Who has time for social media sites? And why bothering joining LinkedIn; it’s only good for creating a glorified resume, right? Clients only appreciate face-to-face contact in the financial services industry; social media is not for professionals.
Any of these statements sound familiar or near and dear to your heart and mind? Yep, I know some of you are nodding your head and others are reading this with a furrowed brow because you are still on the social media fence.
Well, hey all you doubters and skeptics, feel free to ignore LinkedIn. Forget about the 300 million users on the only social media site devoted to professionals. Don’t even consider the fact that LinkedIn is the only social media site with more people aged 50-64 than aged 18-29. (Because, what does the Pew Research Center know anyway?)
And, don’t let it bother you that LinkedIn is also more popular with college educated adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, and that most top tier investors over age 65 are avid members of social media sites such as LInkedIn.
I hate to break the news to you, but you can no longer ignore the growing importance and power of LinkedIn.
Sure, once upon a time social media sites were primarily for teens, tech geeks, and internet junkies. Few people took them seriously, and you certainly didn’t consider using them for business purposes. My, how times have changed.
LinkedIn hit the scene with its professionally-oriented social media site in 2003 and after one month had 4,500 members. Having just crested the 300 million mark, LinkedIn isn’t done growing; the site adds two new members every second!
Understandably, you want assurance that the site is worth your time; I get it; you have a busy schedule. Rest assured; LinkedIn without a doubt, is a necessity for any retirement plan professional looking to network and find prospects.
So, why exactly is LinkedIn worth your time? Here are my top reasons:
- Easy to Setup—In a matter of minutes you can join LinkedIn and within about an hour you can have a good start on your Profile. Remember, you don’t have to list every job you’ve held since you were 16; just start with a good quality photo, a personal summary outlining your relevant skills and expertise, and a couple recent employment positions.
- Easy to Maintain—Have Profile updates to make or a new designation to list? No problem; go to Edit Profile, make your changes and save. If the process requires a few revisions, go into your settings and uncheck the Notify Your Network option until you are done so your contacts don’t receive multiple notifications.
- Comfortable Pace—LinkedIn news and influencers are worth daily reads, but the pace is much more manageable than the ongoing conversation at sites like Twitter.
- Build Relationships—Connect on LinkedIn with those contacts you make at a meeting, conference or event. Send a personal note (not the standard Connection Request text) referencing your contact and suggesting you stay in touch through LinkedIn.
- Search for Prospects—Use the Advance search feature to find connections by name, title, company, location, experience, and/or relationship level. With an upgraded access you can also search by company size, Fortune ranking, function, and seniority level.
- Join Groups—Obtain industry news and insight by joining local, regional and national Groups on LinkedIn. Learn, participate, and find additional prospects specific to your business niche or specialization.
- Curate Content—Share interesting blogs and news items with your Connections. You don’t have to write pages of accompanying text; just a sentence or two to explain why you think the information is timely or relevant.
- Googlicious—Your LinkedIn activity makes you more attractive in Google searches.
The bottom line: LinkedIn does not require oodles of time to use and maintain, and the connection and prospecting tools are well worth the time you do spend on the site. Face it: the time has come to stop being a LinkedIn Doubter!