Are you getting dozens of invitations from prospects to connect on LinkedIn on autopilot everyday? Is your pipeline filled with leads as a result of these new connections?
Real estate agents tell me LinkedIn is either a waste of time or they’ve never received a single referral from their network. If you are not getting any benefit from LinkedIn it’s not your fault.
If you’re like most real estate agents, instead of dominating LinkedIn, you may find yourself asking these questions…
Even though LinkedIn is the de facto site for professional networking, and the hottest topic of conversation in the business world today, it remains the most misunderstood and enigmatic of most networking sites.
If you’ve wondered how to tap into the power of LinkedIn and turn it into an automated lead machine, like I’m doing, you’re in the right place. Keep reading because there are answers here for you.
Build a Gigantic Digital Farm Quickly for Peanuts
When you joined LinkedIn you followed their steps for getting started, probably uploading your contacts and sending invitations to connect. People accepted your invitation but then all the momentum stopped because nobody was trained on how to network online.
If you’re like me, I learned how to network the ole fashion way.
I attended networking events, shook hands with strangers, exchanged business cards and we shared information on how we could help each other. Today, LinkedIn and other social networks have replaced networking events so you’re expected to figure out how to do it electronically.
I was frustrated with LinkedIn too (for many years), until I learned how to make it work for me. By implementing a smarter strategy I’ve been able to turn LinkedIn into an automated lead machine.
Instead using LinkedIn for networking, because nobody does any networking anyway, I’m achieving results by taking a different approach and it’s one you should follow too.
In just 21 days, more than 600 real estate agents previewed my LinkedIn profile.
This spike in previews pushed my profile to #1.
And over 140 Realtors sent invitations requesting to connect with me.
Starting from scratch, now I have an instant database for marketing. And this is just the beginning….
There are 2 critical things happening. First, I’m building a list with 100% accurate email addresses and secondly, since these Realtors sent me the invitation to connect, they’re highly responsive.
After sending just the first email, the open rate is an astonishing 46%.
As these new connections learn about me, cherry-picking relationships becomes a cinch and it cost merely peanuts. Compared to other options for building your list, like advertising, this has been the most economical.
Why Most Real Estate Agents Fail
It’s obvious that most agents fail because they don’t close enough sales, but what isn’t so obvious is how doing just one thing could have prevented failure.
Wouldn’t you agree that the bigger your network the better chances you have for success? It’s why the highest priority in your real estate business is to constantly grow your audience. Your audience is made up of targeted prospects who can either become your client, refer future clients or be an influencer.
The best method, based on efficiency, cost and effectiveness, is to build an email list of your audience so you can build trust and generate leads from it.
Why LinkedIn Should Be Your Best Friend
LinkedIn holds the keys to your kingdom because you can make friends quicker and cheaper than other social networks, including Facebook. An important difference between LinkedIn and Facebook is that when people are logged into LinkedIn they’re in a business mindset, opposed to when they login to Facebook, where they want to be entertained. A big difference when your primary aim is to connect with targeted prospects!
It’s possible to turn LinkedIn into an automated machine and when you do:
- Connections occur on autopilot
- You expand your sphere of influence at a rapid rate
- You build an instant and 100% accurate email list
- You can start valuable relationships so you collect more leads
The reason why you are facing difficulty in fully unlocking LinkedIn’s potential is because:
- You don’t know how to connect with your targeted audience consistently
- Your profile doesn’t inspire someone to want to connect with you
- Nothing happens after you connect with someone
Often, it takes time for results to show and become prominent. This forces you into thinking that nothing happens after you connect with someone, leading you to think LinkedIn is a waste of time. This belief could be costing you dearly because you can see what I achieved in just 21 days.
It Starts with a Great Profile
If your profile isn’t attractive then you can’t expect people to send an invitation to connect. This is important because when you make a connection you inherit the most important information hidden in their profile you’ll discover momentarily.
Originally, LinkedIn was created for job seekers so it made sense to post your resume. This is where you need a paradigm shift. Unless you’re searching for a J-O-B, you need to make your profile so it’s customer centric.
People don’t care about your work history. They only care if what you can do helps them solve a problem they can’t overcome so you use your profile to showcase your sleuthing ability.
Let’s break down a profile so you can see step-by-step the changes you want to implement. It’s simple and quick. You can make these changes within an hour.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization
What’s the first thing you notice when viewing someone’s profile?
It’s their picture, isn’t it?
A picture is worth a thousand words, but what does your picture say?
