Also available as podcast (Episode #48)
Why should an RIA use LinkedIn?
A desire to have more flexibility in how you can market your practice is one of the most common reasons financial advisors move to the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model. Social media is an increasingly important component of any such effort. Of the various platforms available to utilize, LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to reach your intended audience. However, considering each platform has it’s own norms and best practices, it’s important to understand how to utilize LinkedIn in a way that will be most appealing to potential clients, and which will have the greatest return on your time and commitment to the platform.
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Sara Grillo (LinkedIn)
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Brad: Why should an RIA use LinkedIn? That is today’s question on the Transition To RIA question and answer series. It is question #48.
Hi. I am Brad Wales with Transition To RIA where I help you understand everything there is to know about why and how to move to the RIA model.
One of the things that often comes up in conversations with advisors about why they might want to move to the RIA model is the increased flexibility that usually comes with the transition to the model. The different regulatory landscape and framework of how your firm is set up gives you more flexibility to do certain things.
One of the things is more flexibility with how you market your practice, how you implement your business development efforts in your firm.
An increasingly popular way nowadays to go about trying to build awareness of your practice as a business development technique is on LinkedIn. And so that is the entire topic of this episode here, how to use LinkedIn…not only as a financial advisor, as an RIA, and how you can use that to your benefit.
For those of you watching on video, super excited to have the one and only Sara Grillo on board with us today. Sara, happy to see you.
Sara: Hey, what’s up, Brad? What’s up, everybody?
Brad: I’ll ask Sara to give a brief background on herself in just a moment but for those that don’t know Sara, you haven’t been paying attention!
I’ve long been a follower of Sara’s. She publishes all kinds of podcasts, different media articles, lots of stuff out there. One of the great things about Sara besides her wealth of knowledge, and for any of you that are followers, everyone of you will certainly know this is she’s an absolute straight shooter. There’s no canned commentary to come on this episode. There’s no holding back.
That’s one of the things that makes her one of the most genuine people in our industry. You know exactly where she stands on things and she can back it up with the knowledge to do that.
So, I’m looking forward to jumping in. Sara, if you could give us a quick background on yourself so folks that don’t already know you can know where you’re coming from and then we’ll dive right in.
Sara: I used to be a financial advisor and then I had four kids in five years. I literally was pregnant every 14 months. I was pregnant with one kid and Antonio was already talking about the next kid.
So, I used to be a financial advisor but I had too many kids and I couldn’t do it and I also didn’t feel like I was a great financial advisor. And then I started publishing videos on YouTube about how to pass the CFA exam and one of them went viral.
That was basically the birth of my social media career. It wasn’t anything I intended on. I was running out of money because I had quit my job as a financial advisor and I was selling Antonio’s clothes on eBay but then one day he found out and I couldn’t do that anymore. He came home from work early.
Brad: That’s kind of a limited runway. That only goes so far!
Sara: Right, I was researching how to make money on the internet and there was all these money-making things and I was like, “Well, forget about that.” And while I was trying to figure that part out, I just started making these videos. One of them went viral and then people were like, “Hey, wait a minute. You’re a CFA but you also have creative skills. Can you do my resume? Can you write my website?” And then the requests just kept coming in and I was like, “Oh, alright!”
But anyways, I’m here today to tell you that financial advisors really stink at social media and they stink at LinkedIn and they stink at marketing in general but the good news is that they don’t have to.
I think a lot of times it’s just bad marketing training. Part of it is the nature of the occupation that a lot of times there’s this fear to be a human being. A lot of times advisors feel like they have to be this invincible figure of perfection. And it’s not true.
To some extent, you do have to show that you’re human and relatable but then I also see it go too far to the extreme too of too much relatability. Like getting distracted by the virtue postings and here we all are at the charity event. I’m tired of seeing that too, right?
So, I’m here to tell you today some strategies that can work for you. But I’m going to stop talking and let you talk, Brad. Sorry I went on so long about that.
Brad: No, fantastic and I think just a great example of you being a straight shooter.
And something Sara certainly did not ask me to point out, but it’s worthy to note, Sara is a Harvard undergrad and NYU MBA along with her CFA. You seem to never point that out and those are quite the credentials. So, I appreciate your humbleness on that.
