Before the tech revolution, the way people referred new clients to financial advisors was usually through in-person networks–church, Rotary Club, golf.
You may have noticed that the world has changed, and with it, the expectations of the typical investor. They tend to look up their advisors online, and lack of web presence translates into lack of presence, period.
While most advisors are realizing that having a web presence doesn’t produce new leads on its own, they’re also noticing that a lack of web presence can reliably lose them business.
There are a lot of ways to boost web presence–making sure you have an updated, accessible website; maintaining a blog where you can create content that shows your skills and approachability; and connecting through social media. It can be hard to know how to keep up.
One of the best places a financial advisor looking to boost web presence can start is LinkedIn.
Most financial advisors use some kind of social media for marketing, and the vast majority of those advisors use LinkedIn. It’s the social media of choice for professionals.
LinkedIn will help expand your network of professional contacts, and if you decide to pursue other avenues of web presence–a personal website; presence on other social media like Facebook and Twitter; email campaigns–LinkedIn serves as a great functional hub for your online connection.
A strong LinkedIn profile will direct more web traffic your way. Google gives professionals with strong profiles preferential treatment in search results. The more people can learn about you online, the more comfortable they’ll be walking into your office to do business with you.
Best of all, you don’t have to be a tech whiz to make this work. Here are three simple things you can do now to strengthen your LinkedIn profile.
How to Link In
Research shows that the most successful advisor-client relationships are between people with a similar lifestyle. People want to know you’re a well-rounded human that they can connect to, and that connection is far more likely when you have something in common.
LinkedIn has over a million groups, and it’s part of how people can get to know you at a glance. Join groups that reflect both your professional and personal interests: hobbies, professional associations and boards, the college you attended, the charities you support. You can also join groups that reflect the interests of the clients you’re hoping to reach–look at client profiles, and use their interests as a guide.
Change your Headline
When prospects find your profile, the question they’re asking is if you’re the right person to serve their needs. Your profile is a way to answer those questions.
A lot of advisors will offer an advisor’s title and company name. It’s accurate, but it doesn’t offer any information to the people who need your help.
Instead of naming only your title and company, use your headline to demonstrate that you can solve a specific problem. What is your special area of service? Include that.
For example, if you specialize in helping people plan for retirement and you are skilled in advising families in elder care issues, you can change your headline from “Advisor at Financial Firm” to “Certified Financial Planner Helping Families Plan Retirement and Elder Care”.
Getting specific about the problems you love to solve will benefit you two ways: first, the people who are looking for your help will be able to find you. Second, the people who aren’t looking for your help, but who know someone who is, will have a greater ability to direct prospective clients your way. The more specific you get about the problems you solve, the easier it is for people unfamiliar with financial planning titles to know what you do, and refer you to people who need you.
As a financial advisor, you’re a subject matter expert, and LinkedIn is one of the few social media platforms that provides a place for you to write and publish blog posts that will show off your approachability and financial acuity.
Content marketing gives another terrific attachment point for web traffic, quickly connecting you with people who are looking for answers. The content you share, and the fact that you’re sharing any at all online, starts a conversation and reassures potential clients that you are someone who can solve their problems.
The main principle to remember is that clients are looking for professionals who are skilled and trustworthy, and the more accessible you are, the more your web presence can build rapport with potential clients.