Out of all the popular social media venues, LinkedIn is perhaps the most business-oriented, which makes it a fantastic tool for lead generation and professional networking. With LinkedIn, you can find mutual contacts and interests, mapping your own “six degrees of separation” from other users. To get the most out of LinkedIn for your real estate business, be sure to do these six things.
1. Create a great profile. LinkedIn lets you upload many details about your professional life. Two of the most important are the description that appears next to your photograph and your summary. In your personal description, be short and descriptive, using keywords that describe who you are and what you do. Some examples might include “Real Estate Broker,” or “Keller Williams Springfield.” Set your profile to public so it appears in search engine results and those not connected to you can see your profile. Use your summary to describe why people should choose to work with you, including any specific expertise or specializations you have, such as the fact that you were a top salesperson last year or that you specialize in first-time home buyers. Include your photo, education and any awards and honors you’ve received.
2. Connect. LinkedIn emphasizes connecting only with people you know, so start building your contact base by connecting with friends, colleagues,and associates. As you build your personal network, add these contacts to your LinkedIn network.
3. Build a Company Page. LinkedIn also lets you build profiles for your business. Once you’ve built a strong personal profile create a Company Page. These business-focused profiles can help draw attention to your real estate business. Be sure you fit the criteria to create one. < http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1594>
4. Join groups. LinkedIn has many groups, ranging from college alumni to trade affiliations. Participating in Groups can help you stay informed on topics of interest to you and make new contacts in your industry or area. If you find that some members of your Groups are particularly interesting or influential, send them an invitation request. If you don’t see a group that’s relevant to you, consider starting one. For example, launching a group about home buying tips in your area could position you as the local market expert.
5. Earn credibility. Encourage happy clients to write testimonials on your LinkedIn profile. That allows others to read third-party endorsements that boost your credibility. LinkedIn also recently introduced its Endorsements feature, which allows your contacts to weigh in on the skill sets in which you’re particularly strong. Share your news, expertise, and items of interest through your profile’s status update to get people interested in what you have to say.
6. Network. Like anything else, LinkedIn works when you spend time developing your network, helping others and building your list of contacts. Make time each week to build your presence there and cross-promote your LinkedIn presence on your business cards, marketing materials, and on other social media to get the most out of your experience.
How else are you using LinkedIn to grow your sphere?