And while we all have resumes, to your point you just made, it’s more how relatable you are and what you actually know, how you can help people that matters at the end of the day. But credit where it’s due.
And I was going to point out your biggest accomplishment was not all of those things. It was the multiple kids you have. You stole my note on that one but that’s quite worthy because I’m sure it’s quite a challenge each day!
Sara: That’s important Brad that you mentioned that I have all these kids because…and I’m not saying I’m one of these, perfect moms, model moms. I mean, I’m far from it. You just have to be in my house for, like, five minutes to see all my flaws, right.
But one thing I do think I’ve figured out about my kids…and I think it’s so applicable to people is that we really don’t listen to each other. And it’s not just the kids that don’t listen to the adults. It’s that kids are really just not listened to nowadays.
I’m at the park the other day and kids are so talked over. I was trying to create a dialogue between my kid and someone else’s kid and so I’m like, “Oh, my goodness, look at that sprinkle cookie you have.” Because my kids have the same sprinkle cookie so I’m trying to talk to this kid and I’m like, “Look at that sprinkle cookie you have.” And her mom’s like, “Well, yeah. I ordered it for her. She doesn’t really like it normally though.” It’s like I’m trying to get your kid to talk so she could talk to my kid. Like, let the kid respond!
Sara: You know what I mean? And you think about those parents…how many times do we talk over our own kids? And if we do it to our own kids, we do it to everybody and it’s so true.
It happens on LinkedIn all the time. Everybody just throwing these messages out, barfing this content into the feed with no idea of, wait a second, there’s a human being on the other side. And that’s really the number one thing I want to tell all of you about LinkedIn is that you’ve got to look at the person or the people, the audience just like you would build trust with somebody you met in a networking function.
You have to try to understand them. And so, I say limit it to two sentences. I created this whole thing. I mean, not like it was any great, genius invention but I just call it the two-sentence rule and it says basically the idea of when you’re on messenger say one sentence and then make the next sentence a question.
Like, if you see someone’s always liking your updates. Don’t be like, “Hey, look. Let’s do a portfolio review.” Do you have enough insurance? I see you’re a business owner. What’s your key man policy like? Can I review it for you?
It’s like, “Do I know you? It’s none of your business.” They don’t know you yet. It’s totally out of context.
We’re always flying at each other like this. And then financial advisors fail at LinkedIn and then they’re like, “Oh, well, this doesn’t work. These marketing consultants sold me this and now this thing doesn’t work.”
It’s like, “Right, the whole thing doesn’t work because it’s not a human relationship here that you’re thinking of it as.” You’re thinking of it as a platform and a system and a message and you type something and it’s text on the screen and you can’t look at it that way.
Communication is not about the words you say. It’s not about the images or the graphs or the pictures or having the best blog. Communication is about feelings. LinkedIn is really about feelings. And when you miss that, that’s where the failure comes in.
When you go into your feed, think about what the feelings are going to be of the people reading it. Don’t look at it with financial advisor goggles. Like, oh, yeah, yeah, that market capitalization or the top five stocks and the S&P or this and that, it’s like, “No one’s interested in that, dude.” Like, “Come on, sis.”
How can this be more relevant to people? How do I phrase it in a way that it’s going to be real and it’s going to really be something people want to hear about instead of what I think is interesting as a financial advisor? It has to be reversed.
Brad: One of my questions I plan on asking is what are you seeing that’s not working that you would highly advise against? So, a quick example there and we’ll certainly dive back into that.
But at a very macro level, just to start it, there’s a lot of different business development approaches out there, a lot of different marketing approaches. Certainly, whatever capacity an advisor’s in now, whatever model they’re in now whether they are an RIA or whatnot, why LinkedIn?
I’m not suggesting that you’re saying that’s the only thing people should use but there’s a lot out there. Why is LinkedIn so important nowadays?
Sara: Well, it’s important that you at least have a profile page because when you’re a working professional and it is kind of like the Yellow Pages. When someone hears your name or sees you at a networking function, they’re going to go to LinkedIn and look at you.
So, some of y’all there with the bad picture and not a good description of what you do or no call to action so that someone can easily find your website.
Right at the top of the profile, the LinkedIn profile, the top of the profile’s what’s going to get a majority of the views. People are not really going to scroll. You should at least have a page.
