My Comments: Just recently, I’ve committed to an effort to use LinkedIn to expand my horizons as a financial professional. I’d really like to hear comments from any of you about LinkedIn, and your reaction to this post. Do you have experience with LinkedIn; what are your thoughts about it; to what extent does getting LinkedIn messages in your inbox annoy you?
The marketing landscape has dramatically changed over the 50 years since I got a college degree that included a focus on marketing. In simple terms, it is far less “outbound” and increasingly “inbound”. We can thank the internet for this and sites like Angie’s List. As consumers, we no longer just look in the daily newspaper if we decide we need a new car. We Google the idea, review what we see and read, and sometimes get reactions from our friends and family. And only then do we put in motion the physical effort to make a purchase.
The other day, my 41 year old son scolded me for driving to several well known clothing outlets to shop for t-shirts to wear under my dress shirts. He thought it better to use my smart phone or desktop computer to go to Amazon.com, pick out what I wanted and tell them to ship it. According to him, less hassle, less cost, and time left to do something else. How much gas and oil did I use driving around that was needlessly wasted?
“Marketing” encompasses every thing from your efforts to earn a living, to getting the book published that you’ve written to persuading your significant other to marry you. It’s a state of mind that helps you achieve your goals, no matter what they are.
From my perspective as a professional in the world of financial services and ideas, I need to position myself in the cloud as an expert on whatever it is I’m able to talk about, and create a brand to accomplish that. The intent is to have an audience anywhere on the planet that finds my thoughts and expressions interesting. In a perfect world, I’d have people calling and emailing me to ask for help.
I already have a brand, Florida Wealth Advisors, LLC, that is recognized locally, trusted and valuable. But to expand my reach, I need ways to help people find me. The old way was for me to find them, hope they paid attention to what I was trying to convey, and ask them to buy. Often as not, they were simply not ready to make a decision, never mind it might be in their best interest to act and get it done.
I’m told that LinkedIn has close to 280 million users, that it has as many daily logins as Facebook, and that it’s the 11th most trafficked site on the internet. Whatever the case, for me it is much more relevant as a marketing tool than Facebook.
A webinar taught me the basics. I then went and created a few groups, which is a device designed to promote conversations about ideas and topics of interest to those who join a given group.
Mindful that initiatives to use me as an advisor need to come from those who find me, as opposed to my working to find them, my intent is to promote conversations about topics that will interest my target audience. Are you following me so far?
I’m confident that most of those 280M users are in the United States. I’m also confident that among them are folks who will benefit from the talents and wisdom 40 years in this effort has produced.
What should I call the group to help accomplish my goals? I decided it should be called Wealth Strategies. The summary description reads as follows: A networking community, built around the strategies and techniques used to create, grow and preserve wealth. To learn about and share new and innovative ways to make this happen, for yourself, for your family and your heirs.
Your thoughts and comments will go a long way to helping make this a successful venture, for me, and hopefully for you. Thanks.
( Tony Kendzior is a successful, self-employed financial planner, and has been for almost 40 years. His clients are typically professionals and small-business owners looking for someone they can trust to answer questions about their retirement, about applying for social security benefits, about asset protection, about life insurance and estate planning, and about their investments. He owns a LinkedIn group called Wealth Strategies. )