Hello, and welcome to all of you who are watching this live - it’s really great to have so many of you with us this afternoon. And if you're watching this later on on the replay, then Hello to all of you as well. For those who've not met me in person online before, I'm David Miles, and I'm on a mission to help mortgage brokers and financial advisers to generate their own leads online so as they can stop giving money to lead generation companies. As we've said before, there are lots of different online channels that you can use to generate leads and get new clients.
And in today's session, we're going to be talking about another one of the channels that I think gets overlooked by a lot of mortgage brokers and financial advisers. And that is LinkedIn. Do stick around to the end of the session, because I've got a special offer giveaway thing for you at the end as well. So wait, so do hang around for that.
Okay, so let's get started then. So, first of all, why is it then that a lot of people in financial services, whether it is mortgage brokers or whatever, why is it that a lot of them don't really use LinkedIn, or don't see it as a place to get leads from? Well, I think in many cases, it's because of a very common myth that does the rounds. And that myth is that people think that LinkedIn is only a B2B or business-to-business platform.
And so, therefore, you know, if you're, if you're a mortgage broker wanting to sell mortgages to individual residential, homeowners, then you might say, Well, I don't wanna be on a B2B platform, because my target audience isn’t aren't businesses and aren't corporates. And similarly, you know, if you're trying to sell individual pensions, or income protection or things like that, you wouldn't necessarily straight away think that you want to be doing that on a platform, which is primarily corporate or B2B in its nature.
But the reality is, what you have to remember is that all those people that you actually want, as clients or as individual homeowners, all those individual people who want protection policies or investment advice, or pension planning, they've all got jobs, or they all have businesses, or, you know, hopefully, they do because you're going to struggle, for example, to sell an income protection policy to someone who's got no job and no business, but they do all work in some way or another, these people, so they are going to be on LinkedIn. And so you know, even though they are on there, perhaps in a business capacity or in an employee capacity, they are at the end of the day, still individual people who have the potential to need the products and services that you as a mortgage broker or an IFA have to offer. So don't overlook it for that reason.
I think another reason that people sometimes don't think that LinkedIn is the right place to try and get business for, for, you know, if you're in financial services, or anything similar like that, is because it's still seen by many people is very much recruitment, focused platform, you know, a place where people can effectively have their online CV, and, you know, use it when they're applying for jobs or hope that headhunters will find them in searches. And yeah, although LinkedIn is still used a lot for recruitment, and you know, they even have special paid packages for recruiters and everything. So yeah, LinkedIn themselves recognize that there is far far more to LinkedIn these days than that, you know, the just being a recruitment thing, so don't overlook it on that basis.
So, LinkedIn will work for finding individuals, but it will work even better for that, if you've taken the advice I've given you before and you've niched your business, and you're targeting a specific type of person or particular occupation type. So for example, and if you haven't heard me talk about the nation before, then have a look, have a look on the blog, theppcmachine.co.uk/blog/, check out the mortgage broker marketing section there and have a look, have a look at the stuff around that.
Because if you are niche in your business, and you're targeting suppose, for example, you have decided that you're going to be a specialist in mortgages for dentists. Well, that means that LinkedIn is actually really useful for you. Because the one thing that everybody who is on LinkedIn tells LinkedIn is what they do for a living or what kind of business they run. So if you want to find dentists, for your mortgages for dentists offering, then LinkedIn is a really good place to find them. Whereas, you know, on Facebook, Facebook might know what someone does for a living, but it doesn't know nearly as much about that as LinkedIn does, because not everyone in their Facebook profile tells Facebook what they do for a living.
So as an example, if I'm searching myself for, for mortgage brokers, and I search on Facebook, Facebook reckons there’s about 3,000 of you in the UK, which obviously is nonsense, and it only thinks it's that low because not every mortgage broker tells Facebook that's what they do for a living. But you can pretty much guarantee that every mortgage broker who is on LinkedIn will have told LinkedIn that's what they do for a living. And the same will apply, you know, with whatever sector you're targeting, whether that's dentists, IT, contractors, accountants, builders, you know, whatever. So it's particularly good for that.
