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The 5 LinkedIn Secrets Financial Advisors NEED

Posted: 2016-06-15

81% of financial advisors (Putnam Investments) use social media for business. However, most advisors are not going to use Snapchat, Instagram or musical.ly. FINRA and the SEC have published explicit rules and regulations on social media for the financial services community and most broker dealers take a conservative approach. Due to it’s professional appeal and audience demographics, the platform of choice is LinkedIn.

Almost 80% of advisors have used social media to get a new client. One advisor even landed a $70 million account just using LinkedIn. Successful advisors know how to use this robust tool to land new clients, improve relationships and impact their bottom line: revenue. Here are the secrets successful advisor use.

  1. Don’t Sell – People love to buy, but they hate to be sold to. As soon as some professionals connect with someone, they see dollar signs. Use social media to build and cultivate relationships. Social media (even LinkedIn) is still “social.” Don’t forget, the rules for selling securities through digital media (e.g. – websites, social media, message boards, etc) clearly regulate communication between clients and advisors. Tip: After connecting, try to provide value added resources, approved content and schedule introductory meetings.
  2. Complete Your Profile – Your profile begins with a professional picture (Raymond James). These should be head shots from the shoulders up. Don’t forget to smile and wear a suit. No pictures of you with your spouse, girlfriend / boyfriend or any other friend cropped out of the picture. Include your summary, education and experience. List honors and awards as a way to express technical competence. Include your personal hobbies and interests. These should show that you have a life away from work. It may be a way to connect with them on a personal level. Tip: Turn off notifications to prevent from spamming people with every profile change.
  3. Connect – There are two ways to look at connections: a) a close circle of people to stay in touch with, or b) a larger circle that allows for more networking opportunities. To build your network, look to immediate friends, family and coworkers. Association meetings and networking event are great ways to meet a diverse group of professionals. Even if they can’t help you right now, they may know someone later who could be an ideal client. Remember to send personalized invitations that remind them where you met and why you’d like to connect.
  4. Engage – Social media is not just a numbers game. Stay in touch with your connections. Birthdays, job changes and promotions are great reasons to reach out. Many people shy away from engagement because they don’t know how long it will take. Schedule 15 minutes in the morning and evening to respond to invitations, check status updates and post company approved information. Most large firms don’t allow advisors and wealth managers to endorse skills or give recommendations, so check company policies first.
  5. Don’t Quit Networking - Just because an advisor starts using social media, they don’t have to stop meetings, phone calls and emails. Social media is an additional leg to add to the stool of success for advisors. Use LinkedIn as a way to begin conversations and cultivate relationships. One advisor solely uses it as a way to meet people, schedule meetings and sign prospects up for his company newsletter.

Successful advisors know their success and growth is a function of the relationships they have built with their clients. Some studies have shown that millennials will inherit more than $30 trillion (Bloomberg) over the next 20 years. Therefore, to keep relevant, invest in the tools of the future and use social media.

Scientifically Speaking, of course…

Who Killed SIRI?

Posted: 2016-06-01

When Apple’s Siri first came the scene it was amazing! Users could ask questions and she would answer. Websites were dedicated to useful and useless questions for the digital assistant that arrived with the iPhone 4S. Users could ask for jokes, the meaning of life or mathematical calculations. The more information we gave it, the more powerful it became. Soon it was playing music, providing restaurant reviews and giving directions. “She” began to really understand us. The iPhone was becoming more of an extension of our everyday, natural action: speaking. Then Goole Now happened. And Cortana. And Alexa (oh, how I LOVE Alexa).

As more competition for Siri emerged, the stakes for a truly helpful assistant emerged. Users were no longer content with pressing a button for the weather, we wanted devices and programs that could predict our needs and offer suggestions like a real assistant. Many of these programs now automatically tell you when your next meeting is, the best route to get there (based on current traffic patterns) and who is going to be late. They remember the batteries you ordered the last time and ask you if that is what you want now. Let’s see how the competition stacks up against one another.

