Want to Avoid the Social Media Time-Suck?

Social media offers a great way to connect with people and is an integral part of social selling. Yet, if you’re not careful, you can fall down the rabbit hole into the social media vortex. Luckily you can avoid this time-suck with some careful planning, nifty online tools and even some no-tech tricks.

Make a Plan – A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of crafting a social selling plan just as you would any other sales or marketing program (if you missed it, check out Don’t Know Where You Are Going?). Be sure your social selling plan clarifies your social media platforms, who you are trying reach, and how you can best meet their needs.

Nifty Tools – While a personal touch is sometimes more desirable, you can provide ongoing content or value-add material in a scheduled manner. What’s more, some scheduling apps also offer tracking and monitoring so you can easily determine which posts are hits or misses with your followers.

    • Buffer – Whether you have one or several items to post, consider using Buffer to schedule and automate your content. The app works with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and lets you schedule the days and times you want to release each post.
    • HootSuite – Manages your social selling posts in much the same way as Buffer. The app also lets you search feeds and keywords, plus monitor tweets, responses and messages.
    •  Freedom – Sometimes the Internet is too enticing! Freedom lets you block all or part of the Internet for a predetermined time. Regardless of your device, you can set the length of the block and work offline without interruption.
    • Anti-Social – If certain sites (ESPN, Google News, etc.) are cutting your productivity, Anti-Social lets you block any site for as long as you like.

Say No or Disconnect – Remember, you need to make your connections quality connections, so be deliberate! In Filling Your LinkedIn Restaurant with Quality Connections I wrote about this in more detail, and as I mentioned in a recent Friday Tip, you can easily disconnect with unwanted LinkedIn connections.

No-Tech Tools – Sometimes the best methods for managing your time are the easiest! For instance, consider using a kitchen timer to limit the time you spend on any activity that impedes your productivity. I am also a big proponent of scheduling my daily tasks each morning. Use whatever list-making device works for you—I favor giant sticky notes—to stay on task.

There are a slew of other apps and schedulers to help you out; the key is to not get overwhelmed. Make a plan, get help and you’ll be maximizing your social media interaction, and your social selling productivity, in no time.

Want even more help with social selling? Check out my new eCourse Social Selling for Financial Advisors; sign up now to get the inside track on the course offerings and early access to the program!

Knocking Down Barriers

Okay, I hear you! I have been writing and talking lots lately about social selling, and some of you are asking me, “hey, Sheri, is social selling really necessary?” In short—yes!

However, I understand the hesitation, so let’s address some of those perceived barriers to social selling:

  • No roadmap – Yes, you do need a plan, but it doesn’t have to be complicated and 20 pages long! You can develop a social selling strategy similar to a general selling plan; just vary the execution steps!
  • Takes too much time – Wrong! Just the opposite is true. Social selling actually saves you time by helping you work smarter.
  • Higher ups think social media is a fad – You may indeed have to do a little selling on the value of social media, but it will be well worth your time.
  • Worried about compliance – Social media interactions must follow some rules, so check out my Seven Things to Know about Compliance and Social Media tip sheet.

I am super excited to help explain all of these concepts and more with my new eCourse: Social Selling for Financial Advisors. I’ll be launching it soon; for now, you can learn more here and ensure your place at the head of the class!

The Internet is no Baby

My friend Alice Tang remembers her first days as a financial advisor when all she did was cold calling. Yep, for eight-plus hours a day she tried to grow her book of business by working her way down a call list, hoping to set up meetings. Luckily her perseverance worked, and today Alice is vice president of BPG Wealth Management, LLC. Equally lucky for Alice, her start came in 1994 when the Internet was in its infancy.

Today, the Internet is no baby; it’s a mature ruler that dictates both business-to-consumer and business-to-business selling. If Alice tried to start her financial services career today the same way she did in 1994, she would fail.

Purchasers have the power of the Internet at their fingertips and they expect, no demand, relevant information, nurturing and relationship-building. Selling must now include social selling so you can work smart and create those connections to rock your sales.

Consider the Franklin Templeton Insights to Closing a Sale survey showing that “81 percent of plan sponsors actively sought advisors through recommendations or referrals from colleagues, peer organizations or retirement plan service providers” but only a quarter of them responded to cold calling! If these numbers are not shocking enough, you must realize this study was done in 2012 and social selling has gained even more importance since!

