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What’s New on LinkedIn: May – July 2019

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are constantly changing. It can be hard to keep up with the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a quarterly roundup of what’s new on this professional networking platform.

Over the past few months, LinkedIn has updated its ever-changing algorithm, continued to improve its Pages, and has tweaked its advertising objectives to cater to more parts of the marketing funnel.

Read on for more noteworthy LinkedIn changes that happened from May to July 2019.

 

LinkedIn Growth

According to the latest statistics, LinkedIn is still on the rise. Microsoft recently released its latest quarterly report, and LinkedIn’s revenue increased by 25% during the last quarter, bringing in $371 million. The platform also garnered “record levels of engagement,” and had a 22% growth in sessions. On top of that, LinkedIn also announced that they now have over 630 million professionals on their network and over 34 million Pages have been created on their platform. 

 

Algorithm Changes

Over the past few months, LinkedIn made changes to its algorithm to help promote posts that encourage community-building. The algorithm that chooses which content will appear in feeds now incorporates the “prediction of professional conversation contribution” when selecting candidates. This algorithm is designed to better capture “the community-building aspect” of each update on the feed.

 

New Features

Here are some of the new features that LinkedIn introduced to its platform over the past few months:

  • You can now tag people in photos
  • In addition to “liking” someone’s post, you can now use reactions like celebrate, love, insightful, curious, and more 
  • You can now share videos in messages
  • You can now share PDFs and slides on the main feed, in groups, or in Pages

 

Pages

One of the more notable changes to LinkedIn Pages this quarter was the introduction of new call-to-action (CTA) buttons. You can now add a custom CTA button to your page, using one of the five button options: Contact us, Learn More, Register, Sign Up, or Visit Website. 

Along with the CTA buttons, LinkedIn has also introduced an analytics dashboard that shows Page admins how many visitors are clicking the buttons. If you’re interested in using this feature, you can find the click-through analytics on the left-hand side of your Page Admin homepage in your Dashboard or at the top of your Visitor Analytics tab.

 

Advertising

This quarter, LinkedIn introduced three new objectives to Campaign Manager: Brand Awareness, Website Conversions, and Job Applications. 

  • Advertisers can increase their share-of-voice by using the Brand Awareness objective, which features campaigns that charge by impressions (e.g., cost per thousand or CPM)
  • The Website Conversions objective allows advertisers to create campaigns that are optimized for specific actions on their websites (e.g., purchases, downloads, event registration, etc.)
  • The Job Applicants objective allows advertisers to make ads to drive applications either on LinkedIn or on their own website

That’s it for now! We’ll be back next quarter with more LinkedIn updates. In the meantime, you can find our full LinkedIn changes report for May through July 2019 on AdvisorU.

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4 Reasons Your Podcast Doesn’t Need iTunes Syndication

Podcasts offer an incredible medium for consumers (i.e. investors) to develop relationships with potential advisors.  Remember, sourcing a new financial advisor is a massive decision for consumers to make. In the same vein, podcasts provide advisors the opportunity and platform to influence those consumers’ buying decisions.

The reason for my post is, more than anything, to help advisors understand the expected outcomes of their podcast. Your greatest outcomes do NOT require you to syndicate your podcast through iTunes

It would be nice to think that once you’ve created your podcast, you can simply syndicate it to iTunes and your pipeline will immediately fill up. But this is not a “build it and they will come” situation. iTunes and other podcast communities are busy marketplaces. I wouldn’t say they are saturated, but they are busy. Consequently, you’re not likely to find ideal listeners effortlessly.

The good news is —the financial podcast space is undersaturated, which presents advisors with a great opportunity. But the gold is not in the existing communities, it’s in building your own community: a highly engaged group of people who are connected to each other and the ideas your present in your podcast. 

Isn’t it incredible to think that you could have access to your own community by using a marketing tactic that’s affordable, fits your business and life, and builds sustainable momentum for your business? 

Here are five reasons you don’t need iTunes to build a successful podcast community that translates into sustainable opportunities for your advisory practice.

