Tips about using the Internet and social media — especially LinkedIn

Sweet Tweet Tips

It’s smart to schedule the same tweet at different times of the day, month, or year. Your followers’ online habits are predictable individually, but vary collectively as to timing and frequency.  You don’t have to struggle to find new content, since your duplicate tweets will be new to many of your followers.

Take care not to schedule tweets too far in that future if they contain dates or trendy information. Don’t always post your own tweets.  Tweet news, quotes, information or articles from other websites.  Get personal by posting about things you’re passionate about (I periodically post my recipes, travel tips, etc.)   And of course go to Twitter at least once a day to see if you can retweet the posts of your connections, chat about an interesting post, or comment on someone else’s post.

Below are 3 programs I’ve used that put your tweets on auto-pilot. The first two that I mention offer both a free and paid version. Usually, free versions of apps tack on an “ad” — the name of the app company at the very least — to the end of each message you post.

http://www.gremln.com/

http://hootsuite.com/

http://www.tweetdeck.com/

 

© 2013 Elevating Your Business.  Maria Marsala is a business coach to financial advisors.  She helps independent and fee-based financial firms systematize their business processes, master marketing, multiply the bottom line, and increase free time.  Maria has been published in Financial Planning Magazine, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous other trade journals and magazines.  If you liked this article, you’ll enjoy Maria’s complimentary newsletter.  Subscribe at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com

 

If you’d like this article in PDF format, to print, send to your staff, or use as a way to touch your business clients, email Maria at GoTo@ElevatingYourBusiness.com

 

 

FA Tactical Tips: Short-Cut to Technology Insights

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©2013 123RF Stock Photos

Short-Cut to Technology Insights

Because of my years on Wall Street, I’ve operated a computer since 1973. It as fun, when in 1998, I took a website development from scratch class.

These days, I can’t keep up with all the emerging technology. So, I read Bill Winterberg’s newsletter to learn about the new and neat technology that financial advisors may want to use for productivity and profit growth.

Action

Have your IT Team Member register for Bill’s newsletter AND get your copy of 7 Essential Tips for the Productive Advisor now at http://fppad.com/ If you are a business owner and your IT Team person, too, it may be time to hire IT consulting help.

©2013 Maria Marsala guides independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base. Did you find this article thought provoking? Get more delivered directly to your inbox every two weeks by signing up at Register here

Financial Advisor Tips: Getting Caught with Your Links Down?

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©2013 123RF Stock Photos
How annoying is it to go to a website, click a link and end up on an error page? Yeah, my website is guilty of this sometimes, too. I’ve done two things to fix this vexing problem:a) My web master set up a site map to appear instead of an error page. If a link is broken or has changed, my website visitors get my site map (a menu listing the main web pages on my sites) and information on finding what they’re looking for. You can go directly to my sitemap here
b) We use a no-cost link checker called Xenu to zip through all my websites and easily let it scour for broken links that need fixing. It creates a report and then we fix  the broken or relocated links.

Action

Tell your web master about Xenu so that he/she can use this resource to run through your website pages or blog. While you’re at the Xenu website, join Tilman’s newsletter list. He’ll only email you notices that he has updated the tool. The current version of Xenu is: 1.3.8 from September 4th, 2010. Download Xenu now

 

Our tips may sometimes contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.

©2013 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala is a Business Coach to Financial Advisors and a former Wall Street Trader. She helps independent and fee-based financial advisors reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous other books, trade journals, and magazines. If you liked this article, get them delivered to your Inbox every two weeks. Register here

Top 10 Linkedin© Profile Tips for the “Social” Financial Professional

Originally published in RIA Biz Magazine (8/11)
by Maria Marsala, Coach to Financial Advisors

As a financial professional, you spend a lot of time looking for new customers.  Your daily routine is consumed by a numbers game where more prospects translate to more clients.  The allure of social media is great.  But how do you simultaneously navigate social media sites like LinkedIn and compliance regulations—and still make social media work for you?

 

If your compliance department approves a social networking website, it’s most likely LinkedIn.  Widely used by professionals, the site claims that the majority of its users are decision-makers. The tremendous volume of activity generated by LinkedIn’s 100 million members attracts the attention of search engines.  Often, a search will produce a professional’s LinkedIn profile before his or her website.

 

Many firms have been experimenting with the use of  Twitter and LinkedIn.   Undoubtedly, more firms will develop social media policies to remain competitive.

 

As more freedoms are granted for social media use, you’ll want to be ready.  Follow the tips below to start or improve your LinkedIn profile.

 

Tip #1 – Start with Compliance

The adage, “ask forgiveness, not permission”, does not apply to the financial sector.  Contact your compliance department to learn its social media protocol.  However, use a collaborative approach to making requests; don’t ask, “Can I . . .?” but rather, “How can I . . .?”  If your firm doesn’t have a written social networking usage document, get involved with creating one.  Volunteer as a test case.

 

Tip #2 – Benefit from a Company Profile

You can have only one individual LinkedIn profile.  Company profiles are important.  Make sure your marketing manager knows about this feature so that the company profile can be set up properly.  You will find instructions in LinkedIn’s Companies section.  When correctly used, this feature ties individual employees’ profiles together and makes it easy for others to find and follow your company on LinkedIn.

