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Your LinkedIn Connections - Quality or Quantity?

During my LinkedIn workshops, I always encourage the attendees to debate whether it is better to have a small, but quality, network of contacts on LinkedIn or whether the 'scattergun' approach is better. I have my own views on this but ultimately your strategy will be very much down to personal choice and there isn't a right or wrong answer. However, here are my thoughts on each approach:

Quantity

This is probably the way most LinkedIn users go - connect with as many people as possible, whether they be colleagues, friends, business contacts or even people they don't know. This is essentially the 'Facebook' approach to collecting names and there a number of advantages to having a large network - you stand a far better chance of being connected to people via a mutual contact in any searches you run; any content you write or post is likely to be seen by a larger number of people, and ultimately you are going to have much greater visibility across LinkedIn. The downside is that personally I don't really see a lot of point in being connected to people I have never met, or at least spoken to, in order to see whether we can help each other. Which leads nicely on to...

Quality

This is the approach I use in my business and one I strongly advocate to my clients, particularly if they are looking to use LinkedIn as a sales and/or referral tool. I would much rather have a network of 400-500 people I have had some contact with or know reasonably well, rather than an accumulation of random people - I like to keep my network focused towards my target market of financial services firms so that when I run searches, share updates or post content, they are seen by the right people and I therefore stand a much better chance of increasing my visibility and credibility within my chosen audience.

Ultimately, the approach you should take will be a balance between quality and quantity - you want a good-sized network for visibility, but not too large that it isn't manageable and you don't know many of the people you are connected to. So what is a 'good-sized' network? Most people seem to aim for the magic 500+ number!

My top 3 tips if you are using LinkedIn a sales/BD tool:

Give some careful thought to what you want your LinkedIn network to look like - don't just connect with anyone

Engage in some way with new connections - offer help, suggest a call/meeting, send them something of interest but do not sell!

Remove any contacts that you don't know or are no longer relevant to your LinkedIn objectives - go to My Network > Connections, tick any contacts you want to remove, then More > Remove

How Wealth Managers can Future-Proof their Business Using LinkedIn

As the average age of the population continues to get ever higher, one of the key questions faced by many wealth managers, particularly those who have worked in the industry for several years, is 'what will my business/client book/portfolio look like in 5-10 years? Many advisers I speak to have clients who are, to put it politely, at the 'top end of the age range' and they are very concerned that when those clients begin transferring their wealth to the next generation, they may lose those assets to another wealth manager.

I'm sure you are familiar with the term Generation X (those born between 1966 and 1980) but what about the term 'Millennial' or 'Generation Y', which is the term given to those born after 1981? LinkedIn recently produced some extremely compelling data about the online behaviour of these affluent 'NextGen' clients as far as their financial affairs are concerned. For example:

  •             They are 5x more likely than other demographic groups to see social media as their hub for financial information in the future
  •             They are 2.4x more likely to seek content from financial companies on social networks
  •             Over 50% are willing to consider financial offerings from non-financial brands

It should therefore be apparent that one of the most effective ways to begin engaging with this next generation of clients is online. At a bare minimum, that means an interactive website that is optimised for mobile, plus a LinkedIn profile for every 'client facing' member of staff, and perhaps a LinkedIn Company Page, depending on the size of your business. As far as your individual LinkedIn profile and activities are concerned, here are my top 3 best practices for wealth managers to engage with the next generation of clients:

  •             Your profile should not only be interesting and engaging, but should be visually appealing. Checklist - profile photo; background image; logos for current and previous employers and any educational institutions; attach multimedia e.g. client brochures
  •             Post content to inform and educate your contacts, DO NOT SELL. Checklist - post a news article of once or twice a week about a topic that will be of interest to your connections; follow-up by looking at the analytics on LinkedIn to see who has been viewing it.
  •             As a matter of course, connect with your clients on LinkedIn (get their consent first) and then connect with the children of your clients (the minimum age for UK users is 13). Checklist - build LinkedIn conversations into your sales processes; ask satisfied clients to connect; ask your clients to introduce you via LinkedIn to their children.

 The list could go on and no but I like to keep my LinkedIn posts fairly short. Hopefully this article has given you a flavour of how LinkedIn can form a core part of your marketing activities in order to future-proof your business.

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