16th March, 2022 - Webinar replay
How financial advisers and planners can make LinkedIn work for them in 2022
Phil Bray 0:00
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to today’s webinar, how financial advisers and planners can make LinkedIn work for them in 2022, how financial advisers and planners can make LinkedIn work for them in 2022. So, looking forward to today. We’re joined on the call by Abi Robinson, who is lurking in the background. She’s our marketing executive and will be sending the follow up later on today. And, as always, we’ve got Dan Campbell on the call as well. So, Dan, I’m going to ask you to… for a couple of introductions and a bit of housekeeping as well.
Dan Campbell 0:39
Yeah, sure thing. So, hi, I’m Dan. So I’m the head of branding and design here at Yardstick. And my job, as always, is to make sure everything’s running smoothly, and to keep us on track and on time. So, I’ll be looking out for two things today. Technical issues and questions. For technical issues, shout up if you can’t see or hear us. And I’ll, I don’t know, twist some dials my end and look puzzled, I guess. But, for questions, I’ll be reading them out for Phil to answer. So, there are two ways that you can ask questions. Either ask them in the chat function at the bottom there. And, you can use the Q&A box too. I’ll be monitoring both, and I’ll be reading them out at natural breaks. We’ll have a period at the end as well, where we can sweep any final ones up. You know, Phil’s always happy to stay on the call right at the end, there’s always a few that sort of pop up just as we’re about to say goodbye. So, you know, don’t worry too much if you don’t ask it right in the middle, we can answer it right at the end. An important thing to add as well, with those questions. We’re absolutely in a safe space here today. There are no silly questions, I promise. Well, there are silly questions, but you get what I mean? I guarantee if you’re thinking it, so is somebody else. We’re all here to learn, and share, and engagement is what really makes these sessions work. So don’t be shy, really get stuck in. A question we usually get asked right at the start, so I’ll answer it here. Yes, we’ll absolutely be recording this session, we’ll be sending out a video of that recording. We’ll also be sending out the slides themselves, plus links to any resources we show or mention. And as Phil mentioned, Abi, our marketing executive, is in the audience. And she’s furiously scribbling things down. So don’t worry if you miss anything. Abi has it in hand. Right. I think that’s the important stuff. Over to you, Phil.
Phil Bray 2:34
Thank you, Dan. Thank you. Right. So, what are we going to talk about today? Well, unsurprisingly, we’re going to talk about LinkedIn. But more specifically, we’re going to start with a summary of LinkedIn, just a bit of context, a bit of positioning, for anybody who’s not too sure about the platform. Then have a little conversation about whether LinkedIn is social media, or whether it’s networking. And then, we’re going to get into the practical stuff. We’re always really keen that these webinars are practical, and give you things that you can take away and implement yourself and in your business. So, we’re going to look at five mistakes that advisers and planners make on LinkedIn. We’re then going to talk about the eight steps that you need to work your way through to build a great LinkedIn profile. Then, once you’ve done that, six things that you can do on a regular basis – we’ll talk about how you define “regular” in a bit – that will generate new enquiries from LinkedIn, a few tips around consistency, and then a few tips about how to write posts. Posts are really, really important on LinkedIn, they add a lot of value, they demonstrate your knowledge. But when you’re faced with that blank white box of what to post, it can really be quite daunting, even for people that use LinkedIn on a regular basis. So, we’re going to talk about posts and how to write them. And then we’re gonna talk about how to build an audience. Because there’s not a lot of point in writing posts, if you don’t have people who are going to look at them. So we’ve got a lot packed in for the next hour. As Dan said, do question, do comment, do provide feedback. Because, as Dan says, we don’t have all the answers. We only get better when we get challenged, and maybe go off and do a bit of research ourselves, come back with the answer. So, your challenges, and your feedback really are welcome. So keep the questions coming in the chat, we’ll pause at different points and get those answered. So, without further ado then, LinkedIn. Bit of a summary to start with. So, LinkedIn was founded way back in 2002 – so 20 years ago – and it’s got over 33 million users in the UK. So, to put that into a bit of context, that’s one in two adults use LinkedIn. And, it kind of sits in between Facebook and Twitter, in terms of the number of users in the UK. So, it is an incredibly popular network, let’s just call it that for the moment, before we decide whether it’s networking or whether it’s social media. But it’s incredibly popular. And, if we look at this, we’ve got a break-down of users here. Now, typically, financial advisers, financial planners, are more interested in working with clients that… they’re slightly… the older they get, they’re 40s, 50s and 60s, because they’ve generally accumulated wealth. I’m aware that is a generalisation. But, what this shows is, there is still a large proportion of users – nearly 30% of users – so that’s the best part of 10 million people who are 35 plus on LinkedIn. There’s 55… sorry, there’s 5.1%, who are over the age of 55. So, that’s another, what, one and a half million people. LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful place, simply because of the number of users, and the demographics. If we look at income as well, 52% of LinkedIn users earn over £48,000 a year. So the demographics and the sheer number of users, for me, make LinkedIn a really useful place, for advisers and planners to hang out. One of the things we’ve noticed is that advisers and planners often gravitate towards Twitter, and then wonder why Twitter doesn’t work for them for generating new enquiries. And it’s typically because, as the stats here show, it’s not actually where the majority of their clients are hanging out, and the majority their target audience, are hanging out. So, if the people that you want to work with, hang out on LinkedIn and use LinkedIn, then this webinar is for you. If the type of people you don’t want to work with don’t hang out on LinkedIn, then there’s elements of this webinar for you, but not necessarily all of it. So, that’s a little bit of background about LinkedIn. Next question, is it social media or is it networking? Social media or networking? And, LinkedIn was designed for business owners and professionals. It has 24/7 access, you can go and use it whenever you like. It’s a great platform for demonstrating knowledge, adding value, building connections, and networking. For me, that means… it looks and sounds like networking to me. And there will be people on this call, who have been to networking… physical networking events. And as we’ve come out of lockdown, those physical networking events have come back, have started again. But the joy of LinkedIn, for me, is that you can use it on your terms. You can dip in and dip out of that networking when you need to. If it works for you to do it in the morning, or in the evening, then so be it. You don’t have to pitch up at a certain time, a certain place each week. But if you get it right, it actually delivers the same benefits as physical networking. So, for me, LinkedIn is networking. It’s not social media. And the reason I want to make this distinction… see, we talked to some advisers and planners, who, when we talk about LinkedIn, their arms fold, and they say, “I don’t want to do social media. I don’t like social media. I don’t want to put on social media what I’ve had for my breakfast. And that sort of stuff”. And for me, it’s about a mindset. LinkedIn isn’t social media. In fact, if you go and start posting, I don’t know, what you have for dinner that night, your breakfast, or whatever it is, on LinkedIn, actually, that might alienate a few people, because that’s not really what it’s there for. So, for some people, if just tweaking their mindset to thinking about LinkedIn as networking, not social media, means that they are more prepared to use it and engage with it, then I think that’s an important distinction. It’s also important to know that the things you can do on LinkedIn are very, very similar to a physical networking event, but without a lot of the drawbacks. So before I go on to five reasons to take LinkedIn seriously… Dan, I’ve just seen a couple of things come in, is there anything we need to pause and answer now?
