Best Reasons to Use LinkedIn for Financial Advisors

Want to know the best reasons to use LinkedIn for financial advisors?

Consider this:

orange telephoneDo you do any cold calling, lead generation, or prospect/customer research or is all your business referral based? If you make even one cold call, you could do better to research someone (not everyone) on LinkedIn and find out a bunch more about them. You could find out what groups they are part of, what their interests are, and find something in common to warm up a cold call.

Additionally, if you refer any business, or get any referral business, LinkedIn rocks!

You can look at (most of) your connection’s connections and see who you want to do business with, and ask for an introduction, even off the LinkedIn platform. Alternatively, you can connect anyone to anyone who is using the platform more quickly and easily than anywhere else in a way that means business, not just fluffiness.

LinkedIn is not perfect, but it works well for getting referrals and giving referrals and doing customer and prospect research, and other things as well, for financial advisors.

How to Host Your Own Free Online TV Show

Have you ever wanted to be a TV star? When I was a kid, I watched admiringly at the folks who had their own TV shows. Comedies, dramas, and my favorite, the news. Yep, I was a news junkie.

I always wanted to have my own TV show, but it used to be really hard. You had to know someone at a TV station, and then beg them to be on TV. With the Internet, it got easier. All you had to do was record some video and find a place for the video to live, edit the video, and post it on your website.

Now, thanks to the wonders of Google+, it’s never been easier to have your own online TV show.

Want to know how? Watch this quick video and then set up YOUR TV show!

Yes Financial Advisors Can Accept Endorsements on LinkedIn (But They Shouldn’t)

I am frequently asked by my financial advisor clients something that bothers them all:

Am I able to accept endorsements on LinkedIn?

First and foremost, your compliance department should be asked.

And most compliance departments will say no to endorsements, and will cite SEC Rule 206(4)1: Advertisements by Investment Advisors:

It shall constitute a fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative act, practice, or course of business within the meaning of section 206(4) of the Act for any investment adviser registered or required to be registered under section 203 of the Act, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, or distribute any advertisement: (1) Which refers, directly or indirectly, to any testimonial of any kind concerning the investment adviser or concerning any advice, analysis, report or other service rendered by such investment adviser.

If you really read this regulation closely, you can infer you are able to have endorsements on your LinkedIn profile – as long as they are not from a client or related to the financial services industry and your ability to manage anyone’s money.

In a release last year about social media, the SEC added: “The term “testimonial” is not defined in Rule 206(4)-1(a)(1), but SEC staff consistently interprets that term to include a statement of a client’s experience with, or endorsement of, an investment adviser.”

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Accept Endorsements on LinkedIn

Do you want your profile under the compliance and rule makers microscope? Adding endorsements to your profile for non-investment things by non-clients is just inviting the scrutiny of the rule makers (FINRA and SEC). Not to mention, what happens if the person who wants to write you an endorsement suddenly becomes a client? Are you going to remember to remove their endorsement? Doubtful.

Does an endorsement in something unrelated to your job make you look better at your job? Have you ever had a client or prospect say “I selected you to manage my money because I saw you’re really good at tiddlywinks and checkers on LinkedIn?” I didn’t think so.

Third, if you have no endorsements displayed on LinkedIn, and most of the other ethical financial professionals you (and your clients) know don’t have endorsements displayed, does this really make a difference in selecting you? Again, I doubt it.

Alternatives to LinkedIn Endorsements

What can you do instead of getting an endorsement on LinkedIn? I think there are 2 things that can work particularly effectively.

Put on your profile that you the financial services industry does not allow relevant endorsements, so you won’t be displaying any endorsements. A simple statement like “My industry does not allow relevant endorsements to be displayed on LinkedIn” is enough for most people to understand why you don’t have any endorsements.

Respond to endorsements with a personal note. If one of your clients, former clients, co-workers, friends or enemies endorses you, send them a personal message. Thank them for the endorsement – and let them know you don’t display endorsements because you are in the financial services industry. Invite them to come into your office if they have questions. Who knows – this could even lead to a new client or a deepened relationship as you get to explain your philosophy to them and explain that you are taking the ethical high road on this decision.

That’s why I think financial advisors should not accept endorsements on LinkedIn.

What is the most effective social media platform for financial advisors?

One question I often get asked by my financial advisor clients and prospects is:

What is the most effective social media platform for financial advisors?

