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Social Selling Tips for Wealth Managers

Have you heard of social selling? Many wealth managers I speak to haven't, yet they may be doing it without realising it. The basic idea is that an increasing number of firms are using the major social media platforms (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter in the case of financial services firms) to 'sell' without actually 'selling'.

In terms of the business case for the proactive use of social media to build your business, according to LinkedIn:

  • Just over 63% of social sellers report an increase in their sales revenue, versus 41% of non-social sellers
  • 84% of social sellers use LinkedIn; 48% use Twitter
  • 74% of consumers do research online before making a buying decision
  • 65% of buyers feel that a vendor's content had an impact on their decision to buy
  • Your next generation of clients are 5x more likely than previous generations to think that social networks will be the hub of their financial information in the future

Pretty compelling stuff. So here are my top tips for wealth managers to get to grips with social selling:

1) Just because you have a LinkedIn profile doesn't mean it is resonating with your prospects and clients. Is it written in the first person? Have you written an interesting and engaging summary that is not just a list of your career achievements but actually tells the reader how you can help them? Have you added a company brochure or other material to your profile? Is it keyword-optimised?

2) Have you run advanced LinkedIn searches for your target clients or introducers, saved them and set up email alerts? How much can you find out about your target contacts before you connect with them? Please don't just send a generic invite when you connect - tailor it to the reader.

3) Does your employer have a LinkedIn Company Page and are you following it so you can like, comment and share regular updates with your contacts? Are you following your competitors, introducers and target firms on LinkedIn and Twitter?

4) Do you have a content strategy, either at a firm or individual level? How often do you post? Is your content informing and educating your clients (good) or is it a sales pitch (bad)? If someone engages with your posts, what is your process for responding?

5) Sync up your phone's address book with the Twitter app and follow all of your contacts on Twitter. This is great way to stay informed and may provide 'social signals' as a reason to get in touch.

6) Can you build in LinkedIn conversations into your day-to-day 'real world' activities? For example, ask your clients and prospects if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Or maybe you can ask a satisfied client or introducer to write you a LinkedIn recommendation.

As you can see, there is a lot more to social selling than simply having a LinkedIn profile. Many of my clients are thinking about how to 'future-proof' their business and social selling is a great way to begin this process. Finally, check out your personalised Social Selling Index to see how effective your LinkedIn activities are.

Your LinkedIn Housekeeping Checklist for 2018

It's that time of year when I like to refresh and update my LinkedIn presence - over the course of the last 12 months, you may have found yourself connecting with people you don't know, adding sections to your profile that are no longer relevant, as well as a whole multitude of other LinkedIn activities which you have no recollection of doing! So here is my New Year checklist for tidying up your LinkedIn presence for 2018:

Your Profile

  • Is your headshot up-to-date? LinkedIn isn't a dating site so your photo really should be a reflection of you! Add in a background image as well to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Check that your contact information and website links are still current - click on View Profile then Contact and Personal Info.
  • Is your professional summary, work experience and other sections a fair reflection of your day-to-day activities? Remember, if you have attended one of my workshops you will understand the importance of telling the reader 'what's in it for them' - LinkedIn is not just an online CV. Why would the reader want to engage with you? Do you need to add in any personal milestones or achievements from the last 12 months?
  • Do your media attachments need updating? If you work for a regulated firm, make sure any brochures that are attached are the most up-to-date version.
  • Tidy up your Skills & Endorsements - this is one of those sections that really can get out of hand very quickly. Remove any skills that are no longer relevant, add any new ones, and remove any endorsements from people you don't know!
  • Update any of the Optional sections of your profile, such as Certifications, Organisations and Languages
  • Scroll down to the very bottom of your profile where you will find a list of all the LinkedIn Groups you are a member of, as well as all the Companies and Influencers you are following. I'm a big fan of keeping these lists to around 5-10 of each, otherwise I simply can't keep up-to-date with everything that is happening on my newsfeed. Un-tick those Companies and Influencers you no longer want to follow, and leave any Groups that are no longer relevant to your objectives.

Your Connections

I like to have an annual cleanse of my connections, otherwise the number can get out of hand. You have probably connected over the last 12 months with people you don't know or have never met, so it is worth going through all of your connections and removing those that are no longer relevant (or have annoyed you!) - remember, they don't get told that you have removed them. To do this, go to My Network, then See all Connections. To remove someone click on the 3 dots next to their profile, then Remove.

Your Settings

In this era of data protection and online privacy, it is important to check that the visibility of your data is set to a level you are comfortable with. I won't go through all the various Settings here, but the ones to pay particular attention to are:

  • See where you're logged in (all of the locations where you are logged in to LinkedIn)
  • Set the frequency of e-mails (this will tidy up your Inbox)
  • View your applications (a list of all third-party sites that have access to your LinkedIn account)
  • Select who can see your connections
  • Select your profile visibility

All of these can be found by hovering over your photo in the top right-hand corner, then click on Settings & Privacy.

If you think I may have missed something, please add it to the Comments box below. Happy tidying up!

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