Extend your networking beyond the initial connection
- Tap into your LinkedIn network, and make real connections.
- Bridge the gap between networking online and offline.
- Build and diversify your following.
Most real estate agents are on LinkedIn, but they don’t know how to use it for their real estate business. Often they are just accepting connection requests and endorsements from people they don’t even know.
Instead, agents should take advantage of the free LinkedIn platform by using it as a marketing tool.
Here are three powerful tips for networking with professionals who have the power, resources and connections to help you come in contact with the opportunities you’re looking for.
1. Say ‘hi’
It sounds crazy — the idea of actually talking to someone. However, no transaction takes place without a conversation happening first.
When you receive connection requests on LinkedIn, instead of simply denying or accepting them, shoot the sender a message. You can send a message without accepting their request.
Say, “Hi, thank you for connecting. What made you want to connect?”
This allows you to start a conversation. Some people will simply respond that they just want to build their network, but you’ll also get responses from individuals wanting to connect with you regarding your services.
2. Bridge the gap between networking online and offline
In addition to that, I suggest connecting with each person on social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. It’s a professional site that most of your colleagues are on, and it’s expected that you’d connect with them after meeting them at a conference.
Unlike your drip campaign, which only puts you in front of your audience once a month, LinkedIn markets you for free and more consistently by notifying your entire LinkedIn network of things like your birthday, your work anniversary and your newly published article or update.
This helps you stay top-of-mind with your network in case of a referral or business opportunity.
3. Build and diversify your following
Now that you’ve taken all of those business cards that were collecting dust in a pile and you’ve connected with everyone on LinkedIn, including any prospects or clients, you’ll want to make the shift to also connect with them on Facebook.
Connecting on Facebook allows others to see the more personable side of you and start to feel like they know, like and trust you.
You definitely want to friend your new connections on Facebook if you see they’re connected with other professionals in the field. This allows you to be privy to any conversation that’s relevant to your business. When you are top-of-mind, your network is able to refer you.
Make sure you are a part of the conversations and word of mouth marketing that’s taking place on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Referrals don’t just take place face-to-face anymore. Plenty of referrals and businesses are being passed online these days.
This article first appeared in www.inman.com
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