Listen as Matt Halloran guides you through LinkedIn 101 — from setting up your profile and adding content to joining groups.
- Headline Help–Maximize the value of your headline
- Backlinking Pro – Integrate all of your digital properties
- Content is King – Master the art of online communication
- 100% Complete – Build the best profile possible
- Introduction To LinkedIn’s New Features – Endorsements, company pages, and sections
Matt S.: Perfect. Thanks, Heather, and welcome everyone to this, our sixth webinar in an ongoing series designed to help you become the expert in the most rapidly growing area of marketing and financial services, social media marketing. This series continues to generate record attendance, and today is no exception. So thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules.
I do know one thing for certain. If you make the investment to learn and implement these strategies into your marketing efforts, you will generate more qualified prospects, and you will do it at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing programs. My name is Matt Sawyer, and today’s program is titled “LinkedIn 101: Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile.”
Now, for those of you who have participated in this series, you may recall that last month our program was “How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Rock.” We received such a flood of great questions regarding LinkedIn profiles in general that we decided to take a step back and cover the basics of maximizing your LinkedIn profile based on your interests and the questions that you submitted.
Now, you will have an opportunity to ask additional questions. Simply type them into the query box at the bottom, right-hand side of your screen. We’ll get to as many of those as time allows.
So to sort of set the stage, you know, a big component of embracing the concept of social media marketing is to look at services that you would not immediately consider marketing sources as an avenue of generating prospects. LinkedIn in my mind is really one of those services. I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. I connect with folks that I used to work with and kind of catch up. I update my skills. But I never really thought of LinkedIn as a lead-generation opportunity.
I want to share with you a couple of statistics that changed my mind about that, and I think they’ll change your mind as well. Incidentally, these are right out of Matt’s book. LinkedIn has over 70 million members in 200 countries worldwide, a huge user base; 41% of the people using LinkedIn for marketing have generated business with it, almost half.
SEO-driven leads have the highest lead to close ratio, which is 15%, among common lead-generation sources. If you compare that to paid search leads, 7%, outbound marketing leads, 2%, you’ve got a much greater likelihood of finding qualified prospects and closing prospects because they are finding you proactively.
From a cost perspective, the average cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing, $143, is about half the average for outbound marketing, the traditional seminars, etc., which comes in at about $373 based on statistics from Econsultancy. So folks, we really can’t afford to dismiss or overlook these statistics as we’re looking to truly grow our practices this year and certainly as we business plan into next year.
So once again, that brings you to our good friend, Matt Halloran. Matt is recognized as one of the best advisor coaches in the nation. He is president of GIVE Strategies, which is directing $1 billion to charity, and he is the president and founder of Top Advisor Coaching. In fact, Matt, anyone who appoints with WealthVest today will receive a free copy of your excellent book, The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors. So with that, thanks so much for being with us once again. The floor is yours.
Matt H.: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well, I’m looking forward to this because what we’re going to do today is we’re going to walk you through from really beginning to end about how to do this stuff. So if you are one of those tech savvy advisors that has two monitors, what I would like for you to do is I’d like for you to keep us on one monitor and then open up your LinkedIn profile on your second monitor; because we can do stuff here in real time, okay. So, Dana, can everybody see my screen all right? She probably put herself on mute.
Matt S.: We can, Matt.
Matt H.: Okay, beautiful. Thanks Matt. So what we’re going to start off with is really right at the beginning. Now, as you all can see, you know, I’m very, very active on my LinkedIn profile. So this is something that I post to on a regular basis.
The way that I post to things on a regular basis is either rebroadcasting stuff from other sources, from other people who I know have already had things compliance approved; so there’s something important, and two, a lot of it just has to do with connections and participation.
We’re going to talk a lot about that, but before you can do any of that you have to start with the absolute beginning. The absolute beginning is this smiling mug right here, okay. So what happens here is you have to have a professional headshot done, professional. Don’t do one of those Facebook pictures in the mirror that you see all the kids do.
Get it done. Get it done well. Get it well-lit. Get a good background. Make you look professional, and make it look like you’re actually enjoying yourself. So many times we’ll have pictures of advisors and agents who look so ridiculously serious or constipated or grumpy, and we can’t have that. We have to have it so that people are looking happy, much like this.
Now, am I too happy? I don’t think so. If any of you have ever met me, you know I’m a very happy guy. So I’m going to be smiling in my picture because I want it to be memorable. Who is that goofy guy with the cheesy grin with the bald head? That’s what I want people to remember. Part of that is they make a very strong connection with you when they can see your picture; okay, really, really important.
The other thing is make sure that you’re wearing colors and your background flatters what you’re wearing. Again, if you don’t have these things considered right now, whether they’re on your website, whether they’re on your brochures, whether they’re on your business cards, please reassess what your picture looks like. Because you know what, it speaks louder than anything else on your profile. Okay, so please make sure you have a good picture.
Crystal talked about last week how you should have a distinct background. As you can see, my background is quite distinct. It actually kind of looks like I’ve got a halo around me, which is quite nice. For those of you who do know me, I’m very saintly, so that works out very, very well. But again, it’s very well-lit. My face pops. I’ve got a smile on my face. My eyes are bright. That’s what you should be looking at, really, really important.
