If you aren’t on LinkedIn already or haven’t updated your profile in a while, now’s the time to dive in. Here are a few ways to level up your LinkedIn game — and boost your connections.

If you are a real estate agent or broker — you need to be on LinkedIn. With more than 740 million active users, LinkedIn is an important place to be as an agent. 

Whether you are new to social media or more seasoned, it’ll benefit you to be on LinkedIn because it’s truly one of the only professional networks out there. This means less noise, less politics, fewer cat videos and more about business. 

If you haven’t visited LinkedIn in sometime, I would encourage you to dust off your profile and take a peek at the desktop and mobile version as both have been greatly improved over the years. Here are three steps for real estate agents and brokers to focus on this year when it comes to LinkedIn.

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

It’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated. When potential clients search for you on Google, one of the top sites that will appear is LinkedIn. If your profile is outdated, it gives the perception that you are out of business. 

Here are a few simple tips to maximize your LinkedIn profile:

  • Make sure you have your full name, title and brokerage listed.
  • You can also add in your headline the market area you specialize in.
  • Update your profile photo to a professional headshot that you use on other social media platforms.
  • Add your contact information: website, email and other links — don’t be a secret agent!
  • Update your cover photo to reflect your business. You can use Canva LinkedIn templates to create new cover photos.
  • Update your summary or about section. This should be one to two paragraphs that are an overview of your experience and expertise. Who do you work with, what area do you serve, and why do you love what you do? Write this in first person. If you are new to real estate, share how your previous work history and the skills you learned there will translate to real estate and why you made the career change. 
  • Update your work history to reflect the brokerage you are at now and any designations you have received.
  • Add your pronunciation and/or pronouns (via the LinkedIn mobile app).
  • Update your skills and expertise. Think of this section as the “keywords” for your profile. Pick seven to 10 keywords to describe your specialties and areas of expertise. These are skills that people can endorse you for and also can suggest additional skills you may not have listed.
  • You can also add photos and videos to enhance your profile. If you have an “about you” video or testimonial videos you have on YouTube, you can add those links to enhance your profile in the Featured section on your profile.

Once you have updated your profile, you may consider setting a recurring calendar reminder for yourself once or twice a year to update your profile as needed. 

2. Develop a plan for posting to LinkedIn on a consistent basis

Get in front of your connections on LinkedIn by posting a status update to LinkedIn a few times a week. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network, so updates to the platform should be related to the market, real estate, business or leadership.

Also, remember to not just post and run. Take 10-15 minutes a week to interact with and comment on other people’s posts on LinkedIn.

Here are some ideas on what to post to LinkedIn and best practices:

  • Post links to articles about the market (from Inman News, Realtor Magazine, your local association or brokerage/franchise).
  • Post original content you have created (videos, link to blog posts, link to podcasts, etc.).
  • Ask questions! Poll your audience.
  • Don’t just post links to listings.
  • Post to your LinkedIn stories, and share the behind the scenes of your business.
  • Post personal content from time to time — but generally speaking, LinkedIn is all about business
  • Don’t just post and run. Take time to respond to comments.
  • Comment on other people’s posts throughout the week.
  • Focus on connecting with at least a few people daily on LinkedIn.

3. Connect with clients, prospects and colleagues to expand your sphere

Every new person you meet that could be a client. Are you connecting with him or her on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a great place to connect with clients, prospects, colleagues and other real estate professionals.

Don’t shy away from connecting with other real estate agents and brokers — this is a great opportunity to expand your referral network!

Here are a few tips on how to increase your connections with LinkedIn:

  • Add your public profile link to your email signature. If you are using Outlook, edit your email signature in the “Edit” then “Options” menu.
  • If you are using Gmail or another free email provider, a great free service to use is WiseStamp. WiseStamp will allow you to add all of your social media channels into your email signature.
  • Add past and current colleagues and clients. It’s worth the time to get your client database into an excel spreadsheet (.CSV file).
  • If you are using Outlook or Gmail you can easily export your list. Once you’ve done that, copy and paste that email list into LinkedIn. (Under “Contacts,” click on “Add Connections.”)
  • Reach out to potential and current clients via LinkedIn. This is an easy way to connect and expand your sphere professionally.
  • Remember: It’s easier to send a LinkedIn request than a Facebook friend request to someone you just met.

Katie Lance is the author of #GetSocialSmart and founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, a social media strategy firm and founder of the #GetSocialSmart Academy. She’s been recognized by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential people in real estate and is a featured keynote speaker at many industry events. Katie is also is the author of the best-selling book, #GetSocialSmart

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