Tips for Using LinkedIn: Your Electronic Rolodex

Guest Contributor: Cynthia Stephens, Vice President of Marketing, ByAllAccounts

In a recent FTF News blog Eugene Gyro wrote about the use of social media sites in the wake of SEC clearing the way for public companies to use social network sites for announcements.  You probably think about social networks as a mechanism to deliver information and are mindful of the regulations and restrictions for your firm (or for you personally).  However, have you thought about social networks as a way to build your circle of influence and pipeline of potential clients?

Think of LinkedIn® as your electronic rolodex.  Consider this: LinkedIn has surpassed 200 million registered users worldwide.  Chances are good your clients, potential clients, referral partners, vendors and other key contacts can be found in LinkedIn.  As their careers’ progress, and some move to new firms, you can remain in contact using LinkedIn’s built-in functionally without having to remember current email addresses or contact information.  For new contacts, you also have a convenient way to connect using their InMail functionality.

So, the key question becomes:  how can you find and engage with the right contacts?  One of the best approaches for building online influence is to utilize groups on LinkedIn.  For instance, let’s say your firm’s head of distribution wants to identify and engage with RIAs that may be potential clients.  There are numerous advisor-focused groups to join.  Group members can post discussions and engage in virtual conversions with each other.

There is common etiquette to be aware of when using these groups.  My recommendations are:

Do

  • Be a thought leader by providing links to relevant educational material
  • Use group participation as a chance to learn by asking questions.  Follow and respond to comments
  • “Listen” to the discussions to deepen your understanding of trends and key problems
  • Read individual group rules to understand what to post and what not to post

Don’t

  • Pitch your product or service directly
  • Use this as a means to “SPAM” members you don’t know with invitations to connect
  • Use the discussion section for self-promotion. This information should be reserved for the promotions section.

Below are lists of several groups on LinkedIn to get you started.  There are many more.  Simply search for “Groups” by using key phrases or keywords to find others that are relevant for your role.

Sample Advisor-focused groups

  1. RIA Marketplace
  2. Financial Advisor Magazine
  3. Advisor Perspectives

Sample Peer Networking Groups

  1. Boutique Asset Managers
  2. Wall Street Middle and Back Office
  3. Trade support / middle office & operations network

For more information, LinkedIn’s help center addresses frequently asked questions about groups.  And there is a searchable, alphabetical group directory you can use.

Want career information, recruiting advice, referral tips?  Join the ByAllAccounts LinkedIn group and start building your network.

To hear more from ByAllAccounts attend FTF’s SecOps Boston seminar on April 25th at the Millennium Bostonian.  ByAllAccounts will be presenting on how to evaluate outsourcing options for back office asset management operations.

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