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If you’re an insurance agency owner like me who writes a large portion of my business in the commercial lines area, then you should be looking at LinkedIn regularly.  It can be a extremely beneficial when attempting to find prospects in the business world, and so because of this, you should have a very strategic way in which you present yourself and your insurance agency online through social media vehicles such as LinkedIn. Here are five factors in helping you and your agency grow from within through the advantages of LinkedIn.

1) Allow your audience and/or prospects to see your true business side

 What does this mean? Well this means that we only have six seconds to make a first impression, so let’s take full advantage of the photo we put in our profile.  The photo should be professional and clean so that it portrays your image well.  If you choose not to portray yourself in the photo, then your agency logo will work well also. 

2) When connecting with people on LinkedIn, it’s very important to personalize each LinkedIn request

By choosing a generic message, you’re simply saying that it’s really not too important if they choose to accept your connection. Don’t send the wrong message to the person that you are trying to create a relationship with.

3) Your profile should be filled with relevant and pertinent information about you. It should be

easy to read and allow people to understand exactly what you do for business. One aspect I would recommend for you is to stay away from repetitive and irrelevant information because if someone wishes to connect with you, they need to find a reason why they should accept your connection in the first place.

4) When asking for your connections to endorse you, always remember to ask those who know and understand your work

This is very important since we all need to get endorsements from our connections because it shows an awful lot about who we are and what our work etiquette is. One thing we should avoid is the practice of sending out a message to everyone asking for endorsements.  Most of us have a lot of prospects already built-in to our LinkedIn connections which means those prospects are not actual clients. In many cases, this could irritate people and turn them off to you and your business because you actually do business with them in the first place. The other aspect is whom you choose to endorse. When you endorse someone it informs him or her that you appreciate and admire his or her work. But I would not recommend just endorsing everyone.

5) The last of the five recommendations is to always treat your recommendations like a reference

The reason I say this is because if there is someone you may be connected with who has a poor reputation, then that could reflect poorly on you. We really need to do our homework before just accepting every recommendation.

Remember, in the social media world, LinkedIn is B 2 B: business-to-business. Do not use LinkedIn like you use Facebook because that’s a B 2 C: business-to-consumer. Be aware of your posts and your connections and remember, you only have six seconds to make a good first impression.