So when you’re going to be screwing with your profile, which is what we’re going to do today, and I’m going to show you some of the hidden techniques on using keywords so that you show up in searches better. There are some things that LinkedIn has allowed you to do, but they don’t really tell you about. That’s one of the other pieces we’re going to start with, which is this part right here, which is your title and your headline.
So what we need to do here is we’re going to work on editing the profile. Now, I’ve done all of this, but I can show you all how it works. So you go up here to Profile and go to Edit Profile. This is what comes up. You’re going to see absolutely everything here, and you’re going to see all of these little, itty-bitty things. In fact, you know, I’m going to zoom my screen in a little bit more so you can see it a little bit better.
You’re going to see all of these little things where it says Edit here. There’s an Edit there. You know, I can edit all of these different pieces here. We’re going to start off by editing this top, gray box because this is your commercial. This is your attention grabber. This is what’s going to make people want to know more. If this part of your profile is not complete and is not cool and is not descriptive of what you do, then you’re really going to be missing a lot of opportunity.
So we’re going to click here and say Edit. Now as you can see here, it looks very, very simple. Please make sure that your display name is actually your full name. This section here where it says Last Name is where you have the opportunity to increase what is said here, right? So you could have Matthew Halloran, CFP, CLU, ChFC, you know, impassioned financial services professional, macroeconomic advisor. This is where you put this. This is your big picture piece where you’re going to have the opportunity to really get people’s attention.
It’s after your last name. Always make sure you put a comma. So for those of you who have that second screen up, I really hope that you’re doing some of this stuff right now. Put your last name, comma, and then any of your designations or titles or catchy things. I like it when you’re descriptive there. This is a great opportunity for you to be as specific as you possibly can be on that big banner headline, all right.
But then you have your professional headline. This is where you can get rather verbose, right. Take this opportunity because as you can see on my profile here, I have a lot of stuff here: Director of National Development for GIVE Strategies, you know. Then I talk about what GIVE Strategies is. President of Top Advisor Coaching, I talk about what Top Advisor Coaching is.
I have, you know, testimonials, which actually are obviously difficult for you guys, but it’s a lot easier for those of us who are not in the industry. I’m being a keynote speaker, and by the way, we are going to address that and also the fact that I’m an author.
I have added some modules to my profile, which when we get into the next webinar we’re going to do advanced LinkedIn stuff. We’re going to talk about SlideShare presentations. We’re going to talk about your publications. We’re going to talk about how to do feeds. We’re going to do all of that in the next webinar. This right here, LinkedIn 101: What do you need right now to make your LinkedIn profile the best you possibly can be?
So let’s get back to this. This is what we’re talking about right here, right, which is your banner headline. As you can see, man, I can put an enormous amount of stuff here, lots and lots and lots of stuff. As you can see, look at what they’ve done here. They’ve actually put you down, you know; here are examples.
Talk about the fact that you’re experienced. Say that you’ve been in the financial planning or financial services, insurance business, whatever. Say you’ve been in it for 15 years, 20 years. This is where you put it. It’s very, very, very powerful to have that sort of statement here. It shows mastery. It shows confidence. It shows that you are important and you are somebody people should listen to.
Everybody on this call, almost 400 people who registered for this call, obviously want to elevate themselves above their competition, and your professional headline is one of the best places that you can do this.
You also want to be very specific if you’re a regional person like I am. Our national office for GIVE Strategies is in the Washington, D.C. metro area. It is actually in Rockville, Maryland, but nobody knows where Rockville, Maryland is. Everybody knows where D.C. is, right?
Industry, now this is where it gets a little bit weird because you have to choose from what they say here, right? You can’t add anything. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to scroll up here. I’m hoping that’s not making people dizzy because it’s making me a little dizzy. Then you’re going to click here with Financial Services, right.
Now, as per SEC and FINRA rules, this is the industry that you’re supposed to say you’re involved in, just so you know, because we need to tag our profiles so that if they do an audit they can find you rather quickly. Even if you’re your own RIA or you aren’t governed by any sort of governmental body, please put the fact that you’re in financial services because it also makes it easier for people to find you, especially if they’re going to be doing location-based searches. That’s what we want to be able to do.
Now, I have a premium account. Well, it makes a lot of sense why I would have a premium account because, you know, I present on social media all the time. This does open up some more doors for me. I can communicate to people that I don’t know easier. There’s something called InMails, which is almost like a direct mail piece. They don’t give you a lot of them, but you can purchase them. It also gives me some higher advanced search opportunities, and that’s important.
Now, here’s the other piece that I really want you to do. Please make sure that you’re included in the Openlink Network because the Openlink Network is this big picture piece that is outside of LinkedIn, but it also shows you what it can do. Look, people can talk to you for a job opportunity or for a free consultation without an introduction or email, so this gives them an opportunity to communicate with you more effectively. So please make sure that you go to that. Okay, so make sure you click on that.
All right, so we’re going to go back and we’re going to take a look at what we’ve done here. So I’ve got the super great photo. I’ve got, you know, this wonderful, big, bold piece here that really talks to people about who I am. I’ve got my headline to tell people exactly what I do, who I am, right, which is this piece here, what I do, where I’m at, all right? So we want to make sure that all of those pieces are in place.