There’s no such thing as being neutral in marketing so your image is either helping or hurting you.
Go into your LinkedIn connections (address book) and scroll through all of them. If your address book is similar to mine then you’ll see nothing but professional headshots, but none really stick out, right?
Sure, you could make a funny face or wear something audacious, but it’s not how you really want to stand out. This is where the role of media can make a difference. See how I’ve added media logos to my profile image below.
The media logos draw attention so my image stands out and there’s a perception of instant credibility.
Real estate agents waste valuable time and money chasing leads or sending mailers that don’t produce results because they haven’t learned how to use marketing to shape perception first. When you shape perception of your expertise than you find it easy to get people doing business with you.
Your LinkedIn profile is like a brochure and can be the first opportunity to shape their perception of you, explain how you’re different and add value.
Using media is an excellent way to showcase your authority. And it’s easy too. Just get quoted by publishing a press release to local news sites and you can take advantage of this shortcut.
This is what appears after your name and is the most valuable real estate on your profile. After your image, it’s the next opportunity to influence someone to view your profile.
What does your headline say now? Is it your job title? How does that help you stand out? Isn’t your goal to differentiate from competitors? You can’t stand out if everyone says the same thing, wouldn’t you agree?
Since hundreds of real estate agents are connected to my profile, I get a healthy dose of how poorly they understand how to differentiate. Take a look at this snapshot and notice how everyone’s headline is nearly the same. Unless a targeted prospect knows you personally, they’re not inspired to view your profile.
If you want to get noticed you have to stand out. To stand out, you have to differentiate. The most common mistake I see among real estate agents is that they try to be all things to all people. Your job is to decide what you stand for and how it helps your targeted audience solve difficult problems they cannot overcome. When this is achieved, you become more attractive like a magnet.
Secondly, how do you help people get what they want? Zig Ziglar said if you help enough people get what they want then you’ll get what you want.
For instance, let’s assume you implement what you’re learning from this lesson on LinkedIn. You’ve just developed a valuable skill that your audience would want to learn too. They are probably just as frustrated and would really appreciate knowing how to turn LinkedIn into a lead machine.
So you can position your headline to reflect this problem:
This is just an example, but are you seeing the first step in making your profile more attractive? Are you understanding what it means to stand out so you’re head and shoulders above competitors?
The mistake you want to avoid is to connect with just anyone on LinkedIn for the sake of it. Strategically, every new connection should be someone who can become a client, refer future clients or be an influencer.
Let me share another example.
LinkedIn can be very powerful because you can target people by location. This means you can accelerate the growth of your digital farm and become an influencer. An influencer means you are a respected member of your community and people pay attention to what you say about it. Every real estate agent should be working to become an influencer because it gives you stature and it’s how you can establish yourself as the go-to real estate agent.
Here are headline examples based on location:
When your network explodes with localized connections you’re actually building your digital farm and if you have an effective lead funnel for generating leads you can quickly fill your pipeline.
This is one way how real estate agents can use my lead capture software to turn LinkedIn into an instant lead machine and get new listings.
If your headline is compelling enough then people will look at your profile and your summary becomes the next critical part. The goal of your summary is to get people to take action by sending an invitation to connect.
The majority of people who view your profile will not scroll past the summary so it’s important to give them instructions in the first sentence. For someone to connect with you on LinkedIn they need your email address so they can send the invitation.
It could be a simple as:
The rest of your summary focuses on the problem(s) you help others solve. If your goal is to build a digital farm and become an influencer then you can explain how you help members of your targeted audience get more out of LinkedIn.
Here are the steps for formulating a short paragraph that can follow your instructions for connecting:
Most likely your work history is just that – work history, but nobody cares about it. If you want your profile to become customer-facing then this is where you pivot. Instead of work history, you use descriptions to promote your skills or expertise.
In my profile, I use each of my products as a description. The description describes the problem or the benefits and a call-to-action.
Too often, real estate agents say they deliver “great service”. Here’s your chance to break down and describe what is great service so if a targeted prospect is scrolling through your descriptions they’re getting a healthy dose of what it means to be your client.
For instance, if selling properties on quick turnaround time is one of your specialties then this could be one of your descriptions.
You replace the job title with an attractive headline. The headline should be either benefit or problem driven.
Add a short description that is a continuation of the headline…
Finally, include a call-to-action, but don’t make this mistake. Most real estate agents place their phone number and tell people to call. It’s not going to make your phone ring.
If you’re a total stranger and the prospect doesn’t already know you personally then they’re not going to call you because it’s like walking into the lion’s den.
