Social Media Tactics

Why and how to create a killer LinkedIn Profile

Why and how to create a killer LinkedIn Profile

Why and how to create a killer LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a bit different from the other social media platforms we discussed earlier. It will not help you much in getting traffic to your blog, although you can share high quality posts for this purpose. While LinkedIn has a news feed similar to a Facebook timeline not many people pay attention to it. The main reason for having a LinkedIn profile to to market yourself as a real estate professional to potential clients. The examples given below are for Real Estate Agents, but you can easily adapt this to your own profession.

Your professional LinkedIn profile page serves as a free advertisement for yourself that is accessible 24/7 to practically anyone in the world who wants to see it.

Let me repeat this: your LinkedIn profile is about you, and you only. Never ever post your property listings on LinkedIn! They will be received as spam by the LinkedIn community and will kill all the reputation you worked so hard to build up.

Most people think that LinkedIn is only valuable if you are looking for a new job, or if you’re a recruiter scouting for new employees. While this might have been true at an early stage LinkedIn is now of much wider use. Many professionals (including myself) use it to demonstrate their achievements and credibility to potential prospects and clients. It serves as an extended online display of who you are, what you can do for your clients and why people should engage you for your services. One of the most powerful features is that past clients can leave recommendations and endorsements for you, these obviously carry a lot of weight.

I have spoken to many influential people over the years, and many tell me that they use LinkedIn to check out their counterparts in any transaction before they make any commitment to meet face-to-face. For example, they reviewed my LinkedIn profile before inviting me for their conference or engaging me for their corporate training. You can check out my profile here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drfrankpeter – please connect with me while you are there.

For the personal investments of such clients this also includes checking out any real estate agent before they engage him or her. What interests these investors most is a demonstration of verifiable achievements and recommendations by relevant people. For this LinkedIn is the perfect platform.

Here I will guide you thru the setting up of a personal profile on LinkedIn. If you already have one just follow the parts that are applicable to your existing profile in order to improve it. Please keep in mind: a highly professional LinkedIn profile will serve as your probably most important personal advertisement to the world, you should treat it like that.

Go to LinkedIn.com and sign up using your email and a password that you can remember, but that others cannot too easily guess.

Use the same profile picture that you have used for i.e. Facebook, this will help your personal branding as your presence is consistent over different social media platforms. Here the picture on top of your profile is square at 200 x 200 pixles in size.

The headline allows you to describe yourself in 120 characters, and is arguably the most important part of your profile page. The headline is displayed just below your name and features dominantly in LinkedIn’s own search engine. Use it to market yourself but don’t use hype language. Consider something like ‘Experienced Real Estate Professional for your suburb or area | Proven Track Record | Client Satisfaction is my Priority’. In case you’re wondering, the ‘|’ character used here to separate the skills is called the pipe symbol and can be found to the far right of most keyboards. Some agents display their contact phone number in the headline as well. I don’t think that this is a good idea, in my eyes it makes you look desperate for someone to call you. Contact info can be shown at other, more appropriate parts of your profile page, including phone number and website. The purpose of the headline is also to get you found when a potential client searches on LinkedIn, so keep your headline rich in keywords you would like to be found for.

The “Summary” is the main content part of your overall personal ‘advertisement’. Here you should start out with one or two sentences that introduce you (think of a 15 second elevator speech) and draw the reader into the rest of your summary. You may also want to include that you are licensed, and of course your license number. The summary should have a list of your most valuable professional skills, a list of important achievements or results like recently completed sales or rentals. If your past clients allow it mention them by name. The section allows you to add some pictures, so consider adding some pics from recent sales/rentals that you completed. Also, add a ‘Call to Action’ to your summary that tells prospective clients how they can contact you, something like “Please get in touch with me so we can discuss how I can help you fulfill your ambitions” or whatever makes sense to your specific profile and area of work.

The “Experience” section is a place where you can display your resume. Here you should list at least your past two or three employers/agencies plus your current employment/parent agency (if any). Don’t only list dates and basic info, show off your past achievements while working for these agencies, provided it makes sense. You could add something like “Personally closed 27 sales worth $XX during my 2 years with ABC Agency” or “I was member of the million dollar round table at ABC Agency” or any other important achievement you made during your time. Use this section to show your past achievements, and don’t write it as if you were looking for a job.

