How to Build an Audience on LinkedIn

April 26, 2013 by

You have your LinkedIn profile page and maybe even your company page set up, so now you’re wondering how to get some value out of it. Well, you need an audience before you can start evaluating if it’s really working for you and your business. Follow the steps below to be on your way to growing your number of connections and the number of followers on your company page. If you’re not set up on LinkedIn, skip to the section below labeled: Is LinkedIn really worth it?

5 Steps to Building an Audience on LinkedIn

Step 1: Start connecting with a personalized message. Connect to people you know first (friends, family, former and current colleagues, local business owners, etc.), and then branch out from there to potential prospects. Be sure to ask them in your message to also follow your company page and provide the custom link for them. (Ex.

Step 2: Spend at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn once you’re set up—you’ll find out what you’ll be doing in those 15 minutes in the blog post.

Step 3: Create a content schedule, and stick to it! Consistent content is key to building, growing, and maintaining a healthy, interested audience.

Step 4: Get some great content ideas every month. We provide you with ideas, so you’re not always digging for new topics every month. So keep an eye out for those posts. And remember, you could always share links to articles you find interesting.

Step 5: You can use social media publishing tools to make sure you’re posting your content consistently.

Additional possibilities:

Start to measure your social media success once you’re really going and find out if it’s working for you.

Find out if you should consider upgrading your LinkedIn profile now that you’re a pro at it.

Create a good video for your company page—find out how to add it here. Video introduces you and helps people get to know you.


Is LinkedIn really worth it?

Financial Advisor Use of LinkedIn statsCheck out our blog post on: Why social media?

If you’ve come to one of our monthly Marketing Solutions events this year, then you already have our LinkedIn Guide, which will give you the steps to set up your profile and get rolling. If not, call your sales support person or sign up on our website today to get this invaluable guide to LinkedIn.

If social media lingo is one of your barriers to utilizing these tools, check out this blog post that explains some common social media lingo.


1 Friedman, Emily (LinkedIn) and Neil Benedict (FTI Consulting). “Financial Advisors’ Use of Social Media Moves from Early Adoption to Mainstream.” May 2012.


Help your clients provide a legacy

April 24, 2013 by

Let’s face it. You’re probably pretty tired of getting bombarded with product messages packed full of features and details. Unfortunately, you can’t forget about insurance products altogether. But, there are ways they can help your clients.

If your client is looking to provide a legacy for their heirs, they may want to consider purchasing the Safe Returnsm fixed-indexed annuity with Inheritance Enhancersm guaranteed death benefit rider offered through Great American Life Insurance Company®.

Meet Joe.  Joe is 62 and retired. Joe’s wife passed away several years ago. Their daughter Lisa and her husband have two daughters and another child on the way. Before Joe’s wife passed away, they talked at length about their desire to provide a legacy for Lisa and her family.

Shortly before retirement, Joe purchased a Safe Return fixed-indexed annuity.  At the time of purchase, Joe elected to add the Inheritance Enhancer death benefit rider because it is specifically designed to provide a guaranteed death benefit. This was a key need we learned about Joe when we met him earlier.

Upon issue of Joe’s contract, a 15-year rollup period begins.  During this period, the rider death benefit base accumulates rollup credits at the end of each contract year with adjustments for any withdrawals.  Each rollup credit equals 7% of Joe’s purchase payment.

At age 77, Joe has a heart attack and passes away. After the funeral, Joe’s financial professional, Larry, reaches out to Lisa. Larry explains that she is the designated beneficiary under Joe’s annuity.  She also learns that the account value of Joe’s annuity at the time of his death was $184,796, but the death benefit base has grown to $205,000 over the past 16 years.  As a result, the death benefit under the rider will replace the death benefit under Joe’s annuity contract.

As the beneficiary, Lisa has two options. Her first option is to take the death benefit as an annuitization for life or over a fixed period of 5 years or more.  In this case, the death benefit would be $205,000.  If Lisa requests annual payments over a 5-year period, she would receive $41,819 each year.  Lisa’s second option is to accept a lump sum payment equal to the average of the death benefit base and the account value. In this case, Joe’s account value is $184,796 and his death benefit base is $205,000. So, Lisa’s lump sum payment would be $194,898.

Because she’ll receive more if she annuitizes the death benefit over the five-year period, Lisa chooses the first payout option.

For specific product details, please download the consumer brochures at To receive a custom illustration, simply call me at 800.362.1097.


The example in this blog assumes that the indexed interest rate for Joe’s Safe Return annuity is 5% for each one-year term during the 15 years he owned his annuity before his death. Joe’s account value was calculated using the Inheritance Enhancer calculator, available at

This example assumes that Joe is the Insured and he does not take any withdrawals from his annuity.  The Inheritance Enhancer is an optional rider for which there is an annual charge.  For producer use only.  Not for use in sales solicitation.



Not All TV Marketing is Created Equal

April 12, 2013 by

Kristi Piehl Media Minefield Founder and CEO

By Kristi Piehl
Founder/CEO Media Minefield, Inc. 