Do remember, of course, as well that like all these things, LinkedIn is not going to give you instant results. It is primarily a social platform - it’s a social networking platform. And in the same way, as you wouldn't expect to go along to a real-world networking event - and I’m sure there’s a lot of you have been to things like 4N and BNI back in the days when those things ran in the real world - you wouldn't expect to walk in to a meeting for the first time and be able to sell to everyone in the room and get something straight from it. These things come from building relationships, and it's a slow burn.
And, in fact, yeah, those of you, those of you who've been looking on the Facebook group this week, you'll see that when I, when I put up the picture of the printed version of the book, I included this fantastic quote, "We do a lot of one night stands in lead generation, and not enough long term relationships." So if you're going to LinkedIn looking for the business equivalent of a one night stand, that's the wrong place to go. If you're going there to try and build relationships, which will ultimately turn into leads and into clients, then that's going to be much better. So keep that in mind, because that will impact how you go about using LinkedIn.
There are two sides to LinkedIn as same as there are with Facebook, there's the organic side, where you're not paying to be on LinkedIn, you're not paying to get your content seeing seen. And then there's also the paid advertising side, the paid advertising side is a whole other topic in its own right, which I can do a Facebook Live on that at some point. But for now, I'm just going to talk about the organic side of things. So within that, I'm going to cover three areas that you need to work on if you want to get leads organically via LinkedIn. And those are sorting out your LinkedIn profile, making sure that's up to scratch your content as in the kind of stuff that you're posting on LinkedIn, you need to make sure that's the right kind of thing. And then growing your network. So as you're you know, so if you have more connections, and that the right kind of connections, and they, therefore, see your so your content.
So let's talk to them first of all about the profile, what I'm going to do with the technology works is I'm going to actually bring up my own profile, there we are, and just use this to give you a few examples of things. So one of the most important things with your profile is to make sure that you have a profile photo, I still see loads of people on LinkedIn who have no photo and you know, that immediately makes you think they're probably not very active on there. And they're not going to you know, so you don't want to engage with them. So make sure you've got a decent photo on there.
When I say decent photo, by the way, that’s a photo that looks businesslike. So in fact, I've, I'll put a link to this article in the comments. But I did a blog article a while ago, with LinkedIn advice for financial advisers, and everything in there would apply to mortgage brokers as well. And somewhere in here, here, I put some examples of good and bad photos. So you know, a good photo is basically one that is of just you don't have to be in a suit and tie. But you should look presentable. And you know, you're looking at the camera, it's well lit, and there's no Salobre distractions, the kind of photo you don't want, you don't want a photo wherever you and someone else in the photo because then it's it really makes it more confusing as to actually which person is on dealing with here. Make this one on the right here is an example where you know, the photo would be okay. But it's really bad lighting. So it's quite hard to see the guy. And this one on the left here of the half topless guy. Think, yeah, don't really say anything about that, hopefully. So there's, there's an example say, of good and bad ones.
Also, make sure that you have a good headline, which is this bit here. So on my one, it's this my proven system makes it easy for mortgage brokers etc. where a lot of people go wrong on this one is, again, because they are viewing LinkedIn as kind of the online CV. What they end up doing is just putting a job title there, you know, like managing director at now and then a company name. And the problem with that is the headline is the main thing that people see when they are when they're scrolling through their LinkedIn feed.
So if it just says Managing Director at something rather or chief tea maker, wherever, that doesn't tell you much about what the person does. You know, it might the company name might give a clue. So it's Managing Director at the best mortgage company, then you can be fairly certain that person's a mortgage broker. But if your company name doesn't give away what you do, and if it just says, chief executive at pink chipmunk limited, then no one's gonna have any idea what it is you do so put in the headline something which actually is a headline, not a job title.
And you know and think about what it is you do to help your clients and what outcomes you get for them. And we have that kind of thing into your headline. So again, in that same article, I was talking about just now, there are examples of different kinds of headlines. So, you know, in this block, here, we've got very straightforward, does what it says on the tin kind of headline, you know, okay, this guy's an independent financial adviser besides this one, and so is this one. So what differentiates them from these ones here are examples where it's a little bit better, they're still saying what they actually do so independent financial advisers, I don't know if any of you people in the group are on the call. If you are then apologise for picking on it, but hopefully, it's useful advice. So as an independent adviser, but then there's that there's a benefit, helping you optimize your pension planning.
