Whether you’re growing your social media strategy or still adjusting to working from home, you may have wondered just what LinkedIn can do for you as a mortgage loan originator. LinkedIn can be a powerful networking tool and, when used strategically, can simplify the professional relationship-building process.
Because LinkedIn is known as a professional networking platform, there are potential opportunities for connecting with a wide range of industry pros, including financial service professionals, home improvement companies, title company representatives, and insurance company representatives, to name a few.
Here’s how to set yourself up for success, get connected, and grow your business with the help of LinkedIn.
Complete Your Profile
Just like in person, you’ll want to put your best foot forward when networking online. Start by ensuring your profile is complete, accurate, and current. Add your industry, location, and professional and educational experience to provide potential connections with some context. Don’t forget to add your NMLS ID, any state-required license numbers, and the NMLS ID for your sponsoring company in the employment history section, where you’ve indicated you are employed as a loan originator.
While you’re at it, update your profile photo as well. After all, no one wants to connect with a faceless account! According to LinkedIn experts, the ideal headshot is high-resolution, professional, and expressive.
Once your profile is complete, you’re ready to send some connection requests. Start by connecting with current contacts, like friends, family, and colleagues. Then, reconnect with anyone you may have lost touch with, like former coworkers, college classmates, etc.
A phased approach can be much more effective than firing off 50 random invites and can help beef up your profile as your circle grows. For example, as you connect, you can request that contacts that you’ve worked closely with leave you a recommendation or endorse your professional skills (and you’ll probably get some of these requests as well!). Then, once you have more of a presence, begin reaching out to thought leaders, industry professionals, and others you’d like to add to your network.
When first connecting, especially with people you don’t yet know, Forbes.com suggests adding a personal note to each request. Introduce yourself, share a little bit about your work, and explain why you’d like to connect. If you can work in a mention of their specific industry, company, or position, they may be even more likely to accept your request and join your network. Keep your message short and to the point — and don’t ask anything of them in your first message.
Engage With Connections
Once you’ve built up a robust LinkedIn network, regularly engage with each of your contacts, whether commenting on their posts or sending an article you think they might find helpful (LinkedIn, 2020). Effective networking is less about the act of connecting and more about building meaningful relationships. Whether you choose to comment on one post per day or designate 30 minutes per week to interact with your connections, simply add value wherever you can.
Nurture and Grow Your Network
Continue supporting your current contacts while seeking out new and interesting connections. Once you’ve successfully optimized your profile and established a habit of engagement, you’ve done much of the heavy lifting. Now, nurturing and growing your network will quickly become second nature.
LinkedIn can be a powerful networking tool, particularly in our current online reality. By completing your profile, sending strategic connection requests, and being of service whenever possible, you can quickly and easily grow your network and business. All it takes is that very first click.