LinkedIn has grown to become one of the largest social networking sites on the Internet today. With 20 million mortgage brokers in the industry and over 135 million LinkedIn users, not having a LinkedIn presence can be costly in the modern world.
But how does LinkedIn benefit mortgage brokers?
Well, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people within the industry and with potential clients. The more connections you have, the more revenue you can generate for your business. LinkedIn is also a great way to advertise your services and let people know exactly what you do.
Using LinkedIn for Mortgage Lead Generation
Staying ahead of the game in any business can be difficult and leveraging all the tools at your disposal takes time, effort, and more than a little know-how. Understanding how best to use LinkedIn so you make the most of its services is tricky but there are a few things you can do to help yourself out. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
Coming up with an effective LinkedIn headline which will capture the attention of potential clients and introducers is a difficult thing, but can be highly beneficial for your business. At the end of the day, your branding on LinkedIn starts with those few attention-grabbing words which people will see before anything else on your profile.
But how do you write an effective LinkedIn headline? Well, that’s the million-dollar question. But if you follow a few of the tips below, it can be done relatively easily.
- Be concise - you only have 120 characters to get your point across so make sure you do it concisely.
- Sell your best bits - forget about plain old job titles and instead explain what you are good at and what makes you unique in the industry.
- Align yourself to a clear service or solution - tell people what you can do for them and how you will do it.
- Use the right keywords - make sure you incorporate the right keywords in your headline that link you to the mortgage industry; people will use these keywords to search the site and if you haven’t included them, they won’t find you.
It may seem like that's a lot to fit in to those 120 characters, but with a little work it can be done. Here are a couple of examples:
Experienced mortgage broker and financial expert specialising in buy to let mortgages
Mortgage broker with 20 years of experience getting the right mortgages for NHS staff
2. Make Sure You Have a Good LinkedIn Profile Photo
The easiest way to gain an immediate boost to the look of your LinkedIn profile is to get yourself a good quality profile photo. If you currently have an outdated photo, or one that is badly lit, or one that might make you seem unprofessional (I’m looking at you guys with a beer in one hand and a spliff in the other!) then people will be less inclined to dig deeper into your profile. So change it. And if you don't have a photo at all then you need to get one.
Profiles with photographs are far more likely (36 times according to some statistics) to be viewed and receive messages - and the quality of your photo will play a big part in getting people to take you seriously.
Examples of Good Photos
Examples of Bad Photos
If you’re not sure if your profile photo needs to change, take a long hard look at it and ask yourself:
- Is the photograph current? There’s nothing like a dated photo to suggest that your business has ceased trading.
- Is the photograph an accurate representation of you? If a client met you on the street, would they recognise you?
- Does it look professional? We all like taking selfies but using one as a profile picture screams amateur. Get a good quality headshot that gives your profile an air of professionalism.
If you answer no to any of these questions, then it’s time for a new profile picture. Here are a few tips to get the best picture you can:
- Wear the sort of professional clothing you would wear to meet a client
- Keep makeup and accessories to a minimum, and please no hats or sunglasses
- Make sure you smile
- Hire a professional photographer who understands what you need
- Make sure the backdrop isn’t distracting and is well lit
3. Explain What You Are About
LinkedIn offers a personal summary section that works like a mini bio or about us page. Just like your profile picture and your LinkedIn headline, these summaries need to be well written and up to date to really sell what you do.
My first tip is to make sure you rewrite your summary regularly to refresh it with any new experiences, services, accomplishments, and goals you may have. Think about it as your elevator pitch: a place to tell people about what you do and why you are good at it. Use it to flaunt your success(es) and explain why you are so amazing.
For some people, selling themselves is something that doesn't come naturally. But there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Here are a few tips:
- Write in the first person - evidence suggests that people make a better connection when writing about themselves from their own point of view
- Write how you speak - let people know the sort of person you are with your tone
- Include things like qualifications, specialisations, experience, accomplishments, as well as what you love about being a mortgage broker
- And if you really struggle, hire a professional writer to do it for you
4. Don't Write a CV
One of the easiest traps to fall into with LinkedIn is to view it purely as a place to stick your CV. It’s not.
