Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

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!

LogicClassroom Session 3 – Leveraging Social Media for your Business

Thank you to everyone who attended our LogicClassroom presentation last night. We discussed how and why to leverage different social media platforms for your business. Don’t worry if you missed this session – the slides are below for you to view!

Please join us for our next LogicClassroom session 2/9/10 on Search Engine Optimization 101. Please email Katrina to attend.

Where can this really go?

I saw this post on a Yahoo Group that I’m a part of. It’s amazing to me that anyone would even consider this business in 2009.

Hello to all
I am looking for some help. I’m looking for an investor or angel investor. I am looking to start a hobby store in my area. What I would be selling is. All kinds of sports cards. Video games and acssereis, (I think he meant Accessories) and lastly all kinds of coins. If there is any one that could help me. I would be very thankful for the help. If you would like to contact me, my email address is xxx@yyy.com or my phone # is 555.222.4444. if I don’t answer my phone please leave me a message. thank you for the help.

Sincerely.

Wow, this brings back memories. I was a hobbyist when I was a kid. Baseball cards were all the rage. There were coin collectors and memorabilia shops, but those are tough businesses these days. Let’s look at why.

Well, it’s obvious that the internet has changed things in big ways. eBay really killed the collectibles market. Think about it. If you wanted a rare coin and you live in the countryside, well, you’re really pretty limited in your options. So, there’s the local hobby shop or memorabilia shop. Maybe you have a book that tell the prices for things. Remember those books? They were published annually and gave you the going rate for a 1989 Gary Carter baseball card in Mint Condition. PUBLISHED YEARLY.

These days, you can go online and see the last 100 transaction where a Gary Carter baseball card changed hands. The market and the buyers in that market have MUCH more information. The result is that people know what they should pay and the margins are razor thin.ebay-logo

Now you’re thinking, ‘I’m a realtor. What’s this got to do with me?’ Remember, the buyers you’re working with have access to information. They have more than they ever did before and they can get their hands on more every day. The thing about real estate is that you work on a percentage. The guy at the office around the corner is likely charging the same rate for his services. Probably 5 or 6 percent. So, you don’t have to worry too much about eBay coming along and taking your business. In fact, you’ve been able to sell a house on eBay real estate for years and the impact on the industry has been small.

This means that to get ahead of the other real estate agents in your town, you need to capture the market. You need to get your marketing in front of more people. Then you need to provide great service. Now, we’re here to help you with the first part, Real Estate SEO is how you capture more of the market. Providing great service is your job.

You should also realize that the buyer can find out a lot about homes and they can find out a lot about you! They can look you up on LinkedIn and Facebook. They can Google your name and your real estate firm’s name. You need to have your Social Media profile in order, just in case someone goes out looking for you. Luckily we wrote a post about this a while back. Check out how to do social media right.

Lastly, realize that we’re not going into hobby shops any more. We’re shopping on the internet. We’re searching on Google and letting our fingers do the walking. The Real Estate search starts on the web. Realtors come second. Yes, it’s true. The first thing they’re going to know about you is that they found your site and it was helpful! If your site isn’t findable then you need to do some real estate SEO work NOW. If, when they find your site, they’re leaving or not signing up, that’s an issue of design. We can help there too.

Thanks for reading.

It happens in real life and on the web

Lots of folks wonder why the search engines have written their algorithms in certain ways? Folks ask us how and why social media is going to help them build their brand and generate new business? The high level answer to much of this is that most of this actually parallels a real life situation. The analogs are quite stark. In this post, we’ll examine a few of them.450px-orange_question_marksvg

In the SEO realm, there are lots of factors that affect ranking. Many of them actually digital analogs to the pieces of evidence that we all look for when evaluating the quality of a potential service provider.

URL Age
Do you want to hire the guy who’s been in the business for 6 months of 10 years? I think the answer is simple. All other things being equal, the search engines are going to rank the site that’s been around longer higher.

Links
Well, as we know, quantity of links is not as important as the  QUALITY of those links. That said, a link is like a vote. The more votes you have, the better off you are. Still, people tried to exploit this and just get as many links as possible. So, not all votes are created equal. i.e….

Link Qualitygood-links
If you wanted to buy a new car, would you take a survey of your friends? Or might you go to your 1 friend who really knows a lot about cars and ask for their expert opinion. Most of us would go straight to that friend. To us, they are the authority on automobiles and their “vote” is more valuable than 10 votes from friends who don’t know anything about cars.

Google uses some sophisticated analysis to determine which sites are authorities. If there’s a website about BMWs and on that site there are links to another site about BWMs, then that other site about BWMs will rank well for the term BWM. The Search engines also look at the text in the link itself. If the link reads Ford Cars, then the search engines conclude that this link points to a page about Ford Cars. Similarly, if the link reads BMW, it’s like the originating site, where the link resides, is voting for the other site in the search results for the term BMW.

New Contentquil
Search engines want to see new, unique content. Why, well, which report do you trust: A report about the best cars on the road from 2004 or a report on the best cars on the road from 2009? Similarly, 2 reports about the best Realtors in the neighborhood might give me the same ranking order, but one might give me more detail as to why someone is ranked at the top of the list. Most of us would like to see the supporting details. So would the search engines.

Unique Content
If all you do is republish everyone else’s content, then why should I ever visit your site? Republishing content, with today’s technology, is relatively easy. If anyone can do it, then many sites will republish the same old content. Why would Google want to send you to one of those unoriginal sites over another. Instead, they’re going to send you to the site with the most unique content and with the most recent posts on it.

