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8 Types of People to Connect With on LinkedIn

Chances are that when you first joined, only a few people in your “circle” were on LinkedIn- but it’s popularity has steadily increased creeping towards the popularity of Facebook. It’s become a pretty user-friendly interface with options to import your contacts and integrate your social media profiles as much (or as little) as you want. So if you haven’t done so already, take a morning off the Social Network to sync your circle with LinkedIn.

Two things to keep in mind before taking the plunge…

BE SELECTIVE with your professional network. Take the time to go through all your contacts before inviting them to connect. Don’t import people from your various accounts that may be detrimental to your image; like business ventures that didn’t go well, or that ex of yours you don’t talk to anymore, or that person from high school that posts inappropriate anecdotes to his Twitter Feed (which he has syndicated with LinkedIn). Your connections reflect upon who you are. While LinkedIn is becoming more ‘socialized’- leave the merely social to Facebook and be selective of your ‘professional network’.

BE CREATIVE with your network, too. Think outside the box! Your LinkedIn NetworReading List on LinkedIn Profilek should be a lot more than just the people you worked with at the last few jobs. Fill out your Reading List (by Amazon), join interesting Groups, write a unique Summary (with some of your resume keywords of course), and add impactful Experiences outside of your career track.

Here’s some suggestions to start widening your circle:

1. Teachers. Find and connect with teachers you had good relationships with in  school. Or, if you’re still in school- get it while it’s hot! It’s a great place to start with asking for Recommendations if you haven’t yet entered the workforce full time.

2. Fellow Students. If you had group projects, or were in a cooperative setting, having a classmate or two vouch that you’re a team player who can meet or beat expectations is something prospective employers will notice.

3. Successful Friends and Relatives (i.e. your “mentors”)- there’s a ‘friends’ option to request a connection on LinkedIn for a reason. It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in or what kind of job of they have- it’s always good to be connected to people with lots of connections! The six degrees of LinkedIn separation never cease to impress me. Oh, and the, “I saw on LinkedIn that you know so-and-so” makes for great office chit-chat or an ice-breaker on an interview!

4. Clients. Request a recommendation for your work on their accounts now, while it’s fresh in their mind and you’re fresh in theirs! Your company might even use it as a testimonial & it certainly reflects well on them too. It will also be a nice accumulation of recommendations over time naturally, instead of a mad-rush if you’re unemployed later.

5. Your ‘Freebies’. This is especially important for consultants, and often overlooked! Make sure to connect with the people you give your advice, support and/or guidance to (i.e. your “mentees”). Maybe it’s a local diner you love, or a charity group you volunteer for- whomever benefits from your knowledge (or simple ambition to be a good person) can repay the favor ten-fold with a recommendation on LinkedIn!

6. Co-workers. It doesn’t need to be an obvious swap- but pay attention to who you enjoy working with and why, and start giving recommendations. Link Karma will surely come your way.

7. Subcontractors, Vendors, Partnerships. If your company hired another company to do work, and you coordinated frequently with someone on their team, send them a ‘connect’ request! Provide or request a referral from them, depending what the relationship was. You never know when your NEW boss will ask you if you know someone that does ______; and it would be nice to say ‘Yes, I’ll email them now’.

8. People You Don’t Know…Yet. Under your profile Settings, set your privacy controls to be open. It’s beneficial to let anyone and everyone  browse and find you- you never know who might be looking. Also, be sure to carefully indicate who can contact you for what (i.e. reconnecting, business opportunities, consulting, job offers, etc.)- there is an unspoken rule of the acceptance of these intentions.

** Helpful Tip **

A lot of people aren’t sure what to write in their recommendation, even though they enjoyed working with you and are happy to give you one.  Maybe writing is just not their thing, so help them out. Instead of just sending the auto request, give them tips on what to write by saying things like:

“I was hoping you could write a recommendation for me based on the work I did for you on xyz project, particularly about ________ and how we handled ____________.”

OR, if your relationship is more casual, feel free to provide them with a list of bullet points to touch on (i.e. punctuality, organization, creativity, plays well with others, etc.)

Take a little time to get creative and connect. Continuously building your online reputation will establish you as a leader in your space, and as someone who is passionate about who you are and what you do. Chances are you will strengthen your current relationships and job prospects for the future, too.

Is there a group of people to connect with that I’m forgetting? Add them to the comments below!

