Whether you're new to the industry or a seasoned veteran you've probably found yourself at a networking event at some point in your career. While you may not always be eager to attend these types of events, they are crucial to growing your business. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools for financial advisors, so the more people you interface with the larger your network. What if you could reap the same benefits from the comfort of your own office, or your own home?
LinkedIn is just this, an ongoing networking event that never stops. It is not only a great way to gain access to leads but to warm them up as well. Anytime someone calls into your office looking for information but is not yet ready to become a customer you should be connecting with them on LinkedIn and nurturing that lead even further. Building these types of connections is a great way to build up your potential client base and connect with a much broader network. LinkedIn has 3 degrees of connections, 1st, 2nd and 3rd so you have the potential to connect with millions of people.
So how can you grow your network?
- Join Groups- Once you have established your LinkedIn account the very first thing you should be doing is joining groups. Search for groups that you are already familiar with, such as local chapters or chambers of commerce. These groups will allow you to network within your community and leverage your business through other local businesses. You should also join industry related groups, these are a great place to bounce around sales ideas and industry news.
- Connect Regularly- Try to make connecting a part of your routine, or weekly goals. Set a specific number of good connections to make every week and soon enough you won't be thinking twice about connecting with someone who liked or commented on your recent post. You should think of these connections as leads and this is your very first point of contact. When you are connecting with someone your virtually handing over a business card, but this isn't one that they could throw away.
Related: Top 5 Mistakes Financial Advisors Make With Social Media for Business
- Request a Connection- Don't be afraid to ask people you don't know to connect with you! Let's say your scrolling through your newsfeed and someone catches your eye. This person looks like the perfect prospect but you really don't want to connect with them blindly for fear of scaring them away. When you click on their profile you see that someone you already know is connected with them. All you need to do is reach out to that person and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn allows them to reach out (with pre-made templates) and begin that nurture for you.
- Build Your Network- Building up your base network is critical for the above reason. LinkedIn differs from Facebook significantly here. Your LinkedIn connections don't need to be your friends or people that you work with on an every day basis. This is the place to connect with alumni, former colleagues and anyone else you can think of that may lead you to a client.
- Share Content- One of the best way to get connections and grow your network is to share content. Whether it's a news article that resonates with you and your industry or something you wrote yourself that you think could help others. Sharing creates a conversation that more often than not leads to connections. It's also a good idea to try to post updates daily so that your account doesn't look stale or unused.
- Engage with Your Network- LinkedIn will update you with connections new business ventures or anniversary's at their company. Make sure to take note of these things especially if it is a prospect. Because you are building these connections from behind your computer screen its best to try to make them as human as possible. Leave a note of congratulations when you see updates pop up.
Related: Best Practices For A Financial Advisors LinkedIn Page
- Share Your LinkedIn Profile- Place a link to your profile in your email signature and if you have a website make sure that there is a link on there as well. This will allow people to easily connect with you and give them a better understanding of who you are and what you do when they are browsing your site. Make sure you are adding keywords to your profile as well so your account shows up in Google searches.
Still not sure if your how to grow your network with LinkedIn? Check out our 2016 Social Media for Financial Advisors guide for more tips on optimizing your account.