LinkedIn is designed for professionals to connect, so they can do business. Still, many struggle with using the amazing tool effectively. You don’t have to be a social media expert to benefit from this (mostly) free gift of modern technology. Follow these simple tips below and with little effort, make LinkedIn your new power broker for success.
1. Have a Clear Purpose
LinkedIn is a tool and like all tools it serves a specific purpose. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, then the tool will be useless. You need to decide how you want to use LinkedIn. You might be focused on client outreach by posting about your agency and specialties. Or maybe you decide to make connections with other agents and marketing organizations. Remember, it’s okay to do all of this with your profile, but the more you focus on your efforts, the easier it will be to get a specific and successful return.
2. Refine Your Profile
There is a constant inconsistency that appears in every LinkedIn profile where the profile sounds like a job application. You wouldn’t want to walk into a sale telling your client that you are job hunting. Your profile is public and should send a message consistent with your description on your agency’s website. It should demonstrate your background and experience in a way that exudes confidence and opportunity for other agents or client that might engage with you. It should be brief, engaging and accurate. It should show that you cared enough to fix the typos and be grammatically correct. Your profile is the first impression for many, and those of you who don’t take care it will be certainly be the last.
3. Pick Groups That Matter
There are three good reasons to join a group. First, to say in touch with associates you are already connected such as independent agents, brokers, or marking organizations. Second, is to learn about an area of interest; this could be academic, social, or trade. Third, to stay well informed of happenings in a particular industry or area of business. Joining a group in hopes of promoting your services will be a waste of time and often offend other members. There can be value in discussions, but any group has “discussion hogs” that clog the feed. It takes effort to sort through the noise; so don’t spend a lot of time trying to keep up. Select truly relevant groups and engage where you feel it’s appropriate.
4. Personalize Everything
Everyone is busy. It’s nice that LinkedIn provides an auto-phrase for interactions, but it simply conveys you are too busy to have a meaningful connection. When requesting a connection, review their profile and tell them why it’s worth their time. If accepting someone’s invite, review their profile and suggest a simple way you can help them. You wouldn’t be effective at a networking gathering playing a recorded, canned message so don’t do it here.
5. Be Generous In Your Interactions
The upside of social media tools is that it’s easier to connect than ever before. The bad news is that markers have bombarded the channels with noise that makes everyone cynical. Make sure you share information that truly has value to your connections and don’t spam. Ask yourself, “Would I consider this to be thoughtful, relevant, and presented with care?” If not, don’t post it. Build a manageable deep network that you can service and cultivate, and then the benefits will come back tenfold.