Find and connect with the next generation via LinkedIn

At 39 million strong, millennials are now the fastest-growing demographic on LinkedIn. Generation X and those “older” millennials who may have started working in the early 2000s may now be heading into management positions, transitioning their careers, and acquiring more wealth. Students and recent college graduates are also embracing the professional advancement capabilities of LinkedIn as they “grow-up” on their social media networks.

Find out more about Generations X and Y and how they will be key to growing your business with special business and social media advisor to Delaware Investments, D. Bruce Johnston.

We discuss:

  • Who are the members of Generations X and Y? How do they relate to Boomers?
  • What are their attitudes toward affluence and advice?
  • What's in it for me as a financial advisor?
  • How can you use LinkedIn, specifically, to reach out to this group?

Erica Kay - 00:12

Good afternoon. My name is Erica Kay. And on behalf of Delaware Investments I'd like to welcome you to our webinar event this afternoon- Tackling the Necessity of Having an Online Strategy to Capture the Next Generation of Clients. Our event today is a part of the Delaware Investments Evolving Advisor Practice Management Program. Whether it's keeping you ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and social media trends, helping make your workday a little more efficient or learning more about the markets from our team of experts, we strive to be your partner in growing your business and serving your clients.


Thank you, Erica. I appreciate the introduction and the kind words, and especially for the opportunity to address this fascinating topic. Love them or loathe them, one thing's for certain, financial advisors need to be looking at the other demographics - specifically Gen X and Gen Y - if they expect to maintain or grow their businesses in the future. Over four years ago when Delaware Investments had the foresight to identify social media, specifically LinkedIn as a force to be reckoned with, adoption was slow. Unfortunately, adoption by the various demographics to the Internet and social media has been anything but slow. Let's take a look at those demographics and how financial advisors will need to adapt their approach to LinkedIn and social media in order to assess the buying power that will be in the trillions of dollars, faster than one might think.

To start off with, let's build our story today around some widely accepted pieces of conventional wisdom, if you will, in the financial services industry, and maybe we'll prove the point that this time it may be a little bit different. But there's a widespread belief out there that clients under 40 don't have any money, and won't until they're over 50. The idea of taking on younger clients who will become good clients someday, is generally considered to be a bad idea. Additionally, younger clients are not ready for advice. And it's tempting to work with these wealthy younger clients, but they're not ready to take advice and this is their most common failing. It's widely held true that successful advisory firms have learned that it's not worth taking clients until they were both financially and mentally ready for advice. The notion that advisors should look across generations, regions, ethics, classes, and client groups, to expand their practices to capture growth, is considered by many to be way off the mark. Successful advisory firms focus on specific kinds of advice for specific kinds of clients: doctors, business exec, entrepreneurs, so on and so forth. This makes firms more efficient as businesses and it makes marketing and referrals more targeted and efficient as well, as conventional wisdom goes. And then there's one that conventional wisdom is not highlighted, that states that every new generation of financial advisor has felt the pressure to get their foot in the door by working with younger clients. And universally they always regret it. So armed with these stellar conventional wisdom truisms, let's see if we can build a case that might come to the conclusion that this time it's different.


So first of all, let's define who is Gen X, who are they? So sometimes these folks that are born between 1966 and 1976, they're referred to as the lost generation. The reason is it's because they were the first generation of latchkey kids, they were exposed to lots of daycare and divorce, and they're also known as the generation with the lowest voting participation rate of any generation. They - Gen-Xers - were quoted by Newsweek as the generation that dropped out without ever tuning on the news or tuning into the social issues around them. Coming of age in 1988 to 1984, they're often characterized by high levels of skepticism. They're the, "What's in it for me" generation, and they have the reputation for some of the worst music to ever gain popularity. But if they move into adulthood, they're considered to be one of the most decisive experiences influencing how Gen Xers will shape their own families, is childhood divorce. It's going to definitely affect them. It's a current population of 41 million, which is the smallest of the generations and just two thirds - this is quite a statistic here of Gen Xers - now age 35 to 50, have saved for retirement. Four out of ten are not confident they'll have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, according to an insured retirement institute trade group study that was done. But in the defense of Gen X, a lot of people consider them to be a product of just bad timing. Remember, these are the people that came into the workforce in the early '90s and there was a mild recession in the economy at the time, so many of them didn't get into their careers until the mid-'90s. Then they started working, the tech bubble hit, caused a lot of disruption and losses to their personal savings. And then they get past all of that, and now they hit the great recession.

