5 LinkedIn Tips For Financial Advisors (Plus 3 Things They Should Be Tracking...)
NOTE: If you’re a new financial advisor, make sure you check out Your First Year As A Financial Advisor, where I reveal several things every new financial advisor ought to know.
Are you using LinkedIn as part of your financial advisor marketing strategy?
You should be. Because if you only use LinkedIn as a passive digital resume, you’re doing it wrong and missing out on a lot of perks.
Social media is a time and cost-effective way for financial advisors to market themselves. While networks like Twitter and Facebook definitely have their place, LinkedIn is by far the most valuable. It has the largest concentration of affluent consumers and the biggest percentage of millionaire users.
Any financial advisor would be remiss not to incorporate a marketing LinkedIn strategy, but to be successful and overcome client objections on the platform, it’s going to take commitment and creativity.
A Look Into LinkedIn's Algorithim - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly...
When it comes to generating new leads, LinkedIn is more powerful and cost-effective than many other marketing techniques, including direct mail, paid advertising, seminars; you name it.
In spite of this advantage, the platform isn’t as effective as it once was for financial advisors. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel just yet — it’s still a viable medium — but like all social media marketing, you have to understand both the strengths and weaknesses.
Con 👎: The Closing Window Of Opportunity For Organic Reach
Let’s rip the band-aid off. Bad news first.
The window of opportunity to make LinkedIn work as a marketing strategy hasn’t closed… yet. But the deck is stacked against you.
First, recognize that LinkedIn is a for-profit organization owned by Microsoft Corporation, and their goal is to earn revenue through recruitment, premium subscriptions and advertisements.
In an episode of “Financial Advisor Marketing,” I reminded listeners that back in early 2017, LinkedIn offered four types of posts: articles, text-only, photos and link posts; it eventually added and pivoted to video.
Shortly after the shift to video, an influx of ads began to appear throughout the platform, especially premium subscription ads, plus those persuading businesses to advertise with LinkedIn.
It wasn’t long before influencers like Mark Cuban and Bill Gates entered the scene. You can guess what happened next: naturally, the algorithm favored their marketable content in hopes it would keep users on the platform longer, so their engagement rapidly skyrocketed.
External articles from media outlets like Forbes, CNBC and Fox started to receive thousands of impressions — and little by little, organic reach for financial advisors with smaller followings plummeted.
LinkedIn isn’t the only platform that has experienced this shift. For example, after a re-balancing to its algorithm, Zuckerberg said, “As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” in favor of posts from friends and family.
Realistically, it’s not in the best interest of LinkedIn — or any platform — to let you reach the same level of engagement and results organically as you would with a premium subscription.
So here’s the hard truth: financial advisors have three to five years to reap the benefits of LinkedIn while it’s still viable.
The time to get started is now.
Pro 👍: LinkedIn Still Offers Massive Payoff
That was a grim truth, but there’s always a silver lining. Ultimately, your social media marketing strategy is nothing without LinkedIn.
Consider these stats from FTI Consulting to restore your belief in why a financial advisor should still use LinkedIn to get more clients:
Mastering LinkedIn as a marketing strategy won’t happen overnight, but as you can see, it does offer a big payoff.
As you build your network, you should grow more connections, profile views and more views on the content you share. With more attention and exposure, you’ll slowly but surely create awareness in your expertise.
Besides that, you need to build a LinkedIn presence because it enables you to:
How To Make The Most Of LinkedIn: Tips For Financial Advisors...
How can you protect yourself from the decline in organic reach? Follow my tips for financial advisors who want to improve their LinkedIn presence:
1. Change Your Boring LinkedIn Headline
Marketing should always be about how you can serve your prospects. Remember: People don’t care about what you do; they only care about how you can help them.
The most common headline I see is “Financial Advisor at XYZ Financial.” Great! Unfortunately, no one cares. That might be your title and company, but it says nothing about the people you serve, what you do or how someone can benefit from your services.
To craft a perfect headline, you need to focus on your services, your target market, and how you can help them. When I first started The Advisor Coach, my headline was, “I Get Financial Advisors More Clients.” What do I do? Get more clients. How does that help advisors? It makes them more money! It’s simple math.
Test out these good headlines for financial advisors:
A strong headline helps you stay top of the mind of people in your network and your target market. If people don’t know why you’re different or who you serve, they can’t refer business to you. Why would they?
If you want to go from, “I think Sharon’s in finance,” to, “Sharon’s the person who helps divorcees manage their money,” make it easy for even non-clients to refer you.
2. Personalize Your Outreach - Break Up With Automation
Aside from the fact that automated message services aren’t nearly as effective as many advisors think, it’s written in the LinkedIn user agreement that the use of “bots or other automated methods to access the Services, add or download contacts, send or redirect messages” is prohibited.
