Why LinkedIn’s Pulse could be a highly effective tool for commercial surveyors, and how to do it well. 

Last time round we talked about why a newsletter might be a good way to address one of the marketing issues faced in the CRE world, namely, keeping yourself in the mind of clients when you may not interact with them on a regular basis throughout the year.

Another way to do this is to make use of LinkedIn’s Pulse platform. It’s free, it puts you directly in from of the people you want to be talking to, and most people aren’t using it enough.

So here’s a quick how, what and why for best use of Pulse. Hope you find it useful.

What is it? 

Pulse is LinkedIn’s publishing platform. It started off on an ‘invite only’ basis, with thought leaders in various fields contributing articles, but in 2014 opened its doors to allow anyone to write and publish articles.

Why use it?

Pulse is now one of the quickest ways to get your content seen by the right people and drive them to your firm. It doesn’t disappear in an instant like a tweet, and because LinkedIn’s content is quickly ranked, your posts will be more likely to appear in search engines’ pages than if they were posted to a company or personal blog. (Not to say you shouldn’t keep these current as well).

The benefits of doing this are twofold. Firstly, it’s a great way to attract new clients to your firm, or keep yourselves in the mind of existing clients. Interesting, relatable articles that provide real value will help position you as the experts. You can provide relevant links back to your company at appropriate places within a post as well.

One thing to be aware of is that LinkedIn won’t accept posts from a company page, so each post has to come from an individual. This brings with it the secondary benefit that you can build up your own personal profile by writing regular Pulse articles as well. If you’re harbouring desires of being headhunted by that firm across town with the staff gym, it can be a good way to show off your skills.

What to write

This will depend on your motivation for writing the post. Are you more interested to bring in leads for your company, or are you writing to boost your own profile within the commercial property industry?

Writing to Attract Clients

If you’re writing for potential clients then choose something you know will be genuinely useful to them. What are you asked about on a regular basis? Posts such as this one, which breaks down a complicated part of the commercial acquisition process are a good example of providing valuable information.

Writing for Peers

If you’re looking more to build your personal profile among your CRE peers, then you may want to take a different approach and focus on how you can help others in your industry. Are you the first to get your head around a new piece of PropTech, for example, and can you show others how they might benefit from it? Can you pick apart a new legislation or find a solution to a common problem? This post around the trend of social media and it’s applications within commercial property is a good example of this.

As well as the help and advice type examples, LinkedIn CEO David Roth recommends using LinkedIn as a sounding board. Do you have industry related opinions or ideas you want to share or debate? Can you comment on something happening in the news? A good example of this kind of post is here – the author isn’t simply reporting facts but interpreting them and expressing an opinion.

More Tips on Topics

It can be a good idea to maintain some thematic consistency within the articles you write, so you become ‘known’ for one thing. Are you usually ahead of the curve with technology? Do you have a knack for putting the complicated litigious processes of a commercial transaction in layman’s terms? Demonstrate that skill in your articles and it will help you find a niche.

Finally, the best articles on LinkedIn do more than simply present hard data – they show a human side as well. The platform is essentially about connecting people, and the posts that tend to get the most engagement are the ones that draw on personal experience in some way.

Still stuck? Here are 5 questions to get you started for article ideas.

  • What’s been the one experience where you’ve learned most in your career?
  • What personality traits do you think are required to do your job?
  • What are the current trends within CRE, and what’s your take on them?
  • What do you predict for CRE in the next 10 years?
  • What advice would you give someone looking to get into CRE?

How to do it

OK, down to the nitty gritty. You’ve picked your topic and you’re ready to go. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a writer, you can improve your chances of success by following these guidelines.

Write a Good Headline 

Then write a really good headline. To paraphrase David Ogilvy, when you consider that only 1 in 5 people reads anything more than your headline, then it makes sense that 80% of your marketing budget should be spent on that headline. Many successful Pulse writers say they’ll habitually spend as much time on their headline as the article itself.

Keep it Short (ish)

There’s a fine balance with LinkedIn – it’s a serious, professional platform, so the Buzzfeed-type posts which contain little substance are not going to gain you much credit; a certain amount of depth and insight is required. Still, people are busy and you can’t expect them to spend an afternoon leafing through your epic. As a general rule, 800 – 2,000 words is the right length for a LinkedIn article.

Make it Easy to Read 

A few ways you can do this. Break the text up with sub-heads so that those who scan first will get the gist easily. LinkedIn offers a good range of formatting features to help you do this.

Write reasonably short paragraphs – 3-5 sentences. Remember reading on the web is around 20 – 30% slower than reading from paper, so it’s best to keep it snappy.

And as with any good writing, vary sentence length for cadence, and keep it as concise and to the point as you can.

Use of Media

Every LinkedIn writer worth their salt recommends taking advantage of Pulse’s ‘header image’ option and adding a fitting and relevant image to your content. Like a good headline, the best will provoke some level of intrigue. Where is that undeveloped beachfront plot going for a song? How did he get to meet Richard Branson?

If you don’t have your own images ready to go, sites like Pixabay offer quality, royalty free images.

Break up content with pictures throughout the article as well.

Quality Trumps Quantity 

Aim for excellent articles that your audience really will find useful. Better to post less and well than often and poorly. However, if you can post great content regularly, you’ll really start to reap the benefit. Once a month, great. Once a fortnight, even better.

Go Pro

The holy grail of LinkedIn Pulse writers is to get their article featured.

This means that instead of being seen only by your followers, your article will appear in front of anyone with a stated interest in commercial real estate. Viewer numbers could go from just a few hundred to well into the thousands.

Getting featured needn’t be a goal – it does your profile a lot of good to have well written articles appear alongside your resume anyway. But if you do want to reach the masses with your LinkedIn pieces, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances.

Firstly – follow all the advice above. Write interesting, relevant, and human focused content that people will actually want to read. Although no one knows exactly how LinkedIn’s algorithms work, the more likes, shares and comments you can get on your post the more likely it is to be picked up by the editors and featured. Remember to reply to any comments your readers make as well, to keep the conversation flowing.

Secondly, share it via your own channels as much as you can. Get your company to share it too if possible. To really do it like the pros, include tip@linkedineditors in your Tweet. This alerts LinkedIn’s team that you have posted something – a far more reliable way of getting their attention than hoping they notice it via algorithms.

Also be sure to link generously within the article to outside sources as well – this will increase your posts’ searchability and authority. Of course, if the helpful resources you link to happen to be on your firm’s website, then all the better.

Finally, LinkedIn suggest a topic theme each month – generic questions such as ‘The One Question I’m Always Asked’ that can be easily applied to any industry. Posts based around these are often featured if they can bring a new perspective to the answer.

Raring to go?

For a step by step guide on the nuts and bolts of putting your first article up there, this article by hubspot provides a clear, illustrated guide.


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