When it comes to using LinkedIn, you want to ensure you’re putting in enough effort to get results, but at the same time, you need a routine to make sure you’re not wandering aimlessly through the interwebs.
We see two ends of the spectrum. Some advisors never log into LinkedIn. Others log in daily for hour-long web-surfing sessions that go nowhere. How do you find the right balance? You need structure. You need a routine.
We included a 10-minute LinkedIn routine in our release of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors. It’s been a few years, so we thought it would be a good time to give it an update. Here are 10 things to do everytime you log in:
1. Check your messages and respond, just like you would with email
Review your inbox for any new connections or messages and respond accordingly. Treat your LinkedIn Inbox the same way you would email. You want to respond promptly and professionally.
2. Check “My Network” for recent activity
Is someone requesting to connect with you? Give this section a quick review every morning. If you’re not sure you want to connect, take a look at their profile and determine if they have prospect or COI potential.
3. Review your notifications and look for opportunities to engage
The notifications section is great for staying up-to-date on your network. You’ll see birthdays, new positions, promotions, comments and reactions on your posts, and more! Spend some real time here. Take a moment each morning to respond to your connections. Don’t use the generic LinkedIn filler text—personalize!
4. Connect with 25 new prospects and deploy a messaging sequence
The underlying reason you are involved on LinkedIn is to expand your network with the right people. Run an advanced search on LinkedIn for people who match your ideal client profile and invite them to connect. Make sure you select “all filters” with the free version of LinkedIn. If you have Sales Navigator, you’ll have even more search features available.
Important—don’t just pitch! The end goal with these people will be to strike up a business conversation, but only when the time is right. For now, create a messaging sequence that focuses on adding value and concludes with requesting a brief phone conversation. If you need help with writing effective prospecting messages, make sure you read The Anatomy of an Effective LinkedIn Prospecting Message.
5. Send personalized connection invitations to people you’ve met recently
Think back to past networking functions, go through a stack of your business cards, review your recent emails and send invitations to connect. Basically, ask yourself “who have I met recently that I should connect to?” Again, don’t forget to personalize the request.
6. Touch-base with a dormant connection
It can be really easy to let your connections become stale. For this reason, find one person every day and shoot them a quick note to touch base and catch-up. Try and keep this message short but personal. For example, “Hey—it’s been a while. Are you free for lunch on Friday?”
7. Find a new introduction opportunity
Our research is clear—personal introductions are one of the highest impact activities that advisors can engage in. Run a search and leverage the “connections of” filter. Next, identify at least one person you would like to meet in real life. Do a little research on them by viewing their profile and running a Google search.
8. Stay top-of-mind by sharing an update
Sharing updates on a regular basis keeps you in front of your connections by showing up in their newsfeed. Share articles you find interesting or other personal updates. Research has shown that long-form posts perform really well. Also, we’ve noticed a trend of people sharing more personal updates. Don’t be afraid to give people a preview into your personal life. After all, business is about personal relationships.
Here’s an example of a personal video post that performed well. We predict that in a year or two personal updates will become the norm on LinkedIn.
9. Make a handful of meaningful comments on your connections’ posts
It’s one thing to post regularly, it’s another to engage with important people in your network. When you engage with others they notice and appreciate it. Also, if you take the time to post a meaningful comment you’ll get much more exposure than you realize.
10. See who’s viewed your profile
If someone looks at your profile, there’s a reason. If it’s a client, maybe they have a referral to give. If it’s a prospect, maybe they are searching for a new advisor. Whenever someone looks at your profile, review their profile and determine if it’s someone with whom you’d like to develop a relationship. If so, ask them to connect!
At first, this routine may take a little longer than 20 minutes, but once you get into the rhythm of doing it regularly—it will be much quicker. This will put more structure around your usage and most importantly—it will ensure you are making the most of your time on the network.
Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are partners with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols www.oechsli.com