Now, it’s interesting because LinkedIn is going to continually ask you to improve your profile, all right. But when you’re at 100% profile completeness, which is what your goal is, your goal is to have your profile 100% complete. Because if it is not 100% complete, then you’re missing a vital piece into what LinkedIn offers to their clients and also in helping people find you, all right.
So here’s another really neat thing that I’m going to touch on, and then we’re going to go back to what needs to go in some of the different areas. This part right here is going to be another LinkedIn presentation that we’re going to do talking about advertising on LinkedIn. Because these ads that are here are from people who are within LinkedIn who have targeted me specifically because of what’s on my profile that I am somebody that they want to market to.
So the more complete you can be with all of this stuff here and what we’re going to start scrolling down with, that is what’s going to help people be able to find you, market to you, and in turn, you want to be able to use that to market to them.
Now, the summary is a powerful piece because this is the second thing that people see, all right. So you want make sure that you’re being very, very specific and engaging here. This is your story. So I know who I am, what I do. Now they’re going to find out a little bit more about why I do it. Why is this important?
With me, you know, my background has always been with nonprofit organizations, which is why I work with GIVE Strategies in the way that I do. The fact that I’ve been involved with social media since MySpace was the place to be, that’s another big piece that I have. The fact that I coach and consult financial services professionals, that’s what I have going on here. You know, our big picture is to redirect a billion dollars to charity. That gets people’s attention. In fact, I have people who talk to me about that on a regular basis.
Now, when you have your specialties, this is another really powerful thing. If you don’t have your specialties, if you don’t know what specialties you should put on here, find and go to other top producers in your general agency, in your broker-dealer, or people that you know, and look to see what they’ve put there, right.
So if you’re a financial services professional, I’m going to go ahead and bring up somebody who I know will allow me to use his profile. So this is a client of mine, incredibly successful financial services professional. Look at how powerful his summary is: awards, Financial Advisor Magazine. Look at his specialties. This is actually what he does. This is what he does.
So this is very, very, very succinct. It tells about who he is, gives you a little bit more about his wonderful wife Donna and Karsten, their son, who’s growing like a weed right now; the fact that he’s a huge Ohio State football fan, right, 100 games. This allows your clients to connect with you and prospects to connect with you. If somebody really wants to know who’s really super-duper hip on Buckeye football, you can do that in advanced searches.
So as you can see, his face pops, good picture, professionally done. It really does say what he is. He’s the president of this organization. It’s a very, very, very good profile.
So we’re going to go back to mine now, and we’re going to talk about what you need to do. So make sure that you’ve got something catchy here that’s going to get people’s attention, and use keywords. I have embedded a lot of keywords in my summary, okay. Not only have I embedded keywords here, but I have also embedded keywords throughout this.
Look, nonprofit organizations, right; helping others, right? Here we go; financial services professionals and charities, again, nonprofits, right? Trusts, because the program that I represent, which is one of the two major business opportunities that I have, we do charitable remainder unitrusts. So I built all of these into my summary because it helps people find me that much more, all right.
Now, here’s something that is unfortunate for all of you who are regulated in any way, shape, or form by FINRA is you can’t have recommendations. Now we’re going to talk about that a little bit more because LinkedIn just decided to do something that is a little bit frustrating, which is down here, and I’m going to show this to you real quick, which is this, which is endorsements.
We’re going to have to talk about how you’re actually going to turn that off because you’re technically not allowed to even have endorsements at this point because they think it’s a testimonial. But as you can see, I’ve got a bunch of testimonials. I actively get those mostly because I can. But what you want to do here is in your experience you can have, as you can see here, more than one present position. So I’ve been the director of national development for GIVE Strategies, and I’ve also been the president of Top Advisor Coaching, which I’m both of those as of right now.
I would recommend that you all, if you’re involved with a board of directors, if you volunteer somewhere, if you are actively involved with, I don’t know, your kids’ sports, you can put this on your experience because, again, this gives you a very, very well-rounded opportunity to seriously have people find you. That’s the power of social media. That’s the power of LinkedIn is not only can you find people, but you can also have people find you.
Very few people are going to type into this search area up here insurance advisor because most people aren’t going to look on a LinkedIn search like this to find an insurance agent. What they’re going to do is they’re going to go through your connections of people who are friends of yours, and they’re going to find all of these different people. So here are all the different people that I’m connected with. So I’ve got over, what do I have now, 1,200 and some odd connections.
So these people, right, are all going to be people if I wanted to find out a little bit more. Like here’s a great example, Matt Ackerman, online editor and chief of Financial Planning Magazine. So let’s say I wanted to try to get into Financial Planning Magazine, but I didn’t have Matt as a connection.
Well, I’m going to go find somebody who I know has been in Financial Planning Magazine. I’m going to look at their LinkedIn profile, and I’m going to find out who their connections are. That’s how I’m going to get referrals, which leads me to why you want a lot of connections.
The more connections you have, the more powerful your profile looks and the easier it’s going to be for people to refer business to you. My connections alone have gotten me more business because I actively pursue people in the financial services industry to connect, to be able to download what I offer and what I say, because I think it’s very, very important to be able to cast as wide of a net as I possibly can.
Now we’re going to keep talking about keywords here. As you can see here, look, I talk about who I work with, what’s the difference between what I do, right? You know, so real quick, using my information here as a sales pitch to Top Advisor, because if you haven’t figured it out, that’s what these things are for.