 

Tip #3 – Be an Early Bird

Try to remember: progress versus perfection.  Establishing a LinkedIn profile that includes your name and title is better than not having any profile at all!  Now that compliance departments are beginning to allow social media participation, being an early user in your profession is a competitive advantage.  Start your profile and include as much information as your company allows.

 

Tip #4 – Create a Search-Friendly Profile

Start your profile by creating a file of keywords.  To do this, open a spreadsheet or create a table with three columns.  In the first column, list features of your services or products.  In the second column, list the benefits of your services or products.  In the third column, list the attributes of your ideal client, which can include geographics, demographics, technographics, and psychographics.  Then, ask your clients why they hired you, what they like best about your services, and why they would refer you to others.  Add those words to the appropriate columns in your keyword document.  Choose five of the most important words in each category and sprinkle those words or concepts throughout your profile.

 

Including keywords in the “Summary” and “Experience” sections of your profile increases your chances of being found by search engines.  By the way, if you are an RIA or other independent, you can use this keyword process to create other marketing materials for your firm.

 

Tip #5 – Complete Your Profile

Read the LinkedIn Blog (Home/More/Learning Center) or work through the instructions in the Tools at the bottom of the page and you’ll learn that profiles completed 100% are weighted more heavily and rank higher in LinkedIn’s internal search feature.  Even if your profile is the only thing that your company allows, fill in as much as you can within compliance guidelines for maximum “find” potential.

 

Tip #6 – Stand Out

The Summary section is an underutilized area of many LinkedIn profiles.  Use this section to appeal to your particular client niche and to describe your services.  This area gives you the opportunity to differentiate your business.  If you are an independent professional working for a company, your Experience section should resemble your resume.  If you own your firm, consider making this area more personal with the use of the word “I”.

 

Tip #7 – Be a Resource to Your Contacts

Visit the Learning Center monthly.  You’ll find it under the More tab.  You’ll be more informed—and your profile will reflect that.  Subscribe to the RSS feed at the Blog and you’ll be first to learn about new features.  As a service to your LinkedIn connections, email them informative links through the Inbox (Compose Message button on the left) and help them gain more visibility, too!  If your company has a blog, ask permission to use LinkedIn’s Blog application and connect to it.  Helpful content attracts connections and helps to differentiate you and your company.

 

Tip #8 – Follow the Rules

Following the rules is important.  The area for your first name and last name may include your credentials, but may not include your title, email address, or any other information.  I learned this lesson the hard way when my subscription was frozen for a few days.  Discussing this with a representative revealed that I agreed to this policy as a condition of creating an account.

 

Tip #9 – Be Social

Join Groups started by your company, financial magazines, or financial associations in order to connect with current clients, referrals, and prospects that might find you during their Internet travels.

 

Tip #10 – Delegate

Do you still have doubts about whether LinkedIn is a good use of your time?  Designate one of your team members to manage an account or hire a writing professional to create your profile.  This person can also research applications and groups that might interest you.

 

 

It’s clearly a competitive advantage to prepare an Internet strategy as more firms devise policies and procedures for social networking sites.  Following the guidelines determined by FINRA, the SEC, and your company’s social networking policy, using LinkedIn can help grow your practice or business.  There will undoubtedly be new social networking freedoms granted to financial professionals.  With each new development, you can simply modify your social media presence and stay one step ahead of your competition.

 

See how this advice was used to create a profile.  Visit http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/mariamarsala

 

WHAT TIPS OR QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE TO SHARE IN REGARDS TO LINKEDIN?
Tell us… use the comment boxes.

 

© 2011 Maria Marsala founded Elevating Your Business to provide focus and accountability to financial professionals seeking to substantially grow their business.  Elevating Your Business provides step-by-step business planning, management, and marketing advising services.  Social networking is one of many marketing strategies planners can use to grow their practice.  Maria is a former retrail trader from Wall Street and was an early adopter of LinkedIn, joining in as member number 399,261 (currently 100 million members).  Have you looked at the efficiency of your firm’s best practices lately? Download our Business Evaluator at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com

 

 

Join the Financial Advisors Mastermind Edge (On LinkedIn)

GOAL
This is a place – a GROUP on LinkedIn(R) where financial advisors/advisers/professionals can collaborate and discuss issues pertinent to growing personally and professionally.

THIS IS AN INTERACTVE GROUP
What would you like to discuss? What information would you like to learn? What trends in marketing, networking, etc. are you seeing?

If you find or have written an article you’d like to post to the group, please do so. PLUS, add to it a question you’d like the group to answer about that article or a question you’d like us to discuss on that topic.

If you aren’t going to contribute to the gruop — your time, resources, tips, questions, etc. don’t join.

THIS IS A CLOSED GROUP
Your LI profile must state that you are a financial services professional. An advisor, professional, CFA, accountant, wealth planner, insurance agents, etc.

PROMOTION
Post your seminar or one you feel would be of interest to the group once in the discussion area. If you want to remind people about it, find your original post and place a comment in it. If you post the message a 2nd time, we’ll remove it. Allowing promotions is a gift in such groups. Make sure that you are a contributor before you post any sort of promotion.

JOIN
GO TO www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/LinkedInGroupFA.html

Then introduce yourself.