You could repeat the same call-to-action you placed in your summary so you continue nudging them to send an invitation to connect or you could try variations and if you use a link shortener, like goo.gl, then you could measure which call-to-action is most effective and move it into your summary.
However, there are situations where the best call-to-action moves people into a funnel so you can capture leads faster, especially if listings are critical to your business plan.
So this is how the entire description put together can appear:
Here’s another mistake to avoid.
Do not try and send people to your real estate site for home valuations because it won’t work. Again, it’s like walking into the lion’s den and people won’t fill out the form on your site. You need to use a 3rd party option so the home valuation site appears neutral.
If you don’t have one, you can get a free 14 day trial here
By the way, I chuckle when I hear real estate agents who either say home valuation leads are worthless or they tried it and didn’t work.
If listings are a primary focus then these can be the best leads you can capture. But if you’ve tried and it didn’t work, it’s not your fault. In many cases, it’s because you’re weren’t provided the right training or didn’t use the right type of lead capture site.
If you don’t believe me then watch how a real estate agent signed 14 new listings in just 6 weeks.
How the Magic Happens
When someone views your profile on LinkedIn, what do you do? You, in turn, view their profile, don’t you? It’s this sneaky little trick that gets people sending invitations to you on autopilot.
When someone views your profile it triggers a notification. People are always curious to know who is looking at their profile so it’s how you get them to check out your profile. If your image is attractive (and I don’t mean your good looks) and your headline is compelling then they’ll view your profile and read your summary, where your call-to-action leads them to sending an invitation to connect.
To get the process started you just need to start viewing the profiles of your targeted audience who are at least a 2nd Connection and watch what happens. It’s how I get hundreds of profile views every week. From those Realtors viewing my profile, I get invitations automatically to connect.
A 2nd Connection means that they share at least one level connection with you. Each time you add a new 1st Connection then you gain more 2nd Connections so it may be slower in the beginning but as you get more 1st Connections than your reach expands.
The general ratio is that out of 100 profile views 10 – 15 will look back and view your profile, but it all depends on how well your profile has been optimized and who you are targeting.
If you’re getting prospects viewing your profile but you are not getting any invitations then the problem you need to fix is your profile. Think of your profile as a brochure. Is it attractive? Is it compelling? Does it offer real value?
Here’s something else you need to know.
The type of LinkedIn account you have determines how many profiles you can view. I upgraded my profile to their premium service so I can view up to 800 profiles daily. This speeds up the process and is well worth the $60 monthly service I spend on LinkedIn. If you’re already using the premium service then this will make your dollars spent even better!
If you’re not using the premium service, you can try it free for 30 days and then decide if you want to continue. This is a great way to test if this method can work for you.
When you connect with people on LinkedIn what happens next? For many, it’s usually nothing because nobody is trained on how to network online or they commit the horrible sin of immediately selling.
Just because you connect with a prospect doesn’t mean they want to suddenly hear your “greatness” at selling real estate. They’ll ignore you if they smell baited breath.
After someone connects with you then your first step should be to extend an olive branch. Show you’re interested in becoming friends (professional acquaintances). Ask questions that will draw them into conversation. Engagement is the critical component to starting a relationship.
Your message should begin with acknowledging your appreciation for connecting and it acts as a subtle reminder that they sent you an invitation to connect.
Next, extend an olive branch. A peace offering is always a quick way for establishing friendly relations, right?
And finally, you want to end your message with a simple question.
The ideal question should tie together the problem you promote in your LinkedIn profile because it may be the reason they sent the invitation. You can use your newfound skill to help them learn how to turn LinkedIn into an automated lead machine too!
Make it super simple and easy so it doesn’t require them to overthink your request.
I suggest you use direct messaging from inside your LinkedIn account until you’ve mastered a question that gets the highest engagement and then you can automate the messaging process using an autoresponder, like MailChimp, GetResponse, Aweber, etc.
Activity Leads to Productivity
If you’re a natural at networking then this process is made for you, but if you’re not, it’s OK because the process is helping you connect with more people in a week then you’re probably reaching within months.
Once you’ve add a few dozen connections you may consider organizing your own networking group that meets weekly or monthly to stimulate referral opportunities.
If you’re connecting with business owners you should consider putting together a package they can include in their corporate benefits to offer employees and then follow up by attending staff meetings to promote it.
As your network grows and you meet other influencers who target a similar audience you could hold webinar, seminars, conference calls or live events together.
Your success depends on your creativity and how you help people get what they want so you get what you want!