1

YOU ALREADY HAVE A COMMUNITY TO MARKET TO

Your existing network (i.e. community) is a great place to share your podcast. In fact, it’s where your biggest outcomes should be generated. You know people who understand you, are already working with you, have considered working with you, or have referred people to you. Those are the people most likely to engage in and share your podcast right now. Leverage them daily.

 

2

YOU CAN PROACTIVELY GROW YOUR COMMUNITY

Most advisors have less than enviable digital networks. Often times these networks have many peers, not ideal prospects and centers of influence. Most of the time this reality limits advisors’ early wins and lengthens their path to success. It’s more difficult to grow your audience and grow by influence. 

Boost your network size by consistently inviting ideal prospects to connect with you on LinkedIn. You’ll need a conversational introduction (i.e. invitation-to-connect message) so you don’t come across as needy or pushy. Once you have your ideal prospect’s attention, make sure they know about your podcast — send them a link to the episode you’re most proud of. Few advisors are pushing their podcast because few have one. We’re talking .0001% if I were to guess.

iTunes will NOT help you grow your listenership with an ideal audience. LinkedIn absolutely will. You can try other social networks if that’s where your preference lies. 

My company has a LinkedIn Connection Boosting service. We invite 300 ideal prospects (validated through Sales Navigator’s Advanced Search, especially their boolean string). Our advisors typically get 20% of ideal prospects accepting invitations to connect. We typically see 1-3% conversation engagement too; these are people who ask a question or book an appointment. 

This proactive approach keeps seeing results while they patiently wait for the better results: ideal referrals and a growing listenership that will turn into sustainable opportunities over the next 2-3 years. Yup, great marketing takes time but that’s where the best results are — in owning expertise in a specific audience and in a specific region. 

 

3

YOU INSTANTLY BECOME MORE REFERABLE

Guess what, your podcast is likely the “coolest” marketing you’ve ever done. Share it daily and through every medium you control: email, face-to-face, voice-to-voice, events, your newsletter, and any speeches. People will start talking about you — finally. You’ll get more ideal referrals than before all because you’re conversation-worthy now.

 

4

YOU WANT TO OWN THE MEETING PLACES

When you syndicate your podcast, prospects will get introduced to your brand on whichever digital platform it resides on; in this example, iTunes. Consider that your iTunes profile is nowhere close to the powerful marketing they’d see on your website, and, to a lesser degree, your podcast channel. 

Obviously, it’s a good thing to gain listeners via iTunes, but you’ll have less control over the experience they have. Is it worth the trade-off? More listeners, less brand experience control. The best answer is, it depends. 

If you expect the podcast community to search for your podcast’s topic and you’re not particularly concerned about who those people are, I’d lean towards using iTunes versus not. Right now Apple does not allow podcasters to target listeners outside of search. However, they do allow you to pay to have your podcast featured. 

 

 

BUT, SYNDICATING TO iTUNES DOES HELP

There are three reasons, albeit not incredibly powerful, that could merit iTunes syndication. 

 

1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

iTunes is a powerful hub for users and providers. Search engines, no doubt, give you better search scores if you’re listed there. That’s worth something, especially over a few years. But, there are plenty of other free ways to create positive SEO outcomes. 

Plus, people search within iTunes for financial podcasts and don’t necessarily use Google. I don’t know the number of searches because Apple doesn’t share those stats  (hopefully they will sooner than later). 

 

2. CREDIBILITY

“You can find my podcast on iTunes.” has a nice ring to, it doesn’t it?

 

3. WHY NOT?

Syndicating your podcast to iTunes is easy to do once you have your RSS link. The point of my article isn’t to keep you from syndicating to iTunes, it’s to manage expectations. I find advisors’ expectations play a large role in their long-term marketing success and how efficiently they get there from a cost-and-efficiency standpoint. Not sticking with marketing because your expectations were misaligned or inflated typically means jumping from one thing to the next, which is not only expensive, it’s time-consuming.

 

“Fragmented marketing is the leading cause of poor marketing performance. It’s akin to an investor buying high and selling low.” - Kirk Lowe

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An Open Letter to All Business Development and Sales People

Are you a business development or salesperson who’s asking people to marry you before the first date? 

