Business & Career Uses of Linkedin – Martin Brossman

Understanding Linkedin both for business and your career, managed by Martin Brossman

Archive for February, 2009

A Few Comments About the Securities Industry and Linkedin

Posted by Martin Brossman on 02/28/2009

A Few Comments About the Securities Industry and LinkedIn as well as Social Media. If you know of other free resources related to this topic please share them by posting a reply or sending me a email ( ). These post came from a question I asked on LinkedIn about the resistance in the Securities Industry to LinkedIn and Social Media. This seems to be a challenge, because this is an important place where the future customers will be found. Many people in the Securities Industry are getting more pressure to gain more clients but then told not to use social media and LinkedIn, a key way to build future relationships.

The key comments:

From: Jay Izso –
While I agree that the securities industry is handcuffed by compliance departments I have come to understand why. If we take anything from the Bernie Madoff case, we can see that people are not what they profess to be. True this destroys it for those people who are reputable and perform their job with integrity, however, it only takes a one bad apple to spoil the entire bunch.
Furthermore, I have come to understand that these companies are almost completely responsible for not just their employees person, but what they say or do that might be connected to the financial industry. If they give one piece of advice that it is not in agreement with company policy and a person takes that advice through a social media site, while the advisor may be in serious trouble, the company may face consequences as well.
I don’t see the compliance companies letting up on this. As a matter of fact my guess is as a result of all the financial backlash, things may get even tighter in some companies.
So what is the answer: Online Marketing evangelists. Since, these securities and financial people are limited in their promotion there is nothing wrong, at least from what I can tell, if non-compensated clients, friends, or family voluntarily solicit on behalf of these advisors.
For instance, I use Bob Watral with Smith-Barney in Raleigh, NC. I have been extremely happy with his dedication to my small amount of money, his consistency, and integrity. I also have endorsed him on my linked in profile.
I have no problem being an evangelist for Bob. I get nothing from it. I just know he does a great job and I want to tell others.
If people can get a hold of the concept of “marketing evangelists” regardless of the compliance issues they still can get a great business moving through social media.

From: Frank Williams
I am probably a rare breed in that I am a PR professional who held a Series 6 securities license in a previous life.
Let’s look at this from a PR angle, through the securities industry’s eyes. Imagine for a moment that you are in executive management at a firm which offers securities. Imagine that one of your brokers/agents engages in a seemingly innocuous discussion on a social networking site, but someone construes that discussion as giving financial advice and makes a trade or purchase based on that information — and then that trade/purchase results in money down the drain. This could result in negative PR and, potentially, a legal problem for your company, something which you want to avoid at all costs.
A big part of the securities industry’s resistance to social media likely results from the number of lawsuits filed (many of them likely frivolous) against securities companies. My guess is that they will eventually open up (to a degree, at least) to social networking, but only after they have plenty of internal safeguards and a great deal of training in place for their agents/brokers.