Dan Campbell 9:24
One thing I may perhaps mention. I’ve had a few people ask whether their mics and cameras are live, just because they’ve got a bit of a noisy background going on. Don’t worry, no mics and cameras for the attendees today are live, so you’re not going to be interrupting anything. If you’re working in a noisy office or working from home and, you know, the dog starts barking in the background. And then, a couple of comments that are worth mentioning too. A few people saying that Twitter’s more conversational, for them, rather than LinkedIn. And then a question in from Steven, that I’ll ask, yeah. Is LinkedIn a good tool for recruiting staff? And if so, how do we go about this?
Phil Bray 10:08
Cheers Steve, you’ve given me a nice segue into the next slide there, number four, recruitment. So thank you for Dan and Steve, for setting that up. For me, I think there’s five main reasons to take LinkedIn seriously. The first, if you get it right, and you use LinkedIn correctly, and your target audience hangs out there – and that’s really important, because you’ve got to make sure that your target audience does hang out there – then LinkedIn can be incredibly beneficial for generating new enquiries. Second reason to take LinkedIn seriously, is that, if you’re on there, Google will index your profile. That means, that anybody searching for you online, searching for you, or your business online, could potentially end up on your LinkedIn profile. So just to unpack that a bit more. We all know that the best type of new enquiry is a referral or recommendation from an existing client. It’s got the highest conversion rate, and the lowest cost of acquisition. But, if someone is recommended to you, they will search for you online. They might just be looking for some basic information, you know, telephone number, email address, etc. Or, they could be… have been recommended to more than one adviser or planner, and they’re checking both of you out, to decide who to get in touch with. So, someone heads to Google, types in your business name, or types in your own name. The search results page, for both of those searches, if you are on LinkedIn, will probably include your LinkedIn profile. That means, someone could visit it. And that means, your profile needs to be as up-to-date and as impressive, and speak to them, as much as possible. Because, if it isn’t, and if it’s out of date, or if it doesn’t resonate with them, and that’s the only link that they click, you’re reducing the chances of them actually getting in touch with you. So, the fact that Google indexes your profile, is a reason to take LinkedIn seriously. Second reason, some prospects will actually head directly there to check you out. I was chatting to a business owner, who was the client of a financial planner. And she talked about the fact that actually, she didn’t go to Google to check out her prospective financial planner she was going to work with. Because she was just so used to LinkedIn, she checked him out on LinkedIn first of all. She typed the planners name into the search box on LinkedIn, and checked the planner out there. So if that person is doing it, other people will be as well. So, as part of their due diligence on their way to your door, people will potentially look at your LinkedIn profile. So those next two reasons, two and three, to be taking LinkedIn seriously. Getting to your point, Steve, about recruitment, LinkedIn can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to recruitment. And both from a potential recruit, again, checking you out, because they’re going to look at you before getting in touch, but also for finding potential recruits. So for example, when we’ve been searching online for recruits, we’ve used LinkedIn in two ways. And, we don’t tend to use recruitment consultants at Yardstick. We’ve grown, and there’s 36-37 of us now with four vacancies open at the moment. But we don’t tend to use recruitment consultants. So what we do, is we tend to put a job advert on LinkedIn. So that’s one way of generating CVs. I wouldn’t say it’s much more than that. But it generates CVs that we can then work through. So that’s the first way to use LinkedIn. The second, is to run a search for the person that you’re trying to hire, an administrator, power planner, ops manager, whatever it is, and then approach them direct. Approach them direct to say, “look, are you looking for another challenge, is now the time for move? If you are, there’s a vacancy open here.” So, recruitment is a really important reason for using LinkedIn if recruitment is important to you. And then lastly, nudging and interacting with existing clients. There’s a lot of research from VouchedFor that shows, the more you nudge and touch a client, the more interactions you have with a client, the more likely you are to turn them from client into advocate. And we know – and anybody who’s been on our previous webinars knows – the importance of turning clients into advocates. And, because they’re more likely to recommend on and refer, so nudging and interacting with clients on LinkedIn is a really, really soft way of doing that. So five reasons to take LinkedIn seriously. Then five, reasons or five mistakes advisers and planners make on LinkedIn. Then we’ll pause for a few questions. And then we’ll go into the eight steps you need to follow, to build a great LinkedIn profile. So the first is the wrong mindset. I hear a lot of people having those BMW moments about LinkedIn, those bitching moaning and whining moments about LinkedIn. And they’re just got the wrong mindset. There is no platform that is perfect. Twitter has issues. Facebook has issues. We all get spammy calls on our phones these days. So phones have got issues. But for me, it’s about having the right mindset, being pragmatic as well. And if you have the right mindset, LinkedIn – if your target audience hangs out on there, or there’s another reason to use it – has huge benefits. Next, poor personal profiles. Quite often, we see advisers and planners have got a profile up, but they haven’t given a lot of love. It was built a few years ago, perhaps when… perhaps over time their proposition has changed. They’ve moved more to a planning proposition, rather than advice proposition. Yet, their LinkedIn profile still talks about pensions, investments, mortgages, etc. So poor profiles, and we’re going to come on to how to build profiles in a minute. Posting too infrequently, and not adding value. Posting is the currency of LinkedIn. It’s so important that you do it on a regular basis, if you’re going to take LinkedIn seriously. So posting infrequently is a mistake. But not adding value is another mistake. If the only thing you ever post is your latest Google or VouchedFor review, that’s not adding a lot of value to your connections. Poor configuration of posts – we’ll talk about that in a bit – but actually how to build the ideal post. And then not building an audience, not trying to improve the number of connections you’ve got not trying to increase the number of connections you’ve got. So we’re going to cover off those five things as we work through today. But I’m just going to pause, mainly because I want to get a tea. But Dan, have we got any questions?
Dan Campbell 17:07
Certainly have, yeah, we’ve got a really engaged bunch today, which is fantastic. So this will perhaps lead on to a little bit further down in the session. But, a big question that a lot of people are asking are around the differences of company accounts and personal accounts, and the benefit of one versus the other, or both. So just flagging that as a big topic that people are interested in.
Phil Bray 17:30
Let’s just deal with that one now, for a second. So, today is all about personal accounts. Company accounts, we’ll probably talk about them maybe on another webinar on another blog topic. But for me, personal accounts are so much more important than company accounts. Yes, your company should have an account on there. Yes, you should keep it ticking over. But you’re going to engage with potential clients, potential recruits, far more effectively from your personal account, than you on your company account. And, because I didn’t want to make a two hour webinar, with an hour our target at the moment. So, because I don’t want to make it a two hour webinar, we’ll deal with company profiles at another point. It’s all about personal today.
