LinkedIn is a social network just for people who are looking for jobs, right? Wrong. Today LinkedIn continues to be a recruitment tool for businesses worldwide, but it’s also a powerful connection engine for professionals of all stripes – including real estate agents.
In fact, one study by social media inbound marketing platform HubSpot found that LinkedIn was more effective at generating business leads than Facebook and Twitter.
Social media helps you find and connect with potential leads and referral partners, expanding your reach and the size of your prospect pool.
With that in mind, here are 9 tips that will help you grow your contacts and secure more leads on LinkedIn.
Complete your Profile thoughtfully.
It may take a little time, but fill out your Profile as completely as possible, keeping your audience in mind. Share your specialties and show how you serve your customers. Include a pro headshot and use keywords in your professional headline (that’s the line below your name, indicated by a red box below). As a real estate agent, you might want to use terms like REALTOR®, Short Sales, Home Staging etc…
Use your Summary section wisely.
Your Summary appears directly below your initial profile information and before your work experience. This is the perfect place to introduce yourself to someone who looks at your LinkedIn profile. Treat it like an ‘About Me’ section and be sure to include calls to action that will encourage engagement. You can say something like “Feel free to contact me for advice on the local market” or “Looking for a local contractor? Get in touch – I’m happy to help!”
Consider a business account.
If you own a brokerage, a LinkedIn Company Page might be just the ticket. Sure, it’s one more thing to manage, but it also opens up a range of new opportunities. Companies can host Showcase Pages, access in-depth analytics and include powerful graphics. LinkedIn pages also appear prominently in search engine results.
Use “People You May Know” to expand your network.
It’s hard to network without any connections. Amp up your profile and LinkedIn cred using People You May Know. This helpful module suggests people to connect with based on your existing network, location and interests. Find it at the top right of your home page, then click See More>> to scroll through a whole page of options. We recommend doing this at least once a month.
Find peers and prospects using Advanced Search.
Click Advanced next to the search box at the top of any page to find LinkedIn users based on keywords, industry, location and much more. Find prospects or potential referral partners in your area and invite them to connect with a simple note that is open and friendly. “Hi ___, I am glad I came across your profile. I think we should connect because ___” will usually do the trick.
Join relevant local and professional Groups.
When you join a LinkedIn Group, you can interact with anyone in the group without being connected. This is a good way to meet community and industry influencers… and to become one yourself. Be active, ask questions and offer help.
See who’s viewing your Profile.
Click the Profile tab and choose Who’s Viewed Your Profile from the dropdown to get insights on who is visiting your page and why. If someone who might be a lead has checked you out recently, you can view their Profile and connect with them.
Recommend influencers you’ve worked with.
Recommending your professional contacts that are also on LinkedIn is a smart move. Your recommendation will appear on their LinkedIn page with your picture, info and a link to your page. Giving a recommendation also increases your odds of receiving one in return. And we can all use more testimonials, right? Here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you write a great recommendation in no time flat.
Post savvy updates.
LinkedIn has an Update feature that is similar to Facebook and Google+. This is a space for you to post messages, links, images, videos and slideshows that will appear in your connections’ feeds. Encourage professional engagement by sharing things like market reports and save your more personal updates (e.g. family photos) for Facebook.
If you haven’t spent much time on LinkedIn lately, it’s time to revisit this powerful social platform. You might be surprised at the number of new connections you make and the old connections that become valuable again. These tips will get you started, but they really just scratches the surface of your LinkedIn potential.
What tip or tips are you going to try? We hope you’ll let us know how it goes.