So like the saying, the job title, but actually what he helps for clients to do. And then you get ones down here, which is a bit more of a kind of style that I've taken with mine, like this bottom one here, helping pharmacists and dentists achieve financial peace of mind.
Now, you know, if you dig into his profile, he's clearly a wealth management guy or financial adviser, but he's not leading with that he's clearly you know, chosen a niche as well. So he's leading with something in the headline, which says, what he how who his niche is, and what he helps them achieve. So turn your headline around to that to that kind of way of thinking.
Then one of the other really important things is the about section here. Some people write this in a really, really formal way, and very much in the third person. You know, like, Sandra is an amazing mortgage broker, and she qualified as a broker 10 years ago. And if that's not really the kind of style you want, earnings are meant to be more sociable and friendly than that. So write it in the first person. And again, try and connect with your potential client within there, you know, so if you look at the way I've structured mine, I don't start off talking about me at all, I start off talking about, if you're a mortgage broker or financial adviser, I bet you've got this problem. And then I go into, because I do blah, blah, blah, I can help you fix that problem.
So it's different from the way but a lot of people will just like it, it's not a biography. As such, it's kind of your, your opening gambit as to who you are and what you do to help.
And one of the reasons this stuff is so important is if you're then going out trying to grow your network if people are deciding whether to accept whatever connection request you send them, one of some people will just blindly accept things. But others will, you know, will check out your profile first and use that to help decide whether they want to accept your connection request or not.
So those are the main things in the profile, there are other things you can do, you know, further, obviously, make sure that all your experience is kind of up to date, don't really have to put every single job you've ever had in there. So if you, as I did, worked in McDonald's for a bit when you were 16, that doesn't need to be on there, it's not a full CV, just put the stuff in that is relevant to what you actually do now.
And yeah, and try and get - this is something you have to do overtime - but try and get recommendations on there, from people as well. Because obviously, that all help boost the quality of your profile.
Okay, so the next, well, actually, that's the main thing to look up your profile, the next one to look at is what kind of content you're going to put out there. Because you can join LinkedIn and just have a great profile, and then do nothing else. But again, that's the equivalent of going to a real-world networking event.
Looking apart, you know, putting your best clothes on doing your head, having all your nice new business cards with you. But then just sitting in the corner of the room and not engaging or talking to anyone, you're not going to get much out of it. Same on LinkedIn, if you just lurk in the corner, you're not going to get as much from this as you are if you actually input into the community and engage with other people's content. And you know, generally, connect. Connecting is more than just sending connection requests. It's actually engaging with people.
So within LinkedIn, you prefer two main kinds of things you can publish, you can publish posts, which are the things that are sort of similar to status updates and things on Facebook. You can also publish more in-depth articles. So, you know, they've got there's pros and cons to each guy. I'll talk a bit more about that in that article that I'll put the link there too. But if you look up in was gone in the activity section, this will, yeah, and you can look at this for other people, but this will show all of you can split it down by posts and by articles, so when you can see, so if I go to posts when I've got all my posts there, but if I go into articles, then this is where I've done sort of longer-form stuff or things which are more kind of, you know, more sort of thought out pieces and things where there's a bit more of an opinion piece kind of thing really, I suppose. So yeah, you can use a mixture of the two.
When you're doing posts, you'll see again, if you look through the laundry, most of them have got an image of some salt in them. And that's very deliberate because as people are scanning down their LinkedIn feed, it's the image that is likely to catch their mind their catch their eye, first of all. And then once you've grabbed their attention, like with this great big, colourful image here, then they're more likely to then stop and read, read the rest of your post.
So do try and include images wherever you can video as well. People love to watch videos on LinkedIn. So they do on all other social platforms. But the one thing I would say with video, and I see so many people not doing this, is making sure that you put subtitles captions on your video, because the vast majority of the content that's consumed on LinkedIn is consumed by people looking on their mobile phone, and potentially in a place where they can't have the sound on you know, maybe they're sitting on the train, or maybe they're sitting in a coffee shop or you know, whatever. But they won't be able to watch your video with the sound on.
