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A New Way to Prospect: Leveraging LinkedIn

January 2018 
by Bill McManus

With more pressure than ever on advisors to be more than just financial guides, but to be an empathetic and understanding ear for cautious investors, there is no shortage of advice on how to better advise existing clients.

With more pressure than ever on advisors to be more than just financial guides, but to be an empathetic and understanding ear for cautious investors, there is no shortage of advice on how to better advise existing clients.  Just as important to the health of their business, however, is bringing in new clients. It’s important for advisors to be proactive in acquiring new business, but typical marketing channels, such as email, are overused and easily ignored. To cut through the clutter and gain access to a stockpile of potential clients, advisors can use an often overlooked tool: LinkedIn. 

At Hartford Funds, we recently hosted Stephen Boswell of the Oechsli Institute on a webinar to discuss how to incorporate LinkedIn as part of financial advisors’ marketing strategy. The Institute asked 917 financial advisors about their LinkedIn usage, and studied the activities of those who used it successfully to gain new clients. The research uncovered three important actions that advisors should consider.

  1. Branding and Posting
    Before trying to find new clients using LinkedIn, you need to ensure your page represents your personal brand and sends the right message to potential clients. Make sure your photo is a professional picture, not a selfie or a candid photo. Your summary should tell your story, be written in first person, and be directed toward your clients rather than a recruiter or employer. People will likely only see the first two lines of your summary, so begin with a strong, assertive opening statement about what sets you apart from other advisors. To further demonstrate that you are a trusted source for financial advice, you should also try posting content, such as relevant news articles or data points, a few times each week, with your own commentary to add a personal touch.

  2. Prospecting
    Now that you’re ready to start prospecting new clients, the Oechsli Institute recommends a few methods. To start, leverage the search bar to find target prospects by using key terms. For example, if you are looking for executives, you can include terms such as “president” or “chief.” Once you’ve identified a target prospect, review any common connections and reach out to one to request an introduction. Another approach is to use an advocate search, which entails looking at the connections of someone you’re already connected with, and then, using the search panel, filtering the results by criteria such as location, company, or job title.  The final method, akin to cold calling, is to reach out to people with whom you have no mutual connection, but do have other commonalities with, such as alma mater.   

  3. Creating a Game Plan
    Just like any other strategy for your business, if you want social media to be an effective resource, it needs to be something into which you put time and effort. Come up with a list of daily actions—for example, responding to messages and invites, or reviewing your newsfeed and engaging in the conversation—and weekly actions, which could include conducting searches or reviewing who has viewed your profile. Using LinkedIn consistently can provide optimal results for your business.

As social media and digital marketing become more significant to business success, it becomes more important to stay at the forefront of these technologies. LinkedIn offers opportunities to connect with clients you may not have access to otherwise, but it is only as effective as its user.

Bill McManus
Director, Strategic Markets

Bill is part of the Strategic Markets Team for Hartford Funds. In his current position, Bill is responsible for engaging and educating both financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Bill joined the organization in 2003 as an advisor consultant responsible for marketing Hartford Funds in Virginia and West Virginia. Bill earned his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation, is FINRA Series 7 and 63 registered, and holds his life and variable insurance licenses.

Bill has been widely quoted in consumer and trade publications such as US News and World Report and Wealth Management.com. He has also appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg Radio to discuss his views on retirement-related topics.

Originally from Smithville, New Jersey, Bill attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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The Oechsli Institute is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.

Bill McManus is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

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