It’s not going to cost you anything. There’s no excuses for these financial advisors. Get your LinkedIn page up today and revise it. And again, focus on the top of that page, the title, the pictures that are there, the contact information.
Secondly, LinkedIn can be very good if you’re targeting people who are working professionals or who are about to exit the working profession. If you’re working only with retirees, LinkedIn is not going to be the best method for you. You’d be better off reaching the COIs or just spreading your broad influence and hoping that the people you meet have retirees that they know.
So, LinkedIn is not for everybody. And it’s not for the people that are just going to spam it. If you don’t have any time to do LinkedIn, don’t even think about hiring one of these awful autoresponder services or putting this canned content into the feed. If that’s your attitude, LinkedIn is not for you either.
I’m going to tell you why. LinkedIn doesn’t want that crap out there. LinkedIn is going to put you in jail if you’re going to be spamming people with messages that they don’t want to get. You’re going to get reported or even if you don’t get reported, no one’s going to respond.
I see so many people that used to have these autoresponder services. It sounds great, right? You get a robot to send out 500 messages a day. Well, let me tell you folks what happens.
Every time a client comes to me with that, they’ve got 4,000 connections and…actually, I call it negative 4,000 because they’ve made a negative impression on these 4,000 people and a lot of times, I’m a step away from saying, “We have to scrap this whole thing and start again manually from scratch without this robot,” because the robot burned it where the robot asked the person to meet three times after they already said no. That person’s absolutely never going to talk to you again. They think very, very badly of you.
Sara: If you only have time to put the canned content out there, and I’m not going to say the companies that do it, but we all know who they are, you could buy content and just throw it out there.
I mean, it’s better than having nothing but barely. I’d rather have a picture of you eating a donut or walking your dog in the morning. I’d rather have that. It shows you have a pulse but it’s not much better than anything because understand, LinkedIn wants engagement on their posts.
If you’re posting out canned content where 500 other advisors put that same article out there, it’s not unique. LinkedIn views it as less attention worthy. They don’t think people are going to engage with it so they’re going to push it down and not show it to a lot of people. LinkedIn is the gatekeeper.
Some of you made your business through cold calling. When you were cold calling, you were so nice to that receptionist or that admin assistant. You knew how to get past that gatekeeper and that’s why you have a business because you knew how to do that. You treated that gatekeeper almost like your client.
So why, financial advisors, would you take LinkedIn that is the gatekeeper to all the people that you want to meet…that LinkedIn feed, that LinkedIn algorithm is the gatekeeper.
Why would you treat it like its feelings don’t matter? LinkedIn does matter. How LinkedIn feels about you does matter. Just like a client’s feelings towards you matter. That algorithm is your client. You’ve have to look at it that way.
So, every day I wake up and I’m thinking, “What can I do to please the algorithm today?” If you had a client that was like, “I don’t want risky stocks, I don’t want a lot of volatility.” You wouldn’t turn around and say, “Great. You know what? I’m going to put you in cryptocurrency.” You would never do that.
If you want LinkedIn to like you and to do good things for you and to pay you back with rewarding you by putting it up to a ton of people in your network, you’ve got to post content that people are going to engage with.
It might not always be able to be that credibility building, “Hey, here’s why I’m so smart. I’m going to show you the most insightful thing.” Sometimes it’s just a matter of – especially at first when you’re coming in, when you’re starting it up – you might have to be a little bit less formal. Maybe just be conversational. Get people to respond back to the posting somehow.
Brad: I love the gatekeeper analogy. I had not heard it expressed that way before. Treat it the same way as that person that was blocking you from getting through on the phone. I think that’s a great way to look at it. You have to nurture that. You have to be accommodating to that. I think that’s fantastic.
Assume an advisor that’s not currently using LinkedIn is starting to buy into this, starting to understand maybe some of the importance of it. What is the main – if it’s possible or even maybe not smart to try to put it down to one thing, so correct me there – but what should the main target or objective be for LinkedIn?
If I’m an advisor, I’m on there, I’m doing the right things, someone like you is helping me. Am I trying to get them to my website? Am I trying to solicit them directly via a message to call me? What is the most effective outcome that, in your opinion, that people should be trying to accomplish? Obviously, you’re not going to close a client on LinkedIn.
Sara: I can tell you in one word.
Brad: Just get it started. Yeah.
