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LinkedIn: Basics that Lead to Business

August 25, 2014
From Loan Officer Joy James

From Loan Officer Joy James

LinkedIn is THE social media platform where business people congregate, network, share resources, and promote themselves to find new opportunities or to gain sales leads.

For those in the real estate industry, LinkedIn is an excellent place to establish yourself as an expert in the market and a professional who is gracious enough to share that knowledge with others. By doing that, hopefully you gain new clients who realize you are very good at what you do, and you are also approachable, responsive, and tied into the latest news in your industry.

So, what should you be doing on LinkedIn to make the most of this social media channel?  There are some basic things to start with.

Profile: This is how you tell people who you are, and what you do. Pay attention first to your short headline, which is how you describe yourself and your skills in a few words. Since 5.7 million people conducted professionally oriented searches on LinkedIn in 2012, it’s important that you have keywords in your headline and description that will come up in a search… for example: real estate, housing, and your city or market area.

The other way to maximize your profile is by customizing your URL. Your account is given a URL, but you can change it by clicking on edit profile. You’ll see your public URL listed at the bottom below your picture (you do have a picture displayed, right?). Change the ending text to your first and last name, if you haven’t already.

Connections: Too few connections on your LinkedIn account affect your credibility and the effectiveness of using it as a tool. The good news is it’s easy to begin adding connections by using some of the functions in LinkedIn, such as importing email contacts, which can be cross-checked to locate their LinkedIn profiles, or through the suggestions LinkedIn makes based on current connections you already have. One key rule? Don’t try to add strangers as connections, even if you would really like to build a relationship with them.  It’s definitely outside LinkedIn etiquette and can backfire. Instead, ask for an introduction from a connection you have, first. Or, try another tactic…

Right now, you need to be a first-degree connection to message other LinkedIn members. However if you join a LinkedIn group, you can message other members – and view their profiles – whether you are connected to them or not. You can also build relationships by interacting with them in the group, which paves the way for asking for that connection.

Watch for more LinkedIn Tips in future Mortgage Fortunes!

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