We are convinced that the “tribe” you build on LinkedIn will be one of your biggest business assets going forward. Your “tribe” consists of the people you know who have (or have the potential) to positively impact the growth of your business. This is comprised of clients, prospects, COIs, old friends and much more. LinkedIn is the perfect tool to collect your most important relationships, all in one place.
Here are the types of connections we recommend:
People you know well
This consists of both personal and professional people you know. It includes people like clients, COIs, former colleagues, friends, and family members. Make a list of all of these people and search for them on LinkedIn.
People you’ve met and want to know well
These are people with whom you’ve met in person but want to develop a deeper relationship. Some might call these “superficial” connections. It includes people like prospects, networking contacts, and the children of your clients. This strategy is combining your real world networking with online networking. You never want to miss an opportunity to connect.
Also, make sure you take advantage of the Alumni search capabilities within LinkedIn for a list of professionals who went to your university when you did. Find out what they are up to now and rekindle dormant relationships.
People you would like to meet
Inevitably, you will receive connection requests from people you’ve never met. Review his or her profile and determine if this is someone you would like to know. If you would like to know them, accept their invitation to connect and promptly request a conversation to get to know them.
You will also stumble upon people you would like to meet on LinkedIn. Make sure you avoid requesting to connect with a lot of people you don’t know. This can be perceived as spamming. If you are actively searching for people you would like to meet, and find one, focus on getting introduced through a mutual connection if possible.
People you’ve met who love LinkedIn
You’ll find certain people use LinkedIn more than others. You want to connect with other avid users like yourself. These people are often open to connecting to you and understand the LinkedIn culture.
Don’t Build a Network of Competitors
For most advisors, their tribe should not consist of other competing financial professionals. We see this mistake often. Ask yourself the following questions before connecting…
· Is this professional going to give me introductions to my ideal client profile?
· Am I comfortable giving this professional access to my best clients and COIs?
· Do this professional offer competing services?
For the majority of advisors, connecting with other advisors is not going to get them far. Think of your “tribe” as a sacred club, and only let those in who can positively impact your business now or in the future.
Kevin Nichols is a thought-leader with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. Follow him on twitter @KevinANichols  www.Oechsil.com