LinkedIn is a great tool for networking your way to success that allows a Broker to connect, learn, build knowledge and enhance his or her reputation. LinkedIn is essentially a professional marketing page of the online world and these guidelines will maximize its efficacy, enhance your business and perhaps even land you your next job.
Polish your profile. Begin by completing your online profile. Utilize the different profile sections effectively:
- Headline–use it to grab attention
- Summary–Use this as your cover letter
- Experience–Use this as an accomplishment-oriented résumé
Since LinkedIn lives in cyberspace, it is important to be professional, honest and consistent.
Include a photo. People are curious creatures and like photos, so post a professional photo and not a personal one—those are for Facebook. The photo is your representation to the business world, so it should be in professional attire and high resolution.
Utilize keywords. While it’s great that you are hard-working, diligent and a team player, those are not the words that will establish credibility or draw attention. State your uniqueness, accomplishments and unique value. LinkedIn is keyword-sensitive so be sure to repeat keywords to ensure your profile’s primacy in searches. Replace ubiquitous, generic statements with appropriate, specific keywords.
Develop a strong network. Create a set of real estate associates that represents contacts with whom you can network. Don’t accept invitations from unknown people unless it benefits your network. People assess you by the quality of your connections. There are several ways to identify potential connections.
First, there is name-searching. This is easy when looking for a “Schnurman,” but more difficult finding a “Smith.” Second, company searches will identify past and current employees of a specific organization. Third, you may browse the connections of your contacts. Fourth, LinkedIn allows you to import your contacts from Outlook and webmail, enabling quick and targeted growth of your network.
Get recommendations. Recommendations validate and add credibility to your profile, thus strengthening your image. Use recommendations from close contacts such as other Brokers, managers or clients. Be helpful by assisting people who ask for recommendations or introductions. That is the purpose of LinkedIn, and it will engender good will and reciprocity.
Monitor your views. Regularly see how many times your profile was viewed or came up in searches. If you are not receiving a lot of “hits,” it may be time to make adjustments to your profile. If you adjust your privacy settings you can create the opportunity to see more specifically who looked at your profile. However, by doing this you can lose the opportunity to stay anonymous so you need to balance your desire for information with your personal interest in privacy.
Join groups. LinkedIn has myriad groups and allows users to join up to 50. Strategically choose groups in which people searching for you will look. Try joining the largest groups in their category and some smaller, more specialized groups. Many groups have job postings within the group, so be sure to check that regularly. Join Real Estate, Finance, Development and other related groups. Groups are a great way to meet, connect and learn from others.
Be an active participant. Build your reputation, expertise and following on LinkedIn by posting, commenting and liking the posts of others. When you do these activities you will appear in other people’s updates, making you more recognizable. Also, people will reciprocate and begin liking your posts.
Lastly, leverage your connections to network into organizations or to a specific person. Do this by looking at the connections of people in your network. When you find someone you would like to be introduced to ask your contact. Introductions are more powerful than random contacts. Do not feel uncomfortable reaching out. That is why people join the site, and most are happy to help. This is a great way of building relationships into larger institutions.
A well-conceived, up-to-date profile makes you a more attractive connection. Business networking is critical to your future success, and LinkedIn is the tool to pull this together.