This is how you pitch what you do. Take advantage of it. Any chance you can get to pitch who you are and what you do and what makes you different, take it. Grab hold of it. LinkedIn gives you multiple opportunities. Look. Let’s just look at this row, one opportunity, two opportunities, three opportunities; now, in everything you’ve ever done, your fourth opportunity, plus the great content that you can provide. So take the opportunity.
Top Advisor, specifically, everybody always wants to be like somebody else. Then they get to a point in their career where they’ve had that consultant, they’ve had that coach, they’ve tried to emulate other people, and they realize that they just truly want somebody to help them be their best. That’s what Top Advisor Coaching is, right.
GIVE Strategy, we help people, you know, has applicability to insurance professionals, right? This is the big thing. Now, since this is number one, it actually has more information, but you can see here how I do this. Look, kerblammo, it’s all over the place: advertisement, advertisement, my experience, why you should work with me.
Here are all the other people who actually have, you know, if they’ve looked at my profile, they look at other people’s profiles. All of those people, surprisingly enough, are actually within my network, so they found those people through my profile. Now, if you have a lot of publications, this is an add-on that you can put on. We’re going to talk about that in the actual advanced LinkedIn session; because these are all the different articles that I’ve written for Financial Planning Magazine online.
Now we’re going to take pause because we need to talk about this. LinkedIn is very ambitious, if you haven’t really figured that out. So what they want to do is they want to be able to advertise you as much as they possibly can. So as you can see here, they’ve created something called endorsements. Well, as you all know, an endorsement is basically a testimonial. So what you need to do is you need to be able to go in and turn off your endorsements. I will show you how to do that here in just a minute.
I also want you to talk about your education. If you have education, which most of you have, if you got an associate’s degree, put it here. If you have a master’s degree, put it here. If you have any sort of degree, any sort of education, CFP, CLU, ChFC, put it here in your education; because especially if you have like your CLU, ChFC or CFP, or LUTCF, any of those, you got those from American College most likely. American College is a recognized university, and you’re going to see that here.
So here are the recommendations, which again I’m going to skip over that because you guys aren’t allowed to do that. Now we’re going to talk about additional information because one of the questions that we’ve gotten before the call is: How do you link your website to your LinkedIn profile? Now we’re going to go back to Edit Profile here. I’m going to scroll back down. We’re going to get to this, okay.
So I’m going to edit this additional information. So always choose Other. Crystal talked about this last time. Always choose Other because then you can tailor this. Don’t ever let this be the canned standard thing that’s on LinkedIn like company website. Always change it, so always choose Other. You can have up to three.
For me, I’m going to have the GIVE Strategy website, my Top Advisor Coaching website, and if you want to order the book. A lot of the stuff that we’re going to be going over today and in subsequent webinars and also the webinars that you can get access to through the WealthVest website, all of this stuff is contained in some way, shape, or form in The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors.
Interests, please put interests. Put interests down that are true interests of yours. Who are you? What makes you tick? What other connection points can I have from you? You know, this gives me a great opportunity because here’s the important thing: When we start soliciting connections on LinkedIn, I can find out very quickly who you are, what you like, and what you do.
If I send you a LinkedIn message that’s tailored, which you need to do for connection requests, you can reference something in that person’s interests or groups and associations or honors and awards. You know, if I’m scrolling through somebody’s profile and I find out that they’re a navy vet and that they were also in the first Gulf War like I was, you’re darn right I’m going to talk to them about that.
I see you and I were in the same Persian Gulf excursion together. I also noticed that, you know, you have your National Defense Medal, which means that they were active duty during the first war. So you know what? That’s a great connection point, all right. So always put that stuff here.
Always put different groups and associations that you feel very, very strong about. I happen to be very, very passionate about something called the Wounded Warrior Project, right. I personally believe that if somebody volunteers to die for their country and they come back and they’re injured that we should do anything we possibly can to help them because they did something most other people don’t do, which is to volunteer.
All of that gives me great talking points to be able to talk to other people, to be able to make connections and make deeper connections that they’re going to want to make a connection with me because I’m being very transparent, okay.
We’re going to continue to scroll down because there’s another big piece here that’s important, which is groups. This is how you are going to make your most connections, and I love groups. Groups are brilliant. Whoever came up with this sort of idea on LinkedIn I think should hopefully when LinkedIn had their IPO that they got a huge part of that because these groups are really powerful. I’ll show you why in just a second.
So let’s say we’re going to go to, let’s see, we’ll go to a public group here, Financial Advisor Network. So I’m going to go through here. I’m going to go up to My Groups. You know what? Let’s go to Independent Life and Health Insurance. Let’s actually go there because this is really fantastic. So I asked to be in this group. There isn’t a little lock here, which means that it is an open group. So as you connect, right, you are going to be immediately led in.
But I want to show you how incredible this is because what you’re going to see right off the bat is there are 8,000 people in this group. This gives me the opportunity as a coach and as a consultant and as a writer and a person who’s working with a charitable strategy to communicate to all of these people, all right.
What I’m going to recommend for all of you is you find groups in your area, okay, so whether it’s your local chamber, local rotary, whether it’s a BNI group or whether it’s a networking group. So there are 460 members in the Kalamazoo—I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan. So you know, I’ve got access to 460 people who are in my area who are also on LinkedIn looking to connect. You have these in every city, guaranteed. What’s really neat is a lot of these people meet in person, so you can press the flesh and really get your name and what you do out there, all right.