From: David Bass
I don’t want to make any excuses for the compliance staff, but it does help to understand the regulatory framework a bit.
Every securities firm must develop a set of “Written Supervisory Procedures” (or “WSPs”) that are satisfactory to FINRA, and then follow them. The WSP’s establish a supervisory framework and establish procedures to ensure compliance with laws governing advertising and sales literature, background checking and registration for new personnel, review of correspondence, handling customer complaints, privacy, handling transactions, and all the other things that go along with handling funds or securities belonging to others (i.e., customers). (I’ve written an entire set of WSPs from scratch, ultimately to the satisfaction of FINRA regulators. It’s a beastly task!)
One of the biggest “gotcha” areas that has led to fines imposed on securities firms is the review of correspondence. The regulations basically require firms to supervise all incoming and outgoing correspondence related to conduct of the firms’ securities business. The review is to ensure correspondence complies with FINRA Conduct Rules regarding standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade (Rule 2110), the absence of manipulative, deceptive or other fraudulent devices or contrivances (Rule 2120), content standards (Rule 2210(d)), and to identify customer complaints. Then all of this correspondence needs to be saved, maintained and archived.
So what is the DEFINITION OF “CORRESPONDENCE”? This includes all written and electronic correspondence. Letters, faxes, email, text messages, instant message programs, and anything else that can be read (as opposed to listened to) is considered correspondence.
The compliance staff fears that which they cannot review. LinkedIn In-Mail messages are a problem if used for business purposes by securities professionals. The incoming In-Mail shows up in my email In-Box. No problem here – it goes through the server where a copy can be captured, reviewed and archived. BUT WHERE IS THE OUTGOING IN-MAIL? Hmmm… not on the securities firm’s server!
Some of the best features of social media are also the most frustrating for the securities industry. IM, text messaging, in-mail, Twitter, etc. are really more like voice converted to text and less like traditional correspondence. If the securities industry compliance staff AND FINRA AND the SEC and Congress can all agree on this and modify the regulations to accomodate communications of this nature (by redefining them as extensions of voice, rather than extensions of writing), then the industry professionals who are social media-savvy can emerge as winners. Until then, we’ll continue to be frustrated.

From: Doug Cornelius
Advertising and correspondence are tightly controlled in the securities industry. Those limitations are in place to protect investors from shady securities dealers.
One of the problems is getting social media messages into a repository where they can be reviewed and stored. For some social media platforms, you can do this. The closed platforms are a problems. For example, on Twitter, it would be easy enough to pull a persons tweets in through an RSS feed for review and storage. Similarly, blog posts could be as well.
The key, as you point out, is transparency. We need to know what the dealers are saying about the securities. The transparency protects the investor.
As for LinkedIn Answers, if I could subscribe to an RSS feed for all of your answers then it would not be a problem. But since I can’t, it is not transparent.
Much of the problem lies with the underlying social Internet platforms and not the compliance regulations. They are purposefully closed and do not allow information to go outside the platforms. The platforms are not transparent.

Share your comments and you can see the original question at:

Short URL of this post for posting on Micro-blogs:


Posted in Career, Linkedin, Martin Brossman, Sales, Securities Industry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time Using LinkedIn for Career and Business

Posted by Martin Brossman on 02/01/2009

How are you using LinkedIn?

How are you using LinkedIn?

The Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time Using LinkedIn for Career and Business
By Martin Brossman and Greg Hyer

LinkedIn is a free resource that lets you build and maintain a global and local network–a powerful tool in a world where higher transparency is required for trust. LinkedIn allows you to keep in touch with not only what people are doing but who they are connecting with. It is a social medium that is professional and businesslike. If you have not spent time with it and you care about your career and your clients’ trust, it’s time to start allotting some hours to it.

Here are just a few reasons to invest time in

1. More than 30 Million people you can search.
LinkedIn lets you research 30 million professional people with almost 100% accuracy and gives YOU permission to know the information posted on the profile. For example, if you met someone for the first time and mentioned you saw in their LinkedIn profile that they went to the same school you went to, that would build rapport. If you gained this information from a private paid database, that might make them feel uncomfortable.

2. Free quality consulting advice.
Use the Answers area of LinkedIn to obtain valuable free information as you need it—it’s often comparable to thousands of dollars of consulting advice. One way people are motivated to give you quality answers is because they have a chance of you voting their answer to you as the most useful answer increasing their status as an expert.

3. Establishing yourself as an expert.
Receiving authentic recommendations from past or present associates and co-workers which appear in your LinkedIn profile can help position you as an expert. Of course recommendations have to be earned by quality work, generally building over time to enrich your LinkedIn presence, and are often inspired by your giving sincere recommendation to others. At the same time, answering questions offers you a further opportunity to be seen as an expert by responding to questions posed in your field. When your answer reveals your expertise, you have the possibility of being voted “expert answer.”