If caught, you get banned.
Although marketing is a numbers game, financial advisors continue to lose business for one major reason: they don’t network or build genuine connections. Instead, they send canned messages to people with no customized value proposition, hoping whatever they throw at the digital wall sticks.
The purpose of LinkedIn is to use it as a networking mechanism, where you can lead with personal outreach strategies; not automated, impersonal messages.
Yes, it’s free to send message-blasts to thousands of connections just to land a few responses, but that’s not the approach that will lead you to the results you seek. Plus, what you don’t realize is your business pays the price of opportunity cost. (More on that later.)
I manage to get five to 10 times the results other people receive because I don’t target any connection I come across with aimless messages — I take a niche-based approach.
Think about this way: Even if it saves you hours in the day, when you cheapen out and cut corners with your strategy, expect penny-pinching prospects in return.
3. Create And Diversify Original Content
As a financial advisor, you’re a subject matter expert — that means it’s imperative to create any kind of original content that provides value and is relevant to your network.
The goal is to stay in front of your target market and to be there when they need you: If your target market is divorcees, publish a series of posts titled, “5 Financial Steps to Take After the Divorce,” or “7 Easily Avoidable Mistakes Divorcees Make.”
Whether you create blog posts, articles, eBooks, white papers, case studies or podcasts, anything valuable is a win. Because of content marketing, it gets attention, shows people how you can help, starts a conversation and drives traffic to your website.
LinkedIn is one of the only social media platforms that lets you write and publish original blog posts. Heed one of my best LinkedIn marketing tips: publish and promote unique content.
The magic comes from LinkedIn's ability to scale — if you publish evergreen content, you can promote and re-purpose it to as many eyeballs as you can, however many times you want, and it can always work for you.
Diversify your content like you have to diversify your marketing strategies. Even if LinkedIn’s algorithm favors certain types of content, you have to cater to the varying preferences of your target audience.
Another reason it’s important to diversify content goes back to opportunity cost: It’s time-consuming to only create videos, for example, and as a business person, your goal is to minimize your opportunity cost.
Even if the other content has half the reach, it's still a net positive if you can create it in one-tenth of the time.
4. Take Advantage Of Groups
While you build your network, make sure you focus on the assets you can control. Primarily, your website and email list.
If LinkedIn suddenly shut down, the network you built on the platform would immediately disappear, including your contacts, messages, and any other saved data pertinent to your work.
With the email list you own, on the other hand, that can’t happen.
The idea is to get people off rented land and move them to the land you own — an easy way to meet more of those people and build your contact list is to join groups on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn groups are an incredible and easy way to meet new people as well as generate leads from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere.
Instead of cold-messaging a potential target and risking immediate rejection, it’s much smarter to reach out to someone in a LinkedIn group because you will have fostered a common bond.
There are more than 2 million groups on LinkedIn, and it adds thousands every week.
Since you have to engage frequently, join groups that relate to your personal and professional interests, like charities you support, college alumni, hobbies and professional associations.
You can also try this: take a look at your top clients’ profiles. Are they members of any groups? Join those!
ALSO READ: 27 Financial Advisor Marketing Ideas That Work!
5. Just Go For It - What Do You Have To Lose?
About one-third of financial advisors don’t use LinkedIn at all. Those who do are reluctant to go the extra mile, then don’t see results. (Remember how I said I didn’t see much growth until 1,000 connections?).
Why is there so much opposition?
Why LinkedIn Is So Effective For Financial Advisors...
Being the huge marketing nerd that I am, I often daydream about creating different marketing strategies.
One day I thought to myself, “If I could create the PERFECT marketing strategy for financial advisors, what would it look like?”
And I figured…
Then I realized…
LinkedIn has all those things!
LinkedIn is definitely cost-effective. I personally made LinkedIn work for me with exactly zero dollars and zero cents.
You can access it anytime, day or night. I know financial advisors who, when they can’t fall asleep, send follow-up messages on LinkedIn at 3 a.m.
It definitely gives you important information about your leads and prospects.
You can search for someone, look at their profile, and glean important information that can help you stand out from everyone else.
You can reach 10,000 people just as easily as 100 people. That’s where LinkedIn dominates - it allows you to scale like no other marketing method in the world.
And it most certainly builds authority, credibility, and trust with your prospects.
Plus, according to Hubspot, 97% of people search online to find local businesses. 88% of people who search for a business on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
This means almost every single one of your prospects is searching for you online. If they find you, chances are they're going to reach out and set an appointment.
I guess this means you have to spend thousands of dollars with some SEO company, right? You know, the ones that promise you "first page rankings in Google" practically overnight?
