Hot Button LinkedIn Topics for Financial Advisors - PART 1

LinkedIn is evolving. It’s no longer just the “resume site” of old where people go to find new jobs . It’s where people are going to do their due diligence, get their news and network with prospects and centers of influence.  That said, there are differences in opinion on the use of LinkedIn tools and with it, questions on LinkedIn channel etiquette.  Just this week, I spoke with Mark Hawk of The Investment Center on some of these issues. Here’s a short recap of some of the questions he (and others) recently posed, and my responses:

Should you connect with everyone who sends you a connection request on LinkedIn?
Do what feels right to you, but there are some real benefits to connecting with people on LinkedIn who you may not know or who don’t fit your ideal client profile.  While some people prefer to have a smaller, “quality” network that mimics their client base, there are always going to be friends, family members and former classmates that invite you to connect. And that’s okay – even if it’s not reflective of your niche. That’s because you never know who they might be connected to (remember the whole six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing?).

Once you’re connected with these new individuals, you can sift through their connections to see who they know. If you have a niche or are looking for a CPA, you can use the “Advanced Search” feature to identify specific connections that could aid you in networking.  If you feel uncomfortable accepting their request right away, you can always send a note via LinkedIn Inmail to ask them how they found you and their rationale for inviting you to connect. They might have a planning need that you can fulfill.

What if the person is another advisor and they’re asking you to connect on Linkedin? Should you connect with them?
Maybe. I’d definitely want to know why they’re interested in connecting with you. Given the expertise listed in your profile, you might offer planning services that the advisor doesn’t offer and you could establish a referral partnership. Or, perhaps the advisor is in search of a succession partner and you could be a good candidate for a merger.

If the advisor is a true competitor and offers similar services to you, it’s a good idea to, at a minimum, review their profile and see how they’ve positioned themselves and their practices. If you connect with them, your profile is more likely to be served up on their profile page under “People Similar to…” So if prospects are checking out their profile, you’ll also be viewed as another source of advice.

Again, it doesn’t hurt to send the individual a note to see what their intentions are and how you can help.

Look for tomorrow’s Part-2 installment as Amy shares insight on privacy setting, what to do when someone views your profile, and is LinkedIn just for B2B companies.
Amy Sitnick is the social media contributor for Practically Speaking and also serves as a senior marketing manager for the SEI Advisor Network.

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