LinkedIn- www.LinkedIn.com: This is one social media tool that I recommend for all real estate agents. LinkedIn is your Web 2010 resume. When consumers Google your name – and they are Googling your name – you want your LinkedIn profile to show up in the results.
What is LinkedIn? In a nutshell, it’s your online resume, complete with recommendations. Spend some time setting up your LinkedIn profile and really building out your information, start connecting with your sphere of influence: former colleagues, classmates, group members, vendors, and your past clients; then work on scoring a few solid recommendations.
If you are new to social networking, LinkedIn is a nice smooth way to slide into the hot tub. You have to put the work into your profile initially and then spend some time reaching out to your connections, but after that, LinkedIn can become pretty passive. You can easily manage your profile and connections in just five minutes a day.
There are a few questions/concerns that I seem to get over and over again with regard to LinkedIn that I am addressing specifically in this post.
“I think I have two LinkedIn accounts…”
You sign up on LinkedIn with one e-mail address, build up your profile, make some connections and then you’re seeing double… Usually, creating two accounts is the direct result of not adding all of your “associated” e-mail addresses into your one (and first) account. When someone e-mails you the invitation to join LinkedIn, you confuse it for a connection request and end up signing up for LinkedIn again with a different e-mail address than you used to create your initial account. This happens all the time. I have good news! There is an easy fix …
- Click on Settings
- Under the Personal Information section, click on E-mail Addresses
- Type in any additional e-mail addresses you have (one at a time)
- Click Add E-mail Address
- LinkedIn will send an e-mail to that address to verify that you own it
- Click the “verify” link in the LinkedIn e-mail to add the e-mail to your account
Now, when someone who only knows your Yahoo e-mail address attempts to connect with you on LinkedIn (which you initially set-up using your company e-mail address) you will show up as already being on LinkedIn, connectable and, of course, super cool.
**To remove any extra accounts you may have signed up for:
- Login to the account you wish to delete (I realize this requires knowing the login and password)
- Click on Settings
- Under Personal Information, click Close Your Account
- Select your reason and click Continue
- Click Confirm to close the extra account
“I signed up for LinkedIn and nothing happened?!”
I know that I’ve told you that LinkedIn can be much less interactive than some of your other social networking sites, but you will be required to put some effort forth if you expect to get anything in return. Build your profile, and I mean make it ROCK. Then, REACH OUT. Don’t just hang back and wait for the connections to roll in. Send a few invites out, reach out to past clients, former colleagues and classmates, sync your Outlook or webmail contacts and be social.
- Click on the green Add Connections button on the left side menu
- Add contacts manually (ugh) or by checking your past colleagues and classmates, your webmail and/or Outlook and finally, if all else fails, uploading a .csv file!
**Important note: You have the option to add a personal message with your invite. Do it. Trust me. Take 2 seconds and add a little personalization.
“I’m on LinkedIn. I have connections. Now what should I do?
- Create a custom LinkedIn URL (Account & Settings > Public Profile) and add your URL to your e-mail signature, your website and your social profiles.
Give and get recommendations – click on Contacts > Recommendations to get started.
- Update your status – Tell me that you worked with a great contractor, negotiated a tough deal or found a great new website. Keep your updates relevant, professional and brief.
- Check out the Q & A Section (click on Answers) and get involved in the discussions.
- Check out some of the LinkedIn Groups (Search > Search Groups) and join a few that interest you, then get involved in the discussions (or start your own).
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.