Before I answer that, let me tell you how I determine a successful platform for financial advisors.

Are your clients there?

If clients use a specific social media platform, you should be on it to listen first, at a minimum, and participate if you are allowed by your compliance department. How do you know if your clients are on a specific platform? Ask them what websites they frequent, for leisure, for business, and for information. Then go there!

Are your ideal prospects there?

If your ideal prospects are on a specific social media platform, you should be there too! How do you know if your prospects on a platform? Search for their name, and for people like them, in your favorite search engine. Search for the names of the platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and their name or e-mail address. Those searches look like Phil Gerbyshak LinkedIn (replacing LinkedIn with the platform you are looking for).

Also, search for their name or e-mail address and the word forum and message board (2 separate searches) and check those out. That search would look like Phil Gerbyshak forum or Phil Gerbyshak message board.

Is the platform easy to connect to your clients and prospects?

If a platform makes it easy to connect to your clients and prospects, chances are better that you’ll actually USE the platform to connect to your clients and prospects. If it’s too hard, you probably won’t use it, no matter how beneficial it might be to you.

Is the platform easy to connect BEYOND your clients and prospects?

Can you see who your clients and prospects are connected to – and can you easily connect to those people? Admittedly, most of the time, you will want to ask your clients for a warm introduction to their connections, but sometimes, you will reach out on your own, and it should be relatively easy to do on the platform, or you won’t do it.

What is the most effective social media platform for financial advisors?

LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for financial advisors.

All of the Fortune 5000 are using the platform, with more joining every second.  It is a very easy to use platform, once you learn how or are trained how to use LinkedIn as a financial advisor, and it allows you to easily connect to the friends, family and co-workers of your clients and prospects like no other social media platform on the planet.

3 Reasons Why You Might Block Anyone From Seeing Your Profile on LinkedIn

As the most effective social media platform for financial professionals works on a blocking feature to match those on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, the question I ask myself is why would you want to block anyone on LinkedIn?

3 reasons why I would block someone on LinkedIn:

They’re a stalker or they have stalker like behaviors

This is just not ok, so if someone is a stalker, or they exhibit stalker like behaviors, then you should be able to block them from viewing your profile. I know women and men alike that have had someone look at their profile every day – and NEVER send a message. This is creepy at a minimum, and stalker-like behavior (at least early stages) at the worst. I’d definitely block this person from seeing my profile on LinkedIn.

They’re a former business partner or employee of yours

Former business partners and former employees know the same clients, prospects, and other people you know. Showing them as your connections and allowing them to run through your connections is just giving them the opportunity to bad mouth you or steal your clients. I’d consider blocking this person from seeing my profile on LinkedIn.

They’re a former personal partner of yours

If you are no longer dating or married to someone, and you don’t want that person to know where you work or who you’re connecting to, then blocking them from your LinkedIn profile makes sense. I could see blocking a former personal partner from seeing your profile.

Those are my 3 reasons why you might block anyone from seeing your profile on LinkedIn. While it isn’t yet a feature LinkedIn offers, I’d bet soon it will be, so you should think about this as part of your personal connection (and disconnection) strategy.

How a Financial Advisor Got a $70 Million Client from LinkedIn

Can financial advisors really get business from LinkedIn? One Morgan Stanley advisor did – and he landed a $70 million account because of it.

Lauren Boyman, head of digital strategy for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, had this to say in a ThinkAdvisor interview:

“For those advisors who are using social and doing so on a daily basis—meaning it’s actually part of their practice, something they have absorbed—40% have gotten a new client,” she says, adding that a failure to be consistent will yield no better results than trying to diet by going to the gym once a month.

“It has to be part of their business development and marketing efforts on a regular basis,” she says.

How can you make this part of YOUR financial advisor business development and marketing efforts on a daily basis? Here’s a few to start you off with.

3 things you can do on LinkedIn every day

  • Update your status with valuable tips and articles
  • Prospect for new connections
  • Accept new connection requests

Those are just starting points! There is so much more you can do every day, and it WILL make a difference. Will you land a $70 million account?

Maybe.

At the very least, you’ll deepen your existing connections, making you more referable to their friends, family, and co-workers, thus earning you more business, all because of LinkedIn.

You can read the whole article about the Morgan Stanley advisor here.

Want help making this part of your daily practice? Bring us in to do LinkedIn training or contact Social Media Coach to create a custom program for you and your team.