Social Media Profiles
Smart consumers do their research. We want to know more about a real estate agent than where they work and what their sales performance looks like. These days, it’s not that hard to look someone up and check them out. Make sure that what they’re going to find looks good. Update your Linked-In profile and your Facebook page. If you are trying to sell the clients on your use of technology, then you better have a Twitter account and your tweets should be relatively current. Google your name and see what comes up. If it’s not flattering, you’re liable to lose a client as a result of the fastest background check in the world.

Social Media Connections
Are you a networker? Do you gain much of your real estate business by relationship and referral? Lots of us do. Social media is an analog to what you’re doing already. Thing is, you can network in your jammies on a Sunday morning. Get connected, remind people you exist and what you do,  and don’t forget to make it personal. Have a real interaction with them. Don’t just friend them or follow them or link to them, ask them how they’re doing and if there’s anything you can do for them. They may just have a job for you.

BLOG!rss
This one is maybe the most powerful. When you blog and give people insight, they immediately begin to see you as the expert. The more you blog and the more you educate your readers, the more you will position yourself as the expert. If you blog about real estate, when it comes time to buy, the customers will come to you for help in buying their new home.

To boot, blogging means generating more new content. As I said above, more content means better search engine ranking. Blogging is essential to good SEO…Just one of the many benefits.

Thanks for reading our blog. Have a good weekend.

Social Media for Real Estate

If you are in the real estate business and you are involved or are thinking of being involved in social media, you’ve come to the right place. You may have found yourself thinking that with so much new stuff out there, which sites are the right ones for you?  Should you join Facebook? How about LinkedIn? How much good does a Trulia profile do? And what the heck is Twitter?

Social media is a great way to optimize an online marketing campaign, for sure. Though I advise you to tread with caution. It’s not for everyone. Meaning that if you are involved in real estate seo, have a well functioning website and blog, then yes, social media is a great next step and something that you should take advantage of. However, if you either (a) do not have a website with good usabilitly, and (b) are not committed to being involved online, then social media is not for you. Here’s why: Social media is not just some profile you create so people can stumble across your name. No. Social media should involve you actively engaging with your readers, fans, friends and followers.

One of the most important aspects, besides engagement, is listening. You need to pay attention to what people are saying online. Whether it’s through direct communication or setting up something like Google alerts and responding in turn, you need to listen and respond appropriately.

Social media groups for real estate:

  • Facebook: You can create a facebook profile for every agent. Each should manage their own because it would be too much for one person to manage. Create one Facebook “Fan Page” for your business, to which you can upload blog posts (your own and those worth sharing), you can share links, invite friends etc. Facebook provides a very detailed and useful help section if you need guidance on setting up accounts. Take a look at existing real estate pages for an example and take the best practices from each.
  • Twitter: You may have heard it referred to as a “microblog”, and what you write is referred to as “Tweet”. Oprah even joined Twitter…but that doesn’t mean that you have to be on there too, nor that your readers are part of her followers. However, Twitter offers a great opportunity for realtors to listen to what home buyers, sellers and renters may be looking for or need. If you search the term real estate, house, or apartment via www.search.twitter.com you can see all the things that people have to say. Follow those people in your market and respond by offering advice, resources, tips etc. It will go a long way.Tip: please be sure to post a photo and write a brief, professional bio. Most won’t follow you if you don’t have one.
  • YouTube: You don’t have to be Susan Boyle to become an internet sensation, but as a realtor it’s really easy to pick up a camera and shoot a video of your open house, a neighborhood, or a walk-through and then post that video on your site, youtube, and/or vimeo, and others of the sorts.
  • Flickr or Picasa: Very similar to posting online videos, I encourage you to create an account for your agency and post photos of homes or at least your featured homes.
  • LinkedIn: Another online networking community. How’s it different? LinkedIn is much more professional than, say, Facebook. You can only post your employment background and up to 3 links. What’s great about this group is that you can make a direct connect with your blog through their applications, and you can join additional real estate related groups. This way, each time you write a blog post worth sharing or you have other exciting news, you can share that information with those groups that you joined.
  • Trulia: Like Zillow and Zip Realty, Trulia is already one of the most widely used real estate resources online. So why not go where you know your audience is? You should sign up for a free account. Create your profile and all that jazz, and recycle your old blog posts here (liven them up with some new content etc) and re-post those article through your Trulia blog.
  • Other real estate sites include hubpages.com, squidoo.com, and activerain.com. Whenever possible also join local groups through either your local paper, community centers, chamber of commerce etc.

Within these social groups it’s important to remember that you should create and complete your profiles to show that you are there for the long run. No one will care what you have to say if you only show up and leave a message once a month. Instead you should engage your readers, follow your fans, and listen to what people have to say.

Social media like all relationships requires time to build, consistency and an ongoing effort. You don’t have to tackle all of these sites at once, take a stab at what you can handle, distribute some work throughout your team, and build up from there when ready.

Like its sibling, real estate SEO, social media will (in due time) help drive quality traffic and ultimately increase quality leads to your site. The great thing about social media is that people will only follow you or engage with you if they are truly interested, so that means that those who engage are already a good lead. You’ll be amazed by what you learn, and you’ll be even more amazed when you see how much traffic these sites will bring over time.

Are there any groups that I missed that you would suggest? What groups are you currently involved in? What have been some suprising things you’ve learned?

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