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The Future of Referrals

Referrals are still the cornerstone for building AUM as a financial advisor but the “old ways” just don’t work anymore. This whitepaper outlines how and why things have changed when it comes to getting good quality referrals, and what to do about it.

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3 Wasted LinkedIn Opportunities

Did you know that LinkedIn can be a highly effective prospecting tool for advisors? 

LinkedIn is 277% more effective in generating leads than Twitter and Facebook, according to a Hubspot study. The study points out that LinkedIn users who visit websites come in more qualified and ready to buy

That’s right — LinkedIn may be the most efficient lead generation tool in the land of social media. So don’t leave any LinkedIn leaf unturned! Read on to learn about three big wasted opportunities and learn how to turn it all around.

 

1. You’re not sending a message when inviting someone to connect with you

 

Whether you’re reaching out to a center of influence (COI) that you met at a conference or a prospect that you found by using Sales Navigator, don’t you dare leave that message field blank. 

If you’ve already met this potential LinkedIn connection, use the message space to:

  • Remind them of how you met if you think it’s necessary
  • Reiterate how great it was to meet them
  • Pay them a compliment (e.g. “I was really impressed by your presentation, I was particularly intrigued when you said that…”)
  • Suggest another meeting or express the desire to keep in touch

Most advisors aren’t fazed by writing a message to someone they’ve already met. It’s writing to a cold prospect that seems more daunting. But this task becomes a lot easier when you have a template that you can customize.

Start by plugging these two talking points into your messages to prospects:

 

    1. Mention something you have in common from the get-go. Examples: they graduated from the same college as you, they work in an industry that you have experience with, you’ve volunteered for the same or similar organizations, etc.
    2. Explain why you are connecting with them. When you’re upfront about wanting to share your expertise, the prospects who connect with you will be more qualified than those who accept your connection based on a vague message.

 

Here’s an example of a message to a prospect, which you can use as a template:

 

Hi [first name],

I noticed you’re also a graduate of [insert name of your college]! I’m reaching out because I work with a lot of [College Name] alumni who are eager to create hyper goals-focused financial plans.

I’d like to share ideas with you on [insert your proudest offering here] from time to time. Hoping we can connect. Have a great day!

[Your Name]

 

 

2. You’re not making use of LinkedIn’s search features

Did you know that you can use LinkedIn’s search bar to see what your connections are talking about? 

On the desktop version of LinkedIn, find the search bar on the top left on your screen. It’ll be on the top middle of the LinkedIn app.

Click on the magnifying glass icon. A drop-down menu will appear with several filtering options, as shown in the image below. Select “Content.”

LinkedIn Image #1

LinkedIn will bring you to a new page. Now you can enter a keyword into the search bar and LinkedIn will show you all the posts that include that word. You can sort the posts by date, relevancy, connections’ industries, company names, and more. 

This is an excellent feature for seeking out COIs that could complement your expertise and bring value to your clients. 

If I were an advisor, I might search the term “divorce” to see if any divorce attorneys have created new content that they can discuss with me on my podcast or with my audience during a seminar. 

On that note, if I knew for sure that I wanted to seek out divorce attorneys, I could select “People” instead of “Content” and then type “divorce attorneys” in the search bar. LinkedIn would then generate a list of all the divorce attorneys that are in my network.

Play around with the search-bar features. This could be a good prompt for you to start relationships with COIs, reconnect with ones you haven’t talked to a while, and then combine forces to bring your clients well-rounded guidance. 

 

3. You’re not being generous enough

 

Let me ask you this: Are you trying to lure people in by giving them just a taste of your expertise? 

Stop the bait-and-switch approach start telling people everything you know. Why? Because you become important in someone’s world once they realize you know a lot. (Our founder Kirk really brings this point home in episode 196 of our podcast.)

This goes for everything you create, which might include blogs, white papers, podcasts, and videos. Pour your knowledge into these mediums and then share all of it with abandon on LinkedIn.

Put succinctly, start posting that stuff.

You can even post your entire white paper or a presentation on LinkedIn. On their desktop version, you can upload PDFs, slides, papers, and reports, which your connections can then download as a PDF.

To upload your documents to LinkedIn, click on the paper icon to the far left of the box that you normally type in to create a post. 

LinkedIn Image #2

I recommend sharing your seminar presentations and any slides that you show to new clients during the onboarding process. This is about giving people full access to your expertise so they realize that you have the answers to their biggest financial challenges. 

To make sharing your expertise sustainable and efficient, use a scheduler like Hootsuite to schedule LinkedIn posts. When you’re writing your posts, be sure to emphasize how your content solves your prospects’ challenges and then wrap it up with a strong call-to-action.

In addition to posting, send messages to your connections that include your content, such as specific episodes of your podcast. This probably goes without saying, but make sure the episode is relevant to that person. Instead of blasting out the same episode with a generic message, tell the person why you think they would find your episode about college-saving strategies helpful. 

There you have it! I hope you will take these LinkedIn pointers and run with them. Start making the most of this prospect-rich platform today!

 

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5 Ways Podcasting Makes You a Better Advisor

Yes, podcasting will make you a better advisor in many ways. I’d go so far as to say that podcasting makes our lives better, one idea at a time. But today, I’ll start by telling you how it can make you a better advisor. 

It Makes You a Better Communicator

Being a good podcaster not only requires you to be knowledgeable about the subject you’re going to talk about, but it also requires you to practice how you communicate your what and your why

A productive podcast draws people into your world or, better yet, you into their world. It makes you find ways to connect with your audience, understand their challenges, and find opportunities to solve their concerns. 

It’s easy to understand that improving your communication skills has benefits, while not improving these skills will keep you from advancing professionally. 