Because, as a financial advisor, you have a "secret weapon" that other businesses may not be able to use... your LinkedIn profile.
Because if you have a LinkedIn profile, chances are it comes up on the first page of Google when someone searches your name. (Go ahead, try it. I'll wait.)
If your LinkedIn profile shows up high in the search results, chances are your prospect is going to click on it and check you out. Which means you don't have to spend big bucks on a marketing firm which may or may not deliver results. Because if you've got a LinkedIn profile, you've got a great chance of ranking in Google.
Of course, that's just a side benefit. The icing on the cake, if you will.
Because the REAL power behind LinkedIn lies in your ability to easily find prospects, reach out, demonstrate your value and set appointments.
You see, when someone searches for you on Google, it means the person already knows about you and who you are. Besides maybe a referral, you're not going to get a warmer prospect.
3 Things Financial Advisors Should Track On LinkedIn
Too many people try to make LinkedIn more complicated than it is.
It can be overwhelming, I know.
A lot of people profit from making you confused. They think if you’re confused, you’ll have no choice but to hire them.
Don’t worry. In reality, there are only three things that you should be tracking on LinkedIn.
And they’re not likes, shares, or comments.
While these “vanity metrics” might give us a nice little dopamine hit, they don’t really give us leads and prospects.
Here’s what you should be tracking:
1. The Number Of People In Your Network
The more people in your network, the more reach you have.
When you’re connected with a lot of people in your niche, this can be ridiculously powerful.
If you’re sending out connection requests, what percentage of people accept? How many people are requesting to connect with you?
This number should be growing.
2. The Number Of Appointments You Set From Your Network
A large network doesn’t mean much if you aren’t setting appointments.
And how you set appointments can vary - you can message someone on LinkedIn and ask for an appointment directly or someone could reach out to you first.
Either way, you want to keep track of how many appointments are getting set.
Because if you see something that’s working exceptionally well, you can keep doing it.
3. How Many Clients You Get From Those Appointments
Here’s where you can double back and make LinkedIn a virtual powerhouse.
Because once you know the type of person who is most likely to become a client, you can target that person exclusively. Which increases your marketing effectiveness like you wouldn’t believe.
Then you can go back and see if the other numbers increase and if they do, it’s like a compound effect.
ALSO READ: 15 Prospecting Tips For Financial Advisors
"But My Niche Isn't On LinkedIn!" 😭
Some financial advisors are convinced they can't find their target market on social media.
It's just not true.
I had a financial advisor from Cleveland, Ohio tell me he couldn't find his niche on social media.
What was his niche? Teachers.
So... I went over the LinkedIn, typed in "teacher" and then refined my search to Cleveland.
Guess what I found?
Yep. More than 47 THOUSAND people have the keyword "teacher" in their profile... all in this guy's location. Absolutely nuts. So, the idea that you can't find your target market online is one of the biggest myths out there.
Then, months ago, I had a conversation with an Inner Circle member who was using the system I outline in How To Get Clients With LinkedIn to… well… get clients with LinkedIn.
The “challenge” was that he was also in the educator niche and he was of the opinion that teachers don’t spend much time on LinkedIn.
And he’s kinda-sorta right.
Most teachers don’t spend much time on LinkedIn… but here’s the thing…
When you’re marketing on LinkedIn, you’re not going after the rinky-dinky profiles with only 12 connections.
You’re looking for the ones with 500+ connections.
Because anyone with that many connections obviously spends time on LinkedIn.
If you go after them, you have a higher chance of connecting and eventually setting an appointment.
And that’s what he did.
He started curating his outreach so the only people he connected with were those with 500 or more connections.
He started getting more acceptances, more engagement, and more profile views.
His success is beginning to compound on top of itself because teachers are connected with other teachers on LinkedIn.
This means whenever one teacher engages with one of his posts, that engagement is broadcast to the teacher’s entire network.
The minute they see this financial advisor who works with teachers, they reach out if they’re interested.
It’s a self-qualifying mechanism, which means my financial advisor friend only works with teachers who are already interested.
Pretty darn cool if you ask me.
Hungry For More LinkedIn Content? 🤔
If so, you're in the right place because episode #3 of my podcast (called "Financial Advisor Marketing") is called "Mistakes Financial Advisors Make On LinkedIn" and it can help you with your LinkedIn strategy as a financial advisor. You can listen to that episode by using the player below...
Some highlights from that episode include:
P.S. If you're a financial advisor who wants to get more clients from LinkedIn, make sure you check out How to Get Clients With LinkedIn: How Financial Advisors Can Set Appointments and Convert Prospects With LinkedIn