So by using subtitles, it makes it far more accessible to a lot more people in a lot more different situations. Annoyingly, LinkedIn doesn't have an automatic captioning capability like YouTube does, and like Facebook does. But it's actually not that difficult, and not that expensive to send your video to a service like rev.com. And for literally a few dollars, like three or $4, they will transcribe the video for you in about an hour and send you a subtitle file that you can upload to LinkedIn along with your video.
The purpose of the articles and the posts that you publish shouldn't be about primarily being a sales pitch, they're there to help people get to know you, understand what you do, and for you to demonstrate credibility and to use a word that I really hate. But you'll know what I mean by show thought leadership, so to show that you're an expert in what you do and that you are the go-to person to ask when they have a problem with their pension or their mortgage or their investments or whatever it might be. What you're doing here is sowing the seeds so that when someone has a need for what you do, you're the first person that pops into their head.
I mean, take something like mortgages at the moment, you know, it's, it's, I think the public reasonably well aware that getting a mortgage is a lot more difficult than it used to be. And you've got to do it takes longer, you don't know exactly what lender to go to, it's all going to be packaged up and presented in the right way. So they're perhaps now less likely to just pick the first random mortgage broker they find on Google or you know, a local newspaper or whatever, they're going to want to go to a mortgage broker that where they feel that they can trust that that mortgage broker knows their stuff, and is going to actually get them or get them a mortgage successfully. And that's what you're doing here by showing that you know, you're up to date with the latest developments, and you've got opinions on things and you're sharing useful, valuable content, that's going to increase that credibility. So make sure you're providing value.
It's also really important to encourage engagement. So I've got some examples of some posts of mine that show different levels of engagement and sort of why they work like that. But the reason engagement, what I mean by engagement is you know, posts that people are going to like or comment on or share commenting, in particular, is really important because the more people that engage with your post, and particularly through comments, the more LinkedIn will think, oh, this, this is clearly good content here, lots of people are commenting on it. So they will show it more widely to more of the people in your network. Okay, because just as with stuff you post on Facebook, not everyone who's connected to you will automatically see your content in my LinkedIn feed. But more and more people will see it if LinkedIn deems it to be a popular piece of content. So do what you can to encourage that kind of engagement.
So let me show you some examples. So this is a post from about five months ago. I posted this near the start of lockdown. Now remember back then, hard to imagine now but a lot of people hadn't ever used Zoom or didn't know how to use it and so I actually, for something I was doing I put together a little training video showing how to use it. And because I was on my own, I had to enlist the help of some very quiet friends to work to help me demonstrate it. But I put that out as a post. And because it was a little bit off-topic, but sort of, of the moment, and whatever, and I certainly wasn't trying to sell anything. It got 23 comments and 34 likes, and was viewed, was appeared in nearly two and a half thousand people's feeds, because of that kind of level of engagement.
Now, you might say, well, hang on, how are you, you know, you're a digital marketing consultant, how are you going to get a digital marketing client from that. I'm not directly, but it's, it's increasing my visibility and raising my profile, because every person who sees this post will also see my headline, saying what it is I do, and they might not need me there. And then, but consciously or subconsciously, it's launched me in their mind again, that when they do need something like that, they're going to hopefully remember me, and obviously, it doesn't come from one post. But you know, from doing lots of this kind of stuff. And you see, I ended it with a question, can you beat that? So that's another reason why it gets more comments because I've actually opened the door, we leave a question, as I opened the door with a question from people to leave a comment.
This one here, this one didn't get as many views, got 700 views. But I think it's my most comment on a post of 2020. It got 43 comments and 42 of those were within the first 24 hours, I think. And this was literally just inspired by some random thing I saw on the BBC news website, where they were talking about the old flapper, clapperboard destination signs at railway stations gradually disappearing, I think the last one had just been removed in Spain or something like that. And I just put a post about that. And said at the end of it, you know, are there any other sounds from your own earlier life or childhood or whatever, which were really, really familiar back then which have now disappeared? And you know, people were posting rag and bone man ringing his bell, saying Old Spice aftershave, I think it's probably actually still around, but you know, and all sorts of stuff. And it just gets people talking. It's a conversation starter.
