Financial Advisor Network (FAN) - Advisors obtaining clients from LinkedIn Groups


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This white paper uses research and best practices ideas for financial advisors to obtain new clients through participation in different LinkedIn Groups.

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Financial Advisor Network (FAN) - Advisors obtaining clients from LinkedIn Groups

  1. 1. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida * 2013 user survey by Financial Advisor Network (FAN) - White Paper Financial Advisors Obtaining Clients through LinkedIn Groups October 10, 2013 I. OVERVIEW OF FAN WHITE PAPER Purpose of FAN Study – The Financial Advisor Network (FAN) studied its own membership’s participation in LinkedIn groups, along with other relevant LinkedIn statistics, to provide guidance on how financial advisors’ participation in LinkedIn groups can better enable them to obtain new clients. This white paper’s objective is to give financial advisors the ideas, structure and support that they need to be motivated to successfully use LinkedIn. groups. Over 238 million people use LinkedIn Study’s Conclusions – There is a strong benefit to professionals, like financial advisors, to joining and participating in a number of LinkedIn groups. Also clear is the need to have an organized way to identify the best groups advisors should join, and what kind of participation to have in those groups to deliver the greatest benefit, per time and effort expended. 60.6% of LinkedIn users feel that LinkedIn Groups is the most useful feature*
  2. 2. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida Scale of LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups & Group Participation – According to LinkedIn’s 2Q2013 quarterly report, there are over 238 million people who use this networking website., a LinkedIn-based consulting firm, showed in their 2013 User Survey that 60.6% of LinkedIn users feel that LinkedIn Groups is the most useful feature that LinkedIn provides them. Also, over 1.5 million LinkedIn groups have been created. Proven Benefits of Participating in LinkedIn Groups – It is common sense that the more profile views a financial advisor receives, the more opportunities they have to connect with potential clients. According to an August 20, 2013 presentation by LinkedIn, people who post or engage in group discussions get an average of four times as many profile views. Two of the primary reasons people join LinkedIn groups, both good for financial advisors looking for new clients, are for professional growth and to learn more about a passion they have. Types and Number of LinkedIn Groups – An August 20, 2013 presentation by LinkedIn said that LinkedIn members join an average of 7 groups. There is no surprise that FAN’s own study of its members shows that its members join a slightly higher average number, at 9 groups. The key types of groups FAN members joined: 40% of the groups are advisor related, with 21% of the FAN members only in advisor groups; 34% of the groups are networking related, with 67% of all the FAN members in these groups; and 26% of the groups are in the “other” category, including investments, companies, job search, non-advisor professions, and interests/sports/hobbies. II. BACKGROUND OF LINKEDIN GROUPS LinkedIn Users Show the Value of LinkedIn Groups for Financial Advisors – The 2013 LinkedIn User Survey asked users how LinkedIn has helped them. The responses gave an indication of what potential clients think, like those pursued by financial advisors: 75.8% of users (the most helpful) said they used LinkedIn to research people and companies; and 70.6% of users use LinkedIn to reconnect with past business associates/colleagues. Also, there were responses that gave an indication of what professionals, like advisors, think: 38.5% of users said LinkedIn enabled them to connect with potential customers; 45.0% of users said LinkedIn enabled them to build new networking relationships with individuals who may influence potential customers; and 44.5% of users said LinkedIn enabled them to increase their face-to-face networking effectiveness.
  3. 3. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida 40% of Groups Advisors Join are Advisor Groups – Each FAN member is in an average of 3.6 LinkedIn advisor groups, including the FAN group. FAN’s ongoing member survey work shows a number of key reasons advisors join such groups: to network with fellow advisors; to obtain business-building ideas; to find out which services/investments other advisors are using; and to obtain business management ideas. Recommended min. # of advisor groups: 5 26% of Groups Advisors Join are “Other” Groups – Each FAN member is in an average of 2.4 “other” LinkedIn groups. These groups are important for ideas and potential contacts for financial advisors to be more successful. These “other” LinkedIn groups include: investment products; advisor service providers; companies or B’Ds of advisors; research; job search; non-advisor-specific sales, marketing and social media (plus many others). Recommended min. # of “other” groups for advisors: 10 Recommended Total # of LinkedIn Groups – 27 is the combined recommended minimum number of LinkedIn Groups for advisors. This is three times the current FAN members’ average number of LinkedIn groups, and almost four times the seven-group average for all LinkedIn users. In creating a usable range of LinkedIn groups advisors should join, we’ll use the current average of 9 as a “C” school grade. The recommended number for a “B” grade is 18, and 27 for an “A” grade. III. ADVISOR LINKEDIN GROUP STUDY 34% of Groups Advisors Join are for Networking – Each FAN member is in an average of 3.0 LinkedIn networking groups. FAN’s survey showed that: 35% of these networking groups are for colleges and other schools, including sororities and fraternities; 39% of these networking groups are networking-specific, such as a networking group in a city; and 26% of the networking groups are the “other” category, including groups like those for religious beliefs, social causes or associations (plus many others). Recommended min. # of networking groups: 12 Advisors are in 29% More LinkedIn Groups than the Average LinkedIn User
