Is a strategic presence on LinkedIn important to your business growth? Yes, it probably is.
Do you need to spend a lot of resources with LinkedIn to be successful in this business? No, probably not.
The people making the most money with LinkedIn are the people trying to convince you to use them to either create content, run your LinkedIn activity, or both.
About two months ago, I was speaking with a colleague who had recently started helping advisors with their social media. When I mentioned to him that as of yet, I had met only a handful of advisors who could point to acquiring a new client or generating more business through their LinkedIn efforts, he said that he could.
When I asked him for specifics, he said that he had set up a system to help advisors post content – to be visible and create impressions. When pressed a bit further, he could only name one advisor who was using LinkedIn to post very creative and funny videos. While it worked for him, this was his unique ability that very few others might hope to emulate. Other than this guy, he couldn’t name any advisors who were acquiring new clients, assets, or other new business as the direct result of their LinkedIn activity.
Can you point to a direct ROI from your LinkedIn activity?
If you answered “no” to the above question, you’re not alone. I have met very few financial professionals who can demonstrate any clear return on investment (on dollars and/or time) from using LinkedIn.
What LinkedIn activity will produce tangible results?
Here are a few of my observations from watching our industry carefully, including interviewing and coaching many advisors on a regular basis:
1. LinkedIn Profile – Most financial professionals should have a great profile on LinkedIn. No matter how someone learns about you (through a referral or otherwise) if they do a Google search, the first result for you will likely be your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, make sure yours is complete and truly represents who you serve and/or are trying to attract.
2. LinkedIn Content – Is it worthwhile to post content in the many ways LinkedIn allows you to post content? That’s up for debate. If you have a lot of LinkedIn connections – clients or otherwise – showing up in their feed from time to time, just to keep you top of mind is probably worth the effort. Certainly, recognizing a team member, colleague, or even one of your clients (with their permission) has value.
3. LinkedIn Prospecting – One of my recent podcast guests called LinkedIn, “The new cold calling.” I’m sure you know exactly what he means by that. How many LinkedIn “cold call messages” do you get per day? Do you respond to many (or any)?
The financial professionals who seem to be having some success prospecting with LinkedIn have a clearly defined target market and use their knowledge and experience to craft messages that occasionally garner the attention of others in that market.
Getting someone to pay attention to your message is all about relevant and compelling messaging. The narrower your target market, the more you are able to create relevant messages that catch the eye and compelling messages that move people to action.
4. LinkedIn Connections – Jackie Porter, CFP is a financial advisor based in Ontario, Canada. Jackie’s main target market is attorneys. She specializes in helping attorneys with retirement planning, wealth management, personal tax planning, and other related financial services.
Jackie has acquired new clients and new business by virtue of her LinkedIn activity – but it’s not because of direct prospecting or posting content.
While interviewing Jackie for a presentation I was giving to her national firm, Jackie told me this, “I am very active on LinkedIn. I am active with my clients and with my prospects. I make very few original posts. I just create business friendships with everyone by commenting on their posts and even sharing their posts from time to time.”
She went on to say, “Yes, even my attorney clients and prospects will interact with me on LinkedIn. I’ve earned new clients and new business directly through this activity.”