So you need to get involved with groups. You can be involved in up to 50 groups. I would highly recommend that you find 50 of them. If you see all of my groups here, mine are very tailored obviously to what I do. You know, we actually have a relationship with this organization. These are my organizations. Financial planning is important.
But let’s scroll down because there’s a couple here. Yeah, I’m a speaker so I’m involved with the National Speakers Association, philanthropic organizations. I happen to be a very, very large supporter of the American Cancer Society. Again, this rounds out my brand, everybody. So this shows you that I am very, very focused. I focus on the financial services industry, who are generally charitably inclined people, okay, who really want to make a difference. That’s what I focused on here.
I want you to find that niche within groups too, but again to really round my brand, right, I have the fact that I’m a vet, something I’m very proud of, the fact that I’m a speaker, right, the fact that these are organizations that I like to be involved with. So you need to find these groups, and it’s very easy to find these groups because all you have to do is type into the search bar.
The search bar is an incredibly robust tool. You need to be able to just type stuff in. As you can find, let’s also go for one of the local organizations here, Stryker. So you can see here, these are all of the people who worked at Stryker. Stryker’s in my hometown, so if I wanted to nest within Stryker, which by the way I’m going to highly recommend that you do, right, nesting; find a company, nest; LinkedIn is a great way to do it. Look, I can also get myself nested within the company because look, I can actually start following the company.
Here’s the best part. After you get your LinkedIn profile set up, and we’re going to go back to a little bit more of that, look at this. Here’s what they’re hiring. Total hiring, that’s fantastic, right? Here are your different careers. Oh my gosh, look at this. These are people who are involved that I can connect with right away.
Look, I can view the employees, dump-dump-dum. Oh my gosh, there are 9,000 Stryker employees on LinkedIn! Look at all these leads that I have. Look at all these prospects I’ve got. This is the power of LinkedIn that so few of you are using to the greatest level, okay.
Now okay, one of the other big questions is content is king, and you have to make sure that you are going to produce and talk about things that people want to hear about. You have to make sure that all of this stuff is approved. Now, this is going to sound like a very, very strong endorsement. I’m going to be honest with you. It’s because it is.
I got involved with WealthVest many, many years ago. Then Wade Dokken and Lincoln Collins gave me a call and said, “Hey, we’re creating this idea. This guy came to us; Cameron came to us with this idea. It’s called AdvisorDeck. What AdvisorDeck is going to be is it’s going to be this one-stop shop for people to distribute information across their profiles, across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, plus a blog roll, plus a website that’s optimized in all this stuff.”
I was like, “Yeah, right, whatever. Everybody’s talking about wanting to do that, you know? Good luck. I will consult you, but you guys are years off, years off with that technology.” Well, they weren’t years off. Dear god, they were knocking at the door. So when everybody’s so concerned about good content that they can spin out, AdvisorDeck has that for you. In fact, one of the things that Cameron had said to me previously is this is like the iTunes of content for all of you; plus, it’s like the iTunes of inbound marketing opportunities for you.
I can’t believe that all 300 and some odd people who registered for this call haven’t already immediately appointed with WealthVest to be able to take advantage of this because there is not anything else out there like it. There are companies who are trying to get to the level of AdvisorDeck, but nobody has gotten close. Of course, I wouldn’t really affiliate with one of them that wasn’t 100% because I’m not going to throw my name and face behind that because I truly believe what they do is unbelievable.
They also have some people who can help you, you know, with building the website, with making sure that you have good content there. Then we use that content to be able to help you build a good LinkedIn profile, okay. This is unbelievably powerful to be able to have one-stop shop, to be able to spin all of your material to your LinkedIn profile, Facebook, and then Twitter, right. Because you’re right, content is key. Content is important, and you have to be putting content out on a regular basis.
Now, if we look through here, you’re going to see that there are some people—oh look, Cameron, that’s interesting; I was just talking about him—you know, being able to put out content on a regular basis, right. You really want to make sure that you’re showing up in this timeline on a regular basis. As we’ve been talking, I’ve already gotten three new updates. Actually, I got way more than three more updates, right?
But here’s the other really cool thing. It shows you how many connections you have, which in turn means how many connections you’re actually connected to, all right. So just to sum up, then we’re going to have questions. I talked to the folks at WealthVest. I wanted to make sure that I had lots of time for questions.
So what you want to do, keys, keys, keys: Number one, make sure that your big picture title here is exactly, you know, basically who you are, okay. Then you want to have it be what you do and then an expansion on what you do here in your summary. Make sure that you’re very, very complete. Make sure if somebody wants to give you a testimonial or endorsement you actually turn that off because that’s not good. You want to make sure that you’re being very, very covered. You also want to get to the point of 100% completeness.
Now, how do you get to 100% completeness very, very quickly? Number one, you need to have education, interests, groups, all of your title stuff, all of that, your summary. You need to have every category filled out, and then you will start gaining more and more completeness. Now, it’s always going to ask you how you want to improve your profile. Always listen to that.
