Social media has become more than just a way to communicate with your friends and family. In fact, 67 percent of adults now use social networking sites—a nearly tenfold jump over the past decade. For the savvy appraiser, the use of social media can help you grow and scale your business and career. From promoting your services to buyers and sellers on Facebook to growing your professional network with your LinkedIn profile, social media is essential.
Unlike other social media platforms—such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—LinkedIn is more business-focused and allows professionals to connect in a more professional setting. Your LinkedIn profile serves as your online resume and offers a snapshot of your background, your professional recommendations, and more. LinkedIn is a management tool for your career.
You can also choose to have a company page for your appraisal business on LinkedIn, which allows you to share more company-specific background information, website, blog posts, and more.
What to consider when building your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a platform that can truly advance your career and establish you as a thought leader in the appraisal industry. There are certain guidelines you should follow:
- Have a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile.
- Have a relevant headline that includes your title and the company you work for.
- Include a summary that details your experience and your specialties.
- Connect with colleagues, influencers, and others.
- Keep it professional.
Under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), appraisers have to abide by confidentiality and other requirements. You will need to ensure that your social media activity does not violate USPAP rules, so be sure to brush up on what social media posts could or could not breach client confidentiality.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a platform to share information and connect with others in the appraisal and related industries; it is not a place to blatantly promote yourself or your business. Content that is too sales-centric will fall short with your connections. Finding the balance between engaging content, promotional content, and fun content will take time, as each audience is different.
Tips for appraisers on LinkedIn
Connect: Just maintaining a presence on LinkedIn is useless unless you are making connections. Recruiters (and 94 percent of them use LinkedIn) view people with more than 500 connections as “successful.” As the saying goes, your network is your net worth; don’t just create a LinkedIn profile and let it sit. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to connect with people you already know through certain search features. There is also a recommendation engine that can be quite accurate in suggesting people you might know.
Engage: Consumers love interacting with businesses on social media. Whether someone has a question about the appraisal process or has feedback about their experience, this is an opportunity to engage with current and prospective clients. You can also start a dialogue by posting questions to your followers.
Influence: Share articles that are relevant in your field. You can use the LinkedIn Pulse blogging platform to write your own posts and share them with your followers to present yourself as an expert. Provide your thoughts on certain aspects of the business, but always be mindful and maintain professionalism.
Be personable: Be personable so that you can bond with your connections. People enjoy seeing the human side of business. Not every post needs to have a serious tone. Find fun ways to connect with your followers. It’s perfectly acceptable to post an “appraiser” joke that relates to everyday struggles on the job. Remember—it’s all about balance.
Join: There are more than 2 million groups on LinkedIn, and active groups can be great resources to obtain information on industry news, trends, and challenges. Partaking in groups can also be an effective way to help build your online presence and establish your credibility.
Follow: Be sure to follow relevant thought leaders and companies on LinkedIn. You can stay abreast of their recent developments and even recognize hiring trends, which are invaluable if you are seeking work. Once you start following certain people and businesses, LinkedIn will suggest others that are also relevant.
Automate: The appraisal industry is busy and fluid; save yourself time by scheduling posts ahead of time. Hootsuite is one of the myriad tools that allows you to schedule your LinkedIn posts—as well as other social media posts—ahead of time. Even while you are out on the field, you can continue to post relevant articles and information.
Having and maintaining a LinkedIn profile will keep you relevant, help you establish your expertise to your clients, and help you engage and learn from others in your field. With so many different industries and people connecting via social media, LinkedIn is essential for building your career in a digital environment.
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