So these younger Gen Xers, who are 35 to 44 years old, have a medium net worth of approximately 47,000. And this is quite a statistic here. That's compared with 102,000 baby boomers of a similar age 25 years ago. So this is what financial advisors are faced with. Trying to work with some generation that has half the net worth of the prior generation. They're obviously the best educated generation, 29% have obtained their bachelor's degree, which is 6% higher than the boomers, and they're starting to form families with a higher level of caution and pragmatism then their parents demonstrated. Their concerns are running high about avoiding broken homes, kids growing up without a parent, and they also want to zero in on financial planning. So there's a linking of Gen X and baby boomers. There's a couple of similar viewpoints here, and there's a couple of key differences. One is that more than 80% of both generations figure that the romantic fantasy of retirement at the age of 65, is just that - it's romantic, it's a pipe dream. And despite these concerns about their finances and the likelihood of a comfortable retirement, 65% of baby boomers and 53% of Gen Xers believe things would just work out. So I was always taught that hope is not a strategy. But apparently with this group, hope is a strategy.


On the other hand, two differences emerged between baby boomers and Gen Xers that financial advisors should be aware of. While both generations describe debt as a way of life - and I find this interesting because we usually associate debt with Gen Y, not with Gen X - almost half or 48% say credit cards are a survival tool. Gen Xers carry far more debt than baby boomers. Specifically, the study's shown that the younger generation carries 60% more mortgage debt, 82% more non-mortgage debt such as student loans and credit cards, than their elders do. So Gen Xers feel more financially burdened. While both generations, the boomers and the Xers feel financially pinched, 67% of Gen Xers describe targets for sufficient retirement savings as out of reach, compared to 49% of the baby boomers. The study that I read contends that both generations - 94% of Gen X and 95% of baby boomers - believe it's critically important for them to boost their financial security for retirement. So as I mentioned earlier, Gen X was hit very hard by the great recession, and they lost nearly half of their wealth at an average of about 33,000 per person. Current projections show that the medium Gen X saver will only accumulate enough assets to replace half their pre-retirement income, compared with the younger boomers who should have enough to replace 60% of their pre-retirement income. Part of the reason is that even though the typical Gen Xer has a higher family income than their parents did at the same age, Gen Xers have six times more debt according to the Pew study. Student loan debt is also higher, four in ten educated Gen Xers have student debt and the medium amount is $25,000. The first Gen Xers turn 50 this year, so retirement all of a sudden looms in front of them and it's not that far away as it once seems.

Gen Y, who are they? Gen Ys are referred to as Millennials, and they were born between 1980 and 2000. They're coming of age around 2000. And according to a Pew research piece, they estimate that 24.7 % of the American population is Millennials. So this is the largest generation since the baby boomers came along. Age between 15 and 35 now, Millennials in the US account for an estimated 1.3 trillion in direct spending, which really is very modest in terms of what that means per person, it's around $13-14,000. But that is going to grow geometrically as we'll see here in the years to come. And what's interesting about this group, the Millennials, is that they are influenced by ethical brands. They don't just have money, they have a burning desire to spend it ethically. According to the Investment News study done in July of this year, 66% fire their parents' FA after they receive an inheritance, and I think that is a direct result of financial advisors not reaching out to Millennials and getting to know them via the platforms - social media platforms - that they're on, and which we'll talk about that a little bit more later on in the presentation. So it would be remiss of me when we're examining the affluence of the Gen Xs and the Gen Y. We can talk about certainly their greater involvement and control in their financial decisions, which we're going to. But you can't ignore the 100 million older adults in the economy today, the Baby Boomers as financial advisors. They're a significant force, there's no question about it. And in the next five years, more than 80 million of them will become grandparents. And I think what's startling about this statistic is that most advisors, since they're a bit older, they gravitate towards-- the boomers are comfortable talking with them. But this demographic is going to spend over $400 billion on goods and services, outspending the younger consumers two to one, and they're going to account for most of this or 25% of it via mobile transaction.


