Advisor Today - September/October 2015 - (Page 20)

Biz tech SOCIAL MEDIA By Daniel O' Connell, MBA How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice I use LinkedIn for prospecting and Facebook to show my personal side. D uring the past several years, I have attended numerous conferences and conventions, where I make sure I attend at least one social media breakout session. My goal is to walk away with two things I can use from these sessions. Social media is an ever-changing method of communication, and one has to keep up with the newest tools or run the risk of losing their audience. The most common question I am asked by many financial professionals is: "Why should I use social media?" In an August 2012 article, research found that the average worker in the U.S. will now stay at a job for 4.4 years. This means that most workers will change jobs more frequently than they do cars. Survey results in the same article regarding millennials and their career expectancy found that on average, they expect to stay in a job for fewer than three years. This means that they would have nearly 15 jobs in their lifetime. Keeping in touch So, how do you keep in touch and stay in front of consumers if their contact information is changing so rapidly? The answer can be social media. While it is good practice to have Facebook for personal connections and LinkedIn for professional matters, reaching your clients and prospects through either source can pay dividends. This is how I use these two methods of communications in my practice: Before and/or after appointments with new prospects, I use LinkedIn to connect with them, reaching out to learn more about them and, in return, sharing my experience and credentials. After all, they are interviewing you, and this is your modern electronic résumé. I even print out copies of Through building a social media identity, I am fortunate to have people contact me for my products and services. my LinkedIn information and when prospects tell me that they have had their agent for X number of years and don't know anything about me, I hand this information to them, which addresses this objection. LinkedIn is also a great source for prospecting because it allows you to see recent promotions and job changes of many employees. I have reached out to new contacts at groups with a specific message of asking how I can help them and have been able to set appointments with them this way. When prospecting, have a very clear message about how you can personally benefit the prospect. Using Facebook As I begin to build relationships with clients and prospects, I typically reach out to them on Facebook. This allows me to show my personal side and lets them know more about me and see what I am up to. Keep in mind that many people do not want to mix business with their Facebook account, and you have to be OK with this. However, for those who do connect with you, make sure to "like" the things they are doing and posting. You can also use this for topics of conversation during your next meeting. Instead of scanning their office for something to talk about, tell them how much you enjoyed the pictures of them on vacation or with the grandkids, and use this to personally connect with them. The golden rule of social media don'ts is to not get into arguments with people, attack their belief systems, or pass judgment on their comments and posts through via social media. Try to be inspiring, uplifting and happy. My use of social media has resulted in referrals from former cont'd on page 22 20 ADVISOR TODAY | September/October 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advisor Today - September/October 2015

Why You Need a Mentor
The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Success Tips from a Golden Gloves Boxer
How I Use Social Media to Build my Practice
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Discussing Your Client’s LTC Needs in Retirement
How to Boost Your LTCI Production
¿Habla Español?
Providing a Retirement Safety Net
Ongoing Challenges, New Solutions
Four Under Forty
NAIFA’s 125th Anniversary
Demystifying CPA Alliances
Building Your Natural Audience
Holding Workshops?
Ideas to Help You Sell More
Special-Needs Planning
Planning for Divorced or Widowed Women

Advisor Today - September/October 2015