Dan Campbell 18:10
Brilliant. Thanks. A really good question from Rob, “Does Google index company profiles, as well as personal?”
Phil Bray 18:18
Dan Campbell 18:20
Nice, easy one. Perhaps not such an easy question to answer, coming in from Crystal. I’m suspecting the answer is, “it depends”. But the question is, “Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?”
Phil Bray 18:35
Actually, I think it is. Yes, it does depend on how you want to use LinkedIn. But I have a LinkedIn premium account. I think I pay something like £40 a month. You can generally get a month or two for free, when you sign up or turn it back on. But yeah, I think it’s worth it if you use the features on a regular basis. It’s particularly worth it if you’re recruiting, and you need to dive in, you need more InMails or something like that. So for a long while, I turned premium on and off on a monthly basis. But now I tend to use it on a more regular basis.
Dan Campbell 19:13
Brilliant. So we’ve got a few people mentioning that the recruitment function on LinkedIn has been really successful for them, leading to a reduction in recruitment and agency fees. A question related to that from Kathy, who asks, “A job advert on LinkedIn. Is that a paid for service?”
Phil Bray 19:35
Yeah, it is. So I’m glad people have had success with recruiting on LinkedIn. As I say, I think it works really well. From a “approaching people direct” perspective, I think, people accept – or potential candidates accept – that more readily, if it’s coming from, I don’t know, director of a firm, or the owner of a firm, than they do, necessarily, a recruiter. You’ve got to be careful how you word your approach. I’ve never had any pushback at all on that. In terms of, in terms of the paid-for service, when you put adverts up on LinkedIn, it is based on impressions and clicks. But typically, we’re looking at about a couple of quid a CV, to get a CV through. Now clearly not all the CVs are ideal, premium quality, but two or three pounds a CV, and it works really, really well for us, as a business. We get almost all our recruits from LinkedIn, with a bit of Indeed earning. Had anymore before I move on?
Dan Campbell 20:44
I’m going to save a couple of these until a bit further into the session, because I know that there’ll be better timed that way. So no, carry on.
Phil Bray 20:53
Okay, we might cover those off. Right, let’s talk about the eight things you need to do to build a great LinkedIn profile. So I’m just gonna… this is the list. You can refer back to this when we send it through. So I’m just going to dive in and start working through these. If we get any questions, Dan, specific to these points, then just put your hand up something, or shout me and I’ll stop.
Dan Campbell 21:13
Yeah, sure thing.
Phil Bray 21:14
So, step one. We need to edit your profile URL. So, when you go to your LinkedIn profile, you’ll see in the domain box at the top, what the URL is for your LinkedIn profile. And you need to see this as your personal website. So, see LinkedIn as your personal website. And LinkedIn will allocate a URL to it. It’s generally pretty ugly, it might be your name with a few numbers attached to it, it might just be numbers. But you can personalise it, you can include letters, numbers, characters, although you can’t use spaces, special characters, or emojis, unfortunately. And typically, though, use a combination of your name, your business name, and your job title, particularly important to use the job title if you are a financial planner, financial adviser, because that will help to tell LinkedIn what you do. And, here’s an example of that. So this is my URL. It started off as Phil-Grey-, and then a load of random numbers. And I’ve just changed it to Phil-Grey-Yardstick. So people know that it’s me. So a really simple job to go and change your URL. And if you are, if you have the URL that LinkedIn has allocated to you. Next, you need to update your banner. Now, the banner is the section that sits, that your photo sits in. So if you imagine your LinkedIn profile, you’ve got your photo, and you’ve got the banner. Here’s Dan’s, that’s Dan’s banner there. And we’ve got Dan as a cartoon image, a really lifelike cartoon image of Dan, you look pretty good there Dan. Maybe you’ve got some new glasses since then.
Dan Campbell 22:56
Yeah, thank you. That’s very kind. So that’s five years younger. So hopefully, I look still as sprightly.
Phil Bray 23:03
So, as I say, the banner section sits at the top. And it’s really important online real estate. Because it sits above the fold, and everybody sees it. But so many LinkedIn profiles, either just have a blank space there, or some reasonably meaningless photo. And you can really make it work for yourself though. So, add your logo, you don’t need to… you don’t need to put that on the corporate profile, because instead of the photo of you, there’s a logo, but on your personal banner, add your logo, and add some social proof. So it might be your VouchedFor rating. It might be your Google review rating. Accreditation, so Chartered – accredited, if you’ve done the CSI route – and just awards that you’ve won, or client testimonials. But get some social proof in there, to demonstrate the value that you add. Add your contact details and your website address, so people can get in touch, or find out more about you on your website if they’re not quite ready to get in touch. And then a short hero statement, showing what you do, and who you do it for. And there’s an example. So this is the Yardstick banner image, “Marketing excellence for the financial services profession”, what we do, who we do it for, telephone number, email address, and website, and contact details. The logo is pretty obvious. And 100+ five star Google reviews. And thank you to anybody on this call who has left us one of those reviews, it’s much appreciated. So, get your banner right, because as I say, it appears above the fold, and everybody sees it. Next, your picture. LinkedIn tells us, that profiles with a picture get up to 21 times more views than those without. So add your picture to it. They should be professional, they should be clear, and they should be up to date. Now, I only updated mine this week, with a new, we had a new photo shoot last week and I updated mine, and Abi insisted we put it in. So there’s my picture. And you can see we’ve wrapped the hiring message around it as well. So on your picture, you can add a tag, an “open to” tag. And, there’s two types that you can use at the moment: hiring, and finding a new job. So, if you’re in a business where you are hiring, you’re looking for new people, wrap that tag around it. If you’re open to finding a new job – for whatever reason – wrap that tag around it. But just bear in mind, your public display is open for everyone to see. So, if you’ve not told your boss that you’re leaving, it’s probably not best to put the finding a new job tag on right now. There’s a couple of things that you can do, and keep the profile and the picture regularly updated. So, the next part is your headline. So the headline is this bit here. Mine says founder of The Yardstick Agency, etc, etc. And this again, is really important. It appears below your image and above the fold. So everybody who sees your profile will see three things. They’ll see the banner, they’ll see your photo, and they’ll see your description. And that means you need to get it right. It also appears in the search results within LinkedIn. So if somebody is searching for people like you, and LinkedIn returns a list of people like you, that description will appear in there. And it appears on a Google search results page as well. Google pulls some of that information through on a Google search results page. And LinkedIn will also use the information to decide where it ranks you in searches. So really important you spend time on it. But most people just put their job description, “company director at”, “financial planner at”, “financial adviser at”, that sort of stuff. And you’ve got 120 characters, not words, characters. So you can be far more descriptive about what you do, who you do it for, and why people should use you. So, as the slide says, don’t just simply put a description on there that says exactly what you do. Financial adviser, financial planner. Instead, talk about those three things: what you do, who you do it for, and why people work with you. Not necessarily easy to get into 120 characters, but, you can absolutely do it. Here’s a couple of examples. So, let’s say you work with barristers. Your headline here needs to appeal to your ideal client. So forget that the financial