QR Codes for Real Estate

With the increasing use of “instant” devices, it’s no surprise that yet another tool in line with IMs and texting has emerged. This new tool is the “Quick Response”, or QR code. We recently had a client incorporate QR codes into their listings on their real estate website design, and we wanted to write up a quick post on what exactly QR codes are, and how they can be applied to real estate marketing.

How do QR codes work? Currently, a person with a cellphone with QR enabled code-reader software can take a picture of a QR code on their phone, and will be taken to the website for that QR code. Pretty cool, huh?

In order to benefit from the codes, the target customer must have a web-enabled phone: a trend that is becoming more common and continues to increase as time passes. Then the user can take a picture of the QR code, and be brought to the specific cellphone-optimized web page that the company’s web marketer wants them to see. These codes can also be anywhere – they are in print ads, brochures, outdoor advertising, etc.

For a retail example, Ralph Lauren is using QR codes to direct their buyers to a website for taking clothing orders directly from their phones. That’s great, but how can we use this tool in real estate?

There’s actually some innovative marketing going on in the real estate field. One example is having QR Code Lawn Signs, which not only has a very high “cool factor”, but also give the potential lead easy access to a real estate website with color photos and full detail listing information. You also do not have to have the sign at the home for sale: you could place to code anywhere, such as in at a local home show or open house – and your website listing will get traffic .Remember, you can also have a code for your personal website as well by placing it in your advertisements or business cards.

So let’s put on our real estate internet marketing caps and think about the business potential.  The number of users that will have phones capable of using the codes will jump dramatically in the next year or so, and many businesses could see more targeted traffic to custom listing sites from the QR codes. Start to consider now whether creating a QR code plan would work best for you, your business, and your potentials.

Are you one of the lucky ones?

Maybe you’re one of the lucky Real Estate agents? Maybe you’re the top producer in your office, the name on the sign outside, the envy of the rest of your peers. Well, and may not.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but most of us are not the top producer in the office. There’s only one of those. In the US, there are 10 agents in the average real estate office. That means that 9 out of 10 agents aren’t the top producing agent. That’s OK. This post is for the 9 of you.

If you’ve been in the business for less than 3 years, if you’re having a slow winter, if you had a slow ’08, then you don’t spend your whole day selling real estate. In fact, in this market, you might spend very little of your time actually selling property or working with home buyers. Your job, for a large part of your day, is to find clients.

If you’re really new to the real estate biz, then your full time job is to find clients, generate leads, learn, and cultivate your own brand. Some day, if you do this diligently and well, you’ll spend very little time looking for your next client.

I want you to know that Real Estate SEO is a fantastic investment of your time and money during this period when you have some time on your hands. If you work at achieving search engine placement now, and you have a quality website, then the leads will come. To quote a classic, if you build it, they will come. It’s true in Real Estate SEO, and you never know, old baseball players may come and visit you.

Anyway, let’s assume you’re one of the 9 real estate agents in the office that is not the top producer and let’s assume that you spend less time with buyers and sellers these days than you used to. You’re looking for a way to spend your time which will ad value to your business and help find you clients. Here are some things you can do:

  • Start a real estate blog and post several times a week about your local market
  • Create market reports on a monthly basis, post these on your blog and send them to your past and potential clients
  • Create pages on twitter, facebook, and Linked-In and link your blog to those pages
  • Make a goal of having 500 people following your business on Twitter.
  • When you get to 500, set a new goal at 2000.
  • Set a goal of having 500 fans for your Facebook page about your business
  • Make sure you write a monthly newsletter.
  • Set a goal of having 1000 subscribers.
  • Make sure there’s a link to subscribe to your your email newsletter on your Twitter page, Facebook page, website, Link-In profile, and everywhere else you can put one.
  • Add social bookmarking links to the pages of your site and the pages of your blog.

These are just a start. There’s a lot more you can do, but let’s talk about the effects you will see:

Many of these tasks will boost your search engine placement. This will, of course, help you generate leads, grow your email list, and engage perspective buyers and sellers. As you grow your email list, each blog post, market report, and newsletter will require the same work, but be more effective since it will be received by more people. The folks who follow you on twitter will be notified when you post on your blog. This will generate traffic for your site.

The more folks who are your fans, follow you on twitter, or on other social sites, the more traffic your site will see. Many of these are link building tasks. They will help boost your referral traffic and your search engine placement. I could go on. Suffices to say that your real estate seo campaign and your overall online marketing campaign will improve. These are not hard tasks, they just take time.

But let’s be honest, right now, you might have some time on your hands.

If you need help with any of this, just let us know. We’re happy to provide guidance and assistance.

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