The “Honors and Awards” section is quite self explanatory. If you have anything to show off don’t hesitate to do so, provided it is relevant to your professional profile. A hole-in-one at your golf group is not an appropriate mention, and neither is any of your high school achievements – all awards here should be directly related to your professional career. If you have any picture of yourself getting the award or a picture of any award certificate you received you can post it here. Don’t be shy, most people appreciate the proof.

The “Recommendations” section is often the most undervalued section of a LinkedIn profile, but should be the one that receives special attention. Make an effort and ask your past clients to not only connect with you on LinkedIn but to write you a recommendation. A few sentences each will do. Once they have done so send them a ‘Thank You’ message yourself. These recommendations have an incredible value when prospective clients look at your profile when they check you out. A third party recommendation for a particular skill you have rates much higher than you just listing your skills in your profile.

The section of ‘Skills and Endorsements” is a much simpler version of the recommendations section. Here you can pre-select your most important skills from a drop-down menu and ask you connections to tick any they feel are appropriate. Pick up yo 10 skills as a start, you can add others later if you want.

Fill in any other bits and pieces here and there like education, languages, interests, as well as any personal details if you feel comfortable with it like marital status. Indicate if you would be available as volunteer, are member of any professional association and so on. Very important is to include up-to-date contact info, including the web address of your blog/website, your email and your daytime phone number.

Make your profile as complete as you can. On the top right of your actual profile is a circle that shows how high your current profile ranks, your goal is ‘All Star’ with a fully filled circle. LinkedIn states that a complete profile will appear 40 times more in search results, so you would have a chance of getting 40x the business compared to an incomplete profile. LinkedIn’s definition of a 100% complete profile is:

  • Your industry and current location
  • An up-to-date current position with description
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • A minimum of three skills
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections

I personally see a good LinkedIn profile as very important. I know real estate agents who get almost 50% of all business inquiries via this channel. Even for me in the training business LinkedIn is a major lead contributor, second only to our website/blog. It is free, and it will take you no longer than an hour or so to set up, so don’t delay and do this now. The sooner you can be found on LinkedIn the sooner to get business from there. Once you’re done please connect with me, I’d be happy to be one of your first 50 connections so you can achieve the ‘All Star’ status faster:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drfrankpeter – or search LinkedIn for my name.

For some additional thoughts about the content in your LinkedIn profile take a look at the blog post by Azleen Abdul Rahim here: How To Turn LinkedIn Connections into Tangible Business Leads. A very worthwhile read!

Posted by AsiaTraining in Social Media Tactics
Setting-up your Facebook Business Page

Setting-up your Facebook Business Page

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A Facebook business page is different from your personal profile. Your personal Facebook profile is where you connect with your friends and post your holiday pictures, what you had for breakfast, your favorite cat videos and all the other stuff that you fancy – in your personal profile anything goes as long as you’re happy with it. The business page on the other hand will only showcase your professional side and has to remain focused on it’s main purpose, which is to drive qualified traffic to your blog. The main difference between a profile and a page is that from your personal profile you can message anybody, even people not in your friends list. In a page you cannot, people need to message you first, only then can you respond.

Facebook makes this important distinction so Facebook users cannot spam others with any offers they are peddling. This is also the reason why Facebook does not allow you to use your personal page for commercial activities, use a Facebook business page instead.

In order to start a Facebook business page you need to have a personal profile on Facebook, I will assume you already have one. Log into your profile and follow these steps to set-up a business page:

On the very top right of the Facebook screen you will see a little downward arrow. Click that arrow and a drop down menu will appear. Somewhere on that menu it says ‘Create Page’. Click that link.

Now you need to choose a page category. I suggest to choose ‘Local Business or Place’ rather than any of the others. The reason is that with this selection visitors to your page can leave reviews of your services, these can be a very powerful endorsement once you get some good reviews. With this selection you also get the widest variety of methods of how people can contact you, including phone number, email, website (blog), address and map. The term ‘Local Business or Place’ is not limited to only a physical address but can represent the area you serve predominantly.