4. Enhancing your brand and presence on the web.
LinkedIn is a site that builds more credibility than your own website. It is well-indexed by Google. When people see a recommendation given to you on LinkedIn, they can choose to see the full profile of the person that gave the recommendation, giving it more credibility.

5. Direct introductions to a large number of quality people.
Through LinkedIn you can be directly introduced to and have access to people who may not take your call directly. By properly using LinkedIn’s direct introduction system, you can get introduced to people that you are connected to as well as people that your contacts are connected to. You can also learn who your contacts are connected to, and how they are connected. Important note: When you make the reach to contact them, always have a reason in their best interest.

6. Allowing people to prescreen YOU to build faster trust.
With higher demands for greater transparency, LinkedIn offers a credible way for your customers to prescreen you by seeing recommendations without having to bother people. This also applies for people looking for a job. People can see recommendations to you without your having to repeatedly bother your references to pre-screen you.

7. Professional groups that let you connect with a common interest.
Connect with people that share a common interest by joining a group and participating in group discussions on the group’s discussion board. There is a group for everyone, such as local networking groups like Linking Raleigh, NC, school and corporate alumni groups, or groups related to an industry or profession.

8. Providing valuable changing resources to attract multiple visits to your information.
Use the LinkedIn applications to do things like display your WordPress or TypePad blog in your profile so that visitors can learn more about you. Add the Amazon book app so you can share with others what you are reading and recommend they read. Promote your events or find an event through the events app. Make a presentation by uploading a PowerPoint slide show about your business or even yourself.

9. The ability to recognize good people that the world can see.
LinkedIn lets you give recommendations to people throughout your entire life, and that can be a better use of your time then the usual mode of interrupting people to ask for a job or a sale. LinkedIn not only allows you to build trust and credibility with local people but people all over the world. Since you can search in your vicinity or anywhere, you can have local contacts and global ones very easily. By providing deeper information, LinkedIn can enhance existing relationships and deepen new ones. Spending some of your time appreciating good people in your life is the avenue to fostering friends and associates who care about YOU.

10. Keeping track of your direct and indirect network.
Use LinkedIn as an easy way to keep track of your contacts, their contacts, and changes in status. For example, if someone you know got promoted or received an award, this could by a way to acknowledge them for their accomplishment. You may find that a good friend wanting to help you just connected with an important person you want to meet.

Like anything in life, you do have to spend some time with LinkedIn to gain value from it. The time you spend building your profile will reap its return when you put yourself out there to expand your professional network and build your reputation through this rapidly expanding social media tool. Simply by sending and receiving recommendations, using apps, answering and asking questions, and helping others along the way, you can be remembered and made memorable by using LinkedIn. Take full advantage of what LinkedIn has provided for free and bring yourself to the forefront of a crowded room.

About Martin & Greg:

-Hello, I am Martin Brossman. As a success coach, I believe almost everyone should be on LinkedIn since it has given so much value to myself and to my coaching clients when they spend the right amount of time with it. If you Google my name in quotes, you will see the second item listed is my LinkedIn profile–all possible with the free LinkedIn service. I currently use their paid service, but that evolved after I gained value from the basic free service. (Our post above refers to all that is possible with the free service.) I have been offering group LinkedIn training in the Triangle since 2006, and in response to requests, I now offer customized LinkedIn training for individuals and small groups. My LinkedIn profile:

-Hello I am Greg Hyer. As a local networking advocate, I feel strongly that LinkedIn is the ideal tool and service to use to enhance your professional brand and manage your professional relationships. The benefits to using LinkedIn are significant, yet it does not require that you devote that much time to it. As a founder of a LinkedIn Group and corresponding website,, I help local professionals build a quality network and provide some resources to improve their chances of finding the connection for the next opportunity. My LinkedIn profile:

Short URL for this post:

Posted in Career, Career Uses, Employment in Raleigh NC, Greg Hyer, Job Hunting, Linkedin, Martin Brossman | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »