA's) are getting 'on' social media than ever before. This is good. However, most of them are getting little return on their investment of time. This is NOT good. The problem is that we think being on social media is going to be hard. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It can be and should be effortless. For more reading on the concept of effortless, get a copy of Greg McKeown's new book "Effortless".
Whether or not FA's need to be on social, LinkedIn specifically, has been answered emphatically by the recent Merrill Lynch/Bank of America announcement that they are not only banning cold calling, but, focusing all their prospecting efforts on LinkedIn. That decision wasn't 'spur of the moment'...it was made the way all banks make decisions: data. They have been tracking the success and retention rates of new advisors for decades and know that cold calling isn't effective compared to social.
All things being equal...social wins hands down.
I hope, for your sake, that we are past the question of whether or not you need to be engaged on social if you want to be sustainably successful going forward.
So, the next question is pretty obvious: How do I do social better and get real results?
This is where confusion and lack of certainty can easily enter the mix. There are more opinions and voices offering solutions and warnings than you could ever listen to...or, would even care to. Who to listen to?
Listen to yourself.
Are you currently building or scaling your business through traditional marketing like cold calling, advertising and email lists? Is it working...I mean working well? Don't bother answering me because we both know that you aren't doing it that way. You are getting introductions to prospective clients through...relationships. That is where you start your journey to an effortless and profitable experience online.
What you need to do is transition your current strategy, the one that has always and will always work, of relationship building to social media.
I made the statement that your work on social media should be effortless. To be fair, I am not saying it won't be work. What I am encouraging you with is this: when you are following a strategic plan you are going to get better and better at working the plan.
Think back to earlier in your career as a FA...I imagine there were many different tasks that you took significantly longer to perform than those same tasks take you currently. This is because you got better at them, because your mind became more efficient and competent at performing them. The same can happen online. Here is the roadmap for making it easy.
Why do you get introductions to new clients now? Because people know who you are and believe you are worth introducing to other people.
Step 1: Make your profile(s) online attractive and human. Your LinkedIn profile is one of the longest forms of content online and you have so much control over it. When your clients are talking to people they know about you are they sharing your resume? No. They are talking about you, the person. This is your compass for your profile. If you look like everyone else...why should I introduce you?
How do you figure out who you want to meet? Your current network is where you start.
Step 2: Remember that your network, both its size and its quality of connection, are your gateway to success. Many of us, after the experience of struggling earlier in our career to just survive as FA's get passive. I understand, but, you have to be continually growing your network (on purpose) so that when you need it...it is there. Things change, pandemics happen and cornerstones of your industry get disrupted (commissions to AUM to subscription).
You are unique and you are connected and actively growing your network. What next?
Step 3: Create Content and Engage. What are your clients talking about on social and what are they engaging with there? That is where you start. Creating content consistently makes it easier for people to find you and then figure out if you are worth engaging with. Articles, videos, short form post, polls (shudder) and commenting on posts are all a part of the recipe for being the trusted advisor and the person people want to talk to about your work.
What I just shared with you are the basics of a strategic social selling plan. Yes, there are things to do. The great news is that you assemble them in order, integrated together, to make the end process almost effortless.
Seem like a lot to do? Only at the beginning and only if you have to figure it out all on your own.
I talk all the time that this social thing is about conversations. Conversations that create revenue are work. The choice is how we work.
- What would you pay to be able to communicate frequently, personally and easily with all your clients and future clients in a scalable and comfortable way?
- What would it be like to never dishonor yourself by stooping to the rude and unprofessional techniques that seem to rule the way that so many sell?
It would be work, but, that work would be easy because you would be executing a system that you believe in, that matches your personal and professional values and that allows you to be what you really want to be: the most trusted advisor.
I hope this was of value to you. If so, please engage by sharing it. Remember, all of this stuff on social begins and ends with conversations. I love talking to FA's like you about how to help you make social work for you.