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.
If you have only just started in real estate development, have completed no deals, have no email list, but know you want the freedom and wealth being a real estate developer brings, then I suggest your first step is to start evaluating deals so you can recognize a good one when you see it.
Here’s where you should start. You’ll learn everything you need to know – the different types of real estate, different development strategies, how real estate cycles influence the market, and all about due diligence.
If you want to find deals and raise money for them so you can start your real estate development business, then learning how to conduct due diligence so you can pitch your deals better to investors is a great place to start.
If you’ve already purchased one or more real estate project and are seeing more opportunities than you can finance, then now is the time to start building your investor network so you can finance all your next deals quicker.
You’ve already got some momentum; now start finding and educating prospects about what you’re doing so you can build an email list of people to pitch to when you’re ready to raise money for your next deal.
This is what we build for private clients all the time – it’s called the Investor Acquisition System and you can access the entire program right here so you can find prospects, and convert them into being deep pocketed, repeat investors in your deals.
If you are a seasoned pro with multi-cycle experience, a substantial portfolio, a decent deal pipeline, and find yourself spending too much time raising equity capital because you’re still doing it in-person, then it’s time you put technology to work for you.
The wonderful thing about doing this is that you’re not going to be doing anything different than you’re already doing and, guess what, you’ll never have to sit through investor meetings again.
Sounds crazy I know, but I lay the whole thing out for you in this white board workshop where I personally show you exactly what it takes for you to transform your equity raising into a fully automated, capital raising machine so you can find new investors while increasing commitments from your existing network.