Stop being so forward!

You may want to close business as fast as possible, but whatever happened to building relationships?  

In a dating situation, you would probably go on several dates before daring to ask for a long-term relationship. Besides, part of the fun of dating is thinking about the last date, between dates.  

Guess what, selling is no different. 

But how do you keep your prospects thinking of you between calls? What is the secret? Is it language, a phrase, or a technique that only successful people know?  

Nope, it’s all about these five steps.

Before I share the steps, I want to tell you why I know this works. Our company used these methods to grow our business from zero to 2 million in valuation. We did that in less than two years. So, this is not pie-in-the-sky stuff here — it is real and it works. It might sound too simple, but sometimes simple is the best approach. 

 

1. Make it about them  

The first few touches are not about you at all. If you make them about you, well, you’ll lose. It’s critical that you spend far more time listening to your prospective clients than you do talking.  And give nonverbal cues that demonstrate that you are listening. Show respect, and show that you actually care about your prospective clients as people, even if your solution might not be the right fit. By the way, if you are in the dating pool, this approach works incredibly well. If you do this step well, prospects will ask you to follow up with them. If you have to ask when you can follow up, you did not do this step well.

2. Personalize Your Content

Have content available and tailor your next piece of communication to suit their needs and interests. Your first touch after the first meeting should have nothing to do with business; show you were listening. If you had gone on an actual first date, you could send that person their favorite flower, a magazine that highlights their biggest passion, an introduction to a new band, or, even better, send them a puppy. Everyone loves puppies. Ok, I am kidding about the puppy, but you should have white papers, podcasts, articles, or videos handy to send to your new prospect. Do this once a week on different days for as long as it takes.

3. Throw away your time expectations 

No one ever buys on your timeline. Your sales manager may have a timeline they’d like you to hit; however, times have changed and hopefully your manager can understand that. I cannot emphasize enough that prospects will make decisions on their own timeline, not yours. 

4. Connect with them on LinkedIn and comment on their posts

Show your prospects that you’re paying attention. People love that. Connect with them on LinkedIn and pay attention to what they post. But don’t just like their posts; comment with thoughtful messages. Share their posts, too. If you don’t think you have time to do this, you’re wrong. Carve out ten minutes every day to engage with your prospects on LinkedIn.

5. Ask them to do business with you

When you see an opening, ask them to do business with you. But don’t force it.  Be nice, but persistent. If you know your solution is really beneficial to your prospects, tell them! Don’t sell them, show them.  

As with all risks, go in positive and be patient. All good things come when you don’t rush it. If you develop and nurture these relationships, you will have great referral sources and a pipeline that, over time, will allow you to be the most successful business development or salesperson in your office.

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A Guide to Sharing your Podcast on Social Media

Check out our guide to help you share your podcast on social media.

Click Here to view

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Ep 179 – The Power of Podcast Marketing — with Ben Jones

Nobody knows the power of a podcast like a podcast host.

Today, Matt Halloran welcomes Ben Jones, the host of the Better Conversations. Better Outcomes podcast and the managing director and head of intermediary at BMO Global Asset Management. At BMO, Ben leads a team of sales and service professionals to deliver investment solutions to intermediaries such as RAI’s, broker-dealers, and other investment managers.  

To get the word out about the great work his team does, Ben hosts a bi-weekly podcast called Better Conversations. Better Outcomes, where he provides listeners with actionable content to help propel their practice in different areas of wealth management. Today, Ben shares more about his strategies behind his podcast, and how he makes it as valuable as possible for listeners.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • About Ben’s role at BMO
  • Why Ben believes that better conversations lead to better outcomes for advisors and their clients
  • Three areas of conversation Ben and his team aim to enhance
  • The importance of putting the content you’re marketing first
  • Why Ben believes financial services is a noble profession
  • And more!

Tune in now to learn more about Ben, BMO Global Asset Management, and the power of podcasting with great content!

Resources: Top Advisor Marketing /  BMO GAM/Better Conversations/ Tickle Monster

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