planner who works with barristers, might also deal with accountants and lawyers. Focus on your ideal client. So if you work with barristers, your planner, sorry, your headline might say “Chartered financial planner – specialising in helping barristers plan for their retirement, but also advising on tax efficient profit extraction and dealing with fluctuating incomes.” That shows, that you know barristers have a problem with fluctuating incomes. The good barristers who make a profit, will be worried about tax efficient profit extraction. “Chartered financial planner” shows your credentials, and “specialising in helping with barristers plan for their retirement” shows exactly what you do. Specialising working with business owners, “Financial planner – helping business owners with tax efficient income strategies and profit extraction while planning for sale.” So again, shows exactly what you do, and who you do it for. And that’s far more beneficial to you, and people who look at your profile, than just saying, “I’m a financial planner,” or, “a Chartered financial planner.” That’s a good example of ours. So that’s, that’s mine. Next, your contact information. So if somebody’s connected to you, they get to see all your contact information. If they’re not, and you’re a second connection, then they get to see some of it. But one of the things we’ve noticed, is that a lot of profiles are missing really basic contact information. At a practical level, that makes it harder for someone to get in touch. And also, it makes it harder for you to impress, because there’s opportunities here to impress. So your contact information should include a link to your website. Make sure the link works. Links to other relevant websites, which we’ll show you in a second. Basic contact information: telephone number, office address and email address. You can also put links to other social media channels, and stick your birthday in there as well. You don’t have to put the year you were born, people don’t see that. But they do see the date. And as bizarre as it sounds, on your birthday, I certainly get a few messages, and it starts some conversations. It’s really nice, and it genuinely starts a few conversations. So make sure your contact details are fully completed. And here’s a good example of… well, here’s mine. So you can see, what does this show? So this shows the URL at the top. Obviously, it shows the Yardsticks company website, but then I’ve added by view our under plus five star Google reviews. So if someone clicks that link, they can go and see our Google reviews. So it’s a pretty ugly link, there’s not much you can do about that I’m afraid, with Google. And then, because we want to use LinkedIn, to push our recruitment when we’ve got ads up, and I’m often approaching people directly on LinkedIn. I’ve added our Glassdoor reviews. So Glassdoor is a platform where your staff can go and rate and review you as a manager, as a boss or leader, and also your business. So we’ve put that on there. So, we’re really open about our reviews. I’ve got a telephone number – I’ve chosen to use the mobile because it’s the easiest way of getting hold of me – office address, etc, etc. So you can see there, the sorts of things you can put on. The thing that gets missed most often on websites, and start adding these links in. Number six, the About section. So the About section is really important. It’s where you go and start explaining more about what you do. However, those sections if completed, are often hard to read. Because there’s no formatting features in LinkedIn. So you’ve got to bring it in. And when you’re writing your About Us section, it should explain, really, three things. Who you work with, in more detail than the headline, your differentiators, what sets you apart, again, in more detail from the headline, and the benefits of working with you. Ideally, that would include social proof. So testimonials from clients, VouchFor rating, Google rating, client survey results, etc. And although LinkedIn doesn’t have any formatting features in there, you can actually bring formatting in. If you use the Yaytext, that means you can copy and paste bold text in. And if you go to Emojipedia and these links are in the presentation, you can get graphics and icons in there as well. And, use sub headings here as well. Sub headings are your friend. We’ll include an article in the in the follow up, that talks about the importance of sub headings, and how to write them. The sub headings are there – and the benefit for you is – if someone is just skim reading your About Us section, or any other content you’ve written, your sub headings should have your key messages. So if all they ever read are the subheadings, and they don’t read the text in between, they still get the key messages delivered to them. So there’s an example there. So, I’ve used the YayText to bring in the bold, so, “financial services specialists, helping financial planners change more client and people’s lives,” etc. So if someone just reads that, they get our key points across. And you can see the little tick marks there as well, which we brought in through Emojipedia, and it’s literally a copy and paste in. Step seven, complete your Featured section. Now the Featured section, depending on your profiles, is above or below the About section. And that allows you to simply showcase some of your best work. And you can add on there all sorts of different things. You can pin your latest LinkedIn post to it. You can pin any articles that you’ve written on LinkedIn. You can link to key pages on your website. You can even upload images, documents, presentations, and videos as well. If you’ve got client videos, if you’ve invested in those, then upload those to that section. Really, really important section for anybody who scrolls down your profile. And this just shows how we’ve pinned three of our latest blogs to that section. Step eight, complete your Experience. So this is where you list your current role and previous roles. Only list one current role. So if your main role is financial planner, but you are also, I dunno, a school governor and a charity trustee. Only list the role is relevant to LinkedIn. And that’s probably the financial planner role. Add your previous roles on there, and explain in previous roles, the key achievement and why you moved on. If you worked, or if you’re employed as a financial planner, and you moved on to start your own business, explain that, it’s really important. And then in that section, use the same tools and techniques as you did before. So, sub headings to stand out, the Yaytext and Emojipedia, to bring in the bold and the graphics. You can also add links there, documents, photos, etc. And again, another really good place to include client videos. And there’s an example of mine. So that’s my history. So, those are eight things that everybody on this call… let’s go back to the summary. Everybody in this call can go and check how well your LinkedIn profile does against those things. Do you have the right URL, or a URL that reflects your name and your job title? Could your banner image work harder? Could you get a better picture? Could you get your headline to be more effective? And remember, those four things everybody sees when they visit your profile. So really, really important. Then go and look at the contact information, is it fully up to date? Do the links work? Then go on to your banners section, your Featured section, and your Experience. So, it’s practical things that everyone can go and check, whether their LinkedIn profile is as good as it can be. And if it’s not, changes that you can make. What I would say though, is it isn’t a once-and-done job. You do need to keep coming back, tweaking and changing things. As your proposition changes and evolves, change the About section. If your target market evolves, change the headline. As you add new – and create new – assets, new client videos, etc., change change the Featured section. Any more questions, Dan, before we carry on?
Dan Campbell 36:47
Right. Okay, thanks, Peter. That sounds good. One question from Setul that came through a short while ago, “Are there any major differences between the mobile app and the desktop version that we need to be aware of with LinkedIn?”
Phil Bray 37:06
Not massively. I find it’s easier to use on desktop because a lot of the stuff that I’m doing is typing in and posting, etc, which I find easier to do on a desktop device. But in terms of functionality, things move around a little bit, but it’s broadly the same. Does that sound better Dan?
Dan Campbell 37:26
That’s much better. Yeah, that’s brilliant.