So first of all, what is an affluent Millennial? Millennials holding at least $100,000 in investible assets, excluding real estate. I thought this was kind of an interesting comment here, "Excluding real estate." Most of us don't think of Millennials as being holders of real estate or investors in real estate. So $100,000 in investible assets excluding real estate, by definition that's an affluent Millennial. How many are there? There's 15.5 million of those people in the United States alone. They're vital to the economy, they're spending a couple trillion dollars a year across a range of products right now, and they just can't be ignored. This personified today's financial services provider. Before you dismiss them as home buyers-- in fact, this is an interesting bit of information. It was published yesterday in The Dallas Morning News and it caught my attention, no question about it. It says, "When it comes to the housing market, increasingly it's all about the Millennial." And that's kind of a-huh moment for me. But speaking at the National Association of Realtors Annual Conference this weekend in San Diego, a gentleman named Jonathan Smoke - who's the top economist for - said, "Millennials are not only the future, they are the present for housing. They are the biggest age group buying homes today." Actually, Millennial buyers currently account for almost 30% of nationwide home sales, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors. So as the slide depicts, affluent Millennials are increasingly looking for advice that establishes trust and enables independence. They aren't interested in handing over complete financial responsibility. They feel like they should make their own decisions about their finances, but certainly they're looking for guidance from financial advisors.

They also have an attitude towards the future where they're thinking about the future. In fact, affluent Millennials are disciplined and they're future-oriented. 72% agree that the sacrifices they make now will pay off in the future, whereas only about half of all other groups surveyed agreed with this perspective. So don't discount Gen Xers as not willing to sacrifice for tomorrow, but remember their horizon is a bit shorter because the first one turns 50 this year. So sources of affluence are shifting. And this is how it's shifting: 52% of affluent Millennials state employment raises as either primary or secondary source of how they gain their wealth. So 39% of 52% of affluent Millennials stated employment wages as a primary source of how they gained their wealth, as you'll see starting one business and entrepreneurship, will rank high among affluent Millennials. So you're not going to see them mainstreaming, you're going to see a lot of people that are willing to take the risk to start that business or to become entrepreneurs in another area. So they also set ambitious goals, and I think this was extremely interesting as you look at this, they are looking to start charitable foundations, they're looking to start a business, they're looking to buy a second home. This is totally foreign to what we've read in the past about Millennials, I didn't know that they were thinking about buying their first home, but now you've got a certain percentage of them that are looking to buy a second home. So they do think strategically about their future, and they aren't just living carelessly from day-to-day. They're not going to get them nor do they like answering the age-old, "What is your five-year plan?" question, but recent research reveals that Millennials are actually surpassing their generational predecessors in taking tactical steps to better themselves for the future.

As we talk about them changing jobs, you have to take a look at this and say that Millennials are not naively joining companies that offer cool perks. So we often think of cool perks, they like to go to places where they're going to be able to play foosball and there's going to be alcohol, and so on and so forth. But when it comes to switching jobs, it's not the cool perks they're looking for. Their primary motivation among this generation is finding a job that gives them opportunities to advance in their career. With the career advancement at the forefront, Millennials are strategically planning their professional growth and aren't just jumping around impulsively. Given this, as you look at the graphic on the right hand side, it's no surprise that the second most important factor for Millennials is compensation and they're making sure that they get what they deserve. The LinkedIn study data shows that 78% of the Millennials are making more money after changing jobs. So they're changing jobs for a purpose obviously, and compensation has a lot to do with it. But what do they do with the extra cash? That should be important to a financial advisor. It turns out that most of them are saving a large chunk of it. Over a third of Millennials save more than 25% of their paycheck. That's a significantly higher portion than typically saved by preceding generations. When you take a look at the affluent Millennials from entrepreneurial standpoint, the story gets even more interesting when you look at the subset. As I mentioned earlier, the affluent are between 18 and 34 with 100,000 of investable, and that's excluding their real estate.