  4. 4. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida * Buntin Group and Survey Sampling International IV. LOCATING IDEAL LINKEDIN GROUPS No Shortage of LinkedIn Groups – With over 1.5 million LinkedIn Groups created, it isn’t a matter of there being enough of the right groups for financial advisors. Instead, the challenge for advisors is how to find the right groups to join. Complicating this matter is the fact that the types of groups each advisor should join depends upon factors specific to them. These factors are based on each advisor’s: 1.) client niche(s); 2.) networking approach and 3.) groups to which their best clients belong. Advisors’ LinkedIn Groups Should be Unique to Them & Their Advisory Businesses 1. Advisor’s Client Niche(s) – Even advisors who say they don’t have a client niche or niches, will see one or more similarities among most of their clients. To help with such an client evaluation, there are three categories of client niches: 1.) profession-based – this applies to the clients’ jobs/careers, including types of business; 2.) activity-based – this includes clients’ hobbies, social circles, interests, volunteer groups, and many others and 3.) life-stage-based – this includes young professionals, retirees, middle age and others. 2. Advisor’s Approach to Networking – For networking groups, there are regional, state and national groups to consider for the three categories: 1.) professional – this includes lawyers, accountants and other referral sources; 2.) business – this applies to all the general business networking groups and 3.) alumni/association/interests – these groups are associated with each advisor. 3. Groups of Advisor’s Best Clients – One of the many reasons financial advisors should connect with their clients on LinkedIn (FAN white paper on this coming up) is that it enables the advisors to look at those clients’ LinkedIn groups. Take a look at the LinkedIn groups of the top twelve clients, based on size. 40% of LinkedIn Users Visit the Site Daily*
  5. 5. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida V. OPTIMIZING LINKEDIN GROUPS 1. Roll Out Group Signups – Following the process reviewed on the prior page, an advisor should have more than enough LinkedIn groups to join. It is recommended that one spread out their signups to only three to five a day. This gives the advisor the time it takes to follow the other LinkedIn group optimization ideas, reviewed below. 2. Send Personal Request if … – Some of the groups an advisor wants to join aren’t an exact fit for their profile, like a group for lawyers. To increase their chance of being approved for these groups, they should send a personal request to the group’s manager. You can explain why you feel you should be approved for the group (e.g., “I work closely with my clients’ attorneys and I frequently need to find a new attorney for one of my clients.”) 3. It’s About Networking, not Selling – Between 100,000 to 200,000 LinkedIn group members have been put into the “discussion review bin” this year because they are promoting themselves. Have your Discussion Board postings and responses stick with the topics covered by that group. After interacting with someone, the next natural step would be to “take it offline” to have a discussion. 4. Create a Process & Routine – To obtain the most benefits from participating in LinkedIn Groups, advisors should have a process, including the following activity: 1.) Discussions on the Discussion Board – The goal could be 6 of these chats each day; 2.) Reachouts for One-on-One talks – The goal could be one of these each day; 3.) Have a set routine each day – This could be 10-15 minutes of effort, twice a day Active LinkedIn Group Members Average Four Times More Profile Views
  6. 6. Financial Advisor Network (FAN) Michael Sakraida VI. ABOUT FINANCIAL ADVISOR NETWORK A Community of Over 11,000 Financial Advisors – The Financial Advisor Network (FAN) group started is a LinkedIn group that goes beyond LinkedIn to help its advisor members. We are the largest advisor LinkedIn group that is open to all advisors and only advisors. In fact, we deny entry into FAN to more people than we approve. Multiple Ways FAN Helps Advisors – + Our Website + Weekly Newsletters + Webinars + One-on-One Help About FAN’s Founder, Michael Sakraida – Mike has over 30-years’ experience helping financial advisors become more successful. In addition to running the FAN group, Mike has a consulting firm, which helps advisors, Broker Dealers and financial and technology companies. Mike also has a speech service for all of these groups. Joining FAN, Only for Advisors (Free) – + Enter Financial Advisor Network (FAN) into LinkedIn’s search tool + Click on registration link on website + email Mike at Michael Sakraida at NYSE