So, what are you going to do? A few years back IBM initiated social selling and increased sales by 400 percent! Crazy, right? If you’re ready to learn the ins and outs of social selling in the financial services world, and escalate your sales, please sign up now for pre-launch details on my new eCourse: Social Selling for Financial Advisors.

P.S. If you want to hear more about Alice Tang, check out my Women Rocking Wall Street podcast, Toughing it Out.

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

Cialdini Influence: Be Consistent and Unwavering

On lazy fall weekends, I love spending a couple hours wandering through funky shops, antique stores and vintage clothing boutiques, and then tucking into a quaint small coffee shop for a strong Americano. Yet, on a day-in-and day-out basis, when I take a break from work and need my caffeine fix I head to Starbucks. Why? Consistency. I know my coffee will be perfect and not burnt. I know exactly what I am going to receive and my dog, aBoo, knows exactly what she will receive (her puppaccino). Read more

Cialdini Influence: Tapping into the Power of Reciprocity

Women’s clothing retailer Anthropologie emails me a special coupon for my birthday. My friend’s local realtor brings her a pumpkin in the fall and offers a photo with Santa in December. A colleague receives a yearly birthday card from her husband’s college alma mater… Read more

Understand Persuasion to Improve Your Marketing

In today’s visually and connected world you can rarely escape the onslaught of advertising and brand marketing. Billboards, stores, websites, and more impact our every move, and every purchasing decision. Yet, why are some ads effective? Why do people opt for the choices they make, whether in B2B commitments or B2C transactions? Read more

Blue Toenails and Courage

Actually the exact color is an OPI hue called “Fly.” I choose it, or a similar color, for every pedicure. Blue toenails are rather odd and sometimes folks comment on them. That’s when I explain that I paint them blue so when I look at my feet, I can say, “The sky’s the limit!”

This self-talk is just another way I remind myself that my “resistance” is strong. And I need all the help I can get to push past it.

Let me back up a bit and tell you about a book: War of Art by Steven Pressfield. In it he explains what keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do and identifies the roadblocks that exist in any creative endeavor. Steven is a prolific writer and knows all too well how we let ourselves be overcome by the naysayers renting space in our minds. Those voices, or naysayers, he identifies as the resistance. Sadly, letting the resistance win means playing it safe and comfortable. And no art happens in that cushy environment. 

Ask Seth Godin. He writes about the resistance quite often and in one blog post describes resistance as the lizard brain. “The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise.

Right now I’m in an all-out battle with the resistance. I have loudly and publicly committed to creating a new podcast, Women Rocking Wall Street. I am passionate about helping the financial services industry engage and embrace more women in our ranksand particularly in leadership roles. But moving forward on that effort is obviously challenging. Who am I to be a voice for this effort? What will I say? What value can I possibly add? Boy oh boy, my lizard brain is loud these days. 

Many, many times in my career and life, I’ve had to push myself to jump across some chasm of fear. Sometimes the jump requires just a tiny hop. Other times–like right now–I feel like Evel Knievel on his Skycycle X-2 flying across the Snake River Canyon.

Why am I sharing this? Perhaps this is my way of acknowledging that I plan to feel the fear and do it anyway. (And I am guessing that you are challenged by the resistance in your life and work.)

A quote by George Addair sits right above my computer monitor: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Yep, George is right.

P.S. Here’s a great, five-minute videocast from the crew at Kajabi on their approach for managing the resistance.

Your KLT Factor: How do you Garner Trust?

Trust. Objectivity. Transparency. How many times a day do you see at least one of those words show up in brochures, organization descriptions, and various marketing materials? More importantly, how often do these words seem to ring hollow?

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Your KLT Factor: Know Your Audience

The Tour De France is finally done! I loved it. It regularly amazes me that these cyclists ride what equates to a marathon each day for 21 days! Of course the marketer in me also marvels at the clarity of the target audience: a 30-something male who likes bikes and beer. While I don’t fit this ideal viewer, I do appreciate the show’s purposeful positioning and clear marketing perspective.

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