Sara: Let’s say your cousin’s getting married. There’s a bunch of people at a wedding. This is like LinkedIn. A bunch of people there. People don’t know each other, maybe a little nervous, no one wants to say the wrong thing.
There’s always that one person that’s a social butterfly that can go into a group of five people that don’t know each other and just be like, “Great to see the wedding today. We had great weather and it’s really nice to see such a rewarding couple come together in this matrimony.” And then everyone wants to start talking about it, right.
Or, “Hey, so who here is a Green Bay Packers fan?” And then, people just start talking.
You have to get people to start talking on your feed and that’s it. LinkedIn doesn’t care if you’re the smartest or the most credible. You have to get people to start talking. And the more you get people to start talking not just with the posting that you put in your feed, but talking amongst each other.
This is hard to do and I’m going to tell you it’s hard to do because no one wants to do it the hard way. Everyone wants to do it the easy way.
Oh, I’m going to broadcast something and it’s going to be something no one’s ever said before. I’m going to look so smart. Well, maybe if they’re already paying attention to you but you’re trying to position yourself as above other people, that doesn’t work as well on LinkedIn as what I just told you which is to be on their level.
Use it as a platform to hear people’s voices. You’re going to have to say something good enough to provoke other people to talk.
I could get to it in Messenger too but that’s on the feed. I work with financial advisors. So, it’s a different market than what all you have but I’ll say something like…you know, financial advisors, your client comes in and says, “Hey, don’t tell my husband or wife I told you this but blah, blah.” What do you say back?
I get so many advisors coming in on that or something like, your client says, “Hey, I can’t find my financial statements. Can you come over to my apartment and help me look for them?” What do you say back, financial advisors?
Get them to talk.
Brad: I think you’re fantastic at it. Find Sara on LinkedIn. See how she operates with her own posts.
Related to that, for people that don’t know, on LinkedIn you can have a profile for your business and a profile as an individual. For my business, I’ve set up the business page. Admittedly, I don’t do a lot with the business page because I want people to relate to me, to Brad Wales, to build that relationship.
So, your thoughts on the need of a business profile page along with the individual and how people should be using that?
Sara: I think you should have a business page because it’s another way to get your business’s name on a high domain website out there. LinkedIn is a highly ranked domain and then when you make a business page, it’s like a subdomain of LinkedIn. It makes a little LinkedIn page for your business and then because it has LinkedIn as the root, then it’s going to rank high.
In fact, it might actually rank higher than your website when people search on your business name. I don’t know. Everyone is different but generally it does tend to get up there. So, it’s just another way to get your footprint out there on Google.
Some people are a little self-conscious. They like to post to their business page, then they share it to their personal page. I think people really need to get past that. Some people are just shy with attention. If you’re so shy that you don’t want people seeing that you posted directly to your own feed and looking at your page, I don’t know if LinkedIn is for you honestly. I’m just going to tell you right then and there because I’ve had clients that were like that and it didn’t work out great.
I think a business page is really good for, like, IBM if you’ve got multiple employees and multiple products, etc., but for most financial advisors, you are the brand.
Brad: I’m sure you’ve experienced this plenty over the years that you have to be vulnerable, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Sometimes you might be uncomfortable making videos or whatever the case is and posting it. But I would tell you from my experience, and I’m sure you’ve been getting this for years, there’s nothing better when you have a new person reach out to you as a prospective client. I love when some folks tell me, they say, “Wow, you sound just like you do on the videos.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s how this works!” And they think they already know who I am.
Case in point, Sara and I have never met in person. We’ve talked a number of times but there was no awkwardness on our first conversation because I felt I already knew you from following you for some time. That’s the warmest lead you can have with a client reaching out to you that feels they already know you because you’re doing these things.
Related to that, on LinkedIn you can put videos on there, you can put photos on there, you can do just text, you can do messenger. How do you respond when someone asks… “Which one of those should I be using? Should I just be writing text or should I be putting photos of myself?”
For someone that hasn’t really done a lot of anything up until this point, what should they be concentrating on?
Sara: I’m going to tell you exactly what you should do. You should go on LinkedIn and you should create a survey. You should create a poll. Polls are the easiest type of content for people to engage with. Why? They can enter their answer and nobody can see it except the person who posted the poll. Then they get to see what the tally is of the poll. There’s a curiosity factor there.