So at first glance, it's apparent that they make more money, they save more money, what really sets them apart is their equally ambitious mindset. For one thing, they are more likely to be entrepreneurs. As I mentioned earlier, almost a third of affluent Millennials said they are planning to start their own business. They're also likely to set similarly ambitious goals, such as starting a charitable foundation or buying a second home. And to make these goals a reality, affluents are financing their ambitions in a strategic manner. This is completely different from Gen X. They are three times more likely than Gen X to go out and create business loans for themselves. On the one hand, this is good news for financial advisors in my opinion. So Millennials, they're open for advice. This is contrary to that conventional wisdom tenet that we talked about earlier. Their strategic planning extends beyond how they finance their goals. In fact, they tend to be fairly confident investors. But are they doing it all by themselves? Looks like they're open for some help. The LinkedIn survey stated that 34% of the affluent Millennials consider a financial advisor a must-have, which is significantly more than their Gen X counterparts. But even with this NFA, affluent Millennials remain directly involved in researching and validating their financial options. So I think that's something that financial advisors they're going to have to be accustomed to. So you're going to have to establish yourself as a thought leader, as a resource that's just providing informative information to them to digest to help formulate their thinking and their decisions, and you're going to be acting in the capacity of a trusted advisor as you move forward with this demographic.


I think this is kind of funny because if it's Google or Apple it's got to be the Millennials, that's true of course. But I certainly know a lot of people that are using Google and Apple products that aren't in Millennial arena. But financial institutions are going to have to compete with the new independent services, as the Millennials become more comfortable using offerings from traditionally non-financial brands. Millennials, they have a high adoption rate. About two in five or 40% of non-financial mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are endorsed by the Millennials. Just today, I noticed in investment news that robo-advisors are obviously providing some competition to the traditional financial advisor. The first robo-advisor, WiseBanyan - as they like to advertise themselves - has announced it will begin charging clients a fee for a new tax-loss harvesting service. So robo is here, robo will become a source of revenue going forward, as they add additional services that a lot of people follow suit.

So, Online - not on the line, and so that's kind of a little take-off on the movie The Intern with Vince Vaughn always talking about being on the on the line instead of online. But financial advisors, we're going to have to get very comfortable with being online and communicating with people online. As well as if you notice there on the slide, it's face-to-face hasn't gone the way of the Gooney Bird (XXX 23:46) but it's diminishing in terms of, "Hey, if we can do it online, if we can do it by telephone, I'll (XXX 23:53)." So Millennials grow up with technology, no question about that. So conducting business and banking online is fairly self-evident.

However, online banking is becoming more popular among the older age demographics as well. So it's not just universal to - or confined just to Millennials, it's becoming universal in nature. In general, consumers are moving towards communication methods that are more virtual in nature. So as advisors, we're being forced into being online, no question about that. Social media plays a huge role in the lives of not just Millennials but all of us, and it enables peer-to-peer interaction. This is important because Millennials and Gen Xers have a tendency to look to their friends as a trusted resource. They'll do the research themselves, but they'll look to their trusted friends to give them guidance on how to make a decision. They're looking for key financial advice through social. This is not just a phenomenon that's confined in the United States. But in Hong Kong, 91% of the affluent Millennials are looking to social. 90% in Singapore are looking to social, and it drops to 82% in both Australia and India respectively. So this is a universal. What does it mean to financial advisors and to the financial institutions? It means that you need to focus on establishing relationships online. It's no longer a decision that you can put off whether you want to be online with a website or be online with a LinkedIn profile, it's you-must-have. This week I heard an interesting comment where if you're not online, now what's happening attitudinally, is people begin to question, "What's wrong? Why aren't you online? Is there something that you're hiding?" Because the generation and society is moving to transparency. So something to consider. The affluent Millennials, they influence this luxury market also, and a third of the US adults making more than half a million annually are now Millennials. They have the capital to support new market trends, and they have - because of that capital - the ability to influence those market trends. And they're having a significant impact on luxury financial services and travel brands.