Phil Bray 37:30
Right. So, I’m going to plough on if that’s okay, cuz I’m just conscious of time. So we’ll get to the end of the slide. And then I’ll hang around for as long as anybody wants me to, to answer questions, if everyone’s okay with that? So, what we’ve done now is produced a list of six regular things, people should do, that we see generating new enquiries from LinkedIn. Adding a post, networking, etc. I’m going to work through these. And – this is tough to do – after you’ve built your profile, to start using LinkedIn to maximise the benefit. So the first one, is posting regularly. So when you log into LinkedIn, at the top, you’ve got the timeline where your newsfeed is. And at the top is a section where you can post. And that’s where you write your post. And if you do it correctly, your post should add value to your connections, and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and positions you as a go-to expert. And that’s what so much of marketing is about. Adding value, demonstrating knowledge and positioning you as a go-to expert. So that, when someone needs the services of someone like you, a financial planner, financial adviser, mortgage broker, it’s you that they think of coming to first of all, rather than somebody else. So the main aim for posting is to add value, demonstrate knowledge, and therefore position you as a go-to expert. But also, just your consistency of posting. Posting regularly, builds confidence in people, and shows you’re a consistent kind of person. And once you start something, you stick to it. It attracts new followers, and raises your profile – fairly similar things – and naturally extends your reach, past your network, if what you post is shared or commented on, because LinkedIn’s algorithm will pick it up, will go to work and will distribute it around. And naturally as well, if you’re posting with links, it drives traffic to your website. So, first thing to be doing on a regular basis, is posting. Next, is looking at your network. So the first thing I will be doing, and the first thing I did when I started really taking LinkedIn seriously two or three years ago, is I just got rid of a load of connections. Because it was screwing up my timeline. So that Utility Warehouse person, I met at a … event 15 years ago. I removed the connection. And what I did was, I thought about three types of people I want to be connected to. If somebody wasn’t in one of those three groups, I removed this connection. And that made my timeline, a far more pleasant place to be. I was saying things that were more relevant to me. So in terms of networking, you’ve got to show LinkedIn that you just don’t take. You’re not just a serial poster taking from LinkedIn. So, regularly scroll down your newsfeed. Share posts and articles. Comment on them. Comments are really valuable. LinkedIn sees a comment as far more useful, and sees a comment almost as an endorsement of a post. And the more comments a post gets, the more LinkedIn thinks that’s a valuable post. And the more it will share. So adding comments on other people’s posts is really, really important. So second thing you should be doing on a regular basis is networking. Commenting, sharing, liking, but commenting is far, far better. Next, check your notifications – that’s in the top right-hand corner – go and see who’s reacted to your posts. Now, what I would do here is – LinkedIn does have a habit of sending notifications that aren’t necessarily relevant – those three little dots, you can press those three little dots. And, you can amend the notifications that LinkedIn sends you. So it’s probably worth doing that, so you’re not notified of one of your connections, liking somebody else’s posts. But once you’ve got that set up, then your notifications should be more relevant to you. And it will tell you who’s liked your posts, who’s commented on your posts, etc. So check your notifications regularly. And if someone has commented, go and leave a reply, even if just, “thanks for the comment.” But go and leave a reply, because that adds to the number of comments on LinkedIn under your post. And that helps LinkedIn’s algorithm do its job. So, check your notifications, say thank you for sharing, if people share it. Go and reply to comments. Go and like comments. And, if you see people have changed jobs, or got promotions or had a birthday, go and offer your congratulations. Because it’s just a nice thing to do, and it’s good networking practice. Third job, check your notifications. Next, pretty straightforward, respond to your messages. So, see your messages on LinkedIn, as another email inbox. I know that’s probably not great news for a lot of people, but see it as another email inbox. And as your visual reach extends, you will get messages from people you don’t know. Some of them might be really, really useful. Others are just spam. So, be absolutely rigorous on the spam. Just ignore it. You don’t need to reply. Ignore it and move on, but respond to the others. Respond to the others. And your messages are also a great way of interacting with existing clients, and interacting with people that you know. So those little, “I saw this and thought of you” messages, or, “I’ve written this blog on our website, and thought you might be interested.” So again, that’s really, really useful stuff as well. Number five, review your connection requests. As you start to get more active on LinkedIn, you will get more requests – unsolicited requests – from people who want to connect with you. So review them. Decide whether they are in one of your boxes. So I talked about the boxes we created. And a financial planner might create boxes of potential new clients. And people you can learn from. Peers. Peers and other advisers. And if the person who is sending the unsolicited connection request, fits into one of those three boxes, then absolutely let them in. If they don’t, click ignore, and be really, really ruthless here. I know one financial planner, for example, who won’t connect with other financial advisers and planners on LinkedIn, because that’s not what he’s on LinkedIn to do. He’s on LinkedIn to network with potential clients. I really admire the ruthlessness of that approach. So decide who gets into your network. If someone sends you an unsolicited connection request – that meets your criteria – accept the connection request, and then, start a conversation with them. It’s really important to start a conversation with them. If they don’t meet your pre-agreed criteria, simply click ignore, and move on. And then lastly, on your regular tasks, start to be building an audience. And we’re going to talk more about how we do this in a minute. But building an audience is incredibly important. There is no point writing really good quality posts, that will add value to people, and demonstrate knowledge, and position you as that go-to expert, if you’re connected to only a handful of people. And this is the old debate around content. Content needs as much time – if not more – spent on promotion, as it does production. So writing your post is the production. The promotion is based on the size of audience that you have got. And building your audience is massively important. It’s something I’ve spent a lot of time doing, over the past two or three years on LinkedIn. So when I culled my connections, I went down from about 4,500 to about 2,500. And I’ve since built them back up again. But I’ve built them back up again, with people who fit my three boxes. And I’m now up to 6,403 connections, and it genuinely works. We get people approaching us for jobs, we get people approaching us to do business with us. So, your posts add value, demonstrate knowledge and position you as the go-to expert with your audience. The larger your audience can be of relevant people, the more people you will be adding value to. And this comes back to whether it’s networking or social media? It is absolutely networking. And therefore you want your audience to be as large as possible – of relevant people – which is why I’m talking about those three boxes, or how ever many there are for you. So your three tasks, sorry, few tasks… your six tasks on a regular basis: posting, networking, checking your notifications, responding to messages, reviewing connection requests, and building an audience. The two things that take the longest – and people find the hardest – are at the top and the bottom of that list. Adding a post, and building an audience. So we’re going to unpack those in a bit more detail in the last 10 minutes that we’ve got. A couple of things in terms of consistency. We talk to a lot of people and they say, “How often should we do this?” And, I’ve really avoided defining regular right now so far during this webinar, but I can’t probably avoid it anymore. So for me, it’s probably a minimum of three to four times a week that you do LinkedIn. And you set time aside. So as the slide says, to me, you need to diarise your LinkedIn time, if you’re going to take LinkedIn seriously. So it is absolutely, perfectly valid to just do the profile bit, so that if someone does come across your profile, it’s impressing them enough and is satisfying their due diligence. If you’re actually going to try and generate new enquiries, or recruitment opportunities on LinkedIn, you need to be consistent and you need to be patient. And that means for me, you need to diarise your LinkedIn time. One of the things that really worked for me is Robin Sharma has 90/90/1 rule, which is basically to see one project, 90 minutes a day, for 90 days. It worked really well for me. So I’ve just put that in a link there, it’s worth having a look. Other things that help: jotting down, writing down ideas for posts. So that when you come to post, you’ve got a source of information that you can go and look at. Buy and read, “Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!” It’s a small book, you’ll get through it in a few hours. But for me, it is a massive source of inspiration for posting on LinkedIn. I’ll explain more why in a minute. And lastly, just be patient, LinkedIn, and all forms of social media and networking – whether it’s physical or online – it takes time to build up. Anyone who’s been to physical networking events, knows that you need to show up regularly, for a period of time, before it develops and delivers consistent results. And networking online with LinkedIn, is exactly the same. So to finish the day then. Posts, how do we write them? And then, how do we build an audience? So first things first, focus on adding value. That’s the important bit. You can obviously – and you should – be posting good news stories, information about your business, etc. If you’ve just had a cracking Google review, or cooking VouchedFor review, or you’ve got a new client video, then yeah, absolutely post that. But there’s a ratio here. And if all you’re posting are those sorts of things, you’re going to… people are going to have a certain view of you over time. So for me, focus on adding value, focus on adding value, and then posting your wins, talking about your wins, meet ratio 10 to one, eight to one, something like that. Now, when you’ve got your LinkedIn time, and you come to sit down to write the post, it’s far easier if you have a list of things that you could be posting about. So during your day, just start thinking about posts that you could put up. So, that might be something you say to a client, and the client says, “I didn’t know that, thank you for that really useful piece of information.” Now, it’s probably obvious to you, it clearly wasn’t for the client, if it’s not obvious to that client, it will be not obvious to people like them. So note it down. I tend to send myself a little email, and store it away in a folder. When the time comes to post, I’ve got things to be… ideas to draw down on. Next, be interesting. It really, really helps if you’re interesting. You’ll add more value and get more engagement. But do avoid what I would term as “paralysis by analysis.” Yeah, don’t spend hours thinking about how to construct a post, to the point where actually you never get it up online. Yeah, some posts will fly, some posts will absolutely bomb. And I’ll give you an example – a couple of examples – of mine in a minute. So don’t spend too long thinking about it. Almost always include an image. Posts on LinkedIn, with an image, gain more engagement. Write in the first person, “I”, “we”, it’s just more personal. And again, use YayText and Emojipedia, to get in old icons, formatting, that sort of stuff. Just to show you why you shouldn’t think about posts too much, or why we need to avoid “paralysis by analysis.” This slide here. So, the picture on the left, was a Friday morning post that I put up. It was about how much should advisers and planners spend on their marketing. I probably spent 10 minutes writing the post, I spent a lot of time writing the article. I tagged in people who were quoted in the article. So Sarah Grillo, Carl Richards, Daniel Priestley, etc. and put the link in the comments, added an image, and got 63 views. I was incredibly disappointed, indignant, and to the point of going to LinkedIn and ask, “Does your algorithm work?” Yeah, 63 views on that post. It isn’t reflective of a normal post we put up on a Friday. But yeah, I was really disappointed by that. The one on the right, I was just searching through some CVs. I thought of something that would have made my life easier. I literally put it up in about 36 seconds. And there was no image. There was no link in the comments. There was no tags. And it got 3,819 views. So it just shows that sometimes, the shorter off-the-cuff posts, are a bit more, potentially, a bit more authentic. They drive comments. So you can see on the right hand side that had one comment, and that drives the number of views. So yeah, by all means, think about your posts. But there’s nothing wrong with occasionally just posting something off-the-cuff, and see how it works. It’s a good example of why we don’t always get it right as well. So, how to… something about LinkedIn in terms of adding links, and where to put them. You do want to get people to your website from… you do want to get people to your website, when you post, and often if you’re trying to promote a blog, or something like that. So the question is where you put the link. Now LinkedIn doesn’t… It wants people staying on their platform, it doesn’t want people heading off their platform to somewhere else. And therefore, it doesn’t penalise, but it likes post less, and shares them less via its algorithm, if the link is in the post itself rather than the comment. And the proof it works? We’ve tested this by putting two posts up that are identical, and we did it four times. And you can see there that the posts with the link in the comments had 376% higher views, 58 etc, etc. So it’s really important that you put the link in the comments, not in the post. And a couple of ways of showing that so that shows how we do it. You can see that we’ve got our post. So we’ve got the post at the top. Image, I put a note in there. Just above the image it says, “link in the comments.” And then the first comment is the link to the post. So that is a way of getting round, a little workaround. So that LinkedIn doesn’t think you put a comment, sorry, you put a link to your website in your post. And it works really, really well. A couple of things to remember, it doesn’t work with scheduling tools. So if you’re scheduling posts, with Buffer, or HootSuite or something like that, this doesn’t work. You’ve got to do it in real time. And images won’t automatically be pulled through from the blog. So you need to add an image manually. Something else on posts that’s really important. Your headline, the first two or three lines, are effectively your headline. So as we can see here from Citigold, and I’m not picking on Citigold, it was just the first post I saw on my timeline when I was writing this presentation. You can see there that the first two lines of their headline are, “Looking for bespoke wealth management solutions?” From day one, our team of wealth specialists can work with you to create a plan and help keep you…” I’m sure there’s something about on track. That’s not particularly engaging. It’s not talking to my problems. It’s not empathising with me. It’s not solving a problem. It’s not showing me how they solve a problem. So, am I going to get past the “…see more” there? Probably not. So, you really do need to get people past that “…see more” by writing a good quality headline. And something like CoSchedule is a piece of AI that we use to make sure our headlines are as good as possible. Just aware of time. I’m going to finish the presentation over the next five minutes or so. And then we’ll come to questions. Anybody who needs to leave now, we will obviously send the recording through. For me, there are 12 types of posts that you could write on LinkedIn. 