Let’s just see what LinkedIn is telling me I need to do. So where else did I attend school? Well, I listed all my schools, so I’m going to skip that, all right. Who else was the author to this? Well, nobody; I’m the one who actually wrote that. So anyway, you can see it’s going to continue to ask you to do this so that you can improve your profile. The more improvements that you make, the more often you’re going to show up in your timeline here, all right.
Let’s see; I wanted to go over headline help. Oh, backlinking, making sure that you’re putting links in. The World Wide Web works by actually making connections, so you want to have as many backlinks as you possibly can; so taking it from LinkedIn and driving the business to your website or to an event or to a marketing program.
For me, as you can see, you know, I backlink all the time to promote my book or the fact that we were just published in the European Financial Review on social media. I’m going to do a lot of those backlinks because the more interlinking traffic I can have, the higher that I’m going to go in search engine optimization and also opportunities in Google searches, Bing searches, and all of those other things because I’ve got so many different connections. So we talked about that.
How do you master the art of online communication with content? You need to outsource it, everybody. Don’t try to do all of this on your own because it is incredibly labor intensive and time consuming if you try to do it on your own. Make sure you’re 100% complete, and make sure that you are focusing on getting into as many groups as you can that are applicable to prospecting the people that you want to prospect to.
So with that, I’ve got about 20 minutes left for questions. I hope that’s more than enough. I’m going to turn this over to Dana to start working through the questions.
Dana: Sounds great. Thanks, Matt. I’m actually getting questions from all over. One of them that I think we should address immediately is: Can you show everybody how to hide their endorsements? I think you were going to go over that and then we got a tiny bit sidetracked, so maybe start with that one, if you would.
Matt H.: So what you’re going to do is you’re going to go to Edit Profile, Skills & Expertise, right. Then you’re going to—uh-oh, I’m going to apologize because you know what, Dana? They changed this since we talked again. When did we talk, Tuesday?
Dana: Yeah, we did.
Matt H.: They actually changed this again. What did they do? Because this is where we turned it off.
Dana: You can actually delete them, Matt, off one by one.
Matt H.: Yeah, okay.
Dana: So if you see under conference, that’s the new way.
Matt H.: Okay, yeah, that looks like what they did.
Dana: Then click Save Changes, if you would. Yeah, so if you go through—
Matt H.: Yeah, you know what the frustrating thing about that is, Dana, is that means that I’m not going to be able to highlight a lot of those too. You know what’s crazy? Actually, they got a whole bunch of push back from that. So yeah, so Dana’s correct. Please, you have to actually go through these and click on the X and remove them from your profile. That seems to be the only way. Goodness gracious, they’re making this tricky for us in this industry.
Dana: They are. Matt, I do have a question about I know some folks were talking about the Openlink Network. Can you just reiterate the fact that I believe that is a premium feature which you have to upgrade for, but for a lot of folks that is something that is well worth the, I think, $20 or whatever the amount is.
Matt H.: Yeah, I only have the business account. So I spend—what do I spend? I spend like 19 bucks a month, 17 bucks a month, which is really, really powerful. So yeah, thank you for bringing that up. I spaced on that. But you can build this up unless you’re a recruiter; I don’t really think you need this. But this is how you’re going to get to all of the different pieces, as you can see here.
Dana: Which is allowing you to receive and send the InMail, and I believe you also are able to see who’s been searching for you, which is a fun and interesting feature as well.
Matt H.: Right. That’s good because then I can find out, and in fact Crystal and I talk about this all the time, that if you go back to my profile I’ve been viewed by 11 people. Some of you are probably on the webinar right now, so I’m actually not going to bring that up specifically.
But you know, with that, if I noticed that somebody’s viewed my profile more than once, I absolutely reach out to them: You know, hey, I noticed that you had been looking at my profile on LinkedIn. I was wondering if it would be helpful if I could answer more questions for you over the phone. You’d be amazed at how many people will actually take you up on that phone call.
Dana: All right, Matt, I’m going to try to get through as many questions as I can here. Number one: How do I improve engagement on social media and how best to take people from a LinkedIn contact to a warm lead to an actual client?
Matt H.: Okay, it’s all about asking for the business. LinkedIn is the place for business, okay. I can’t stress that enough. LinkedIn is the place for business. People are on LinkedIn because they want to do business, all right. So when you find people, ask them for business. After you find them and you want to connect with them, go for it, okay.
Let me go ahead and go back here. Your communication, right, all of this stuff here is probably not going to get you engagement, okay. But your smiling face that shows up in people’s timeline on a regular basis is going to keep you more top of mind. That’s why you need to post frequently, post with good content that’s meaningful content.
If somebody likes your posts—so let’s go back to my thing because this actually just happened; so let’s see, which one was it? So this post here, two people liked this post, right? So I’m going to look and see who it was. Those are the two people who liked it.
So I can reach out to them right away. “Hey Tom, how’re you doing? I noticed that you liked the book. Does that mean you bought the book? You know, are there any questions after you read the book that I can answer for you?” That’s the sort of stuff that can be really, really powerful and great for engagement to turn people from prospects into clients.
Dana: All right, Matt, they say here: How do I connect LinkedIn to my webpage?
Matt H.: Ah, okay, so that’s going to be something when you’re in your Edit Profile page, okay. You go and you scroll down. I showed this. I’m sorry, mine is rather long so give me a second. Where it says Additional Information, you click on Edit. Then that will bring these up, so that’s how you can link your webpage to your LinkedIn page. What that means though, please understand this, is that’s not two-way API communication, okay, or RSS feed communication.
