LinkedIn: Think beyond the CV

Despite being one of the most popular social platforms, many people still think of LinkedIn as a virtual CV. But unlike a backward-looking CV, a LinkedIn profile is less about what you’ve done in the past, but more focused on what you can do now to help others with your skills. Think of it as a virtual networking event making the real estate industry easier.

And like any good event, LinkedIn offers a wide range of opportunities to generate leads and boost your business. Here are four tips to get the most out of LinkedIn:

1) Review Your Strategy

Before jumping into LinkedIn, take a step back and review your general business strategy. You might not think that a classic business plan has anything to do with creating content on LinkedIn, but as with any marketing activity, you’ve got to have a clear foundation before you can apply your efforts to a new channel. Without a strategy you might be wasting your time with inefficient posts.

Keep your goals precise and relevant. Ask yourself what business goal LinkedIn can help you to achieve. Maybe you want to increase brand awareness, position yourself as an expert or build relationships with other agents. Once your goals are clear, you can focus your energy to get the best results. Finally, don’t forget to measure your efforts every three months to see if you’re still on target, and adapt your activities where needed.

Tip: Get Specific

Once you have figured out your ‘why’, identify your ‘who’ and get to know your target group well. Determine their wants and needs, and specify the pain points that you can help them with.

2) Brand Yourself

Social media’s power is that it’s more about individuals than about big companies. And LinkedIn gives individuals a voice that can be heard across a huge network – over 500 million users. But to catch the eye of potential clients or colleagues, your profile needs to quickly give an idea of who you are and what sets you apart.

Being personal doesn’t mean posting holiday photos or family events on LinkedIn, it’s about showcasing your best attributes and playing to your strengths. Start with a professional profile photo that is high-resolution, in-focus and flattering. Add photos and videos that show you ‘in action’ and engaged in your business, since a picture can go a long way to convey passion, energy or other soft skills that are hard to write about.

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Tip: Color Your World

Pick a color that represents your personality positively and use it across your profile – from the clothes you wear in your profile pictures to your icons and media thumbnails. Be consistent to give your online presence a cohesive look that clients will remember.

3) Be User-friendly

We all have to-do lists that never stop growing and hours that keep getting shorter, so make it easy for potential clients. After all, you don’t want them spending hours on LinkedIn when they could be meeting with you! Instead, create a strong profile that takes readers through your mission, your unique approach and your successful results – in a way that is clear and easy to follow. Readers pressed for time may scan through information, so identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is looking for, and use those throughout your profile summary.

Always keep your business goal in mind, and determine for yourself what your audience should do after reading your profile. Then add a call-to-action button in your summary to show readers what their next step should be. Most importantly, make sure that people can find you by adding your email address, website, or social media accounts to the contact information section. You’d be surprised how many people forget this!

Tip: Keep It Simple

From ‘Executive Manager of Product Engagement’ to ‘Quality Assistant for Digital Assurance’, fancy job titles make it difficult for LinkedIn users to grasp the value of your skillset and expertise. Remember that you’re dealing with human beings, and focus on the results, not the letterhead.

4) Offer Strong Content

Create content that provides real value for your target group. Share blog posts, industry news, how-to guides and tips that your audience will find useful and interesting – and try framing your content in a story to connect on an emotional level. Post a variety of content formats, from short texts or full articles to photos and videos, to keep audiences engaged. Finally, be sure to include hashtags and geofilters to increase the visibility of your content.

Remember that communication is a two-way street, so listen and respond as often as you post. And while it’s easy to tap the like button, a comment that stimulates conversation will be more helpful toward building a real relationship. Take this further by collaborating with others to create content. Not only will this reduce your workload, but combining your followers means that your shared content will reach a much wider audience than you could achieve on your own.

Tip: Personalize It

Instead of sending standard messages advertising your listing services to LinkedIn users, scan their profiles for what makes them unique and tailor your messages just for them. A personalized note goes a long way because it makes your invitation feel genuine.

Let’s Get Started

With so much potential on LinkedIn, you might think that there is just too much to do to build a compelling profile – or perhaps you feel like you’re too busy working to create effective engagement. But you’d be surprised what can be achieved in a short amount of time! Schedule just a half hour, three times a week, and use that time to optimize your profile on LinkedIn. It will pay off, we promise!

Stay tuned: Together with Daria Vodopianova, we are currently working on a concept, how LinkedIn can help you as a Broker, Agent or Region making the most out of your business. More to come in the second quarter of the year!