You want to make it a question that people are honestly curious to see the answer to. I recently posted a question, “What should a financial advisor do if you find out one of your clients is cheating on the other one?” And like, if they’re a married couple and someone’s cheating, what do you do? And this is wacko. Like, totally crazy. Landslide results. So many people wanted to know what the answer was and that’s why a lot of times people take the survey is because they want to know how other people feel. The survey really is the best way.
The best thing about it too is that as the person who posted the survey, you can see how everybody voted. You can go there and you can send a person a message and just say, “Hey, thanks for taking my survey.”
If you want to be a little more daring, you could say, “Why was this topic of interest to you?” Or, “I’m glad that this topic was of interest to you.” And then see what they say.
If you want to be a little controversial, you can be like, “How do you feel about people bowing to the flag instead of standing during the Olympics?” Very controversial topic, but if you target veterans (as clients) that would be a posting that you would put because I know tons of vets would go on there and have a very strong opinion about that.
You don’t want to use anyone’s feelings and be manipulative about it, but you do want to think about, “Well, what would people really feel compelled by they can’t resist clicking their answer on this survey for? That’s what you want to do is create surveys because when you get back on the feed, you need to tell LinkedIn who you are. Hey, I’m back. And the best way to do that is to not mess around with postings that are a maybe or a maybe not, but the postings that will most likely get engagement and those are in fact the surveys.
You should start with easy surveys. Don’t go out there and be like, “Who knows what the average credit score is in the United States?” You’re just talking like a financial advisor before the audience trusts you, thinks you’re cool, understands that you’re just trying to get discussions started here. It’s too much…you’re talking too much like a financial advisor right away. You have to talk like a human being and engage them and then eventually you could add in some of the financial advisor stuff.
Brad: It’s a great tip.
What would you tell the person that thinks they’re too late for LinkedIn? There’s people that are getting dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of likes on their LinkedIn posts and gosh, if I haven’t really been doing anything, it’s too late for me to build this audience.
The example I give is regarding YouTube. 2005 was when YouTube was started. I would venture to guess that the top 10 YouTubers, probably have only been on the platform just the last couple of years and they’ve been able to go on a trajectory.
Had you told those same people 10 years ago, “Oh, it’s too late, you’ve missed the boat, you’re too far behind,” they never would’ve had the success they have now.
So, what do you tell someone regarding LinkedIn that’s thinking, “Oh, gosh. These other financial advisors have such big followings. I missed the boat. Should I even bother?”
Sara: Don’t look at that number and get intimidated by it because sometimes people buy followers. They’ll get these robots to go out and connect with everybody.
I have people I’m dealing with right now that have thousands and thousands of followers and I can’t get them a meeting. Whereas small actions like connecting, sending that message about, “Hey, thanks for connecting with me here. I see that you’ve worked at General Motors for 25 years. I tend to post discussions here on that and I hope that you’ll participate if you see a fit.”
Then you come back two weeks later… “I wanted to thank you for participating in that survey about the GM pension. Then you come back two weeks later. Oh, here’s an article. And then they come back with a question and then you answer it and then now you’ve got a meeting.
Brad: Nurture it.
Sara: Right. But it’s like sprinkling. You have to sprinkle the salt a little bit.
Brad: And the beauty is, you don’t have to get 30 new clients a year from it. If you get a couple new clients a year from LinkedIn, that can significantly move the needle on your practice over time. You don’t have to be the biggest. You just have to get your share of the opportunities that are out there.
For those that didn’t see it in the news, and I don’t have too much perspective on this, but Merrill Lynch recently announced that they were changing their training program and for the first time – I presume in decades – are no longer going to have their trainees cold call.
I’ve subscribed to this theory that that time had passed for some time now, that cold calling is not the effective tool it perhaps once was. Merrill is now apparently going to have their trainees using LinkedIn messenger instead of cold calling. Out of curiosity, Sara, what would you tell those Merrill trainees that have now been told, “Okay, you have to use this.” And I don’t know how much flexibility they’ll actually have to use some of these other tools. So, thoughts or advice on where they go from here?
Sara: I don’t know. I’m not a Merrill employee or a compliance officer so I don’t make the rules but my understanding at this current point is that the Merrill people can’t really comment too much or do too much in terms of customization with their postings and the feed.
