At TheDigitalFA we pride ourselves on providing our readers with practical hands-on guidance for leveraging social media applications in our highly regulated world. That’s why I’m excited to post the following guest blog from Gregory Cheng, Managing Director, Western Regional Director and San Francisco Branch Manager for Sterne Agee. Greg does an excellent job of answering the question “all” FA’s ask me in the field: “How much time does social media take?” I think you’ll agree his 10-10-10 approach makes sense.
Anyone who is a student of the games of golf, tennis or squash knows that the key to executing well is a repeatable swing—efficient, consistent, and balanced. It comes as a result of a focused discipline and repetition, both of which enable us to develop muscle memory and recall when needed.
Three “Swing Thoughts” to consider while working on your LinkedIn communications strategy…
- Be Efficient
Connect with your target demographic, and get to the point by speaking plainly and avoiding industry jargon. Personalize and be authentic! It’s your voice that will differentiate you from the crowd. If you have difficulty creating content, seek out articles that represent your voice (just be sure to give credit where credit is due).
- Stay Consistent
Consistency is gained through repetition. As you begin to build your strategy, be disciplined about your routine. It’s better to repeat in small increments of time than to use an all-or-nothing approach. Try this: set aside 30 minutes each day (or, if you need to start in smaller increments, 15 minutes) for LinkedIn. Don’t try to conquer everything at once; consistency is the key. Do this every day for a week, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make!
10 minutes: Update LinkedIn Profile
- Work toward 100% profile completion (especially, a professional photo)
- Personalize your value proposition (use fun, factual information that others might not know about you)
- Update interests to include hobbies and passions (these small details become searchable within LinkedIn and may connect you to others who are like-minded)
10 minutes: Connect to your Network
- Use the “People You May Know” function on LinkedIn and work to expand your network beyond the obvious professional connections. Connecting is about creating credibility and you never know who in your network might be tapped to vouch for you when someone is considering an advisor.
- Use the “Send a Message” function and send a note of congratulations to someone with a birthday or a new position to show that you’re engaged.
10 minutes: Gather Content
- Think about creating your own voice through content curation. Use articles that represent your points-of-view and comment on them.
- Gather content that is appropriate for your target audience. Go to your Firm’s pre-approved content or consider using RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds from major news outlets (WSJ, CNBC, etc.) that make website information available as soon as it is put on the Internet.
- Keep Balanced
Be sure to keep a balance between cultivating your network and selling to it. The key to authenticity is credibility and, to be credible, you need to create trust first and not go for the sell too soon. By relating to your network and keeping the conversations down-to-earth, you increase your chances of connecting in a way that will endure.
Having a repeatable swing increases the chances of being in the right place to score when the opportunity presents itself. Efficient, consistent, and balanced digital communications, likewise, increase the likelihood of you being top-of-mind when someone is in need of a Financial Advisor… and you’ll be ready to go.