glusicaLinkedIn client Susan Glusica hired me in 2011 to help her express the WHY HER, to the extent her compliance people would let her. It’s not easy using social media in the financial services industry!

Earlier this year she emailed to say she received Guardian’s 2014 Social Media Success Story Award for obtaining a large new client via LinkedIn. She learned some tips and techniques from me and she went on a roll.

Congratulations to Susan and many thanks for writing the following article:

How I Leveraged an Expert to Attract and Serve a Client and Win a Company Award

By Susan D. Glusica

I’m tickled pink to be Guardian’s 2014 Social Media Success Story Award winner!  And I owe it all to hiring someone in one of the networking organizations I am a member of, Marc Halpert, in addition to being a natural networker.  Here are some things I learned and effectively applied about networking with LinkedIn from him:

1. As an experienced professional, I consistently seek to leverage other skills personally and professionally to optimize results for my clients and me.  When I hired Marc, it was really out of curiosity to see what he could teach someone already using LinkedIn regularly and to good effect.  I was amazed at what I learned and applied it all, which has increased my ROI (Return on Investment) for the time I spend weekly in LinkedIn, which on average is about 15-30 minutes total.

2. Marc said:  Don’t accept invites to connect willy nilly; only if you have met them before/know them.  Instead, say something like “I only connect with people I know, so let’s meet over coffee/tea (or for long distance connections, by phone) first, and then I’d be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn.”  This is what led to my obtaining the award-winning client through social media.

3. Don’t send LinkedIn’s canned “Since you are a person I trust, I’d like to connect with you.” message when inviting people to connect with you.  Rather, seek to create unique messages tailored to points of commonality you both share.

4. Opine weekly.  This also contributed to my social media-derived client, since the at-first-prospect liked one of my updates (with lifestyle information), and then checked out my profile.  He sent me a connect request, having seen the breadth of my network (600+ at the time).  See #2 above for how I handled to get a face-to-face initial meeting with him.  He’s now a client.

5. Join groups of interest and share updates/comments generously with them to get more visibility in the LinkedIn professional community.  This adds to your credibility as an experienced professional in your industry/field of knowledge.

6. Keep your picture current.  At least annually, I update my pic which helps people I don’t yet know find me when we are first getting together.

7. Play by the rules.  Even if I wasn’t required to do so, I maintain a “it’s better to give than receive” and “what goes around comes around” philosophy, which is why Marc and I belong to Gotham City Networking, whose maxims are the above quotes, and only engage in positive networking. It’s inherent in my business practice, and is simply good business practice to help those I’m connected to.

Susan Glusica is Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Wealth Advisory Group LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian.