While LinkedIn has been around for several years, it may not be the first social media platform you think about for helping grow your agency. Today we’re sharing LinkedIn tips for insurance agents and brokers that you can leverage the platform to boost leads and expand your network.
LinkedIn, like all social media platforms, is all about engagement. Yes, you need a profile and a photo, but beyond that, the key is to focus your time and energy on following and engaging with others’ posts.
Follow businesses in your community, your local chamber of commerce and other business groups. Then interact with posts by liking and commenting. As you start to more regularly engage with posts, you’ll naturally start to grow your network and brand.
Don’t be shy about adding someone to your connections. Best practice is to include a note. You could say something like, “I see you’re a small business in the area, I’d love to stay connected.” It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be authentic.
Bonus points for finding ways to be of service to your connections without pushing your business. Focus on authentic connections.
What not to do
A huge call-out here is to be respectful of your new connections. After they agree to connect, the very last thing you should do is send them a pitch. Instead, wait. Interact with their posts, get to know them through their activity. And if possible, don’t pitch them on the platform.
Use your connections’ information and pitch them the old-fashioned way, through calling, visiting their business or email. No one enjoys being pitched to on LinkedIn and it’s become overrun with requests so stand out and be patient. Using LinkedIn is more about building relationships and making new connections than actively making pitches.
You can find prospects on LinkedIn. By now, you should have reached out to businesses in your community and organically grown connections from the people you follow.
You can also use the Advanced Search function to search by industry, job function, school, geographic location and other categories. If you’re looking to connect with a specific business, you can also search through your current contacts and check out the right-hand side of your page to view featured information on how you are already connected to that organization; you can then use those connections to gather information or get an introduction.
Joining groups for networking is also great for finding new connections. You can join groups according to industry, region or niche market. Additionally, you can find local community, special interest and professional groups to join. When you join a group, share your expertise and offer helpful content in posts and articles. This way you can build your reputation and get noticed. You can also look through the members of the group to find people you might want to connect with.
Following up quickly and personally will strengthen your networking efforts and reinforce in-person connections. Here’s how:
- When making contacts on the phone or for in-person networking, follow up as soon as possible by adding your contacts on LinkedIn to move the relationship forward. Keep the conversation going and remain fresh in their minds by sending an article that is related to a topic of conversation or relevant to their industry. You want to firm up your personal connection and offer them something of value so they remember you in a positive way.
- Use LinkedIn to get more information on a prospect before meeting. Look over prospects’ LinkedIn profiles to learn about them before you meet or call them so you can personalize the conversation. Perhaps you are both members of the same group, or maybe you attended the same college. Whatever it is, use information from prospects’ profiles to personalize your approach and help establish rapport.
- Acknowledge new connections with a short personal reply; most people don’t, so this personal response will help you stand out and open communication between with your new connection.