Jessica Gwynne & Georgia Lane from Client Kiosk present Social Media 101, how it works for your business and why you need to be in this space.

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Bethany:         This is Social Media Intensive. I’ve got Georgia to my right from Client Kiosk and Jess Gwynne is very shortly on her way. Jess has just popped out together with the ladies. I’m going to get started and introduce myself and her.

Georgia:          Welcome, everybody. Thank you very much for being here. I’m glad that you’ve come into the Social Media Intensive. My name is Georgia Lane, as Bethany said. My background is I’ve been in the financial services industry for over 10 years. For the last four and a half years, I’ve been at BDM with ANZ and I only just stopped doing that. Well, I actually haven’t stopped doing that. I’m still doing that, but I resigned last week because this is my passion. I love marketing and social media. I’ve been doing marketing for over 25 years, worked for big brands like Microsoft, Telstra and Toshiba. So I loved doing this. And I think that’s really important to love what you do. And here’s Jess.

                        I guess, because of my background, working with financial advisors as a BDM, I’ve seen so many different businesses, and that’s great, and also seeing what the product providers can deliver to you. But the challenge is having the time. You know you’re running a business. It’s really hard to have the time, the expertise and the ability to do everything. I’ve seen that so much in the last couple of years. So that’s when I teamed up with my friend, Jess. Jess is definitely a digital social media nerd. She lets me call her that. She’s a nerd with great shoes because Jess actually got into it by starting to write a shoe blog, and built that up. It was very successful and she sold that. She has also been the sales and marketing manager for Queensland Reds. Don’t hold it against her. She wasn’t during the last year when I think their performance has been really bad.

So we’re here today to talk to you about social media, of course. What we will actually do, and what you will get from this session, is a bit of purpose on why we want to get into social media. Now, we all know that we have to do it, don’t we? It’s like this necessary evil. Some people cringe at the thought, but it’s a necessary evil. We do have to get into it. But what I do recommend is that you go back to basics and you don’t spend a cent as I would recommend whether it’s social media or television advertising or press or whatever until you know why you’re doing it, who you’re trying to target and which clients you want more of.

So, social media allows you to do that in many different ways. Just now we will talk to you about that. We’ve got to talk about one of the very important platforms in our industry, or in the professional services industry, that is a must-do, which is LinkedIn. And we’ll have a look at a couple of ways to make the best out of LinkedIn. And then I’ll hand over to Jess to talk about Facebook, so another necessary evil. My husband hates Facebook. He calls it “bookface” which my kids think is very hilarious. But even, if you’re not using it on a social level, it’s very important to start looking at it from a business perspective and Jess will go into that. Then, lastly, we’ll finish off with a bit of a discussion on content marketing because that is the basis for social media.

So, as financial planners, how do we grow a business? We’re either just got into being a financial planner or we’re at the point where we need to grow our business. How traditionally would you grow your business? You’ve got some bank rolls. Perhaps you could buy a couple of great books or referrals. So referrals are the natural way that we have, for decades, been growing a financial planning practice. So whether that’s a referral from your existing client base or it’s a referral from your centre of influence. So that’s definitely the way things have gone, and the way they will always continue. Now, the beauty of social media is that you can now do that 24/7. So it’s like having an extra person on your payroll and having somebody working for you 24 hours a day. And the reality is that people are looking at the media, their devices, 24/7. So you can leverage that to grow your business.

The other thing is, with the referrals, how do you get somebody to refer to you? Generally, it’s by delighting them in some way or building some sort of emotion into the way that they work with you. In social media world, we call it the [no like trust]. As financial advisors, we do that very naturally. You can now do that on scale using social media. So, what you can do once you go back to basics and you understand what your values are, what your value proposition is, what your elevated pitch is or I call it a cocktail mini, what those things are. You can then go out and build the know, like, trust with your network on scale and 24/7. That’s really quite powerful.

And lastly, the amazing capability of social media is that you have this incredible amount of information and that can do two things. One is that you can do an absolutely targeted approach to your perfect client. So you can go into the advanced search engineer of your LinkedIn, and you can design exactly the type of person right down to where they live, the profession they’re in and how old they are, and go out and target to those types of people. You can also use LinkedIn and other social media to analyse the success of those campaigns which is extremely important and incredibly powerful.