LinkedIn is a great place to promote your services as a mortgage adviser and many people also use it to find new jobs or to hire new employees. However, labelling LinkedIn as a place to post your CV online is doing it a massive disservice.
Yes, your LinkedIn profile will include many of the things you have on your CV, but the social interactions and flexibility LinkedIn provides gives you many more avenues to interact with people and tell them what you do.
5. Focus on Your Achievements
I’ve touched on this elsewhere in the article, but focussing on your achievements is vital to a good LinkedIn profile.
Use your headline, summary, and posts to really sell how good you are at what you do. If you have any qualifications or accreditations over and above the standard CeMAP, make sure you highlight these so people can see them.
6. Collect Endorsements and Recommendations
Endorsements and recommendations are another great way to generate interest in your profile, whilst growing your credibility.
An endorsement is where one of your connections endorses a skill you have listed on your profile. This is a great way to reinforce to anyone viewing your profile that you do indeed have that skill.
A recommendation, on the other hand, is a written testimonial from a connection that proactively recommends you to others. This, again, is a great way to build trust amongst potential clients who view your profile.
7. Build the Right Connections
All social networks are about making connections and, as a mortgage broker, getting the right ones can really boost your visibility. But who do you connect with?
Well, start with any of your real-world friends who are on LinkedIn, and then move on to any colleagues you have. Connect with other people that you know in the mortgage industry, as well as people in related sectors such as estate agents.
Don't forget to connect with current and past clients. They can be good people to approach for recommendations.
Whenever you send a connection request, include a personalised message. This is especially important if you are trying to connect with someone you don't know very well, as it gives you a chance to introduce yourself or remind them how you know each other. And that means they are more likely to accept your invitation.
If you do all this, pretty soon you will have hundreds of connections. And the people that you connect to will also have connections of their own who will now get to see you. Connections are exponential - the more you have, the more you get.
8. Learn When to Say No
While its great to have thousands of connections, having too many can be counterproductive. So when you receive an invitation from someone asking you to connect always ask yourself three things:
- Will this person advance my business?
- Does this person fit in with my goals and objectives for being on LinkedIn?
- Is this somebody I want to communicate with?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then accept. If not, don’t be afraid to reject the connection request.
9. Think About Using LinkedIn Premium
The basic LinkedIn experience is free and will be perfectly fine for most mortgage brokers. If, however, you plan to make a lot of use of LinkedIn as a lead generation tool or you expect to make a lot of connections, then the paid-for LinkedIn Premium package is something to consider. The added benefits of LinkedIn Premium are:
- No limits on the number of connections you can have
- A more detailed LinkedIn profile
- Unlimited recommendations
- Unlimited searches for LinkedIn members
- Being able to send a message to anyone within the LinkedIn community
10. Use LinkedIn Messaging
Sending private messages to your connections is a great way to let them know exactly what you are about. But don’t try the hard sell. Let them know what you do gently. Give them something useful like a guide or tips while reminding them of your business.
Here's an example of the kind of LinkedIn message I often send to people shortly after I first connect with them:
If you are a LinkedIn Premium member you can send messages to 2nd and 3rd degree connections too. If used correctly, this can be a great way to market your services without being too pushy.
11. Post Content Regularly
To proactively harness the inherent power of LinkedIn, you need to participate. And the best way to do this is to post regular content and status updates.
Tell people what is happening with your business, especially the successes, and give them useful advice that isn’t seen as a hard sell. Paint a picture of how you run your company and make the viewer want to be part of what you do. Keep the emphasis on how you can help them with your services, and they will keep reading. Posting nothing is a sure-fire indicator of a dead account.
As well as posting written content, you should also aim to publish videos on LinkedIn as these tend to get the most engagement.
Why Should Mortgage Brokers Use Linkedn?
As you can see, LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool - and one which, if you follow the advice above, can help mortgage brokers reach a whole new audience easily and, more importantly, cheaply.
If you've enjoyed this article and found it useful then check out this post about how financial advisers can use LinkedIn to get new clients. The tips and advice in that article will work just as well for mortgage brokers too.