Turning Connections into Clients on LinkedIn

By Maria Huggins - October 02, 2018

Confession: On more than one occasion, I've met someone I follow on social media … in real life … and felt like I actually know them. You might roll your eyes and say it's because I'm a Millennial, but I'm not. I'm part of Generation X, the group born between 1965 and 1980. Life is going digital for people of all ages, and it demonstrates an important truth—the way people "meet" one another has changed. Whether you approve or disapprove of the shifting trend, it presents opportunity.

In part one and part two of our series, we covered the basics of how financial advisors can launch a social media presence: why it's important, choosing a platform and how to optimize your presence. Today I'll share tips for becoming active.

Take Your Offline Contacts Online

Whether you're new to social media or just looking to ramp up your presence, you likely have "real life" connections and professional groups to add to your network. And after that? Think outside the box by exploring mutual acquaintances, former colleagues and fellow alums.

Make it a habit to add new connections regularly. One best practice is setting a recurring, weekly appointment to network online with anyone you've recently met. That allows you to solidify relationships before they become stale.

It also makes sense to send a connection request following digital touchpoints—when someone views your profile, when you engage with someone's content or vice versa.

Regardless of how you know the person you're inviting to connect, always personalize the invitation. LinkedIn gives you the option to "Add a Note" when sending a connection request, which allows you to reference what you have in common, or remind that person of how you met.

Provide Value to Your Network

You have two goals: to provide value and to engage your network.

Your long game is to make people want to do business with you—and that requires them to like you, trust you and consider you an expert. This is how relationships are formed in an online world.

Start by opening up your LinkedIn account and scroll through the news feed. What posts catch your eye? What posts make you want to click through to the article or comment on them? I'm guessing they were either educational, entertaining, informational or about a milestone in someone's life. Likewise, that's the type of content you should strive to publish.

There are three topics, however, that advisors should consider avoiding on social media.

  1. Avoid mentioning fund names
  2. Steer clear of providing advice
  3. Don't name specific clients

Actively Engage with Your Connections

In the world of social media, you reap what you sow. Taking a set-it-and-forget-it approach will almost always result in disappointment.

Many people publish and consume information without engaging their connections through likes, comments and shares. Not only does that make your connections less likely to engage with your content, but LinkedIn's algorithm will deprioritize your posts without engagement.

There are also opportunities to engage beyond the news feed. Participate in LinkedIn group discussions and take messages offline when LinkedIn notifies you of a connection's work anniversary, new job or anniversary.

Social media is a long-term play. Just as in your offline life, building relationships and moving prospects through the sales funnel takes multiple touch points. But for advisors willing to put in the time and effort, it can pay dividends.

Maria Huggins
Maria Huggins
Corporate Communications
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    Advisors: Put Social Media to Work for You

    Social media is an invaluable tool for advisors who cater to individual investors. Today we begin a series designed to help you take advantage of the opportunity.

      The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.