So before we talk about how do you approach these people and their strategy, let's talk a little bit about Gen X and Gen Ys affinity to the Internet and let's establish one point - nobody or let's say very few people look for a financial advisor in the phone book today. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit there, but maybe some of the 16% of the American households that do not have access to the Internet aren't, but the bulk of them are. So what you need to do is you have to realize that Gen X now outnumbers baby boomers in affluence for the first time ever. And among the high net worth individuals in the US, Internet access is among-- is almost universal, 98%. Of that group, 74% use social media. Interestingly, the lower half of the affluent scale, use social media more than the ultra high net worth households. The number of affluent Millennials using social media to inform their financial decisions is growing rapidly, they're using social media to find information on financial products and they're making decisions based on that information. If we look at the platforms that are available to you out there, you can Google it, you can Facebook that, you can LinkedIn me, you can look at this chart and you can say or see that Millennials basically started posting through Facebook from the womb. Okay, that's an extreme exaggeration. But the truth is, Millennials consume content across a number of different platforms, and their favorite platforms change with the wind. So part of maintaining your relevancy as a financial advisor, is to put your content on the right channels. According to a news accredited survey here, Google and Facebook still lead when it comes to searching for content. Facebook leads the charge when it comes to sharing content, yet it's important to marry this insights with culture of interests of your target Millennials. So what that means, is that if you're trying to reach Millennials between 18 and 25, odds are, they're checking a different platform than if you're trying to reach Dads between the ages of 30 to 35. So I know this is why some of your firms are allowing you to be on LinkedIn, they're allowing you to be on Facebook with a business page, and they're allowing you to use Twitter. One of the gamut should be able to reach your target audience if you're on those three platforms, as you can see the growth of LinkedIn as we've move forward though.

So the Millennials, they're taking LinkedIn very, very seriously. The data showed that 44% of affluent Millennials did not graduate from college and few have attended graduate school, but this indicates a deep sense of entrepreneurship among these affluent Millennials. They've found that 59% of the affluent Millennials are likely to participate in online ratings and review sites compared to 47% of the non-affluent Millennials. So what you say, what you post online, is being reviewed by these people and it's being commented on for the benefit of their friends and the people that they consider to be people that can provide them guidance and that they trust. As we look at the clients of the future, they're definitely online. You can see the demographic moving here towards Millennials, towards Gen Xers. In fact, there's an uptick here in all of these because seniors are making strides, young adults - of course, 18 to 29 - are the most likely to use social media, 90% do. But usage among those 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010, that's when 11% use social media. Today, 35% of those 65 and older report using social media compared to just 2% in 2005. Women and men are here in just about equal numbers, 68% of all woman use social media compared to 62% of all men. So it's a universal platform for you to use. Those with higher education levels and household income, lead the way. Over the past decade, it's consistently been the case that those in higher income households were more likely to use social media. More than half - 56% - of those living in the lowest income households now use social media, though growth has leveled off in the past few years. There are notable differences like... there are not notable differences by racial or ethnic groups. 65% of Whites, 65% of Hispanics, and 56% of African Americans use social media. The message here is that you need to be online and you need to be engaging people online. It doesn't matter whether it's a rural or suburban location, people are here.


Now, where Millennials missed the boat is that they have a little bit of distorted view where they set out from a credit education standpoint, and where average debt, et cetera fall. So this is an area for you as financial advisors to focus in on. So Millennials missed the mark when estimating their generation's average credit score. They think it's 654, it's actually 625. This is kind of revealing here. Most of them think their average debt is around 26,000, it's really 52,000. And their average debt, excluding their mortgage is about - they think it's 12,580 - it's really 26,485. The idea here is they are online and looking to communicate with you. Now if you take a look at LinkedIn, certainly at the of choice, it's the channel that most of you in the audience use. And what this reveals here is-- this came out just three weeks ago Thursday. This is the 10-Q for the third quarter, fourth, LinkedIn data as we see there. But what they're saying here is that over 39 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn. It's the fastest growing demographic as of July of this year. We'll give you some other statistics here. On LinkedIn, usage is mind-boggling. But 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. That's a significant increase from 2013. For the first time, as you look at these statistics, more than half of all online adults - 65 and older - are using Facebook. That's 31% of all seniors. That's the reason why Millennials are leaving Facebook. They're going to LinkedIn, they're getting away from it, so their parents and grandparents don't have an idea of what they're doing.

So for the first time, roughly half of all internet-using young adults are using Instagram. And the share of the Internet users with college education using LinkedIn, has now reached 50%. So interesting statistics, I just gave you an idea of the impact of LinkedIn. With this, the shifting user base of social media is interesting because you can look and you can see where from 2012 to 2014, LinkedIn has moved from 23% up to 29%. So it's gaining ground. And in the demographic of 18 to 29, you can see where LinkedIn is starting to build some real momentum there. Again, you can't ignore LinkedIn as a platform of choice. The demographics bear it out. LinkedIn has 25% of adult Internet users, or 22% of the entire adult population is on LinkedIn. A quarter of online adults used LinkedIn, that's pretty consistent since 2014. It's very popular among working age adults, as well as college graduates and those with relatively high incomes. As we look at the generations and their friends - this is important for you to remember - is that Millennials, Gen Xers, younger boomers, note their number of connections. So they are using these platforms, and it's going higher and higher. The Gen X and the Millennials, 200 and 250 are not that far apart. So they are leveraging and connecting with people on these platforms.

So if we get back to it, this time it's different. I think we probably have showed that this time it could be different. You can make the call in the first bullet point. We’ve said that you shouldn't take on younger clients, hoping they will become great clients someday. But there are 15 and a half million affluent Millennials on LinkedIn. Younger clients are not ready for advice, and we talked about 30% said they're looking for advice, looking across generations. You can leverage LinkedIn to create a generational wealth transfer bridge. Focus on particular regions down or within ten miles of the zip code by using LinkedIn Search and some of the other features. How many of you are connected with your boomer clients and their grandchildren, or Gen X and the boomers? There is a chance here to create this generational wealth transfer bridge, and LinkedIn allows you to focus on specific types through advanced search: doctors, business executives, entrepreneurs.

Small business owners, and those types of things. So from a strategy of how do you get and stay connected on LinkedIn. Well, bear in mind, Facebook has 1.4 billion users, many are professionals, they prefer to use it exclusively for personal use purposes. Showed that 61% of people surveyed use LinkedIn for professional networking. That's compared to 22% for Facebook and 4% for Twitter. So professionals who are already using Twitter, can set up their LinkedIn updates to appear in their Twitter feed and vice versa. So the two networks are complimenting one another. And with statistics like the one that we showed up here, where there are now 400 million people with a objective of 3 billion in LinkedIn's future, on LinkedIn, 120 million are here in the US and two people per second are joining this platform.


