Sign up and fuggedaboutit
Not sure if it was at REBarCamp or at Inman Connect a couple of weeks ago…but the discussion was about social networks and how they each have their own personality and should be used differently. Someone suggested that LinkedIn is an easy one to participate in because you don’t have to participate. You put your resume-type stuff in and forget it. You should check in once in awhile to approve connections but there isn’t much more to it. It struck me at the time as odd because everything else I heard that week screamed ‘ENGAGE!’ but that, apparently, is not a requirement for using LinkedIn. You’re just supposed to be there. If this is true, then what exactly is the point of ‘being there’? Just in case someone does a search for services in your area? I don’t get it.
Then today I happened to read an article someone sent to me awhile back that says LinkedIn users have higher incomes. This article describes the demographic of the users and the correlation between income, number of connections and job responsibilities that often include purchasing, decision-making and senior levels within companies. Hmmm. Now you have my attention! Let’s work with that.
The nuts & bolts of creating your profile…and?
Guy Kawasaki lists some ways to use LinkedIn for business and this site lists 100 ways to use LinkedIn. And this Active Rain post discusses how to actively use LinkedIn as a REALTOR(R). These articles are all great how-to articles on how to enhance your profile and use some of the features like Q & A and Recommendations, and I guess these are great starting points. But this does not make me love LinkedIn nor does it show me what to do, or why. It’s just not clicking for me. Perhaps we need to think about who we are talking to and what they need from us.
Capitalizing on how LinkedIn is different
I keep going back to the demographic of LinkedIn and wonder if there is more opportunity here than my untrained eye can see. Instead of participating in whatever features the site offers as just ‘a real estate agent’, shouldn’t we be offering something more specific? Does the fact that you have all of these movers and shakers in one place, Fortune 500 companies, consultant-types with huge networks of connections, for example, change how you present yourself and the things you do on the site? Certainly there is a different strategy and attitude expectation than on, say, Facebook with it’s poking and sheep throwing.
Who would not like to be the go-to real estate agent for a company’s human resources or relocation departments? I imagine acquiring large accounts like this would require you to change the way you present yourself online and on LinkedIn specifically. Illustrate your ability to handle relocating employees and how you can make these kinds of transactions smoother and easier for the relocating employee and the company. Elaborate on the support you have through your company’s offerings or via personal assistants. Talk about your activities related to relo’s via your status updates. How about a digital relocation package? Link to that.
What about foreclosure/REO accounts? Are there opportunities to get in front of decision makers at owner-banks and servicing companies? How can you target these contacts and communicate your value proposition to them?
I have not figured all this out yet, so I’d love to hear how you’ve been using this network.
What is your game plan?
Just like in our blogging efforts and our participation in other networks, I’m pretty sure we need to be thinking about our audience on LinkedIn, what they need, what kind of things they respond to and how we can engage them. But it hasn’t gelled for me.
Be a Genius and share your strategies on LinkedIn in the comments! Please? 🙂