Now, that might be a little bit advanced, but when you post something on your website, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to go to LinkedIn. But most website companies, including AdvisorDeck, can do this too, is you can actually when things are posted on your LinkedIn page, it can go through what’s called an API feed that goes to AdvisorDeck and also through other website plugins, just so you know. But it’s generally from LinkedIn to that. You can do the same thing with Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds.
Dana: Matt, I’m sorry to go back. Someone is looking for clarification. They’re saying: Do I want to delete a skill or just someone who says, “Steve is a great guy”? So I think the point was that in order to not have to deal with that, you do have delete all of those skills so those endorsements do not show up.
Matt H.: That is correct. Crystal and I were talking earlier this week. Crystal is the one who wrote the LinkedIn section of the book. I mean, obviously, we worked on it together. But you know, I had asked her if she had seen anything from FINRA, and they have not addressed endorsements at all.
But most broker-dealers have come out—that’s just kind of the world that I live in—I know a lot of general agencies and insurance companies have come out and said that please do not accept anything along the lines of endorsements or recommendations. Please either delete them or turn them off.
Dana: Got it. I’m going to say something that I know is going to be a future webinar, Matt. Someone asks here: How can we set up the professional page? I think what they’re saying is a company LinkedIn page. How can we keep the information up to date and professional all the time? I will caveat that and say that is absolutely our next webinar. If you want to address it quickly, please do.
Matt H.: Well again, I think what’s the most important piece is most people who are on the phone if they’re solo shops with just an assistant, we want to make sure that they’re doing as much delegation as they possibly can. But yes, we will talk about how to set up the company page, is what it’s called, and the company profile and what that really looks like.
But please understand that you need to make sure you’re covering your keister when it comes to whatever compliance governing body that you have. Like even if you’re independent per se, you want to make sure that you’re putting things on there that aren’t going to raise any hackles. But yeah, that’ll be the next one. In fact, Dana, we should probably just start, you know, talking about that now.
I think the next webinar that we need to do on LinkedIn, you know, is going to be Advanced LinkedIn Techniques, you know, when it talks about a little bit more optimization pieces, maybe dive in a little bit more with groups. Then also I want to open up, and I don’t have time to do that today, my AdvisorDeck account, and we might want to get Cameron on to talk about those backlinks and stuff like that.
Dana: Absolutely. I’m sorry to bounce around. These questions are coming in rapid fire here. If recommendations are not allowed, how do they expect prospective clients to do their due diligence?
Matt H.: Oh god, you know what? That’s probably the best question I think I’ve actually ever had on one of these. You know what? You can’t. You know, I mean it’s brutal what they do.
When MySpace was big, I used to follow a whole bunch of doctors and stuff like that because I was just kind of learning how the system worked back then. They were giving free medical advice all the time, and some of it was questionable, right. I mean goodness gracious, you know, “You should take 18,000 mg of vitamin C a day to be healthy.” I mean people die from that.
They’re allowed to put that stuff on with no problem, but if somebody has the audacity to say that you’re actually good at what you do as a financial services professional, that that can be construed as negative. It’s so frustrating, but FINRA has taken such a firm stance on the simple fact that there can’t be any endorsement, any testimonials, it just makes it difficult. So the way that you do this is through your content engagement. That’s how you’re going to get people to understand who you are and get a better idea on what your philosophy is on what you do for a living. Great question.
Dana: All right, Matt, let’s see. Is there a correct way to provide content to potential local groups or clients, you know, with proper etiquette in mind?
Matt H.: Okay, so that’s one of the reasons why I say that you should outsource this because very few people who are on this call today are professional writers. So get involved with a professional writer, all right. AdvisorDeck has that built into their platform where you can not only get personalized, individualized stuff written on your behalf that will be very easy to get compliance approved or preapproved compliance material. That’s the stuff that I want to recommend.
There is an etiquette, and you will be blasted very quickly if you don’t follow that etiquette. In fact, I got blasted very, very badly when LinkedIn, and I’ll show you this very quickly, they created groups, okay. So the Life Insurance Professionals is a great group. You can see here it says Promotions and Discussions, right?
So what I ended up doing is in a discussion I put a promotion, and I got hammered. “This is a promotion. I’m going to kick you out of the group.” So you need to make sure that you are following the rules. But here’s the deal. It’s pretty descriptive, what’s the difference between a discussion and a promotion, right, even though people do blur the lines. But outsource that. Please don’t try to do this stuff yourself.
You will all hear this from me all the time. Social media should take you 15 minutes twice a day to be able to maintain. It’s even less than that. It’s 15 minutes a day if you outsource it. If you truly try to write all of this yourself, then you’re going to be spending hours. It’s a time suck, and you should be actually hammering the phones or asking for referrals.
Dana: Matt, to add on to that, I saw something interesting just a few days ago. They said, and this is more about when you ask somebody for a connection, when you ask to link, when they do connect with you to write them a personal note of thanks. I thought that that was something that was a new and insightful piece of information, at least to me.
Matt H.: You need to separate yourself from the herd, right? I mean you need to make it so that people understand that you’re paying attention. So that’s fantastic. Make sure it’s not a solicitation. Make sure it’s a thank you.
