“What’s your story?” has become the new value proposition, according to marketing expert Laura Virili. “Even with all of our devices, we are still humans, and we still connect through stories,” she told the planners in attendance at the FPA Annual Conference—BE Baltimore. “You need to tell your story online, offline, and you need have your story down!”
But first, you need to find more people to tell your story to. Virili is a strong believer in the power of LinkedIn, and she shared a wealth of tips and strategies for using LinkedIn to expand your reach and fill your pipeline.
If you’re wondering who on LinkedIn you should be connecting with, Virili offers these suggestions: clients, prospects, alumni, friends and family, centers of influence, community leaders, professional acquaintances, former colleagues, and the next generation.
For how to best connect, here are just some of the tips Virili shared (for dozens of online resources, visit her at lauravirili.com/resources.htm).
Make It Personal
Personalize your LinkedIn invitation to connect request. You have 300 characters in that request to differentiate yourself. Sign the request with your name and phone number; don’t make people work to reach you.
Send a thank you message for accepting your LinkedIn invite. That message will plant the seed to get you in front of that person, because as Virili said, “You want to use the internet to get off the internet” and build that in-person relationship.
Update Your Profile
Google gives preferential treatment to LinkedIn, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, because it will be one of the first results that surfaces when someone Googles you. Some other profile tips are:
- Spend money on a great profile picture, and keep the headshot casual, because social media is casual.
- Put your certifications with your name; they help identify you.
- If you’re not a writer, hire one to help you tell your story in the 2,000-character summary section; it’s well worth the investment!
Bonus: Virili’s Daily Best Practice
Every day, go into “my network” on your LinkedIn profile and click on “connections.” This will bring up three things that are happening in your network, they’re social triggers you should respond to: birthdays, work anniversaries, and new jobs (new jobs are potential money in motion.) Take a few minutes to send personalized messages offering congratulations or best wishes.
Journal of Financial Planning