If you have a strong profile, are comfortable with using the search function to send invitations and get referrals, you might be ready for the next challenge. Here are five tips to turbo-charge your use of LinkedIn.
1. Join LinkedIn Groups: Find and join groups that are relevant to you. For example, join your college's alumni group, groups for former employers, or groups focused on your clients' industries or professions. If you specialize in serving corporate executives of a few large companies in your area, join those company alumni groups. You can offer information about the company’s corporate retirement plans as well as give information about financial best practices, then follow-up with individuals for more personalized advice. You can also join hobby groups that will allow you to connect with people on a personal level before talking business.
2. Follow LinkedIn Company Pages: Track company pages that give information on who is joining (and leaving) companies. These are 401K roll-over or executive compensation discussion opportunities. You can gain insight into corporate events and news as well as ask your clients for referrals to those people they may know.
3. Read LinkedIn Today Daily: LinkedIn Today puts daily news in the context of your professional network. Top articles are shown based on how popular they are; they are essentially curated by LinkedIn members and tailored to your network, industry and interests. To take your online influence to the next level, you can share articles that you think your network will be interested in and will generate engagement and visibility for you.
4. Add Tags To Your Connections: This will allow you to easily identify groups of people and to easily filter status and career updates to view the group you're interested in. For example, if you have a group called "clients" and another called "prospects", you can track each groups’ updates separately, since you may have a different mindset while you are in "prospecting mode" or "client engagement" mode. Note that none of your connections will be notified or able to see that you’ve tagged them. Tagging is an organizational tool visible only to you.
5. Do Personal Benchmarking: Take a look at peers who you admire, respect, and perhaps even compete against. See how they are positioning themselves and how you can differentiate yourself, both in your profiles and in other actions like status updates or group participation.
If you master these features, you can consider yourself a proficient LinkedIn user. You're likely getting a tremendous amount of value from the site and as a result, and now have a meaningful advantage over your financial advisor peers.
Lauren Boyman leads the digital strategy for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, the first major wirehouse to allow advisors to use social media in a compliant way. She is responsible for client web and mobile, as well as advisor mobile and social media programs. Follow her on Twitter, @LBoymanMS.
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