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Lay the Ghost of Compliance To Rest!

Boo!

Don’t let the ghost of compliance haunt you this Halloween. It’s time to dig that grave and lay the ghost to rest.

Sound a bit ghoulish? A trick instead of a treat? Not to worry.

I know many people fear using social media because of compliance concerns. Whenever I speak or train on the issue of social selling, the worry and barrier I hear about most often is compliance. But this isn’t 2006 (when I first started teaching folks about the social space). Even the SEC acknowledges that YELP exists.

Happy Halloween!

To help you get over your compliance fear, I’m giving away my Mastering Compliance module for free. Frankly, my intention is that you’ll find it helpful, entertaining, and encouraging. Encouraging enough to compel you to take the plunge into the full eCourse, Social Selling for Financial Advisors.

However, let’s not go there right now. Just take the Mastering Compliance course. It’s free. It’s short. It’s pretty much everything you need to create a solid foundation for moving your social selling forward. Because, if you’re not using social as a piece of your sales puzzle, you’re missing out. Social media and social selling are not hard or frightening when you understand and implement some simple, thoughtful guidelines.

There is tremendous selling power in today’s digital marketplace with 1.5 billion global social media users spanning all generations and demographics. This collective group, known as Generation D (digital), includes some 75 million investors with over $27 trillion in assets.

You know that cold calling sucks. And studies show that more than 90 percent of the time it flat out fails. Yet, you also know you want more warm leads.

Lets lay the compliance ghost to rest. Join me in Mastering Compliance. I make it fun, interesting, and helpful. Even better, it’s free! Just like Halloween candy.

Forget social. Focus on Sales.

 

Ten or so years ago, at the beginning of the social craze, the marketing rally cry was “Join the Conversation!” Experts pointed to the benefits of brand engagement, community interaction, and the once in a lifetime opportunity to go viral.

Value in the social world was associated with followers, likes and retweets. Frankly, that put a lot of folks off. How does this rah-rah cocktail party atmosphere create sales? Sprinkle in the regulation and compliance issues we face in the financial services industry and for most of us, social was a non-starter.

Even now, a fairly large group of financial professionals are only able to have a static LinkedIn profile. Guess what? Even if all you do is maximize your profile and use LinkedIn to help grow your connections, you can rock your sales with Social Selling.

Social Selling 1

When I speak and teach on the world of social, I start with LinkedIn for a variety of reasons:

  • A LinkedIn profile is easy to create and maintain
  • The pace is more manageable than Twitter
  • The site is very Googleicious (meaning it aids in search engine optimization)
  • Over 30 percent of American adults with annual household incomes over $100,000 use LinkedIn (check out this source for more amazing LinkedIn stats)
  • More than 300 million people have a LinkedIn profile; one out of three professionals on the planet has a LinkedIn profile
  • Business people use the site, and 35 percent of users access LinkedIn every day
  • Finally, most broker/dealers allow for, at minimum, a static profile!

I know, some of your are saying, “but what about compliance, Sheri?” My response: Don’t let compliance get in your way of some awesome competitive information; just create an optimized LinkedIn profile, run it by compliance, and then do what you can to grow your network.

In other words, pretend LinkedIn is a series of rolodexes. You don’t need to do the social stuff. Do sales instead. Then dive into the Advanced Search function. You can always take your activity to the next level, but for now, don’t worry about doing everything.

Take baby steps. Because, frankly, if you don’t engage just a little bit in the digital space you will get left behind in the dial-up world. Like it or not, some of your competitors are taking full advantage of Social Selling.

So don’t bury your head in the sand and hope social media goes away. Don’t point to compliance worries as a barrier. Do make the leap and try out the waters. I promise, you won’t drown in the deep end of the social media pool!

7 Must Knows About Social Media Compliance

When it comes to social media I often find myself remembering the fable of the town gossip. Overcome with shame at his misconduct, the gossiper asked the town elder how he could repair all the terrible things he’d said. In response, the town elder split open a pillow and watched as the feathers were cast out, every which way, into the wind. He turned to the troubled gossiper and asked him to go collect all the feathers. “That’s impossible,” said the man.

So too, what you say in social media cannot be taken back no matter how hard you try.
Social media can be a particularly tricky environment to navigate for such a highly regulated industry like that of Finance. Goldman Sachs only uttered its first tweet as of May 2012. Caution is key, but it’s no excuse to sit this one out. Here are 7 Things To Know About Social Media Compliance:

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Social Media Policy: Getting Clear on the Rules

We’ve heard stories of disgruntled employees who are pink-slipped after committing some social media sin deemed unacceptable by their powers that be. To avoid a similar fate, take a close look at the principles and standards that govern your employees’ or firm’s use of Facebook and other social media channels. Are they clear and accessible, undefined, or vague?

There’s no room for ambiguity here, particularly given the question of financial advisor compliance. Social media policies are akin to the investment policy statements you draft to define and confirm financial objectives. A social media policy ensures your firm’s management and staff have a clear understanding on how social media activity needs to work in relationship to the business. The policy eliminates any confusion and helps protect the best interests of your firm, brand, and its employees.

Here are a few tips to help educate yourself on a social media policy and also to get you started on establishing a policy to serve your own company:

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LinkedIn: Three Tips to Elevate Your Efforts in 2014

Every time I prepare for an upcoming financial services conference or marketing strategy meeting I take a few minutes to review my LinkedIn profile and do a little homework on fellow attendees and participants. Why? Because optimally harnessed, LinkedIn can improve your visibility, strengthen your understanding of clients and competitors, and provide strategic business opportunities and connections.

Here are three tips to elevate your efforts in 2014!

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Elephant in the Chat Room

Every second, two new members join LinkedIn. Every minute, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. And 90% of people trust online recommendations from people they know. 1 Read more