LinkedIn is the most widely-used social media platform among financial advisors. It’s also the best one for lead generation, because it’s meant to be a business networking site. Unfortunately, most people’s LinkedIn profiles are “abysmal,” says Mathew Halloran, founder of Top Advisor Coaching and author of The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisor. So before you even start networking, make sure you you’ve perfected your profile and are getting the most out of LinkedIn. (You should probably also make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes.) LinkedIn’s premium accounts let you see a more detailed list of people who have recently looked at your profile. Check that regularly, and then send these people a note on LinkedIn, Halloran says. He suggests a message like this: “James, I noticed you viewed my LinkedIn profile to find out about what I do. If you’d like to set up a 20-minute phone call, I’d like to tell you more about what I do and hear about what you do.” This is no time to be shy, he says: “This is about business, and you have to think about it that way.” And if the idea makes you nervous, consider this: “What’s the worst that could happen? They could tell you not to contact them again or just not respond,” says Halloran. “It’s an easier ‘no’ to take.” Another prospecting tactic on LinkedIn is “nesting” yourself inside a company, says Halloran. “Nesting is an old-school technique that advisors have forgotten,” he says. “Becoming the specialist in benefits, rollovers and plans for a specific company will provide you with a great source of leads for years to come.” If you have several clients within a single company, for instance, use LinkedIn to follow the company itself. You can see who is leaving and who’s joining the firm, and can create targeted advertising with a specific message that caters to company employees. “Targeted messaging allows me to control my message within an ad, and collect information from potential clients at the same time,” says Halloran. Some advisors have picked up on this and are looking to make the most out of this huge opportunity, he adds.
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