So, I mentioned before that LinkedIn is just so important that we must have a great LinkedIn. Can everybody put their hands up? Do you all know whether you’re at all-star status in your LinkedIn profile? You can go and check very easily. You’ve got in front of you some tips on how to get to all-star status. As a bare minimum, it’s a really good idea to go in and do these things. And these basic things are having a decent photo, and that’s a photo of you looking like the client would expect to see you in the office. So, if you don’t wear a suit and tie, don’t put a photo in there of you in a suit and tie. It’s about building the [no like trust]. It’s also really important to put a very good summary in your LinkedIn profile, and that summary is not regurgitating your qualifications because they’re already there. You fill those out as you go through and set up your LinkedIn profile. It’s more about you and what you’re passionate about. Again, it’s going back to the problems that you solve, talking about the things that come naturally to you, and probably putting in a bit of rich media such as videos and things that demonstrate that more.

Now, a great LinkedIn profile with all of those words in there will also increase your search engine optimization for those particular things. It just makes you a more interesting person when people are looking at your LinkedIn profile. And if you do all these things, and all the things that are on that list there, then you will reach all-star status, which means you will be more searchable. Now, I have nothing else. There are a couple of great reasons why you use LinkedIn. There are about 6 million plus reasons why. So, in the professional services industry, LinkedIn has 6 million plus members, and that’s growing all the time. Right down to engineers. So, if you want to work with engineers or not, that’s entirely up to you. Some people love them and some people don’t. But there are about 200 plus engineers in there, if that was the type of market you wanted to get into.

And I know you will all love numbers because we’re in the financial services industry, but I think these numbers pretty much speak for themselves. If you want to get out to these types of clients, then LinkedIn is a natural way to do this. But if nothing else, the number one reason why you should be on LinkedIn, and why you should make sure that you’ve set your LinkedIn profile up properly so that you’ve got all-star status, it’s because it’s your number one search engine. If somebody meets you at an event, or he is your name through one of your centres of influence, they’re going to possibly go home and google your name. If you don’t have a proper LinkedIn profile, you may not come up or somebody else will come up who has a similar name.

Now, the way that Google and LinkedIn work is that the LinkedIn profile, if it’s all-star status, will come up first. So, in many respects, it’s actually your own personal website. It’s very important. And if they go there, if it’s a centre of influence or a potential client, then they go into a profile that demonstrates how you solve their problems and animates you and starts building up that [no like trust], then you’re halfway there. If you don’t, then they might go into the next one. So the reasons why we used LinkedIn furthermore. I think one of the most important reasons is your referral partners. So I’ve mentioned that before. As a bare minimum, please make sure that you go on and connect with your referral partners or centres of influence. This does a number of things. It ring fences your clients so that they know who you deal with and it also reveals you to their network and vice versa. It’s also very important to connect with industry experts, which demonstrates your area of expertise, and shares the knowledge, the passion and the expertise that you have.

New business connections as well. So I like to use LinkedIn quite a bit if I’m attending an event or following an event to make sure you connect with the people you’ve met at the event and immediately you’re fostering that relationship. It’s also a great way to have a look if you’re about to go to an event and you want to connect with the people. Get an understanding of what their passions are. Get an understanding of how they like to do business if they’re your target market.

So you’re building up your [no like trust]. There are some incredible tools on LinkedIn that you can use very easily to start demonstrating what your core value proposition is or what your area of expertise is. An example of that is LinkedIn Publisher. Has anybody used this facility yet? It’s very easy to use. We can teach you very quickly or we’ve got some videos to show you how to do it. It’s just an area that you go into and a little bit like say posting a blog or something like that. You just put an image in, copy and paste an article and publish in the way you go. And that can be shared with your network with things like Pulse and other things that linked in to LinkedIn. That will then be revealed to your network. This can honestly take a few seconds to do, and by doing this on a regular basis, you’re then demonstrating your areas of expertise and your passion. You’re educating your network on an ongoing basis.

And the last is the targeted advertising. As I mentioned before, the advanced search ability and targeted advertising on LinkedIn is quite amazing. So you can go out there and target exactly the type of client that you want to go after and demonstrate your area of expertise. Now, I’m going to pass over to Jess now who is our Facebook expert, not my area of expertise, to talk in a similar way about how you can use Facebook.

Jess:                 So, who has a Facebook profile? That’s about two-thirds of the room, which fits in with the two-thirds of the population. There are 14 million people on Facebook which is why your business should be on there. The other reason why your business should be on there is this one–1.7 hours a day. Australians are the largest average users of Facebook in the world. We beat the US. So that’s why your business should be on Facebook. The largest growing market is 45 plus. So, if you don’t think your clients are on Facebook, they are. My mom, in particular, has an iPad mini. She’ll sit down and watch TV at night but just sits there with her iPad on Facebook, scrolling through, catching up with the kids and catching up with the grandkids and all that sort of thing. So the people that you want to talk to will generally be on Facebook which is why you should put your business on there. It’s the biggest online traffic referrer. If you’re searching specifically on Google, Facebook is the biggest online traffic referrer. So that means people share information and other people will click on it and go and see your website or they will find a new product or service, another reason why your business should be on Facebook.

