LinkedIn has been the social media platform for financial advisors over the past ten years. The recent pandemic further accelerated the rate at which financial advisors flock to LinkedIn to find clients. More and more, financial advisors are replacing traditional prospecting activities like cold calling by spending time on LinkedIn.
So how do you stand out in the growing crowd of financial advisors prospecting on LinkedIn and gain clients using the platform?
Consolidated Planning advisors were early adopters of social media prospecting and have used LinkedIn to drive client acquisition for over ten years. The landscape has evolved, but the fundamental concepts behind what works (and doesn’t) have remained the same.
This article will share tips to help any financial advisor get more out of their LinkedIn prospecting efforts. You’ll learn how to easily integrate LinkedIn prospecting into your weekly routine to create a repeatable process for gaining clients. Best of all, you’ll be able to apply everything you learn from this article using the free version of LinkedIn.
Why Do Financial Advisors Share LinkedIn Content?
When most advisors begin using LinkedIn, they focus on sharing content. This is a logical place to start, but you must remember two things:
1. Sharing content is only part of what you should be doing on LinkedIn.
2. There are no silver bullets. One LinkedIn post won’t magically send hundreds of prospects your way.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the critical elements of a successful LinkedIn content strategy.
Position Yourself As The Expert
As a licensed financial advisor, you know more about personal finances than 90% of the population. You are an expert in how you help your clients, and your content should reinforce this.
Be clear about the clients you serve and the value you bring to them. This clarity allows you to tailor your content to your audience. A big part of being an expert is creating simplicity for your audience by curating content that addresses their issues.
For example, suppose you work exclusively with millennials. In that case, it doesn’t make sense for you to share content about long-term care insurance or annuities because these aren’t relevant to your prospects. You want your prospects to view you as the best resource for the information they need.
Share Your Financial Experience
Sharing your personal experience is a great way to build trust with your audience and showcase how you can help. Instead of sharing an article about the potential benefits of refinancing a home mortgage, tell a story about how refinancing was part of a client’s financial plan and what it accomplished for the client… just don’t give away any personal or identifying information.
Sharing real world stories about everyday problems facing your clients and the solutions you provide will help your audience visualize how you could help them too. Sharing your experience also reinforces your expert status by showing that you have “been there, done that.”
Let Your Personality Shine
People do business with people they like and trust. If you showcase your expertise and share your experience, you are already building trust with your prospects.
Now they just need to like you, so be yourself when sharing content on LinkedIn.
If you are warm and funny when meeting with clients, be friendly and funny on LinkedIn. If you like to talk about your kids or your pets or your hobbies, then, go right ahead. While you may turn off some prospects, you’ll attract prospects that appreciate those qualities about you, and that is the goal.
Connect With Your Ideal Prospects On LinkedIn
One does not simply share content on LinkedIn and magically get clients. You must have a defined target market before you can expect LinkedIn to be an effective prospecting tool. Without the ability to tailor your messaging specifically to your target market, you end up sounding like everyone else.
On LinkedIn, your audience is your first- and second-degree connections. First degree connections are the people you have connected with directly. Your second-degree connections are the people your first-degree connections have connected with.
Your goal is to have your audience look like your target prospect. This takes a bit of time and energy but exponentially increases the impact of your messaging and content strategy.
Connect With The Right People
You could write the most fantastic LinkedIn post ever, but it will be useless if it doesn’t reach the right audience. Your network of connections needs to look like your ideal client. Suppose you have a career based niche (pharmacists, software engineers, attorneys, etc.). In that case, you can easily search for and connect with people in that career using the search filters function on LinkedIn.
Similarly, you can use these features to search by company or affinity based niches as well. As you are searching for new prospects, send connection requests to the prospects you would like to add to your network.
LinkedIn displays the number of connections you have until you reach 500. After you get 500 connections, your profile will simply show 500+ connections. Reaching this milestone will give you greater influence and make you more likely to appear higher in search results.
Having 500+ connections will add to your perceived authority with your prospects, but it does not unlock any special features. While having 500+ connections is desirable, it’s more important to have quality connections within your target market than to have an arbitrary number of connections.
Schedule 30 minutes a week to run targeted searches and send connection requests, and you will quickly build a substantial network of ideal prospects.
Engage With Your Network
Often, people forget to act like normal humans simply because they’re typing on a keyboard instead of talking face to face. LinkedIn is a networking website. You wouldn’t walk into a room full of prospects and say, “Life Insurance! Mutual Funds! Cash Flow!” and expect them to line up to buy your services. You would engage with them by having a conversation about them.
You need to engage with your prospects on LinkedIn. Read their posts and comment about what you learned and why it was valuable. Show an interest in them before expecting them to show an interest in you. This will create a natural curiosity that can lead to a real relationship when adequately nurtured. Here at Consolidated Planning, we coach our advisors to schedule 15-30 minutes three times a week to actively engage with your network on LinkedIn. Consistently doing this activity will generate results.
Begin Finding Financial Planning Clients On LinkedIn
At the beginning of this article, you knew that financial advisors were increasingly turning to LinkedIn to find clients but didn’t know how to start finding clients for yourself. Now, you can see that LinkedIn is a fantastic tool that allows you to identify and market to your ideal prospects easily. You’ve learned about the key elements of a successful LinkedIn prospecting strategy:
1. Sharing relevant content that showcases your expertise, experience, and personality.
2. Building a network of ideal prospects.
3. Engaging with your network.
Implementing these key elements as part of your regular client acquisition strategy will ensure a steady flow of qualified prospects for your practice.
As you’re growing your business, check out our guide to building a financial planning practice. When you’re ready to have a conversation about how we develop and train our financial advisors, reach out to our team here.
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