12, ways… 12 things that will give you some inspiration. So showcase your clients big successes. If you’ve got a client who retired, and they send you a picture of their first holiday after retirement, ask if you can use it. Post it on LinkedIn. Talk about your meetings. Talk about your day-to-day work. That’s why, “Austin Kleon, Show Your Work” book is massively important. Go and buy it. Go and read it. And it will give you inspiration to post. Of course, promote your successes, your wins, Google reviews, VouchedFor reviews, etc. Go to the personal finance press. There’s The Times, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail. There are always personal finance articles at the weekend, and on Wednesdays. Use some of that as integration, go look at the comments on those articles, and use that as inspiration. You’ve got to be a bit careful about how you use it, mentioning no names, but use that. Those articles, and the comments as inspiration for your posts. React to the news. So, for example, two years ago tomorrow, we sent everybody home at Yardstick, to work from home. Stock markets were falling, and people were people were worried. That’s a good time to be reacting, and reminding your clients, prospects, personal connections and connections on LinkedIn, about the fundamentals of investing. Talk about your business, things that are going on. That’s always really useful. People are interested in what’s going on your business. Explain financial concepts. So if your client says to you, “How do I calculate my state pension age?” and you send me the link on the “.gov” website, post that. Your clients are thinking about it, so other people like them, will be thinking about it as well. Share your social proof. Links to your blogs, really important. Number ten on the list, but really important. Spend time writing and producing the blog. Posting them on LinkedIn, is part of the promotion. Post your job advert, back to what Steve said at the start, and share other people’s content as well. I posted something up from… I get an email off Andy Bounds every Tuesday. Really, really good stuff. And I quite often post that as well. So 12 things that you could be posting about. And this blog here – which we’ll send a copy of in the follow up email – just unpacks those and goes into more detail around each of those 12. Couple more slides to go. Building an audience. So we talked about the six things you should be doing, on a regular basis. The first one was posting on a regular basis. The last one was building an audience. Now this one is sometimes a bit controversial – and we’ve had a bit of flack for it – but it does work. So just think about this. You want as many people to see your posts as possible. You want to add value to as many people as possible. And that means you want your audience to be as big as possible. So you’ve got two choices. The first is, you wait for people to approach you. The second is you get on the front foot, and you proactively approach people as well. For me, that second route is the best way of doing it. If you walked into a physical networking event, you wouldn’t go and stand by the wall and wait for someone to go and talk to you. You might do, but it’s not the most effective way of getting something out of a networking event. Even if it was difficult, you dive in. You go and talk to people, and start conversations. And that’s what LinkedIn is all about. It’s networking, it’s not social media. First thing to do, take the easy win, go and connect with your clients, your prospects and your professional connections on LinkedIn. It’s an easy win, easy to do, go and do it. Then proactively send unsolicited connection requests. People you don’t know, that might make ideal clients. That might make some people feel really uncomfortable. But actually, people on LinkedIn to network. They’re genuinely there to network. So, even if it feels uncomfortable, I’d urge you to go and do it and try it. Because I almost guarantee, you’ll get no pushback. And, if you’re going to do it – and for me, it’s massively important, and is one of the key things you should be doing on a regular basis – we need to write a templated pre-approach message, I’ve got some examples to show you of that in a second. Use LinkedIn search tools to produce a list of people, that you want to connect to. Then start with your second degree connections. First, LinkedIn will show you whether you’re already connected with somebody, or if you’re one degree away. From your list of people you want to connect to, open their profile in a separate window. Because that shows them you’ve looked at their profile. That shows them you’ve looked at their profile. Click the Connect button. Always, always, always add a note. Don’t just send a connection request, add a note, copy and paste the message that you’ve written, and click send. And just a quick note, your message has a maximum of 300 characters. Here’s the message we use. I’ll let you read that for a second. I reckon that gets accepted 40 – 50% of the time. But I’m aware that that might not work for everyone on this call. So we produced this, as an alternative you could use. This needs and requires a bit more editing. So, “Hi…” put their first name in. “Hi Dan. Your profile has appeared in a recent LinkedIn search.” It’s true, because you triggered the search. But it’s true. “I hope you don’t mind, but I looked at your profile.” And remember, because you’ve opened it in a separate window, those people have seen that you’ve looked at their profile. “I see we are both connected to…” insert the name. It’s a secondary grid connection, so there’s probably someone that you’re both connected to. “I’d love to be a part of your network. And, I promise, no sale messages from me (ever!). Thanks.” So you need to do a bit of editing. But it really does work, it genuinely, genuinely does work. And we want an audience, that are as big as possible. There is a weekly cap on connection requests. At the middle last year, it was set at 100. I think it’s been increased, to closer to 200 now. It takes a bit of time to send 200 connection requests in a week, so you’re probably not going to get close to the cap. And all that happens is, if you hit the cap, you will just get… LinkedIn will stop you sending any more connection requests, for seven days. All the other functionality is there, all the other functionality is there. And when someone accepts your connection requests, the message you sent goes into your emails, or your Messages, in LinkedIn, then start up a conversation with them, it’s the most natural thing in the world to do. “Thanks for accepting the connection request.” And then add value. “Thought this might be helpful to you…”, “Saw this and thought of you…” Just be human. Start a conversation with them. And then aim to take the conversation off LinkedIn as soon as you can. At an appropriate point, suggest a call, suggest a coffee, whatever it is. But, building an audience, if you’re feeling uncomfortable about it right now, sorry, but it is incredibly important. And it is all about the balance between promotion, content promotion, and content production. And if you’re going to promote content, you want your audience to be as wide as possible. So, I’m very aware that I’ve run over there. So apologies for that. But there was a lot that I wanted to get through. This is how you can stay in touch with us, our website, my LinkedIn profile. Go and click that, or write that down and connect with me. But I’m very happy to stay around and answer as many questions that come up right now. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to stop the share. Dan, I am going to plug in the other camera and just see if that works. If it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to the original. How’s the sound?
Dan Campbell 1:05:19
So far? So good.
Phil Bray 1:05:21
Okay, let’s try like this. And then if the sound goes poorly again, I will go back to what I was doing.
Dan Campbell 1:05:27
Phil Bray 1:05:30
Over to you Dan.
Dan Campbell 1:05:31
Right? So, a lot of people have been asking the same question, and it’s all about outsourcing. So, a lot of people are saying, how… just how much time writing posts takes. How much time trying to find images to post. Things to do. So, what are the options? One of the questions is, “Is it possible to outsource LinkedIn social media activity?” And then the other main question is, “How do people do that?”
Phil Bray 1:05:59
Okay. So, it is absolutely possible to outsource some, or all, of those six tasks. So first, actually, first thing is building your profile. So, that you could do yourself or that you could outsource, to your local friendly specialist – financial services specialist – marketing agency. And you can equally outsource some, or all, of those six tasks as well. And, as I often say, marketing takes time. And that’s either your time, as a financial adviser, or planner – or whatever your role is – either your time or it’s somebody else’s time. It’s somebody else’s time, you’ve got to pay for it. Your time isn’t free either. So yes, absolutely, you can outsource it. What I would say is, be careful who you outsource it to. They’ve got to understand LinkedIn, and they’ve got to understand financial services. And clearly, you’ve got to measure the return on your investment, if you’re going to go into outsource as well. Absolutely, the answer is absolutely you can outsource. Just be careful what you outsource to.
Dan Campbell 1:07:13
Perfect. Thanks. Another question from Peter. And this is, going back to earlier on, you said that somebody you were speaking to was particularly ruthless in who they connected with, they didn’t connect with other IFAs. They purely connected with professional connections and possible clients. So Peter asks, “What is the advantage of being ruthless in who you accept connection requests from? If you’re building an audience from scratch, wouldn’t it be better to have, say, 10,000 connections rather than 500? So you have more credibility from a larger audience?”
