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  • 1. KELLERWILLIAMSR E A LT Y 101Getting Startedwith LinkedInBrought to you by Keller Williams Realty
  • 2. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101Link up with LinkedInRecruit agents, meet new clients and generate referrals through digital networkingLinkedIn is where social media meets business networking, and as of July 2010, itsusers numbered more than 70 million. LinkedIn can help you make better use ofyour professional network and help you generate leads. Facebook may have moreconsumer members, but LinkedIn is the leading business networking site on the Web.By setting the stage to network efficiently in the digital world, you can further yourreal estate brand online, exchange information with colleagues and stay abreastof topics your contacts are discussing. Getting started is easy and offers you aninexpensive way to market your real estate expertise online.In this guide, you’ll learn about LinkedIn and how to do the following: 1. Establish your image 2. Build your network 3. Effectively manage your contactsLinkedIn Quick Facts: • More than 70 million members in over 200 countries • A new member joins approximately every second • About half of all members are outside the United States • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are members 1
  • 3. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 1011. Getting Started on LinkedIn A. Sign Up for LinkedIn Account Joining LinkedIn is free. Just go to LinkedIn.com, look for the “Join LinkedIn Today” box and enter your first and last name and email address, then choose a password. LinkedIn also offers premium versions. You can choose a Business account for $24.95 a month, a Business Plus account for $49.95 a month, an Executive account for $99.95 a month or a LinkedIn Talent Advantage account for recruiters (cost varies). Essentially, the Business, Business Plus and Executive accounts give you access to features and functions that let you send more invitations to connect, send mail through LinkedIn’s internal InMail system, conduct reference searches, and complete other networking-oriented tasks you can’t do with the free account. We suggest signing up for the free account first, then determining if you need those extra features. 2
  • 4. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101 B. Create Your LinkedIn Profile Your LinkedIn “profile” is a summary of your professional experience, interests and capabilities. LinkedIn calls it your “public face” on its business network. Your profile is what other LinkedIn members see when they search for you or when they search for keywords you use to describe yourself. You can choose to make your profile public so nonmembers can find you, or keep it private.Remember: If you make your profile public, search engines like Google will list it in relevantsearch results.You may find that your LinkedIn profile ranks first on Google when you typein your name, so be sure to take the time to create a solid one! You control what people see. To create or edit your profile, click the “Edit My Profile” tab on the LinkedIn home page. This quick overview offers your name, location, current title, past positions, education, recommendations, and links to your Websites, in summary. If you click “View My Profile,” this is what people will initially see about you. LinkedIn stresses the importance of a complete profile to maximize your networking possibilities. As you move through your profile setup, you’ll see an area where you can add a professional photo. This allows people to quickly identify you. Much like the phone book, it’s common for there to be many people with the same name. Adding a photo lets your network know it’s really you. 3
  • 5. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101 Below your name, you have the opportunity to include a headline. Many people don’t spend much time considering this part of the profile–and that’s a mistake. Much like a newspaper headline grabs the attention of its readers, your profile headline can compel connections–and potential connections–to take a few minutes to get to know you better. The goal of the headline is to help you stand out from the real estate pack.Instead of writing, “Real estate agent with 15 years of experience,” get more descriptive.Here’s a good example: “Client-driven real estate agent helping buyers in Los Angeles findtheir dream home.”With this headline, you’ve demonstrated a commitment to customerservice, and focused on the area you serve. At a glance, readers can discover your motivationand goals, whether it’s a specific neighborhood, real estate type or other niche. In the Summary section of the profile, summarize your professional experience–and your goals–so your network can get a quick glimpse of your background and interests. Think of this as an elevator pitch. This section also offers a Specialties field that lets you list your real estate niches, the neighborhoods you work or related skills. Tip: Like Facebook, you can select a “Vanity URL” for your public profile. This gives you a custom Web address you can use to promote your profile in emails, on business cards and on your blog to make it easier for people to connect with you. You can also download a code that lets you display a LinkedIn logo in your emails or Websites, which will direct individuals to your LinkedIn account. In the Experience field, share your professional experience. Much like a résumé, you offer the company, title and dates of employment. You can describe what the company does and what your responsibilities and accomplishments were. By making this as complete as possible, you open the door to more potential connections. 4
  • 6. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101Next you’ll find the Education field. List the schools you’ve attended, the dates andthe activities or societies you participated in. Listing your education is a smart way topotentially expand your network because others who attended the same schools orspecialize in the same field may want to connect with you.As its name suggests, the Additional Information field gives you the opportunity toshare more about yourself. You might list hobbies, Websites and blogs; honors andawards; groups and associations; or other information that might help you make aconnection with people.C. Manage Your Account SettingsBefore you launch out into your business networking activities on LinkedIn, it’simportant to review your account settings. You can access this area by clicking on the“Settings” tab at the top righthand corner of the home page.From the Settings page, you canchange your password and yourprimary email address associatedwith the account, make privacydecisions about who can see yourprofile and status updates, anddesignate how you receive emailnotifications when people contactyou through LinkedIn–and muchmore.Tip: If you are getting so manyemails through LinkedIn it’sdistracting you during your workday, you can choose not to be contacted via emailwith requests and questions from members. Instead, you can log in to LinkedIn andcheck your mail there. 5
  • 7. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 1012. Build Your Network A. Search for People You Know With a rock-solid professional profile, it’s time to start building your network. The easiest way to begin is to search for people you already know. You can start with friends, family, and, of course, Keller Williams associates. Also look for partners, customers, suppliers and others you do business with. You can even search for classmates from your college or university. You can search in one of several ways: Use the search function at the top right-hand corner of the LinkedIn home page. When you find someone you know, send an invitation to connect. Check the “People You May Know” box right below the search box. This will list people that LinkedIn thinks you might have some connection with based on the connections you launched your account with. Click the “Add Connections” link in the top right-hand navigation. There you’ll find a “Colleagues” tab. When you click it, it lets you check for people who have worked at the same companies you have, now or in the past. Likewise, the “Classmates” tab lets you check for classmates you may know from schools you’ve attended. Tip: Posting your LinkedIn profile on your other social networking accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, can also generate new connections. Also, add customized buttons to your blog or Website that compels your business network to hook up with you on LinkedIn, and include your LinkedIn profile on your email signature. This way, everyone you email is encouraged to invite you to join their network. 6
  • 8. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101B. Integrate Web-Mail Contacts Click the “Add Connections” link in the top right-hand navigation. This will open up a page that gives you the ability to search your email contacts from Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and AOL to find people you already know. In the “Add Connections” section, you can also enter email addresses of people you want to invite to LinkedIn in the “Enter Email Addresses” box.C. Beware of Spamming Much like going to a chamber of commerce meeting, there’s a right way and a wrong way to build your contact list. So take caution: If you send invitations to people you don’t know, they have the option to report it to LinkedIn, and you could be banned from the service for what they consider “spammy behavior.” Be sure to mention your mutual connection if you send an invitation to connect with someone you haven’t directly met. Hint: Rather than blindly inviting people you don’t know–but would like to connect with–and getting marked as a spammer, ask for an introduction with the “Get Introduced” link. This allows you to ask one of your active connections to make an introduction to one of their connections that you aren’t yet connected with. By the same token, don’t abuse LinkedIn to send unsolicited marketing messages to your contacts. This is also considered spam-like behavior. 7
  • 9. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 1014. Start Networking A. Join Groups Be sure to sign up for specific networking groups on LinkedIn. This helps you discover the most popular discussions in real estate, and you can let your voice be heard through your comments while you also see what top influencers are saying about various real estate topics. When you join a group, you can also invite members of that group to connect with you based on your mutual interests. You can search for groups in the search box on the home page or by clicking “Groups” in the navigation bar across the top.Here are some of the most popular real estate groups on LinkedIn: • Real Estate Connect – Inman News http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=59&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=. gdr_1278016224589_1 • National Association of REALTORS® http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=90005&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=. gdr_1278016224589_1 • Real Estate Open Networkers – eRealEstateSocial.com http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=97046&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=. gdr_1278016224589_1 8
