Using LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool
If you are serious about using LinkedIn in your practice, review these tips to make the best use out of this social media outlet.
Using LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool By Bryce Sanders
Everyone hears stories about how LinkedIn is now the new cold call.1 This is great because no one really liked cold calling anyway. But many agents and advisors attend a class about using LinkedIn and a couple of things usually happen:
- They take the class but go back to business as usual.
- They hear about a really great strategy in the class but find out that their firm has restrictive rules about using LinkedIn; so they forget about it
But you are different. You want a strategy that can get people to talk to you and you are willing to invest some time and effort in working within your company’s guidelines. I have about 1,100 1st level contacts and my New Year’s resolution at the beginning of this year was to reach out to them to find out how they use LinkedIn. The entire project took about five months, during which I learned a lot. If you are serious about using this virtually free tool, here are a few things you should be doing.
Build a robust network of first-level contacts. This network of contacts logically includes your clients. You can maintain client confidentiality by choosing to opt out of sharing your list. But keep in mind that this might be considered rude. The advantage of having a robust network is that participants can see your posts and vice versa.
Keep building your network. What about friends and prospects? Logically, everyone you know who fits into your ideal client profile is a prospect and should be part of your network. You want an effective way to "drip market" to them.
Post regularly. You should have a continuous feed of posts rolling through your homepage every day. Although your firm probably prohibits you from writing articles and posting them, it most likely has an archive of articles you can post. These are usually educational. Your posts will be seen by your first-level contacts who can like, comment or share them. That’s powerful. Obviously, sharing is the LinkedIn version of going "viral."
Engage with others. The object is to get a dialogue going. If someone likes or comments on your article, the least you can do is to thank them. If your firm allows it, comment on their posts.
Pay attention to notifications. That’s the tab on top that presents a list of people having birthdays, work anniversaries or job changes. These are all reasons for you to send congratulatory messages — and there are even messages prewritten just for these occasions.
Benefits of Using LinkedIN
Allocating time to LinkedIn every day pays dividends in several ways, including:
- Name recognition among clients and prospects. You are "drip marketing" with intelligent information they can use.
- Engagement with others. Even if you only follow the prompts to send greetings, you often get a response. You’ve reached out and they have responded and the ball is now in your court. When I asked one of my contacts about how he uses LinkedIn, he said: "If you get about eight back-and-forth exchanges with someone, they are getting interested."
- Putting you in front of others. You want to get in front of someone — LinkedIn shows "who knows who." Call up those contacts and ask if they will set up a meeting by inviting them for drinks or asking them to accept your call. At the end of the day, everything comes down to face-to-face relationships.
Even if you don’t’ receive immediate dividends by using LinkedIn, you must keep using it. At times, you might feel as if you are pushing on a string. You post, you engage but you don’t get any meaningful results. Keep on doing what you are doing, though. After all, you are reaching lots of people who may contact you when they need you.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book "Captivating the Wealthy Investor," can be found on Amazon.
This article appeared in Advisor Today.