  • Apple – Siri plays well in the Apple Universe. Use it to schedule meetings (in Apple calendar), play music (through Apple Music) or call people (in my Apple contacts). In 2015 Apple Homekit expanded to allow Siri to control appliances such as lights, thermostats and coffee makers. Apple gives you a list of all of the Homekit supported products on their site and continues to dedicate more resources to making it more powerful. She can also be very helpful at answering simple math and science calculations. If there are basic facts, figures and statistics, she’ll likely know them. Pros: It comes on all iOS devices. Cons: Siri is not great at understanding speech.
  • Amazon – I have a new love in my life; Alexa be her name. A cylinder with dimensions of 9.25″ x 3.3″, the Amazon Echo can be used to answer questions, order pizza, reserve an UBER driver, play music (Prime subscribers), read Audible books or request your Google calendar. Amazon also allows control of lighting, thermostats and shades. Earlier this year the Echo Dot was announced. It allows users to extend the range of control in a smaller form factor. You can also schedule other actions by using IF (f this then that App {IFTTT}). Lose your iPhone? Alexa will call it for you! Pros: Integrates with Internet of Things (IoT) and all Amazon services. Cons: It is not mobile…at all!
  • Google – The Google Home is one of the newest entries to the world of digital assistance (expected late 2016). Smaller than the Echo, this could be the most powerful device of all. The unique nature of these devices will be the combination Google’s vast array of information and search (from Google Now) with home automation (Google Home). It is expected to automatically work with Nest and all of the Google Apps (e.g. – mail, calendar, drive and contacts). Pros: The power of Google Now and all of the data they have on their users. Cons: As long as you are willing to surrender to the Google machine, it will take good care of you.
  • Cortana – Although not the most popular digital assistant, Cortana offers a unqiue option for people living in the Microsoft universe. It works well with their bands, laptops and Lumina phones. As popular as Microsoft is, Cortana has not taken off well with their mobile devices (which have also not taken off). Pros: Works well on desktop and Microsoft universe. Cons: Lack of adoption

As the popularity and use of digital assistance continues to grow, their incorporation will become more common. Consumers will require devices to work with each other no matter the brand. Currently we are living in the wild, wild west of technology: Siri plays Apple Music; it doesn’t integrate with Google Music or Amazon Prime. Google Home won’t control all of the “Internet of Things” in the home. Similar to the days of Beta and VHS, consumers will have to choose who the winner(s) will be. The best part is the consumer will will in the end.

Scientifically Speaking, of course…

Social Media Is Killing the News!

Posted: 2016-05-18

63% of Facebook and Twitter users said they get news from these platforms. I’m surprised the number is that low! In 2012, I followed the entire Presidential election through Twitter. If you watch the news now, all of the reporters and anchors list their Twitter handles – and they are active! Most major news channels even assign hashtags to stories or shows (#CNNNewDay). Why has all of the news gone social?

Today I get news whenever, wherever and however I want. If I want to watch television for national news, I watch CNN (or FOX News, if I want something “fair and balanced”). Increasingly, however, I rely on social media on mobile devices for my local and national news. The best part is my news is completely customizable! I choose the topics and stories I want to read. And when I am done, I can share with other people. That makes me look like I am in the know and builds my professional brand. Here’s how the various social media networks have changed how we get our news.

  • Newsfeed / Stream – When you Like a page on Facebook, you are stating that you want their status updates on your page. This can be especially helpful when you are interested in blog updates, stories and specific topics that interest you. You don’t have to find the information; it is automatically sent to you. Twitter (followers) and LinkedIn (Pulse) work in a similar fashion.
  • Groups / ListsTwitter makes it easy to segment the type of news and information you want to receive. Simply create a category (e.g. – Marketing Technology, Indiana Churches, K12 Education, etc) and begin adding people. They will be notified they have been added to your list. When you select that Twitter List, you will only see tweets from those people or organizations. Your news is completely customized!
  • Trending – Social media companies scour the feeds to find what’s trending. Facebook lists trending categories on the right side of the feed. Twitter offers users two options: trending hashtags and “Moments.” These are the most popular trending stores on Twitter at that instant: News, Entertainment, Sports, Elections, etc. Even Snapchat has Stories that tell users the most news in short video format. In most cases, you can even read the whole story if you’d like.
  • Video – Video killed the television star! I can’t watch NBC Nightly news while on the train. I can’t watch my local news if I’m out of town. However, I can use social media and apps like Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on the events in my community and abroad. Similarly, Periscope and Meerkat put the power of the live broadcast in the hands of anyone with a smart phone or tablet. Is video the preferred means of communicating? More than 400 hours of YouTube video are uploaded every minute!

Facebook is now suspected by some conservatives of leaning their content to the left using “secret algorithms.” That may or may not be true. However, the fact is that mobile devices and social media have also empowered the user / viewer / subscriber to select what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. Consumers of information have more choices now than at any other time in modern history. The revolution will not be televised; it will be downloaded.

Scientifically Speaking, of course

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