How can you take advantage of this platform? How can you zero in and structure a campaign? I have worked with Delaware for over four years now, we've been in front of several 12,000 advisors, at least most of those one-on-one, it's the 3Ws and 1H. What is your business objective for adopted LinkedIn marketing? What audience are you trying to reach on LinkedIn? What key messages you're going to convey? What LinkedIn tools will you use? It's how you want to start thinking about structuring your LinkedIn strategy or campaign, and then just develop a series of smart business objectives on LinkedIn, use the smart acronym. So specific, make it measurable, make it achievable, make it realistic, and make it timely. If you do that, then you can start to zero-in on the who of this. So on LinkedIn, who are you focusing on? What audiences that you're trying to appeal to? Through advanced search, you can go in and you can identify people by job function, by seniority, by groups, by interest. This is all of your basic platform. You can look at companies, there are six million companies on LinkedIn. You can carve down your locations via zip code within ten miles, like we said before. And then when you take a look at this, you begin to pull in people that you can quickly gain a handle on how many Millennials are in a given industry. You take a look at Erica, our host today, and she's on the Delaware marketing team. Here's her LinkedIn profile. She's a great example of a client's child you may be connected to on LinkedIn, or want to be connected to. And so if you're trying to attempt to connect with young professionals who have been working five to ten years, you may want to mind the groups that they're in.

So you can also determine how many of these contacts you currently are connected to on LinkedIn, and how many remain outside of your current LinkedIn sphere of influence. So it's a powerful tool and it allows you to segment your audiences. So Marketing Millennials is one of the groups on LinkedIn, and this is one that Erica belongs to. So it's a good group to search through if you're looking to find others like them. So spend some valuable time creating specific audience segments that you want to target through your LinkedIn marketing strategy, note down the respective size of each audience segment, and then assign relative priorities to each like we talked about just a little bit earlier.

Erica - 40:52

There are many groups out there-- I'll interject, Bruce, and as we'll cover on the next slide or two. It's funny that we always say, "As a Millennial, we feel like many people talk about us like we are caged animals and we're in a zoo," and it's, "Oh, look at these funny Millennials." But at the same time, we do self-identifying and there are lots of options for us online as you can see here on the slide.

Bruce - 41:23

Yes. Absolutely. I went in and used the search parameter of just Millennial and looking for groups, and there are 80 plus. One of my favorites is The Next Great Generation, they're on Twitter @tngg and they're on LinkedIn with thousands of the people in their groups. If you're looking for Gen Y, just use advanced search, type in Gen Y, and there are over 60 groups of various countries, there are various sizes. You can get in, you can watch what is going on in terms of the discussion taking place there. So you can quickly begin to create business audience personas when you're working with these people, and you can also determine what makes these audiences unique. A little shift here from the platform over to Twitter, but Chelsea Cross is one of the most successful Millennials out there at the ripe old age of - I think - 20. She is actually speaking with Fortune 500 companies about the language of the Millennial, Millennial talks and hosts a Millennial show on Tuesdays that's a tweet out. It's not a video, not something like we're doing right now, but it just happens in a series of tweets for 30 minutes on LinkedIn. So a variety of ways to get involved with this.

When you've identified these groups that you want to zero in on, then you want to set up a criteria for setting your key messaging. So what you want to do is you want to be able to solve a problem for people, get to the core of your audiences' pain points. You want to be believable. The idea here is that you have to be light and you have to be trusted in order for you to do business with these people. So be believable, be understood, reflect the stakeholder's understanding. You want to be distinctive. Of course, be credible, be interesting. That means that you're not always posting business information, you're posting things that are personal. Maybe you like to-- a sport or a hobby that you're involved with, it could be (XXX - 43:44) and that type of thing. Drive your agenda always and then avoid negativity, are some of the keywords that you want to watch for. On LinkedIn, you've got a variety of tools available for you to accomplish that, and those tools are outlined here. Most of you are allowed to have a LinkedIn present, so you have your personal profile, some can build company pages, some can build showcase pages as well. You can start a group, you can have subgroups within that group. You have access to in mail, depending on what service you have from LinkedIn. Some are allowed to publish posts - company posts - and you can have discussion points. And then content amplification comes through (XXX - 44:32) Then the one thing that you don't want to forget is that this is circular in nature. And the idea is there's still a need for the telephone, there's still a need for voicemail, email, and certainly face-to-face - that's your objective. The platforms used in conjunction with all these other tools, allow you then to get introduced and actually have a face-to-face. The technology can only do so much for you and drive the person towards you, but at some point you're going to have to reach out to them and interface with them.