This was posted about six months ago. It was in early March I think when people were starting to talk about COVIID but we were pre-lockdown, so it was a very topical kind of post but I turned into a business one. So I picked something big that had just happened because FlyBe had just gone under or gone into administration but turned it round into actually well like, ‘How are things affecting your business?’ Again, it's not me, it's how things are affecting you.
You know, I said, this is what I see happening here in London at the moment, how are things where you are? I got 33 comments and 3,863 views. And that’s all free exposure for me and my business but via a tangent, as it were, rather than me putting up a post saying, I've got a service to sell, do you want to buy it. And that means if the more you do that, it means that when you do put up the occasional post where you are actually blatantly trying to sell something as I was doing with this one three weeks ago.
So I put this up to promote a ready-made lead magnet for mortgage brokers that I'd created and was selling on my website - and still am if you want to buy a copy - but that I put that out, and it doesn't get as much engagement, but it still got seen by over 700 people. It led to a number of people buying it. But because that kind of post is the exception rather than what I'm putting out all the time. It doesn't feel salesy, and it doesn't feel 'Oh, another post trying to sell something, just ignore it.' Because you've built up if you like that credibility beforehand, and you've got the right at that point to just be a little bit promotional in the occasional post because you've given stuff to the community before you're asking for something in return.
So, yeah, I think the biggest message there is to encourage people to say what they think of what you've written and share their opinions. Ask them questions, and don't be afraid to go a little bit off-topic sometimes. The other thing actually going off-topic particularly because I know a lot of people in financial services say 'Oh, I'd love to do more on LinkedIn, but my network doesn't allow me to post this or, you know, I have to put disclaimers on everything.' Well if you're not talking about financial services or financial products, then you've got a lot more scope to say what you know what you want, so it makes things easier from that point of view.
Okay, let's have a look and see what we've got in the way of any questions so far before we move on to the final bit.... I don’t see any specific questions…. No, just people agreeing with some of the stuff and having little technical difficulties too.
Okay, right. I will press on but if you do have any questions, I will stop again for questions at the end. So do bang them in as we go along.
Right? Okay, so the final thing I said that you need to do it, I'm deliberately saying within this order of sort your profile out, first, build up a bit of a base of content, and then go out there and try and grow your network. Because it's much easier to grow your network if people can look at your profile and see what it's, you know, see who you are, and what you're doing and what you offer. And also, if they then look at your content, 'Oh, yeah, this person does pose some interesting stuff, I'd like to connect with them. Because this is the kind of stuff that I want to be seeing.' So get those foundations in place before you put lots of time and effort into trying to grow new connections.
So obviously, one way to grow your network is whenever you meet anyone new, whether that's in real life, or through, you know, through an online meeting, online networking event, then look them up on LinkedIn and connect afterwards. And, you know, whatever. But I'm talking more here about the kind of proactive networking where you're actually going out trying to build connections, with your ideal prospects to people that you haven't actually met yet, but who you'd like one day to have as clients.
Now, that, again, is much easier if you've got a niche for your mortgage business or your financial advice business. Because if I said to, like, go out and find people on LinkedIn, who might need income protection, we're going to start with so many people, and basically, you know, plenty of everyone needs it. Whereas if you've named your business and you offer income protection for teachers, or you offer mortgages, right, i.e. contractors, or you offer pension planning for dentists, or whatever it might be, is much easier to then go and find those people on LinkedIn, you've got a clear target and a clear place to start.
So when you find someone that you want to connect with, send them a connection request, LinkedIn gives you a choice of just sending a blank connection request or putting a message with it. If you want people to respond, then always put a message with it. I would say on the whole the connection requests I get from people if someone sends me a connection request, and it's quite obvious why they want to connect, like for example, they're a mortgage broker, and you know, and therefore they've seen what I do, and they want to connect. Fine, I'll accept their connection request. If there's somebody random, and they've not put a reason in why I’d want to connect, I'm likely to ignore it. And when I say a reason, I don't mean, oh, I was looking at your profile and it's amazing, I think we should connect. What I mean is a real reason.
So the kind of thing that I do when I'm looking to send a connection request. And I wonder whether some of you will have been on the receiving end of this. And so this will ring bells for some of you - is I talk about what's in it for them from connecting with me. So I would say something in my connection requests like I see you're a mortgage broker and I often post content on LinkedIn which mortgage brokers find really useful. So I thought, perhaps we should connect. And that gets a really good kind of response because (a) I am not trying to sell anything, (b) I've said why I'm choosing them over anybody else because they're a mortgage broker, and (c) I've said what's in it for them, I'm going to post some useful stuff that you know that other people like you have found valuable, I think you will too.
It also actually that particular construction uses a little psychological trick, the undeniable truth. Well, that's what I call it, it's taking an undeniable truth and coupling it with something else. So think about the sentence again, I see you're a mortgage broker. Well, that's totally true. If I've got me if I've checked them out and got picked the right person. And I often post content that mortgage brokers find really useful. So because I've said something at the start of a sentence, we immediately go no is true. There is an assumption on a subconscious level, that the rest of what I'm going to say in that sentence is true as well. That obviously is true, I post brilliant content. But the point is my the person reading it needs to believe that before they've actually seen it. So that's a good kind of approach.
Don't find some trying to sell anything as I said, and then once I've connected, then you could follow up with something else. But again, don't follow up with 'Oh, let's have a coffee or would you like my company prospectus?' Or would you know, anything like that? Because no one wants that kind of stuff. And probably no one wants a coffee with someone that they only just connected with on LinkedIn for the first time because if you did that with everyone, you'd be drinking a hell of a lot of coffee.
So let me show you an example conversation here. If I can find the search that I had just now. No, I thought I had one item pre-lined up just now, but I can't find it now. But anyway, I would very typically send that first kind of thing. And then when someone comes back, obviously, 'Thanks for connecting. I've just published this free guide that helps mortgage brokers or help financial advisers do X, Y Zed, do feel free to grab a copy if you like, and then a link through to that on my site.' And then I'm getting them off to my website, and potentially onto my mailing list, rather than relying purely on having them on LinkedIn. So that's the kind of approach I would suggest you take.
If you're not sure what I mean by lead magnet again, check out the website, there's lots of stuff on there about what lead magnets are, how you create them. It's also covered in my online course. But that's something you should definitely be using as a way to get people onto email lists.
And then the final thing, so if that sounds like a lot of hard work, yes, it is. Well, it's not hard work, but it's time-consuming work. There are two ways really that you can approach that. One way would be to say, right, I'm going to just set aside, you know, 15 minutes every day to do connection building on LinkedIn, you know, and just do it like that. There are also some tools out there that will help automate some of that for you. Again, I'll put links to these in the comments, but one that I use sometimes myself for some time, it's called Dux-Soup, that's d-u-x and then soup. Another one that I haven't used myself, I know a lot of you do and who say it's very good. It's called LinkedIn Helper.
So some of those will help automate some of that connection request sending and the and automate the follow-ups at the once I once accepted that will send them a message saying thanks for connecting, you know, would you like this? Or is there anything I can do to help you? You're always trying to be always tried to be coming at it from 'How can I help you?' Rather than 'What would you like to buy from me? Or what can I sell you?' Okay? Yeah, that's what works well in real-world networking. And that's what works best on LinkedIn, too.
So I'm conscious of time, so I'm going to stop there. But if people want me to do another session, I need bits of that in more detail, then leave a comment. And I'm always up for receiving ideas for future live streams, that'd be really good.
The giveaway that I mentioned. So my giveaway is that the first five people to email me and request this, I'm offering a free review of your LinkedIn profile, we'll have a look at the profile, I'll give you some pointers on what you could do to improve your about section or your headline or something like that. If you've been posting content, I'll have a quick look at that and give you some tips on how you can make your content, get more engagement and get it to reach further. So that's the offer. If you want that just drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and just put the LinkedIn review in the subject line so I can easily find it.
So yeah, I hope that has been useful. And I'll see if there are any further questions. No, there are no questions, which is unusual. So hopefully that means that I've just covered everything really clearly and so no-one’s got any questions!
If you think of something afterwards that you wanted to ask him but weren't able to ask, you can post it in the comments section. And likewise, if you watch the replay because I will check back on this and pick up any other questions that come in.
So yeah, thanks again very much for joining today. And there'll be another live stream in two weeks time, thanks very much. Have a good evening. Cheers. Bye!