In January, I filmed a YouTube video that talked about the importance of social media for life insurance producers. Today I want to focus on one aspect of what was covered briefly in that video – social selling.
Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks. Rather than a hard sale, it’s more about lead nurturing and relationship building. And it works. According to statistics from LinkedIn, social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than their peers.
There are many different components to social selling, and best practices vary from platform to platform. For today, let’s keep things simple and focus on the key starting steps to creating a social selling strategy on the platform most readers of this blog are familiar with, LinkedIn.
Optimize Your Profile
Do you have a current, hi-res photo of yourself taken by a professional photographer? If the answer is no, stop here, get one, and then come back. If yes, add that photo to your LinkedIn profile STAT.
Then move on to the rest of your profile. This section isn’t about you but is really about your potential clients. Ask yourself, “would my target client or COI care about this?” Avoid talking about your achievements but instead focus on your value proposition – who do you help and how do you help them. Remember to use relevant keywords so that you can be found easily by those searching for folks just like you.
And once you have an optimized profile, don’t forget to share a link to it in your other marketing materials, including your email signature.
Engagement is the heart of social selling. Do not engage just for the sake of engagement, but be thoughtful, relevant and personalized in your engagement, lest you end up looking spammy or like a bot. There are three main ways to engage:
Sharing Content. Post content that will be of interest to your target market. This can be your original content or links to other sources. Keep promotional content to a minimum (no more than 20% of your overall content). Mix it up to keep it fresh and avoid becoming self-serving.
Commenting and Liking. Chiming in with thoughtful, thought-provoking comments on other’s posts is a great way to engage. This deepens the relationship with the original poster and exposes you to potential new audiences as a thought leader. It should not be a sales pitch. If you don’t have something substantive to say, or are short on time, a like will do. And most importantly, if someone engages with your content, interact with them!
Connecting. This is where platform matters. On LinkedIn, you want to be more judicious with your connection requests to prevent looking creepy or over-salesy. Connect with folks with whom you have some sort of actual connection or have interacted with either in real life or digitally. Personalizing your connection request by referencing shared connections or a piece of content they wrote can help.
Like anything in life you want to succeed at, social selling only works if you put in the time and effort. Ideally, you should carve out time each day to post content, check your post metrics and see if anyone has engaged with your content, and thoughtfully engage with other posts. Once you get into the habit, this becomes easy and relatively quick, especially with mobile apps.
There you have it, an introduction to social selling. Done well, social selling will help you to uncover new leads, deepen client relationships, create industry authority and lead to more sales.
Since its inception, Life Insurance Strategies Group has solely focused on the individual high net worth life insurance market. We do not sell products. This allows us to offer unbiased, pragmatic advice. Visit us at www.lifeinsurancestrategiesgroup.com.