So in closing, what are the next steps? What you should do - the calls, the actions that you should have for your connections, would be download an informational document, watch a video or listen to a podcast. These are tools that you have available to you, articles - don't forget CTA - call to action - where you're actually asking people, "Read this post. Go to my LinkedIn profile. Read a research report. Pick up the phone," and call you. All call to actions that are important and permissible. So with that, I think we're just about right on-time. If you view it another way, we're just about out of time. And so, Erica, thank you for the opportunity. I appreciate that. This is a fun subject to talk about, and one that's important and one certainly that we'll continue to talk about in the field when we're working with financial advisors through the Delaware regional directors, and working with them on their fine tuning their LinkedIn profiles. With that, Erica, I'll turn it back over to you.

Erica - 46:21

Thank you, Bruce. We do have a few minutes for some questions, if anybody would like to submit any using the question and answer widget. And any that we do not get to, we will try to get back to you offline. Bruce is acceptable to us and we would be happy to facilitate an answer to any questions that you have today. Bruce covered a lot in our presentation here, and I think that this is a topic we've been talking about for a while here at Delaware. So I would encourage you all to visit The Evolving Advisor website as a part of Delaware Investment's practice management program on the web. We have regular content that dives deeper into some of these things. Bruce mentions transparency, we have a couple of really fantastic pieces by our regional directors. They talk about transparency and the importance of building your online presence, with some really actionable tips on how to get in there and do that. So I would like to say thank you again to Bruce for sharing this conversation with us this afternoon. And for more information, please reach out to Delaware Investments at any time. Feel free to fill out this survey that is at the bottom of your slide window right now. I will be seeing most of you again soon. This is the first in a series of content that we do have coming up from Delaware in a year. I think we have one or two parts since coming in here, that we'll take real quickly before signing off.

We have a question here, and I think this is going to be for you, Bruce. We can perhaps collaborate on here. Earlier in the presentation, you mentioned the stat of 66% of Generation Y will fire their financial advisor after receiving their inheritance. Is that a feeling that you get in the field, Bruce, or is that just something that we're seeing in research? Have you had that conversation come up with anybody in the field? Have you experienced advisors that you've worked with have that reaction?

Bruce - 48:35

I'll answer the question, that when I'm talking with advisors and I ask them if they're connected with their clients, I would say 70% of them say, "No, we're not really connected with all of our clients," then the next step is, "Are you connected with their children?" That's almost 100%. They just don't think about that connectivity in connecting with that next generation. So that's what I've observed. Then, I also have a story that goes behind this where an advisor had a situation where one of the parents had passed five years prior, the other parent passed recently. The inheritor, the one to inherit the business was going to be 28 years old. And that person went to Google, couldn't find the advisor on Google, couldn't find them on LinkedIn. And just to fast forward, basically walked in and said, "In my world, you're not relevant. I would like the $5 million and I'm going to go open an account someplace else." So we see it happening, and I know that we can all rationalize and say, "Well, gee, you know what? They're going to spend it foolishly anyway." But that hurts when you lose $5 million in a whack. So it is happening.

Erica - 49:58

Right along with that, we do have two questions that come in here that address if Millennials are leaving their financial advisor, where are they going? And I would think that the answer would be, they're either not doing anything with their money, they're choosing to manage everything by themselves, or they're going to a robo platform. What have you seen, Bruce?

Bruce - 50:22

I've seen that, it's self-management, robo. An emerging trend that I see is where teams are now bringing on Millennial team members, and they're giving them the latitude to go out and just start working that part of the book where they're anticipating where the money might go once both parents pass, the inheritance. So they're developing the relationship right now with that Millennial. There's a third prong to that approach.

Source: LinkedIn

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