We started talking about the importance of properly using LinkedIn in your practice over five years ago. Sadly, this amazing tool isn’t even in many a wholesaler’s toolbox.
If you do use LinkedIn, there are still a host of unexplored ways to leverage its power.
That’s why this week’s guest is “must listen” podcasting!
Laura Virili is a Wall Street veteran who has worked directly with top producing Financial Advisors, Wholesalers & Private Wealth Advisors for over 20 years – she walks the walk and talks the talk. She simplifies social media for advisors & wholesalers by making it applicable to their business model by teaching them how to acquire new clients and deepen existing relationships, while understanding industry rules and regulations.
Book Laura for your next event through Wholesaler Masterminds Speakers Bureau.
Kick Doors Wide Open by Turning Your Social Listening Ears On!
Start with Brand You
We Google everything today which also means that someone else is likely Googling YOU. And, did you know Google gives preferential treatment to LinkedIn? When someone Googles you, LinkedIn will appear as the first, second or third result, so what will an advisor find when he or she clicks through to your profile? Is it fully optimized? Are you telling your story? Are you owning your personal brand? Are you owning the narrative around that brand or are you sitting back and letting it happen to you?
Social media has placed an increasing focus on the individual wholesaler and more importantly how that wholesaler fits within the bigger picture. And, the questions advisors are going to ask are:
- Who are YOU and what’s YOUR story?
- Why should I trust YOU?
- What makes YOU so different from every other wholesaler?
You Only Get One Chance to Make a Great First Impression
A great first impression is paramount to building long-lasting relationships. And it’s more than likely that an advisor’s first impression of you will be through your online presence. So your profile needs to do far more than simply state the kind of work you do and a picture that says, “I just grabbed whatever I could find” (or no picture at all – gasp!). You need to grab their attention from the time they click “Search” right on through until the deal is closed.
According to LinkedIn, profiles that have pictures are viewed fifteen times (15X!) more than those that don’t, so choose one carefully. Use a professional photo that is cropped to the right dimensions, and select a business casual look that makes you look warm, friendly and engaging!
Your picture may be worth 1,000 words, but your profile isn’t complete without your story to back it up. Your LinkedIn Summary is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from other wholesalers and it has all the power to draw people in or drive them away – and a typical advisor will make the decision to engage with you or move on within 3 seconds.
As prime real estate to differentiate you from the competition, your LinkedIn Summary should be engaging and succinct, passionate and personal. And it’s essential to build a stellar LinkedIn profile that is in-line with who you are in the real world.
The Summary section gives you 2,000 characters to differentiate yourself – so tell your story! Don’t think of it as your resume, but rather as your reputation. Your summary is your opportunity to humanize yourself and connect with advisors in a unique way online.
While your photo and summary are two of the most important elements of your LinkedIn profile be sure to take the time to fully optimize it. The wholesalers who’ve embraced LinkedIn are gaining a clear advantage simply by owning and controlling their personal brand.
Hit it with a 2×4
By spending just two minutes on an advisor’s profile, you should be able to glean four pieces of information that will enable you to connect more deeply. Information such as education, connections, passions, hobbies, interests, charities, groups, influencers, etc. could be the difference between getting in the door and being left out in the cold.
Turn Them On
While advisors are Googling you, make sure you’re Googling them. Turn your social listening ears on! Once you do, you’ll be able to kick doors wide open and deepen advisor relationships.
By simply acknowledging the big and small achievements shared via social networks, you are showing advisors that you are paying attention – and that they matter to you.
These social triggers available at your fingertips, such as birthdays, work anniversaries and article posts, give you the easiest way to stay in front of advisors and differentiate yourself. How? Pick up the phone and call them, invite them to lunch/dinner, email them, swing by their office, or send a handwritten note or a small personalized gift.
The on- or offline conversations that result, especially with an advisor who’s not quite ready to “buy” you, may reverberate five days, five months or five years from now.
Don’t Get Sucked In
It’s easy to get sucked into social media, but most social media channels offer tools that allow you to keep a careful eye on only those advisors with whom you’d like to build stronger relationships. How? Start by setting up Google alerts, or create lists on Facebook and Twitter. Although LinkedIn does not allow you to create lists, you can keep a close eye on changes to an individual advisor’s profile by clicking on the drop down > view recent activity > review their feed and select something of interest. If they have shared an article, read it, and then send a personalized message.
Move the Needle
But the most important rule of thumb when it comes to selling yourself on social media is “Say what you do, do what you say.” No matter which social channel you choose (and you may choose all of them within compliance, of course), be true to yourself and to the advisors you are targeting and building relationships with. Listen to them, set the expectations and personalize the experience whenever possible.
The strength of the relationship always moves the needle and social media helps you do just that – strengthen the relationship!
Written by Laura Virili