Graham Aikin provides some practical advice on how firms can use LinkedIn to engage with HNW individuals, as a marketing, business development and client acquisition tool.
HNW sectors are embracing digital channels
Given recent global developments, luxury brands and asset managers catering to the HNW and ultra-HNW sectors are embracing digital channels to connect with and build relationships with prospects and clients. Firms are utilising social media more than ever before and LinkedIn in particular has seen a 55% increase in the number of monthly active users* since mid-March.
Investment managers, family offices and luxury brands are keen to find new ways to find ‘the human touch’ given that our new ways of working are likely to continue post-lockdown. LinkedIn now has over 690 million members in 200 countries so it has phenomenal reach. Here are a number of ways in which firms can develop their LinkedIn presence to both retain existing relationships and find new clients:
Your starting point for success is your existing brand
When someone Google’s your firm name or the name of an employee, what do they find? LinkedIn is a fantastic (and free) way to improve both your corporate and personal brand. All members of staff that are client-facing should have an optimised LinkedIn profile that includes, at a minimum:
- A background image and professional headshot
- An About section that explains who you are, what you do, and who you do it for
- The new ‘Featured’ section where you can upload brochures, videos and other documents that will be of interest to your target market(s)
Your LinkedIn profile is no longer simply an online CV – it is an extremely powerful touchpoint for clients and prospects to find out more about you, and to engage with you on a one-2-one basis if they wish. Similarly, if you have a LinkedIn Company Page, make sure it is fully optimised and aim to post relevant content 2-3 times per week.
Finding New Clients
There are a number of extremely powerful search features on the free version of LinkedIn that allow you to find your ideal demographic or target market(s). Whether you are looking to build relationships with C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, family offices, private aviation and superyacht firms, to name but a few, you can find them using the free search filters on LinkedIn. Once you have identified and found your target market(s), it is best practice to engage with them on a one-2-one basis as opposed to mass messaging. Do not try to sell to them at this point – try to offer them something of value (e.g. an event invitation, an interesting article or report) to build rapport first.
Informing & educating via the LinkedIn news feed
Whilst many LinkedIn users criticise some of the content on the news feed as being more at home on Facebook, but the news feed is a fantastic way use LinkedIn to engage with HNW individuals, inform and educate your clients and prospects, drive traffic to your website, position you and your brand as centres of excellence in your areas of expertise, and add the ‘human touch’ to your relationships, given our limited ability to interact face-to-face at the moment. Here are some practical tips for utilising the news feed functionality:
- Target yourself to post 2-3 times per week and don’t just post your own firms content; it is wise to combine this with other content that your network may find of interest, otherwise it can come across as too ‘corporate’
- Add 3 hashtags to your posts e.g. #luxury #investments #familyoffices – hashtags are a way for LinkedIn to categorise your post which other users can then search for, and so adding hashtags will increase the reach of your posts
- Engage with other users content as well – comment, like and/or share it. The more you engage with other users content, the more your own content will be promoted by the news feed algorithm, again increasing your visibility on LinkedIn
I still meet many people whose mindset is ‘LinkedIn is a place to find a job’. That is still true, but more than ever before those working in the HNW/UHNW space are using it to network and grow their business, and by taking consistent, practical actions on a regular basis, I challenge anyone to not be able to achieve tangible results with LinkedIn.
Graham Aikin has worked in the wealth management industry for over 17 years (primarily as a senior private banker with Coutts & Co in London) and for the last 8 years has been running his own consultancy that provides LinkedIn and business development advice to wealth & asset managers. He has trained over 5,000 advisers to date and his clients include 8 out of the top 10 largest wealth managers in the UK, as well as number of Wall Street firms. He is currently working with the likes of UBS, Schroders, Rathbones and Natixis.
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