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Disability-IncomeYou probably already know that using social media platforms is like word-of-mouth referrals on steroids, maybe even better. However, did you know that you can use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool to arrange introductions to new prospects? Read on to learn how to use LinkedIn more effectively.

Building your LinkedIn network

Step 1: Import current clients

Don’t be afraid to add disability income clients to your LinkedIn connections. If you are concerned about competitors poaching your clients, remember that clients are indistinguishable from your other LinkedIn connections. More importantly, you will expand your circle of 2nd degree connections.

LinkedIn identifies the people with whom you have a direct connection as 1st degree connections, either because you accepted their invitation to connect or they accepted yours. 2nd degree connections are people connected to your 1st degree connections. We’ll talk about the importance of 2nd degree connections a bit later.

If you grant permission, LinkedIn will automatically read and import your contacts. Financial professionals may want to proceed cautiously with this automated step. Your contact information may include personal contact data that should not be shared. An easy alternative is to export your contacts to a CSV file, edit the contents of the file, and then import the selected contact information to LinkedIn. LinkedIn requires only first name, last name, and email address to make a connection.

Finding disability income prospects

Step 2: Search connections

Now that you’ve got your network connections, its time for find people you would like to be introduced to. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, a powerful tool, to narrow 2nd degree connections to those that are a good fit for your practice. Although many of the search features are free, some are available only to Premium subscribers. Let’s look at an example of how to use this feature to fine tune your searches.

Search example: You know of firms in your community that do not offer disability income insurance in their benefit package and you’d like to target those employees. Using Advanced Search, on the left side of the page, in the Company field, enter the name of the firm. Next, in the middle of the screen, you’ll see the Relationship section; check the 1st and 2nd Connection boxes, then click Search. LinkedIn returns a list of all your 1st and 2nd connections that work at that firm. These people may be very interested to learn how to protect their income with disability insurance.

Are your 1st degree connections DI clients? If not, begin your marketing efforts with this group, then as you close a sale, select one or two 2nd degree connections, and ask for an introduction via LinkedIn.

The search that keeps on searching

The beauty of a targeted search is that it can be saved and scheduled to run weekly or monthly. You will receive an email with any new results. The free LinkedIn subscription allows three saved searches. You can see how the effective use of Advanced Search may forever eliminate cold calling.

From time-to-time, we’ll share other examples of how to use LinkedIn to grow your disability income practice with targeted searches. In the meantime, be sure to become a DIS LinkedIn follower. Read Social Series: LinkedIn Part 1: Creating a Presence for a refresher on LinkedIn basics. For help with Disability Insurance sales, call your DIS representative for quotes, marketing insights, and our library of product articles and sales tools.