Filling Your LinkedIn Restaurant with Quality Connections

You know the warning about not going into an empty restaurant? The lack of customers is considered a bad sign and a reflection on the food. Such is the case with LinkedIn; people checking out your profile want to see customers at your table, or your Connections. That blue number to the far right of your profile box says whether or not you are an established and liked member of the financial services industry.

Your LinkedIn network is one of the most critical components of any social selling program. Yet, while bigger seems better, you need to cultivate your connections with care and purpose. Think of quality over quantity. Otherwise, if you try to connect with EVERYONE, you dilute your online efforts.

So, what’s the best way to start? Begin by considering the types of people you want in your network, or, as I like to say, your tribe. For instance, you probably have clients, prospects, vendors, industry influencers, community influencers, and more, who you want and need to include on your connection list.

Next up? Make certain your LinkedIn profile is professional and optimized. If you don’t already have my handy LinkedIn one-pager, Getting It Right – Top Tips for Your LinkedIn Profile, download it today. This tip sheet steps you through some of the key profile must-haves.

Don’t Know Where You Are Going?

Iconic coaches, top athletes, high achievers, and innovative start-ups all know setting goals is an important component for success. Yet, regardless of industry or stature, anyone and everyone looking to attain business growth needs to define a process and plan, and with today’s connected world those goals must encompass social media.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
~ Yogi Berra

What should those goals include? Within the context of your overall sales and marketing program your social media plan should detail the following: brand perception and awareness, public relations, thought leadership, engagement and time management, competitive intelligence, and lead generation.

Clearly, there are many points to consider, but if you want rock your sales, you need to focus on the latter two and incorporate social selling. Just what is social selling? In short, social selling means actively using the resources available online and on social platforms to ferret out information about prospects so you can form meaningful connections that lead to business.

Social media is no longer just a tool for B2C purchases; businesses left and right are using social media to research, validate, and converse about B2B purchases. A recent McKinsey & Company article notes: “Business-to-business selling has become less linear as customers research, evaluate, select, and share experiences about products.”

Now consider the impact on sales:

  • 78.6 percent of sales people using social media outsell their peers. source
  • 55 percent of B2B purchasers source information on social media. source
  • You are five times more apt to get your foot in the door if you have a LinkedIn connection. source

Convinced? Good! Be sure you have a copy of our Six Steps to a Spectacular Social Strategy to guide your efforts. Then, hang on for more insights, tips and resources on social selling coming your way next week.

Six Steps to a Spectacular Social Strategy

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How To Avoid Obsolescence: What Martha Stewart Can Teach Financial Advisors

Martha Stewart originated today’s hip and growing maker movement- giving us the tools, advice, guidance and inspiration to elevate every part of our home. So, of course, when I bought my first home, one of the first things I did was order a subscription to Martha Stewart Living. Martha (anyone who loves her magazine is immediately on a first-name basis with her) put every bit of her marketing brilliance into her magazine. It was a slightly different size than any other magazine available, so it always stood out. The photographs were high art even when they focused on the most domestic elements (even cleaning materials looked stunning).

Every month, I poured through the pages, dreaming about building my nest and enriching my life in the process. Should I paint my walls robin’s egg blue or sage green? Even my chicken rose to a whole new level. Martha’s attitude was always to imagine that with planning, industriousness and some creative juice, anything was possible and would make your life more beautiful. I made everything from homemade mustard to fennel-topped crackers. In fact, I still make her clove and cardamom-spiced apple butter each autumn and her Cioppino every Christmas (minus the mussels).

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‘Women Rocking Wall Street’ Explores Teamwork Among Genders, Generations

Companies can embrace women’s “getting along” mentality to boost recruitment and profits, says advisory services expert.

For companies looking to attract new talent and increase profits, the answer may lie in creating a “getting along” culture. On a new episode of “Women Rocking Wall Street,” a podcast dedicated to helping women navigate the financial services workplace, Sheri Fitts hosts a lively discussion about the getting along paradigm.

Guest Dr. Solange Charas, CEO of Charas Consulting, shares her insights about teamwork among genders and generations. Charas, who provides advisory services to boards and C-Suite executives, says women by nature focus on getting along at work, while men tend to prioritize getting ahead. Women’s collaborative working style, she says, may help companies increase their bottom line and recruit employees.

“Women … care more about the other in the team, or as much as the other in the team, as they do themselves,” Charas says.

Research shows that cultures that value teamwork rather than individual gains are actually more profitable, Charas says. “Getting along” organizations can also attract new talent; in her discussions with millennials, she has found that both men and women in this generation prefer working at small companies or as entrepreneurs, to avoid the distinct hierarchy at large corporations. A company with lots of “getting ahead” employees and not much collaboration could face serious recruitment issues, Charas says.

Organizations should focus on rewarding team efforts in order to change the culture, Charas suggests. “Teamwork is a big conversation in organizations, but unless it’s really part of the core culture, unless it’s really rewarded [behaviorally] … we’re not going to see the system change,” she says.

Recruiting women for management roles can also foster teamwork. Women have a different leadership and accountability style, Charas says, and traditional corporate America is geared more toward a male-oriented working style.

To hear this episode and others, head to iTunes and download the “Women Rocking Wall Street” podcast, or visit http://womenrockingwallstreet.com.

For more information about Solange Charas’s work, visit
http://charasconsulting.com.

About Dr. Solange Charas

Women Rocking Wall Street: A Kick Aspirational Resource for Women in Financial Services

ShoeFitts Marketing president Sheri Fitts offers women in the financial services industry some aspirational and inspirational interviews on her new “Women Rocking Wall Street” podcast.

Women in financial services just got a new stage where they can find their inner rock star. “Women Rocking Wall Street”, hosted by ShoeFitts Marketing president Sheri Fitts, brings kick aspirational stories to women looking for mentorship and the courage to thrive in the male-dominated financial services industry.

“Women are in a huge Wall Street gender gap,” explains Fitts. “Here we are in 2015, yet only 30 percent of financial advisors are women and even fewer are in leadership roles. I want to help change those statistics.”
However Fitts points out, the podcast “isn’t about pushing down one group in order to elevate another; it’s about helping women step out on stage, find their inner strength, and be a rock star.”

“Women Rocking Wall Street” features motivational interviews with women in a variety of businesses and industries. “The podcast is my attempt to bring some awesome women together,” says Fitts. “I want to build a tribe, and help support and inspire more women to join and thrive in the financial services arena.”

While a number of industries have gender gaps, Fitts says the spread in financial services is worse than most. “Women in financial services account for only 19 percent of senior-level positions and two percent of CEO roles,” Fitts points out, and notes that while women typically earn 77 percent of males across all industries that number falls to 66 percent in financial services.
Fitts believes this gap can be remedied. “Women need strong mentors, and they need to see the benefits and appeal to working in financial services so we can get more women into the field and into executive positions.”

Women are particularly poised to help financial services increase business, Fitts points out. “Women make up 51 percent of the population and lead many company human resource departments. They want to interact with an advisor who understands their personal and professional financial needs and concerns. It’s important to remember, women are not a niche!”
“Women Rocking Wall Street” lets Fitts share some of the gumption and where-with-all that has made her so successful. “I have been pushing boundaries for years! When I was 13, I passed on babysitting and opted instead for something in sales and distribution — I had no idea that paper delivery was a male-dominated field.”

About Sheri Fitts and ShoeFitts Marketing
Sheri Fitts is a celebrated global speaker and presents keynote addresses, breakout sessions, webinars, and daylong boot camps. She engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments, successes and learning moments, as well as a sweeping range of marketing and social media strategy-based topics, weaving humor and sincerity into her delivery.

ShoeFitts Marketing helps clients be unforgettable. The Portland, Oregon-based company is a consulting organization at heart, drawing on decades of experience in the financial services marketplace to identify, create,

and implement inspired marketing and social media strategies and solutions for its clients. ShoeFitts collaborates with people who recognize the need to differentiate in the vastly commoditized landscape of the financial services marketplace−focusing on Financial Service Organizations, Retirement Plan Advisors, and Third Party Administrators.

As a training partner, ShoeFitts Marketing translates social media, branding, generational issues, business strategy and marketing into manageable steps for clients, their teams and advisors. As an industry partner, ShoeFitts Marketing brings fresh content, strategy and engagement ideas to help clients win and nurture more profitable business. Whether clients come to ShoeFitts to learn new techniques or choose customizable programs, the company makes the experience and outcomes unforgettable.

For more information, please visit ShoeFitts.com. Like ShoeFitts Marketing on Facebook at facebook.com/ShoeFitts and follow on Twitter at missfitts and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/sherifitts.

Contact Information:
Sheri Fitts
ShoeFitts Marketing
https://sherifitts.com/
503.319.0543

Promoting Events in Social Media – Your Top 10 List

Welcome to 2015. Yes, it’s time for marketing planning and deciding what trade shows you’ll attend and conferences you’ll hold. Some of the most useful information (and gossip) I gather comes prior to my actual attendance at an event. Well thought out, interactive social media campaigns extend the life and excitement around an event. Read more