Dana: Then here’s an interesting one. I apologize if it’s been asked here. Let’s see. Importing contacts for use in LinkedIn, can you show that on the Add Connections page?
Matt H.: Yeah. Here’s the deal. This is kind of messed up. LinkedIn’s connections get jacked up all the time, so you might not actually be able to see. It might say that there’s an error. Hold on. Oh, no, it actually brings it up.
Okay, first off, I want you to see that you can also export your connections to an Excel spreadsheet, which is really powerful. But if you just go ahead and do the Add Connections, it’ll walk you through a bunch of screens, right. As you can see here, you can import them from any of these, all right. That’s how you do it. Then you just say continue.
Dana: Sounds good, thank you.
Matt H.: Yup, not a problem.
Dana: We did address this, but you know, give us your kind of final word: Is the premium account necessary, something that you really recommend?
Matt H.: You know what? I do. I do because the advanced search and what you can see with people viewing your profile, you know, being able to have the opportunity to connect more freely with people. You know, it’s a business expense. It’s not too much of a business expense. I think it’s well worth it. It changed the way that I interacted with LinkedIn and what I was able to see and what I was able to do.
Dana: Nice. Then I’m going to have a final question here, Matt, and then a little bit of some additional information. An advisor asks: What should I be posting?
Matt H.: Okay, great question. So again, you can create the material yourself. If you want to talk about, you know, very, very specific techniques, you’ve got to be really careful about that because, you know, do you want to talk about politics? You’ve got to be careful with that. Do you want to talk about sports scores? Well, you’ve got to be careful with that because LinkedIn is the place for business.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to outsource this. Guys, I can’t stress that enough. Just get the AdvisorDeck free, whatever that they have. I’m sure Matt Sawyer can talk to you a little more about that before we run out of time. You guys need to take a look at this because social media is starting to get big in our industry. It’s been big outside of our industry for a really long time.
People are starting to use this for advertising, and they’re using it very poorly. I believe that using something like the AdvisorDeck platform with all of the different bells and whistles that they have, which is unbelievable, that you can maximize your use and time and post meaningful content that’s going to drive inbound marketing.
I don’t want you to just post tripe. Okay, don’t do it. Post good, meaningful things that you think your clients would like to read. If you have a market commentary or a weekly newsletter, that’s what you post on LinkedIn. You don’t have to post 19 times a day. You can post the same thing two or three times within a week, and that’s entirely acceptable. So that’s how you’re going to be able to post meaningful content: One, outsource it; two, you can repurpose it more than once.
Dana: Okay, one final question and then a little blurb here. Matt, is premium different than business account?
Matt H.: Oh yeah, I mean absolutely. Just look at the difference between those two, and I mean I can bring it up again. You know, I have the premium account, which is what they call the business account now, because this is my current account, okay. But if you really want to look at every single solitary piece, I mean look at all of this stuff. Look, it even recommends what you would do for sales professionals, right. So LinkedIn’s being slow. I was worried about that.
Dana: I believe it did used to be called the premium version, didn’t it, Matt? Then they’ve kind of renamed it.
Matt H.: That’s right.
Dana: Matt, thank you, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for answering all the questions. All of those folks who have been on the call today, all of those folks who have registered for the call will be receiving a “LinkedIn for Financial Professionals,” you know, what I’ll call a white paper.
It addresses account setup, profile improvements, skills and expertise, mastering connections, and some LinkedIn extras. So I’m excited to share that with all of you. It’s divided up into some nice chapters, and we think it’s a pretty robust paper with some screenshots for those folks that are sort of more visually oriented as well.
With that, Matt Sawyer—
Matt S.: Yes, mam.
Dana: I’m hoping you can just give us a quick wrap up.
Matt S.: Well, as always, Matt, an absolutely tremendous job; Dana, you did an awesome job as well, so thank you very much for that. You know, to wrap up today’s webinar I’d like to mention just one final item. So as we look at our calendar once again, tomorrow’s November 1. We have two months until the end of 2012. So I know like a lot of intelligent business professionals, we’re sitting down; we’re doing our business plans for 2013. We want to be part of your plan.
WealthVest offers some very strong lead-generation platforms designed to help you grow your business. Now, you all know about AdvisorDeck. We’ve being doing webinars monthly to show you how important AdvisorDeck and social media marketing will be to your practice. I will say for a fact that WealthVest is simply the leader in social media marketing strategies.
If you haven’t done so yet, you’ve got to consider how you’re going to incorporate these strategies in 2013 and beyond. Let us help you. We developed AdvisorDeck for you to drive inbound prospects, and we’ve got an entire area here dedicated to walk you through from start to finish and make you the experts in social media marketing. It is turnkey and it’s ready to go.
So as you’re examining which strategic relationships you take into 2013, please consider expanding your relationship with us. We’ve got a very experienced team of marketing and social media professionals. We can help you implement these strategies, take your business to the next level, and increase your production next year. So our phone number, 877-595-9325; 877-595-9325.
Call us and let’s discuss how we can compete for a portion of your business in 2013 and help you implement some of these vital strategies that are increasing in importance as the years go on. Certainly, 2013 we expect to be a big year. So with that, thank you so much for taking time. We will talk to you next month.