To give or not to give...that is the question. At least it should be the question when it comes to our presence and behavior online via #socialmedia. Think back to those days when we did business face to face and what made us attractive at social events like chamber of commerce mixers. Was it how cool your 'elevator pitch' was? I doubt it.
The secret to being social and driving revenue from it for financial advisors and financial planners has always been in our ability to differentiate ourselves. This never comes from a 30 second 'ad' when we meet people.
Instead, it comes from our ability to demonstrate that we aren't what I call 'social predators'.
You know who I am talking about here on @linkedin: the people that immediately upon connecting hit you with an automated sales pitch. They are closely followed by the one's that start with clearly automated connection requests that immediately demonstrate that they have no idea what you do...they are just using data scraping to spam as many people as possible.
Don't let that scare you away. Instead, let it inspire you to truly differentiate through your behavior as a giver. You already should have a unique profile designed to draw people closer to you right? Good.
Here are some easy steps to be a giver online:
- Grow your network. That's right...continue to build your network via connections on this platform and all the others where your target market is active. Why? So that you (a) have enough people to rely upon when you need them and (b) so that you can continually be connecting to the other high trust professionals that your ideal clients also need help from. In the 'old days' of networking we called these people strategic alliances/centers of influence. The terms still work because when you get even one of these relationships formed you can both consistently and easily introduce clients to one another. (this is a huge part of predicting and controlling your new customer pipeline...ie inbound)
- Engage with your network about what they need...not what you sell. Believe it or not, when other people talk about your industry and your integrity...it is far more trusted than when you do. This is one of the ways you can really give on purpose. Take your content plan (you all have one right?) and make sure that a portion of it is dedicated to creating opportunities for your key relationships...including your clients. A great example of this is encouraging your strategic partners to create original content on social media platforms and then engaging with that content intelligently and for impact. Consider sharing it both widely and via direct messages to people in your network that you believe can benefit from it.
- Give on purpose and within a strategic plan. This one is the 'holy grail' of giving. Decide who in your network you are going to give to reactively and who you are going to give to proactively. In other words, who will you give to when it 'falls in your lap' and who are the truly important business alliances that you will help on purpose...where you will consistently create opportunities to introduce them. One key thing to remember is that you aren't creating sales here...you are facilitating warm and welcomed conversations between your network and another trusted partner. When you really get comfortable with this behavior you will end up having your onboarding process be one of the most productive and easiest ways to set up opportunities for your friends.
There is a whole lot more to this than what I have shared above...about 25 years of experience with lead groups and consulting with high performers. However, the basics are exactly what I described.
Grow your network, engage to share, give on purpose.
The good news is that we all understand how to do this at a basic level.
Going forward, you have a few decisions to make:
- Are you going to give on purpose, or, be like all the other social predators?
- Are you going to do this on your own, or, would you like a guide to help you get started and get the best results with the least possible effort?
I hope you decide to give on purpose because it changes everything for the clients of mine that have embraced it over the years and, more importantly, it changes them for the better. Sales is hard enough on it's own, but, when you know you are a giver and doing so on purpose with the results that it brings for others...you have a different way of acting and are a heck of a lot more confident on and offline.
Be Social, Be Human and Be A Giver.