Phil Bray 1:07:45
So can you hear me okay, Dan?
Dan Campbell 1:07:47
Yeah, all good.
Phil Bray 1:07:48
On that point, as I understand it, if I’m looking at Dan’s LinkedIn profile, for example, I will only see, I’ll see whether you’ve got a number of connection requests. I’ll see that you’ve got maybe 500 or more connections, I won’t see that you’ve got 10,136 connections. So from a external perspective, it doesn’t actually work that way. It isn’t necessarily a link between, there isn’t necessarily that link between credibility, and the number of connections, because the number of connections isn’t displayed specifically. In terms of… I would much rather have a smaller number of connections that are relevant to me, in terms of how I use LinkedIn, which is why I culled and then I built back up again. And the key benefit for me, was that my LinkedIn, when I wasn’t connected to people who weren’t in my three boxes, my LinkedIn was easier to use. I wasn’t getting so many messages from people that weren’t relevant to me. And my timeline when I was scrolling down, and networking was easier to deal with and easier to navigate. Because there were just fewer messages on there from people who weren’t relevant. So for me, that’s the key. That’s the key battle.
Dan Campbell 1:09:08
Perfect. So a question here from Jane, who says, “Hi, I’m a marketing manager at an IFA firm. The issue I have is time. IFAs don’t always have the time to write content. We write the content and post on the company page. And if the IFAs will then share it, then that’s good. Would you consider this to be suitable? As the IFAs can comment on the post that they are sharing, without having to spend the time writing the content? And then, how do you cover off compliance if the IFAs do actually write their own posts?
Phil Bray 1:09:42
Right, well, there’s a lot there. So the first thing I would do is, I would see no problem with writing the content for the IFAs. But rather than adding it to the company profile, adding it to their personal profile. That would be my preference. Because, all this research that I see, and the stats that I see, show that people will engage more with personal profiles, than they will do company profiles. And therefore, if I’m writing posts, the first place that I would promote it, are your advisers personal profiles. That’s the first thing. Second thing, in terms of compliance, I would just deal with it in the same way you deal with it now. So, there are certain types of posts that might be seen as a financial promotion. Therefore, they potentially need to go through compliance. But there are certain types of posts that just are not a financial promotion. And someone sends you flowers to the office and you put it up on LinkedIn. Yeah, you’re talking about your latest charitable work. That’s not a financial promotion. That doesn’t need to go past compliance, in my view. Clearly, you’ve got to talk to your compliance team. So for me, I wouldn’t see any difference with whether you were posting on behalf of the company, or the advisers as to what your process is from a compliance perspective. Is my sound okay, still Dan?
Dan Campbell 1:10:59
Yeah, perfect. It’s an interesting one, because we’ve got another question from an anonymous attendee who has the problem where their company has strict pre-approval procedures on all social media posts, so not even the ones that are just the off-the-cuff? You know, here’s something interesting that’s happened. How do they approach that?
Phil Bray 1:11:24
Get compliance to give their head a wobble? No, I think you, how do you approach that? It is very, very difficult. I would go to compliance and try and agree… Right, these are the types of posts that actually we do need to get approved. And these types of posts, they’re not financial promotions. Do we really need to get them approved? So, if you are posting your latest VouchedFor review, or if you’re posting your latest Google review, do you really need to get that approved by compliance? It’s not a financial promotion. And so I’d add that question. So I will try and come up with a list of things, that do need to be approved, and those that don’t need to be approved. Then you’ve got the list of things that do need to be approved, I would then be writing a lot of those posts in advance. So really focus on evergreen posts, and writing those in advance and getting them approved. Maybe you’re writing your posts now for April. And then the last thing I will be doing, is just developing really good relationships with compliance. So that when you go to them… because you want to post something that’s in reaction to an event that’s happening, and that event happens really quickly. I think Bank of England are announcing an interest rate rise or fall tomorrow. Then you might want to write a post about that just after it happens? So you go into compliance and say, “Look, we want to develop a relationship with you. There are certain times when we need posts to be turned around quickly. How can we put in place a process that gets that done?” So for me, it’s about relationships, and about agreeing boundaries with compliance.
Dan Campbell 1:12:57
That’s really helpful. Thank you. So, interesting question in from Ed. Now, this is all about the Social Selling Index score. So the SSI on the Sales Navigator, on the sales LinkedIn dashboard, and Ed asks, “How much attention should I be paying to my SSI score?”
Phil Bray 1:13:22
For me, this maybe goes back to the question that somebody else asked about how you measure success on LinkedIn, and social media? Well, LinkedIn, networking and social media. For me, I would be measuring success, based on engagement levels on the platform. So likes, comments, etc. If part of your job is to use these platforms to drive traffic to your website, I’d be using your Google Analytics to measure success there. So, for example, Abi and I regularly look at the Yardsticks Google Analytics. And entirely down to Abi’s work, the amount of traffic we got from LinkedIn in February doubled this year compared to last year, and from LinkedIn and social media. So I’d be looking at that. And then I’ll be looking at your new enquiry spreadsheet. So how many enquiries you’ve got through the social media channels that you’re working on. So for me, those are the key metrics. I might be wrong, and someone might tell me different, but the SSI… it just feels a bit vanity to me. I’m more interested in actual engagement, and things that are happening, and ultimately, the conversations that are being started.
Dan Campbell 1:14:34
Okay, so a lot of the questions in the chat have been heroically answered by Abi, who’s been providing links to the more technical bits and bobs, that people are asking. So, we’ve got one main question left in the Q&A box. And this is all about post scheduling tools, so Buffer or HootSuite. And Ed asks, “Do the LinkedIn algorithms filter out the use of scheduled posts, such as Buffer or HootSuite??
Phil Bray 1:15:02
Short answer is I don’t know. I don’t use scheduling post to post my own. Partly because I tend to allocate my LinkedIn time to a certain time of day. So I don’t actually need to need to use it. And I completely get that, to some people, well, actually scheduling tools are useful. They don’t work when you’re putting links in the comments. That’s a bit of a problem. But the short answer is, I don’t know whether using a scheduling tool is frowned upon by LinkedIn. So what we’ll do, is we’ll get Abi onto that. And Abi, if you can put a note in the follow up? And we’ll answer that question in the follow up.
Dan Campbell 1:15:46
Lovely stuff. Well, there’s no more open questions. So unless anybody’s got any last minute ones to fire in? Yeah, let’s call that one a day. Thanks for your engagement everyone. Some really good questions came through today.
Phil Bray 1:15:57
Yeah, thank you, everybody, for everything. Apologies for the technical issues, apologies for over-running, but I wanted to make sure we got everything in as possible. We’ll get the recording out later on today, and all the links and look out for the invite for our next webinar, in April. We’ll be sending that out over the course of the next few days. So thanks, everybody, and see you soon.
Dan Campbell 1:16:21
Brilliant. Take care everybody. Bye
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