I worked as a TV news reporter/anchor for more than a decade and regularly experienced the profound impact local TV news can have on a community. For small business owners in particular, the medium has the unparalleled ability to drive visibility, boost credibility and attract new clients in their local communities … if it’s done correctly.

The savviest business owners and marketers know that being positioned as an experienced professional in a TV newscast is more valuable than any 30-second commercial.

Not all TV appearances are the same. So, if a company claims they will put you on TV, I want you to ask them these five questions:

Will this segment actually be on broadcast television?
At my company, we are huge fans of the Internet and social media and their marketing potential. But, if you’re interested in maximum visibility, credibility and reach – broadcast television remains king. It’s not even close. Online distribution is fantastic for niche audiences. But, it’s rare for a single video on YouTube to reach the amount of people you can reach on broadcast television. Plus, a credible TV interview is a valuable asset that can be leveraged on social media.

What time will this segment air?
Unless you are selling sleeping pills, people watching TV at 2:00 a.m. are probably not at the top of your ideal client list.

Where will this segment be broadcast?
At first, it may seem that national distribution of your message is the best. However, ask yourself …  where are your clients? Why are you paying to be placed on a network that airs in California when 90% of your clients are in Virginia?

Who will be interviewing me?
For you to gain maximum credibility, the interviewer needs to be a well-known journalist in your local community. Viewers will attach the respect they have for a TV personality to you. If you’ve never heard of your interviewer or the news program, odds are your potential and current clients haven’t either.

How well-known is the broadcaster’s brand? 
Everyone can name that TV station in their town that “everybody watches” or has “been around forever.” You want to appear on these stations. The station’s longevity, reputation and influence will rub off on you and have a direct impact on your credibility.

Don’t let this discourage you. Being portrayed as an experienced professional on local TV news is one of the best marketing tools available. It can be extremely beneficial for your business … and a lot of fun!

Financial Professional Robert Baltzell is interviewed on KY3, the NBC-affiliate in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri.

Financial Professional Robert Baltzell is interviewed on KY3, the NBC-affiliate in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri.

Financial Professional Scott Walker (right) talks about retirement with a local TV News anchor on the heavily-watched CBS affiliate in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.

Financial Professional Scott Walker (right) talks about retirement with a local TV News anchor on the heavily-watched CBS affiliate in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.


Upside Interest Potential is Back with CapMax(SM)

April 2, 2013 by

Unfortunately, record low interest rates have reduced the interest potential for many retirement savings vehicles, including fixed index annuities. In fact, five years ago annual interest rate caps on index annuities averaged approximately 7.0%.  But, now most caps have fallen to 3% or lower.

If low interest rates are affecting you, Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company has developed a possible solution – CapMaxSM.

CapMaxSM is a patent-pending index crediting methodology available exclusively on SecureLiving® Index Annuities. It gives you the opportunity to roll forward current year interest in exchange for the opportunity to multiply next year’s growth potential. It also provides you with the opportunity to potentially outperform other crediting strategies.

Simply put, CapMaxSM allows you one of two options:

Option 1: You can roll positive interest credits earned for the year, up to the current annual cap, in exchange for the full CapMax Multiplier of 3.0.

Option 2: You can lock in positive interest credits earned for the year, as is common in interest crediting strategies.

Here is an example of option #1:

In year one, your interest growth is at 3.5%. You decide to exchange that interest for the opportunity to multiply next year’s interest potential by a factor of 3.  In year two, your interest growth is 3.5%. With the multiplier, you would have an available interest credit of 10.5%.

This interest strategy is suited for those who believe the market has potential for consecutive years of positive growth.

Download a consumer brochure with a hypothetical example.

To request an illustration, call Sales Support at 800.362.1097.  We can review the illustration with you and answer any questions you may have.


Annuities are designed to meet long-term needs for retirement income. They provide guarantees of principal and credited interest, subject to surrender charges, and a death benefit for beneficiaries.


Issued by: Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Richmond, VA

SecureLiving® Index Annuities, Individual Single Premium Deferred Annuities with market value adjustment and optional indexed interest crediting, subject to policy form series GA3003-0711, GA302R-06912, ICC11GA3001, and ICC12GA302R et. al. Features and benefits may vary by product, state and market and may not be available in all states. Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company is licensed in all states except New York.

All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the Genworth Life & Annuity.

This is a brief product description. Consult the annuity contract for a detailed description of benefits, limitations, and restrictions.

Although the contract value may be affected by the performance of an index, the contract does not directly or indirectly participate in any stock or equity investment including but not limited to, any dividend payment attributable to any such stock or equity investment.

The CapMax strategy is designed to create greater growth potential by taking advantage of consecutive periods of positive momentum in the index. That means that during periods of alternating annual index performance it may not perform as well as other available options.

155305  03/25/13

Randy Timm

Randy Timm, CLU, ChFC, FLMI has been in the insurance industry for 30 years and with company since 2005. He follows four family generations, who have also helped independent agents and the insurance industry. His primary expertise is marketing fixed indexed annuities and life insurance products. He’s also an authority on annuity income riders and death benefit riders.

More Posts

Follow Me: