To succeed, insurance agents need to use every tool at their disposal. These days, this includes LinkedIn. The social network for professionals boasts more than 645 million users worldwide. That’s a lot of networking opportunities that you do not want to miss out on.
When to Use LinkedIn
Contrary to common misconception, LinkedIn isn’t just for job-hunting. Although it does have features that are helpful when people are looking for a job, its uses go far beyond this. LinkedIn is a networking site that can be used to make professional contacts with other agents, potential clients and more.
It’s no secret that, when meeting someone new, many people will do an online search to learn more about the person. In professional situations, this search often includes LinkedIn. So what happens when people search for you?
- Possibility One: They don’t find anything.
- Possibility Two: They find outdated and incomplete information.
- Possibility Three: They find an updated page with current and useful information.
The first two possibilities aren’t likely to leave a good impression. The last possibility, on the other hand, establishes you as a proactive agent who’s on the ball and ready with the latest information.
Like any social media site, LinkedIn is most effective when you are an active user. To get the most of it, you should keep your information updated and add new content regularly.
How to Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn has many features that you can use as an insurance agent. Here are some of the most common features.
- Profile: This is where you should start. To make the best impression, you want your profile to be as complete as possible. Include a professional photograph of yourself, as well as a catchy headline and summary that shows off your strengths. Be sure to add your professional experience, education, skills and any other important details. When creating your profile, think about what will appeal to insurance prospects and professional connections who want to learn more about you. Here is a great guide on how to build an effective LinkedIn profile.
- Company Page: In addition to a personal profile, you can also create a company page. While your personal profile is about you as an individual, the company page is about the company. It is useful as a branding tool, and it is also a good way to connect everyone in the company. If you are an independent agent, you probably don’t need a company page. However, if you are part of an insurance agency, you should set up a page for your agency.
- Posts and Articles: Keep your profile and page current by posting new information regularly – at least once or twice a week. Post information about common insurance issues and questions, as well as news and current developments that impact insurance. These posts can include links to useful articles, which could be from your own website or from other sources. You can also publish your own articles directly on LinkedIn using the Pulse Publishing tool.
- Endorsements and Recommendations: Having endorsements and recommendations strengthens your profile. Endorsements are used to support specific skills you’ve listed, while recommendations are written statements from others. To get endorsements and recommendations, you will need to make connections on LinkedIn. Provide endorsements and recommendations for others, and don’t be shy about requesting them from people you have good relationships with.
- Groups: LinkedIn Groups are based on various professional topics, and they can be a great way of connecting with others. Once you’ve joined a group, participate by starting new discussions and responding to other people’s posts. Look for groups based on the different types of insurance products you sell, as well as your location and associations. By posting to groups, you can cast a wider net and be seen by people who are not connections.
- Links to Your Profile: You’ve put a lot of work into your LinkedIn account. Make sure people find it. Include a link or your profile name on your business card, email signature and other social media.
- Sharing Buttons: If you have a blog, make it easy for people to share your posts by including sharing buttons for popular social media sites, including LinkedIn. This will help you reach new prospects.
Now that you know how and when to use LinkedIn, you’re ready to get started. Watch the DIS blog for more information coming soon on how to build LinkedIn contacts.
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