At this point in time, most professionals – regardless of industry – have a LinkedIn profile. It’s a living, breathing resume. As a real estate professional, LinkedIn can be much more than a way to find a job, though. Used well, LinkedIn can generate leads and business for you, your office, or your team.
Maximize Your Profile
Like your website, your Facebook page, and your business card, your LinkedIn profile may be the first time a lead encounters you. Make sure you’ve completed your profile completely and in a way that benefits you so they have a reason to connect. What does that mean?
Use a good, high quality profile picture. Even better, use the same one you use everywhere so you’re recognizable across platforms.
- Add a cover photo that relates to your business, your niche, or the area you work in. It’s a good visual reminder of who and what you are.
- Fill out your bio but don’t be stiff and boring. A few lines isn’t enough. This is your chance to tell people what you do and where, who you help, and how you do it.
- Don’t forget your history. Past careers can be a good way to connect, so make sure past employers and any other experience you’ve got are included in your bio.
- Add awards, certifications, and even committees you sit on for the local, state, or national associations.
- Update your public profile URL (Go to “Edit Profile”) so that it’s not a bunch of letters and numbers. Include your name in your URL so you’re easier to find in a search.
Create and Share Relevant Content
Videos are huge on Facebook. You’re sharing infographics on Pinterest. Your blog is filled with written content, and you’re considering a podcast. The need for content can feel overwhelming, but you shouldn’t neglect it on LinkedIn.
You’ve got a few options for sharing content on LinkedIn that can reach an audience:
- Take an existing blog post on your website and adapt it for career professionals. Instead of talking to families with young children or retirees like you may do elsewhere, repurpose old content to focus on professionals who need to move for their job.
- Turn infographics or other content into a SlideShare presentation and share it on LinkedIn.
- Write a blog post about what it takes to be a professional real estate agent: education and training, experiences you’ve had, etc.
When it comes to creating content for LinkedIn, remember the audience. People go on Facebook to socialize and Instagram to share and find beautiful images. On LinkedIn, the majority of the audience is there for professional reasons. Use your existing content or create something new that speaks to the needs of career-minded individuals who may be looking for a new home for themselves and their families.
Network and Make Connections
On LinkedIn there are a couple of ways to make connections that may lead to more business for you. One is to connect with people who went to schools you attended, worked in fields you’re familiar with, people you’ve worked with in the past, and companies you’d like to be connected with. What encourages people to connect with you in return is how you present yourself in your profile.
The other way is to join groups and connect with people. Make sure the groups make sense for you to join. Focus on professional groups, even if they’re not related to real estate. With a quick search, you’ll find dozens of groups for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and topics not focused on real estate but that are relevant to your own career goals.
In these groups, you’ll not only learn from other people, you’ll make connections outside of the industry. This will be a great place to share content, like blog posts and presentations, you add on LinkedIn. It will help cement your authority and start conversations with people who may be looking to buy or sell.
Should You Ask for Endorsements?
Giving someone you’re connected to an endorsement is as easy as pressing a button or two. For that reason, you may wonder if they’re worth anything. Assuming you can back up endorsements with professionalism and knowledge, they can be extremely valuable.
Feel free to ask happy clients to leave feedback on your social media, especially on LinkedIn. It’s even more powerful if they found you on LinkedIn and are willing to share their experience so that other’s can see what they think. Testimonials continue to be extremely powerful in an online world where most people will find you for the first time.
Like every other social media site, LinkedIn requires time to set up and maintain. If you’ve neglected your account for a while, start with the goal of making your profile stand out. After that, spend a little time each week sharing, joining, and connecting. You don’t have to devote your life to LinkedIn to make it work, but you shouldn’t ignore it, either.