Setting-up your Facebook Business Page

Once you click on the ‘Local Business or Place’ icon Facebook will guide you thru a wizard where you fill in your basic information including a suitable category for your page (i.e. Real Estate or Property Agent) and a brief description of your services and the location you are active in. Add your blogs web address below the description, i.e. ‘JohnSmithProperty.com’. Below that you can choose your own personalized Facebook domain. I strongly suggest to again enter your full blog website address here, so it will look something like …facebook.com/johnsmithproperty.com’. The advantage of using your blogs address here is that it will be much easier for people to remember it as it’s very similar to your blog. It’s also easier for you to communicate: “Hey, my website is JohnSmithProperty.com, and you can find me on Facebook under facebook.com/johnsmithproperty.com as well”.

Setting-up your Facebook Business Page

Click ‘Save Info’ and you get to the profile picture section. Here you can upload a nice profile picture, it should be square in size and be at least 180 x 180 pixels. Use your own picture, not your company logo or a picture of your cat. Use a picture that demonstrates your professionalism. The picture should show that you are credible and can be trusted. It doesn’t have to be one in jacket and tie, but it certainly should not be one of a recent holiday shot in swimming attire, or a picture with your friends in a local pub, or you sitting in a flashy car and so on. People remember faces, so stick with a recent headshot. If you don’t have a suitable profile picture spend a bit of money to get one professionally shot.

In the next step add the page to your favorites so you can easily access it from the left section of your own personal page.

In the last section put in your preferred audience. Add the area you serve a location, this will help you in getting preferred ranking in case someone does a search on Facebook. Gender and age demographics you can leave as is, and in the interest section choose as many as make sense by starting to type in major keywords like ‘Property’ and ‘Real Estate’ and choose the most appropriate ones in the results.

Once you’re done with this you will automatically be brought to your new Facebook business page. Besides the info you just provided it will be empty. It is very important that you DO NOT LIKE your own page yet. The reason is that if you do all your friends will see what you liked and come to check it out, only to find an empty page – they will be disappointed. For the same reason also do not invite any of your friends to like your new page yet.

Your profile picture will already show, and you can now add your cover photo as well. This should be pre-prepared and have a size of 851 x 315 pixels:

Setting-up your Facebook Business Page

The cover photo should also have a professional look to it and represent your business. Take a moment and look at other realtors facebook pages for some ideas and inspiration, or google for ‘real estate facebook cover photos’ and take a look at the resulting images. Once you have a suitable one hover your mouse over the top left corner and click on ‘Change Cover Photo’ to upload your own.

Next you need to update your detailed information: look for the ‘About’ tab just below the cover photo and click on it. Fill in as much details as you can provided it makes sense: you won’t have any parking info, but for example the opening hours could be the time you work and can be contacted. Try to be as comprehensive as you can.

The last part to set up is your ‘Call to Action’ button. This is the button on the lower right of your cover photo, it will say ‘Like’ by default. Tap the button and a small menu will drop down and give you choices for your button text and target once someone clicks on it. You want people to come to your blog, so you might want to change this button to include your website URL.

That’s it with the setup of your new Facebook business page, well done. Now it’s time to add some content.

Go to your blog and choose any post or page you would like to start your promotion with, preferably one that is not so important. The reason to start with a less important post is that it will end up at the bottom of your Facebook timeline, so it will get less views. Remember, the aim is to only post an interesting snippet as well as the post picture and, most importantly, a link to the actual blog post. Once you have chosen your post copy the URL from your browsers address bar. Go to your Facebook page and paste the link into the status update box on the top right of your timeline. Give it a moment and Facebook will load the pages picture and snippet automatically. Then write something catchy in front of the link you just pasted, and make clear to your readers that they should click on the link to read more. Here is an example from our own AsiaTraining Facebook page:

Note that I limit the text to just 3-4 lines, including the link. It is important that the link is clearly visible and not abbreviated, so if you have a long link then give it it’s own line of text. The link should not break! Publish your post and try the link. It should open up your referenced blogs in a new window. That’s it. Now you can add more of your blog posts the same way, and add new posts over time so your profile fills up with solid content.

In addition don’t forget to also share some of the curated content I mentioned in the previous chapter. Don’t be stingy in sharing other people’s content for the benefit of your readers, just make sure that it is in line with your business goals. There is nothing wrong with posting more curated content in case you have no current updates of your own. Some experts even state that a Facebook page should post up to 80% curated content and only 20% of your own content. This is not a hard rule, if you don’t come across any good article that is worth sharing then don’t post any for the day. Remember that everything you post (own or curated content) reflects back on you and your professional image, so quality counts more than quantity.

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Posted by AsiaTraining in Social Media Tactics