Podcasting will inspire you to implement strategies that can further develop your skill of communicating the expertise you’ve learned. Any time while producing a podcast, you will ask yourself questions like:

  1. How can I best explain this topic?
  2. How does the topic impact my target audience?
  3. What can my audience do to resolve or avoid their challenges? 

It Makes You a Better Marketer

Speaking about and understanding what your ideal clients want to hear about can make you a better marketer. Podcasting forces you to consider your ideal clients’ needs, your unique strengths, and the synergy between the two. 

Also, if you think you “sound” like everyone else, it will be more obvious when you start podcasting. Podcasting allows you to hear yourself, analyze the way you tell your story, and improve your delivery. It will inevitably push you to become better at positioning your strengths and your ideal audience’s needs. Now, that is a tremendous impact on your marketing!

A few questions that you’ll want to consider:

  1. What’s your story? What separates you from other advisors?
  2. What does your audience care most about? 
  3. Which channel(s) does your audience engage in the most when you share your podcast?
  4. Where does your podcast traffic come from?

It Makes You a Better Leader

Leaders start important conversations and then speak intelligently about them. Podcasting is steadily becoming a household-friendly media platform to discover and engage in thoughtful insights and perspectives. People are listening. In fact, 70% of Americans have heard of podcasting

Consider these ideas on becoming a financial leader through podcasting. Podcasting will inspire you to:

  1. Search for trends in society and how they impact people’s financial decisions.
    • Sign up for news alerts or social listening tools such as Google Alerts, Awario and, BrandWatch. You could track keywords such as “new retirement” and “changing retirement.” 
    • Read news, listen to clients’ stories about life, and listen to podcasts. Be a lifelong learner and use that to power your thought leadership.
  2. Stay tuned to regional and global events and their potential financial impact.
  3. Plan ahead for calendar events that have life or financial impact.

It Makes You a Better Networker

One of the best podcast tactics is to search, qualify, and invite other experts and influencers to be guests on your podcast. The process of how you do that, and the tactics you employ, will make you a better networker. You will also build a richer, larger peer network. 

Here are a few steps to finding the right people and then expanding your network.

  1. Log onto LinkedIn. Click on the search bar and select “content” from the options that appear.  Now, search for different keywords to see who’s talking about subjects your clients care about. 
  2. Create an invite message on LinkedIn that’s conversational, not promotional. No offers, just an introduction. If possible, refer to something in their profile or activity stream that brought you to them. 
  3. Consider the people who are talking about subjects that matter to your clients. Are there any trends within this group? Can you create a search to find more people like them? If yes, that’s gold right there. 
  4. Recognize that your LinkedIn audience only really cares about themselves. Find ways to add value to their lives and work and they’ll share your ideas. 
  5. Look for LinkedIn connections who have similar audiences. You don’t want to build relationships with the largest influencers; they won’t have time for you. What you want is to connect with micro-influencers who have ideal and engaged audiences. 
  6. Design a one-page promo sheet that highlights your podcast focus, ideal audience/listenership, and stats. Share this with centers of influence that you’d like to have as a guest on your podcast. 
  7. Share an onboarding email with centers of influence that outline guest expectations, podcast and promotional best practices, and potential launch episode dates. Here at Top Advisor Marketing, we provide a four-page podcast promo guide to help our guests promote their episodes. 

It Makes You a Better Human

Empowering people and communities with knowledge is one of the most rewarding experiences one can be a part of. Being a member of the podcast community makes you part of a groundswell that’s making its mark on history. While your podcast may not change the fortunes of the world, it can certainly help one family after another understand the financial realities of life events and decisions.

By participating in podcasting and sharing what you know and have experienced, you’re not just spreading your generosity, you’re building your brand. 

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10 Social Media Tools to Elevate Your Team’s Skills

Communication has fundamentally changed. 

As an advisor, you must communicate with your clients and prospects in the medium they prefer, while they are there. This is the truth we live with today. 

I’m talking about getting your firm active on social media.

There are many companies out there who will take care of this for you. They will post for you, engage with your audience, run ads — well, they will pretty much be you online. You can pay anywhere from a small monthly fee to a large retainer for that level of service. 

But consider these two questions before you pay for a social media service. 

Do you really want to outsource? Or would you rather have things handled in-house where you can have more control over who you and your company are online?

If you’ve answered “yes,” to the latter, I totally understand. But where do you find people best suited for the job?

The best thing you can do is hire someone locally who knows your business model, your industry’s rules and regulations, and the best social media platform for communicating to your ideal clients. 

You can find these people but it is hard; they are highly sought after and, most of the time, they come at a premium. If you want to go down this path, post your job on ziprecruiter.com and LinkedIn.  

Once you’ve hired your social media specialist, pay them well, show them a lot of appreciation, let them do what they do, and understand that they don’t need to be sitting at a desk for eight hours every day to do their job. Give them flexibility. 

Sometimes you get lucky and you already have this person in-house. You might even be looking at them over your computer monitor right now. You know this person, you like this person, and, the best thing is, you trust this person. 

So how can you get them trained to do this new social media job? 

Here are some great places to start with social media training:

 

Free

  1. Google SEO and Analytics  
  2. Facebook Advertising 
  3. Instagram for Business
  4. Twitter for Business
  5. How to Use Hootsuite 
  6. Advisor-Centric Social Media Resources  

 

Paid

  1. Basic–Advanced Hootsuite Certifications ($99-$999)
  2. Digital Marketer NanodegreeDigital Marketing NanoDegree ($999)
  3. Boot Camp Digital Social Media Certification ($997)
  4. Advisor-Specific Digital MarketerTraining ($799 with an optional monthly office-hours option for $79/ month)

 

I hope these resources help your social media specialist embark on their role with enthusiasm, creativity, and confidence. Happy learning!