And it’s really a business to consumer so that’s why can you use LinkedIn for talking to business partners or for your business referrals? And you can also talk to them to the consumers. So, if your target market is the electricians or the engineers that George referred to earlier, you can talk to them on LinkedIn. But if you’re looking for the mom and dad, or you’re looking for not-industry-specific target market, Facebook is where you should be going to find those people. How can you use it? As I say, direct to consumer? We’ll come to it a little bit later on, but email is still the number one way to sell to a consumer.

So using Facebook as a funnel to get an email address is really, in my view, the most cost-effective way to use it. You can continue to build that [no like trust] by being an expert and sharing all of your helpful information. Again, we’ll come to that shortly. You can converse directly with your target market, and you want to be speaking in their language and not yours. And you can be a human. So you don’t always have to put on Facebook everything that is business-related. With Madison today, we’re talking about the conference. The crazy people who got up at 6AM and went walking up in the lake are now on Facebook in a photo because it’s showing people, outside of Madison, that’s human. That’s made up with people. Your business is made up of people. It’s made up of you, which is what you could be on Facebook.

Targeted advertising I think is the main reason to use Facebook. Again, it’s for generating emails. It’s just changed its algorithms, and it now knows if someone is a homeowner, if they’re renting, if they’re mortgaging, if they’re paid off their home. The data that they have is a little bit crazy, but you can use it to your advantage. You can target your advertising so specifically that the return on investment is almost immediate. So, when you’re thinking about social media, you can take a great one. I know why I want to be on there. What do I do? What do I put on there? If you’re building a [no like trust], you’re building your expertise, you’re showing your target market that basically you know what you’re talking about and you’re talking in their language.

As George mentioned, be really specific at the very beginning about who your target market is. You want to know what their pain points are, what keeps them up at night. It’s answering those pain points that will get them to like you and then trust you. I said it in the other group and I will say it again. People do something for two reasons—either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. And they will avoid pain ten times more than that they will gain pleasure. So, if you work on those pain points and you show them how to avoid it, they will trust you. So use helpful information. You educate and attract. That’s not to say that you’re educating on financial product or specifically on self-managed superfunds because you’re not giving them advice. You’re helping them solve their problem. You’re addressing their fears. Also, you can do the fun stuff and the gain in pleasure by talking about their passion as well. So really work out what it is that your target market enjoys, and show them. So all of this together builds your know, like, trust in all of your platforms.

You don’t have to use every platform. That’s why we’re really talking about just LinkedIn and Facebook today. I put Twitter on that sheet as well. I’m not the greatest Twitter advocate because I don’t have the time, and I kind of think that you don’t need that. You kind of need to be on there 20 times a day. If you got the kind of time and you want to do that, do that. If not, definitely be on LinkedIn for that Google search reason and Facebook for the fact that that’s where your customers are.

Georgia:          So this is just an example of how you can come up with the content. So, as Jess was saying, it’s putting content out there that solves your client’s pain points. An example, just to give you a practical tip of how you could start putting together this bank of content, is start surveying your clients. Now, you can do it the traditional way and go out and do a survey or you can do something that you’re already doing every day.

When you’re sitting down with your clients, talking to them, reviewing their situations, ask open-ended question, the rule of three we’re taught as salespeople. Ask a question followed by a question and a question to go deeper and deeper. Record what they’re asking. Record what their pain points are, what their stress is about, what they’re coming to you to solve. Make sure that, when you record these things, there are various ways you can record them. You might just use your notebook and then write them in your notebook and keep them somewhere. If you’re into devices, then perhaps something like Evernote. Build up a little notebook or even record them on a voice recording. But it’s very important to record it word for word because you want to record it in the language that they’re asking you. And you’ll start putting together a bit of a pattern so you’ll start to understand these are the questions that they’re asking of me and that they’re coming to me to solve as their financial advisor. That’s how you then start building up the content to go out and do a social media campaign. So that’s actually one of the ways that we come up with content to then schedule on your LinkedIn, Facebook, or your blog or whatever you choose as your platform.

Jess:                 So I touched on really briefly before about email, and say, how do you use social media to generate this email? People are on Facebook to get information. You can try and sell directly to them, but it’s not going to work. You’ll be trying good money after bad. If you’re sending out information that is helpful, you can then direct them to your website. I’m using something we call it a lead magnet, but using some type of really helpful information that will inspire that person to give you their email address or to download it. You will then have permission to email them about your services and your product. I don’t recommend trying to sell straight away. Give it a little time. Take them on a few dates first, and then try and sell. But you have the permission then. So, if you think about it, you’re sending out content, populating those places and building your [no like trust], getting those people to your website to then get their email address and then send emails to then sell to them. If you think about your social media in that pattern, that is when you will see a return on investment. Does that make sense?

