LinkedIn as Resource Not Resume
By Adam Gower Ph.D.
You can never get a second chance at a first impression. If you’re looking for high net worth investors, or even non-accredited investors, use your LinkedIn profile to give a great first impression – and not as a resume (unless you’re looking for a job!)
Why Prospect for Investors on LinkedIn?
You can find prospects everywhere online. Why LinkedIn? Here’s why:
- LinkedIn Is Safer
If you’re using social media networks to connect with family members, friends, business partners, prospects, and investors at the same time, you might accidentally create a problem. You may share something on Facebook that’s not appropriate for all your social circles. Keep your business connections on LinkedIn so you can control the flow of content they’re seeing from you.
- LinkedIn Aligns Well with Best Business Practices
The way LinkedIn works is more similar to real business practices than other social networks. You find people through referrals, being part of communities, and through engagement. That’s how we raise capital in person, and it doesn’t change on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn Doesn’t Change as Often
While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms regularly go through total transformations, LinkedIn is generally more stable. It gets updated and new features are added, but changes are not rapid and do not happen constantly. The consistency makes it better for business.
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Crafting the Ideal LinkedIn Profile
If you’re going to focus on LinkedIn as the social network for making investor connections, you have to set yourself up for success. It all starts with your profile. Your LinkedIn profile is almost the online equivalent of ‘going for lunch’ with any new professional connection, especially with a prospective investor.
Normally, if you invite an investor for lunch, they’ll spend most of that meeting sizing you up based on how you present yourself and what you have to say. While you may not get an investment secured at that meeting, you can make a good first impression and help them understand who you are, what you’re offering, and why they should care.
Bob Burg’s so-called Golden Rule of Networking says:
“All things being equal, people will do business with and
refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”
Your job when making your LinkedIn profile is to create something effective that you wouldn’t mind being presented with. Help your target audience to know, like, and trust you. Here’s how you do that.
Focus Above the Fold
There are 3 parts of a LinkedIn profile that stand out first. They appear at the top of the phone, tablet, or computer screen before anything else becomes visible. These are:
- the profile picture,
- background image, and,
- professional headline.
With these 3 pieces, you need to craft an impression enough to make the viewer decide to keep reading. Give them a reason to find you credible and interesting enough for a full profile review. If your above the fold content is plain and boring, you may lose a lot of prospects there.
Profile pictures should be clean, friendly, and presentable without offensive content. The background image is the one that needs more attention. Use this space as ‘digital real estate’ to show off what you’re working on currently, awards you’ve received, or anything else of note about you and your work.
If you can’t make graphics well yourself, you can recruit some help to make something that looks polished and conveys the message you want to send. Generic background images won’t inspire the right kind of action. Don’t waste your valuable first impression.
Lastly is your professional headline. Contrary to what LinkedIn suggests, you shouldn’t just put your professional title in that spot. Use it as a 120-character introduction to what you do and your value proposition.
Add the Substance
Your LinkedIn profile is not your resume. If you just throw your resume on the site, you’re wasting a big opportunity to tell people things that actually matter about you. No one wants to read your resume unless you’re submitting it with a job application. Turn your LinkedIn from a resume to a resource for investors.
Spend time crafting a summary that really sells your goal. Use the summary space to tell your target audience why they should be listening to you. If you’re looking for investors, teach them something that presents the opportunity you are offering in an appealing, educational way that provides value.
You may also consider adding marketing materials or thought leadership articles you have written, in whatever forms of media you have produced it in this section to grab attention. Edit your investor presentation materials like slideshows or PDFs to remove information that shouldn’t be broadcast publicly, then post them to your profile as an additional resource.
All the other sections in your profile should follow suit. Nothing should just be copied and pasted from your resume. Take the time to fill out your profile with valuable information that helps the reader understand your investment philosophy by providing content about real estate investment that is useful and tailored specifically to your own, unique approach.
Using your LinkedIn profile as a valuable resource that new connections can use to further their own real estate investment journey represents an extraordinary opportunity to connect. Don’t waste the opportunity to get your message across to potential investors.
Copyright 2018 - ADAM GOWER PH.D. - All Rights Reserved
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