So, I don’t think this is a posting or feed type of a play here for the Merrill folks. But messenger is absolutely fabulous. One thing I would tell the Merrill people is, I want you to ignore most of the training you’re going to get on LinkedIn messenger. I want you to ignore it completely and I want you to understand one thing. You have to be intrigued by other people.
People are a collection of experiences. That’s all that we are. People love to tell their stories because it shows you what they value and it shows you what they value when you listen. So, I want you to go on LinkedIn messenger and get people to tell their stories. People are so intriguing.
Go on LinkedIn and look at 10 random people’s pages. People are doing amazing things. There are veterans that have all kinds of war stories. There are single moms starting businesses and changing their communities. There are people who have survived awful diseases and are sharing their thoughts. That’s what LinkedIn is about. How can I share my experiences with other people in a way that’s helpful?
Get them to tell you a story. Get them to talk. Everybody messes this up and this is what I mean when I say that as a society, we really don’t know how to listen to each other, how to just stop and look and observe and listen.
Do you know how many times I’ve – on behalf of my clients or for myself – I’ve gone to somebody’s page and been like, “Wow, look at that little sliver of a detail that they posted, that they put up there on their page, something that they’re proud of.”
Look to see what they’re proud of. I saw one guy that posted that he was a SCORE. SCORE is a mentor for small business owners in his area. And so, I’m like, “Wow, I just saw that you did that. That’s great. What was your motivation for doing that?” And he had this full diatribe about how he feels really strongly about this and thank you so much for asking and nobody ever asks about that.
That’s who you want to be. Whether or not that person ever turns out to be a client of yours, at least you’ve done the right thing by them and not gone out there with your pitch blazing. At least you’ve made a favorable, strong impression and you never know when that could come back. It could be three years from now they see a posting and they mention you to their boss.
I’ve noticed that when I participate nicely with people on LinkedIn messenger, when I speak nicely to them and ask them what they are engaged with or ask them what they care about and I show them that I really care about what their experiences are in life, they somehow make it to my feed.
They post and they comment and they discuss and this and that. And even if they disagree with me, they don’t go so bad to me because they like me because I show that I cared about what the heck is going on in their life.
Brad: That’s perhaps the best message of this whole episode. Just get that discussion going. I love that. Nothing is going to follow unless you can get that started. That’s a huge takeaway.
Sara: I mean, do you know how hard it is to think someone’s a jerk who asks you interesting questions about your background?
Sara: They might say, “She’s just asking me that because she wants to sell me something. She’s a financial advisor.” But the more you persist with these genuinely interesting questions and the more you show that you’re genuinely interested in them, the less they’re going to feel that way.
Here’s the other thing people do wrong. I teach people, I give them my book, I teach them how to do this and they’ll send me these things and they’ll be like, “I did that thing you said, Sara. I went and I asked that person about how they started a business or I saw you work on this charity volunteering thing.” And they’re like, “I sent that first message and then a day later I sent the message asking for a meeting and I didn’t get the meeting and this doesn’t work.”
Brad: That’s not how it works!
Sara: That’s not how it works.
Brad: It’s a good reminder. Just because it’s digital doesn’t change how we would want to interact. How we, as humans, interact in real life.
I think the challenge there is it’s patience, right? It’s a long game. It’s not a quick hit. That’s why paying someone to do canned comments for your autoresponders and stuff like that, that’s attempting to take the easy way for something that’s going to take some patience but can pay off.
Related to all of this, we’ve only peeled back one part of the onion here, we could talk about of all the great things that LinkedIn can do, but obviously you know what you’re talking about. You’ve helped people with this before. So, what do you do for people in that regard?
If this is resonating with someone…yeah, I need to be on LinkedIn. Sara knows what she’s talking about. They reach out to you, what do you do for advisors and what does that look like?
Sara: The first thing is that I have a blog and a podcast and it’s free, obviously. So, for those of you that don’t want to engage, you could just absorb and consume my content. You can follow me on LinkedIn, connect with me, say hello, follow my newsletter. I’m always publishing. I publish every week. I publish every day on LinkedIn but then I publish every week in my newsletter.