Georgia:          I guess, in summary, the purpose of social media or the power of social media for you as financial advisors is to demonstrate what your area of expertise is. I talked about my passion is marketing, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do. And I think in this industry where there is so much challenge for us, so much change and all that sort of stuff, it is so important to understand what our passions are and to rise above all that and know what it is we do to solve people’s problems and why they come to us. And that’s what you then do to put out in a social media campaign.

                        They’re not going to click on an article that’s about superannuation. That’s so boring. That’s not going to entice them into reading it. However, they will start to understand you from a point of know, like, trust if you focus on certain areas. For example, this little cartoon of Norm Sinclair. By doing this, by understanding, first of all, what your area of expertise is or your core value proposition and then putting content out there that delivers that and solves your target market pain points via content in social media, you’re not just seen as a financial planner but somebody who is the guy who solves my problem when it comes to investing, the girl who makes sure that when I receive my last pay check I know I’m going to be okay every time, the guy that helps me understand how I can buy my first investment property, the girl who introduces me to the right people to structure my estate planning or build my business. So that’s what social media is all about. It’s about demonstrating your expertise, revealing your passions and showing you as a true person to develop the [no like trust] and grow your business through referrals 24/7. So that’s it from us. Does anybody have any questions?

Jess:                 That’s it. It’s that clear. You’re ready to go back. Jump on. Put in your content or whatever is ready.

George:           Well, thank you every one. We’re here until tomorrow afternoon. Oh, we’ve got a question.

[How do you not get lost in the noise and bombard your customers?]

Jess:                 That’s true. That’s where it comes down to knowing your target market and knowing their pain points because you want to be the one email that stands out or the one post on Facebook and LinkedIn that stands out. If you’re just putting out information like superannuation, you’ll get deleted straight away. The interesting thing about email though is it is still the number one as I mentioned. But, also, people think, if it’s two days and you haven’t had a response, I failed. It’s about two to three weeks before someone responds to a sales email. So don’t feel like you’ve failed it’s been only a short period of time. But if you’re really being authentic in addressing the pain points of your target market, you can’t saturate them. As a general rule, we tend to use daily posting on Monday to Friday for Facebook and LinkedIn for business and an email once a week. I think that was the stat. It’s something like an email sent monthly versus an email, to the same group, sent weekly. So I think it’s doubling almost a bit more of open rates when it’s weekly because you’re in front of that person and they know you and they trust you. So I wouldn’t be too scared about saturating it.

                        [Great. But who has the time to do this stuff?]

It’s a beauty of batching than leveraging. For batching, there are a few different tools you can use. One is HootSuite. And we do about four weeks of content altogether. So pick a topic for a month, and go down into four different smaller points of that main topic. So I should have examples off to my head but I don’t. Say your target market is small business, you want to help those people grow their business. So it could be social media. So, in the first week, you’re growing your business through social media. You talk about Facebook. You talk about LinkedIn. You talk about Twitter. You talk about Instagram. If you know that upfront, the actual writing of the content, it takes about half an hour. It’s the actual thinking and the sitting down. I need to think about this daily. If you do it daily, it will talk half an hour to write one post as opposed to taking half an hour to write a week’s post. So that’s batching. I’m using those tools.

The other part is leveraging. That’s what we’re here for. Client Kiosk does that sort of thing for you. So we work on new target market. Get really clear on what their pain points are. Then, work on content schedules, the writing of the content, get them into a group and send it out.

Georgia:          So it’s the same concept I suppose, you might be thinking I need a more holistic business. I really want to get into doing more lending or whatever. You then have to make a choice. Do I have time to do that myself? Or, do I hire somebody to do it for me within the business? Or, do I outsource it? It’s the same with social media. And I think that’s where a lot of us have gone wrong as I said in the previous presentation. I was chatting to my colleague, Rob, from ANZ and he was comparing social media to microwave ovens. When they first came out, we did everything with microwave ovens. It could roast the chook. We did tend to do that when social media first came out, and that was where people were. I remember seeing a post once of my one of my colleagues standing for his bag to come out in the carousel. Like, seriously, do you really think I want to know that? So it’s about paring it back, working out what you want to do with it and then outsourcing it and not trying to do it all yourself because so many business did try to do it themselves and you can see it. You go on to their blogs, and the last blog was posted 2013 or something like that. So be intentional. Do it or don’t. But either hire someone, outsource it or unless you got the time to do it yourself, then do it yourself.