Crystal Thies, also known as the LinkedIn Ninja, crushed it. Attendees at last Friday's Advisors4Advisors webinar gave Ms. Thies a 4.9-star rating and rave reviews for her tips about how a financial advisors should optimize their LinkedIn profile for search engines as well as how to optimize the way you use of LinkedIn to obtain new clients.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding prospective clients, but few financial advisors take advantage of its capabilities. The social networ is a “treasure map” for locating valuable prospects, according to Thies, founder and CEO of Crystal Clear Buzz LLC, and the woman with the audacity to market herself The LinkedIn Ninja, and the chops to live up to her billing.
This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only
Thies, known as the LinkedIn Ninja, is a former financial advisor and coauthor of The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Build and Grow Your Business. In a highly rated webinar for Advisors4Advisors, Thies unveiled some of the key elements of using LinkedIn strategically to locate and attract high-quality clients.
Going Deep With Advanced Search
To illustrate the depth of LinkedIn’s capabilities, Thies led webinar participants through the “advanced search” tool. This powerful tool is one of the functions that sets LinkedIn apart from other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, she says.
For example, Thies shared a search technique she has used to locate and reach out to people who may be considering 401(k) rollovers. Click on “advanced” next to the search bar across the top of the home page, which takes you to the “Advanced People Search” page. Note that you can search among your “1st degree” contacts, “2nd degree” contacts, “groups” and/or “3rd and everyone else.” Your most valuable search results will appear among “2nd degree” connections, since these are people with whom you share a contact. When you find someone you’d like to reach out to, you can go through your shared contact for a personal introduction. Start the search by unchecking all the categories in this relationship filter except for “2nd connections,” in order to narrow your search to the most valuable results.
“This is what makes LinkedIn better than other sites,” Thies said. “It’s the only social media site that allows you to search by layers of your network. No other networking site allows you to go ‘hunting’ in this manner.”
People who may be considering a rollover are usually between jobs, using LinkedIn to search for a new position. So under “keywords” you type in the following: “in transition” OR “new opportunity.” Those are two phrases often used by job seekers.
Now fill out the “location” filter, reflecting the geographic area you serve. Premium members have several other filters as well, from “seniority” to “company size.” After you click on “search,” scroll through the LinkedIn members and look for “shared connections,” then start calling your connections to request introductions to good prospects. “It comes down to leverage – which shared connection is best to contact this person and ask them to give you 10 minutes on the phone?” Thies says.
Advisors may use the same “advanced people search” process to look for small-business owners, executives at specific companies, physicians, and other prospects. In addition, you can “save” your searches and LinkedIn will update you with new results on a regular basis.
Using The Profile Page To Best Advantage
Thies offers several tips on how to fill out your profile information. “Speak to your perfect client in the first person. Answer the questions they need to have answered,” she advises.
For instance, most advisors make the mistake of simply placing their job title in the “headline” field, which appears under your name at the top of your profile page. This space should instead be used to explain what you do and what benefits you offer.
If your profile offers your photo and your name with the words “Financial Advisor,” it doesn’t differentiate you from every other advisor. Thies offered two examples of more effective headlines:
· Joe Smith
Wealth Advisor helping small business and real estate owners manage their finances to help enhance personal wealth.
· Tom Jones
Financial Planner guiding dentists, physicians and business owners to realize personal and professional financial goals.
One factor in writing your headline and other profile-page text is SEO, or search engine optimization. Choose the two or three most important search terms that your target audience might use and include those terms in the headline and other text.
“Always add the types of clients you are looking for, and be as specific as possible,” she recommends. “You can be specific without being exclusive.”
The longer “summary” section below the headline is “not your bio,” Thies says. “Talk to potential clients in the first person and use active tense. This is not about your past, or about how awesome you are – it’s about them. Talk to them and give them reasons to pay attention.”
In this webinar Thies tackles several other issues and offers solid advice, including:
· Filling out the Experience section effectively.
· Including videos and other marketing materials.
· Sharing content – how often and what type.
· “Liking” and “commenting” vs. posting.
· Driving traffic back to your website.
· Deciding who to accept LinkedIn invitations from.
Super-High Rating And Positive Comments
Webinar viewers gave Crystal a sky-high average rating of 4.9. Here are some of their comments:
“Great presentation. Crystal had good energy and knows her material.”
“Very relevant, thank you. How do we sign up?”
“Good practical information. I picked up some good pointers that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Not sure I would want to have a regular monthly presentation on LinkedIn as often as is being done currently for Fritz, Bob K. or Craig Israelsen.”
“Really fantastic! How do we subscribe to her product?”
“An excellent overview of LInkedIn for RIAs. It gave me a lot to think about.”
“Best targeted presentation to date.”
“Very useful info!”
“The best Linkedin presentation I have seen. I will be watching it again.”
“The presentation is excellent!”
“Excellent overview, I will very likely consider the training program.”
“This webinar just wasn’t long enough for such great content! Looking forward to exploring further opportunities for education with A4A’s partnership with Crystal and Constant Contact.”
“Loved the explanation about the effects of commenting/liking/posting on LinkedIn.”
That really was “drinking from a firehose.”