If you want to grow your business you need to be online. There’s no way around it. A strong presence on social media combined with regular activity and good content sharing can help build trust with clients. It can also help potential clients find you through search engines such as Google. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Everyone wants new business, don’t they? Being online can definitely help improve your bottom line and grow your business, but it’s not magic.
Just like most business development activities you will get out of being on social media what you put into it. If you work hard you will be rewarded. What is hard work on social media? Well if you build a LinkedIn profile and your activity stops there you won’t reap as many rewards as the next financial advisor who’s actively posting new content every day, sharing news updates and commenting on other people’s activity. You don’t want that, do you? I’m sure the answer is no. You want clients to find you when they search, learn more about your services and call you to book an appointment.
Content is king online, but being active is the queen.
If you want to grow your business online it starts with your LinkedIn activity. Here’s how activity on social media cancan help your business in only three easy steps:
1. Find or write content that people want to read
2. Share it on LinkedIn (or other social media channels)
3. Have your network like, comment and share your content
That’s it. Easy-peasy. Or is it?
Finding good content that relates to your business isn’t hard. The internet is saturated with helpful content. Take the Well Said Content blog for example. We have several resources to help you write good content and learn how to maximize your social media efforts. All you have to do is take the time to read them. You don’t need to surf the web trying to learn about LinkedIn and Facebook for your business because we’ve put everything you need to know in one easy place.
You want to be that easy place for your customers. If you consistently write blog posts about the first-time home buyer experience or share content about how to save money on home renovations (both of which are popular topics this time of the year), potential clients will find you when they’re searching for those topics. But once again, you have to make the time to write good content.
Social media saves you time, it doesn’t waste it
Time. Between seeing clients, completing paperwork and trying to close deals do you really have time to commit to social media. The answer is probably no, but you should definitely make time. I know a lot of financial advisors think that playing around on social media is for sharing family vacation photos and watching videos of cats playing the piano, but it’s so much more than that. Social media can help interact with centers of influence, service existing clients and find potential clients.
The easiest way to grow your business on LinkedIn is by growing your number of connections. Remember the three steps mentioned above? Well if you find good content and share it on LinkedIn it really doesn’t matter if no one is reading it. If you only have 10 connections the odds of them sharing your content are very little.
This may sound obvious, but I’m going to say it any ways. The more connections you have, the more people who will see your content and therefore the odds of your content being shared are also higher. I can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t want to have a large number of connections on LinkedIn. When it comes to social media, the more the merrier. This is especially true because social sharing is free promotion for your business – all you have to do is share helpful content that people want to read and share with their friends.
Take advantage of the Facebook Effect
Hopefully your connections see the content on LinkedIn, find it helpful and share it with their networks. If you send a piece of information to 500 connections and each of them share it with their 500 connections (that’s a bit ambitious, but hey it’s just an example) you just reached 250,000 potential clients who now had your name pop up in front of them on LinkedIn. How great is that!
It’s called the Facebook effect. If you’ve seen the movie The Social Network you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s a scene where Jesse Eisenberg (who plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) is trying to spread the word about Facebook and he says “It doesn’t matter who we send it to, what matters is who they send it to.” That’s the Facebook effect.
Grow your business on LinkedIn by making new connections
So how do I grow my LinkedIn connections? That’s probably the question you’re asking. Well don’t worry. It’s very easy and I’m going to walk you through it. Before you continue reading the next steps log in to your LinkedIn account so we can start growing your connections together.
Here are four steps to increasing your LinkedIn connections:
1. Create a good profile. It all starts here. There’s no point in getting active on social media if your profile doesn’t give readers any information about you. If you need to enhance your LinkedIn profile use this step by step guide.
2. Join LinkedIn groups. Once your profile is looking as you like it to the second step is to join groups. Every single time you post an article, ask a question or answer a question in a LinkedIn group your name and title pops up in front of all those group members. That’s what you want. You want your name and title to be seen as many times as possible by as many people as possible.
If you’re not sure which groups to join start with your personal life and work your way out into your professional life. Join community groups such as an association you volunteer for or a charity you support. Search your city’s name and join local groups. Join groups for your hobbies and personal interest as well as your university or college alumni. Then you can join groups for small business owners and other networking groups. If you scroll to the bottom of my LinkedIn profile you can see all of the groups that I’m a member of. While you’re there send me an invitation to connect – I promise to share your content.
3. Get social. Sharing content is great, but it’s a give and take. Don’t just push your information out onto other people, share their content too. It’s a win-win because it keeps you active (remember that’s important to be found in Google searches) and every single time you take action on someone else’s content (i.e. like, share or comment) your name pops up in front of them.
If you’ve been trying to reach a client and can’t get a hold of them. Like one of their posts on LinkedIn, leave a comment on something they’ve shared or share their updates to your own feed. It only takes a second to hit the share button and it puts your name in front of them. Try to do this for other people at least once a day.
4. Grow your connections. Connections are your key to the city on LinkedIn, they give you access to an unlimited number of new potential clients. So put in the work and start sending out invitations to connect with you. LinkedIn is a social networking platform and it will suggest people for you to connect with. A good place to start is to connect with current clients, new clients after your first meeting, centers of influence and business associates, colleagues and past colleagues as well as prospects.
There are two ways you can choose to connect with someone on LinkedIn. The first is by clicking the blue Connect button, this happens when LinkedIn suggests someone for you. An invitation is automatically sent and you don’t have to take any further action. The second way is to go to someone’s profile and click the blue Connect button. This time LinkedIn should ask you how you know the person, so choose your current job and it gives you the option to write a personal message.
LinkedIn does fill out a standard message in the box and that’s O.K., but writing a personal message about how you know the person or why you want to connect is even better. This also helps increase the chances of the person accepting your invite – just in case your name, title and photo didn’t ring a bell.
Set 30 minutes aside everyday for social media
Growing your business is important and LinkedIn connections can help you do that. To ensure you make time in your day for social media I suggest giving yourself a goal to reach within 30 days. If you have 100 or 200 connections, try to get to 500 over the next month. There are over 400 million people on LinkedIn, I’m sure you can connect with at least 500 of them. You can read this article from Inc.com for more tips on how to send the perfect LinkedIn invitation.
Trust me when you start networking with people you will start to see the connections come in via social media. Just remember it’s not magic, you need to put in the work.
If you have a social media success story I would love to hear it and feature you right here on the Well Said Content blog. If you need a little bit of help getting started on LinkedIn I am happy to help. Contact me and we can take a look at your LinkedIn profile together.
New clients get a free 30 minute consultation and of course there’s no commitment. So if you have half an hour and want to chat about growing your business online I’m here – all you need to do is reach out and ask, just like growing your LinkedIn connections.