  • 10. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101B. Ask and Answer QuestionsLinkedIn Answers lets you ask a question and get answers from members of yournetwork. You might ask, “Can you recommend a good title company in Boston?” Yournetwork can offer suggestions. Likewise, you can answer questions people in yournetwork ask. Answering questions is a good way to deepen relationships–and buildcredibility–in the digital networking world.Remember: If you are going to ask andanswer questions, ask insightful onesthat spark a meaningful discussion andoffer thoughtful answers that reflect yourexpertise. Asking trivial questions couldbe viewed as an annoyance, and tossingout pat answers or quick responsesdoesn’t reflect your personal brand in apositive light. This is your opportunity toshine.C. Ask For and Give RecommendationsRecommendations can set you apart from the rest of the LinkedIn populationand help you make the connections you need to drive business growth. LinkedInrecommendations are considered more pure than testimonials on your Websitebecause you can’t directly edit them. You can just accept them or decline to postthem.Log in to the LinkedIn home page and click the “Recommendations” link under the“Profile” tab. You’ll see another link that says “Request Recommendations.” This is athree-step process: • Identify the job for which you’d like a recommendation. • Choose people who would be the most appropriate to offer that recommendation. • Write notes to them explaining why you need their recommendation. 9
  • 11. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101Hint: Keep in mind that you don’t need recommendations from all of yourLinkedIn connections. The quality of your recommendations is more importantthan the quantity. LinkedIn considers your profile complete when you havethree recommendations.People always appreciategetting a strongrecommendation and itoften prompts a returnrecommendation, soconsider giving a few beforerequesting them.One strategy is to write 10recommendations every dayfor a week. You don’t have towrite a Pulitzer Prize-winningparagraph. Just a few honestsentences about your connection’s unique qualifications will do. Odds are thatif you write 50 recommendations in a week, you’ll get at least 10 or 15 inreturn–maybe more. If you do this for several weeks, you could end up withdozens of recommendations on your profile.D. Make IntroductionsLinkedIn has an “Introductions” feature that lets you contact users in yournetwork and ask for an introduction to people you’d like to be connected with.But it works both ways–you can also make introductions on behalf of others.Here’s how it works: At the top of a member’s profile is a link to “forward theprofile.” You can click that link and forward the person’s profile to one of yourconnections with a note of introduction. Alternatively, you can send a messageto both of your connections and suggest they connect with one another. 10
  • 12. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101E. Keep Your Status Up-to-DateYou’ll see a “Network Activity” box on your LinkedIn profile page. This is whereyou can share professional updates with your network. You might talk about acurrent real estate listing, a major sale, an award won, a group joined or a bit ofinformation that your connectionswould find valuable.Warning: So much of digitalnetworking means providingvalue to your connections. Don’tabuse the status box as a listingmarketing tool only–focus onproviding helpful informationabout the industry, and pepper incomments about yourself and yourlistings in creative ways.F. Connect Twitter to LinkedInLinkedIn also lets you connect your account to Twitter. When you set your statuson Twitter, it feeds your status on LinkedIn. On your “Network Activity” box–thisis where you offer status updates–you will see a Twitter symbol with a check box.Clicking through the setup process will allow you to specify which Twitter accountyou’d like to sync or display on your LinkedIn profile.Warning: Chances are you have different audiences for Twitter and LinkedIn.Think before you decide to integrate them. The good news is you choose to postLinkedIn updates to your Twitter account on a case-by-case basis instead ofautomatically sending every update as a tweet. In your Twitter settings, whichare available by clicking the Twitter logo under your status box, you can chooseto “Share only tweets that contain #in.” So when you want to share your LinkedInstatus with your Twitter followers, just end your update with #in. 11
  • 13. K E L L E R W I L L I A M S R E A LT Y P R E S E N T S : 101 G. Other Ways to Network You can get creative with networking on LinkedIn with a small-time investment. For example, you can promote your blog on LinkedIn with third-party apps. You can also create LinkedIn ad campaigns, or even launch an event. And don’t forget to install the LinkedIn smartphone app on your BlackBerry or iPhone, so you can respond more quickly to connection requests, questions and more.5.Where to Find KW on LinkedIn • LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/keller-williams-realty • Profile for Mo Anderson, vice chairman for Keller Williams Realty http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mo-anderson/6/539/79 • Profile for Jay Papasan, vice president of publishing and executive editor for Keller Williams Realty http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaypapasan • Profile for Cary Sylvester, executive director of technology for Keller Williams Realty http://www.linkedin.com/in/ carysylvester • Profile for Bryon Ellington, chief products officer for Keller Williams Realty http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryon-ellington/5/128/a5 12