Then if you want more than that, part of my content is gated. I have templates where I give people a model for the messages and the postings and I have workshops that are gated to people who are exclusive on my membership. That’s $35 a month. There’s a signup fee but it’s nothing big.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer you can follow along with me and get the really good content that kind of makes things easier for you so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or guess at what to write.
Then sometimes though if you need someone to actually do it for you, if you need someone to help you, I’m a consultant. I can give you a session. I’ll critique what you’re doing, but if you want me to actually drive the bus, then that’s a different engagement and I’m kind of full actually. I’m on a waitlist for my CMO services, for me to take the whole enchilada. That’s on a waitlist right now.
Brad: But they can sign up for your membership without a problem?
Sara: Oh, yeah. Membership is not on waitlist at the moment.
Brad: If you could remind everyone, what is your website?
Sara: It’s my name, SaraGrillo.com.
Brad: Which means Sara was also paying attention, I don’t know how long ago, 10 years ago or 15 years ago when you snagged that before anyone else?
Sara: It was only a few years ago.
Brad: Oh, really? Okay.
Sara: Yeah. I know. I couldn’t believe it myself that it was available.
Brad: That’s fantastic.
I’ll put all of the links to the various things Sara was mentioning, those will be in the show notes. So, you can easily find her. You can also just Google her name and all this will come up. But I’ll put it in the show notes as well, SaraGrillo.com.
To wrap up, my audience is primarily advisors interested in going into the RIA model. From your experience working with advisors of all different models, thoughts on the additional flexibility that might exist under the RIA model?
Perfect example you alluded to is the Merrill folks. Trainees might be told to use messenger but they might have some pretty heavy guardrails in the content feed of what they can do. That’s tough to then compete against people that don’t have that.
So, for everyone thinking about going to the RIA thinking, “What would I have different in that RIA structure with respect to doing something like LinkedIn?” Your thoughts on that?
Sara: A lot of times the wirehouses and broker dealers can be very restrictive about the content that you can post in your feed. The best thing for you if you want to attract attention to yourself would be to post the surveys or these discussion-oriented type postings because the more attention you draw to your discussions, the more LinkedIn likes you and the more people compound back and forth on those discussions.
You want people getting in fights. I’ve had people get into fights because I posted something. Usually, it’s about fees. You’ve got the fee only people and then you’ve got the commission people. They get in fights. And I love that because that just blows the views out of the water on that posting.
So, if you’re at a wirehouse, I don’t think at this point that’s probably going to be happening for you because they don’t allow these open-ended discussion style postings.
Have your compliance officer contact me. I really am not one to placate to the corporate entities and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me at a corporate level. I will tell them exactly what I think and that they’re doing the opposite of what the LinkedIn algorithm would want them to do to be successful. There’s nothing you can do if you’re at one of these places. You have to follow the rules, right?
So that is one advantage that you have as an independent firm or a firm with more flexibility on social media.
Brad: Yeah, it’s tough. I use the analogy of imagine you’re out there playing a one-on-one basketball game and you have to have one hand tied behind your back and the other person doesn’t. I’m not saying you can’t win the game but it certainly makes it more difficult.
You and I could keep talking about this for twice as long as we already have but the idea here was to give that first taste for advisors that aren’t perhaps using LinkedIn at all or aren’t using it as well as they should be. I’ve learned some good stuff here.
Sara, thank you very much for coming on. Again, I’ll have in the show notes the resources mentioned. I’ve been following Sara, her articles, podcasts, blog, everything for years now. I certainly encourage you to do that as well. If you find her on LinkedIn, you’ll find all these resources as well.
So, Sara, thank you for coming on today.
Sara: Thanks, everybody. Go ahead and drop me a line and say hello. It’d be cool to talk.
Brad: Absolutely. Get the discussion going. That’s what we learned today.
With that, if you are not already there, head on over to TransitionToRIA.com. All kinds of additional resources, the entire series of video questions also available in podcast form, whitepapers, all kinds of resources to help you better understand the RIA model.
The best thing to do is at the top of every page is a contact link, if you click on that, you can instantly and easily schedule a specific time to have a one-on-one conversation with me to talk about the RIA model and what it might mean for your practice. I’m happy to do that.
Like I said, TransitionToRIA.com. All the resources and the show notes from today’s episode. With that, I hope you found value in today’s show and I’ll see you on the next one.
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