Yakov Smart 0:00
It’s funny because LinkedIn has changed a lot which we can talk about the changes as well. But it’s funny because you know a lot of people in real estate a lot of real estate entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs, that commercial real estate may still see LinkedIn as a resume platform where people go to update their resumes and what we’re going to talk about today is a new way in a very prolific and powerful way of attracting high net worth individuals.
Welcome to CREPN Radio for influential commercial real estate professionals who work with investors, buyers and sellers of commercial real estate coast to coast whether you’re an investor, broker, lender, property manager, attorney or accountant We are here to learn from the experts.
J Darrin Gross 0:44
Welcome to Commercial Real Estate Pro Networks CREPN Radio. Thanks for joining us. My name is J. Darrin Gross. This is a podcast focused on commercial real estate investment and risk management strategies. Weekly we have conversations with commercial real estate investors and professionals who provide their experience and insight to help you grow your real estate portfolio.
Today my guest is Yakov Smart. Yakov is considered to be the leading expert when it comes to attracting A list investors and raising capital using LinkedIn. He is the author of Disrupting LinkedIn and a sought after authority by top business owners and sales leaders worldwide. Yakov has shared the stage with Samantha DeBianchi of Bravo’s hit TV show Million Dollar Listing. And he’s been a guest on numerous media outlets. As a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, today, Yakov is a proud leader of LinkedIn Enterprises, where his webinars on demand training programs and strategic consulting accelerators give people proven tools and techniques for transforming their LinkedIn profiles into priceless relationship building assets. And in just a minute, we’re going to speak with jack off about how To raise capital and attract high net worth investors using LinkedIn. But first a quick reminder, if you like our show CREPN Radio, there are a couple things you can do to help us. You can like you can share and you can subscribe. And as always, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment. Also, if you’d like to see how handsome our guests are, be sure to check out our YouTube channel. And you’ll find this at Commercial Real Estate Pro Network on YouTube. And also don’t forget, please subscribe. With that, I want to welcome my guest. Yakov, welcome to CREPN Radio.
Yakov Smart 2:42
Good to be here. Thank you for having me.
J Darrin Gross 2:45
Well, I’m excited to talk with you in this digital age about marketing and leveraging LinkedIn. But before we get started, if you could take just a moment and share a little bit more about your background with the listeners,
Yakov Smart 3:01
Certainly. So I’ll give you some some brief insight into my background here. I started on social media and started you mentioned digital marketing and marketing online. I always you know what I tell people, the story I always start in a bit of an unusual place because I’ve been on social media since about the eighth grade. So I started back in My Space, and I think a lot of your listeners will remember My Space. That’s where I started my journey on digital marketing. And back then I wasn’t using it for business and successfully, I was using it to hit on girls. That’s when I got my start on social media.
The way I got started on LinkedIn was a bit more intentional and a bit different. I was selling software for a startup software firm. And I was having a lot of trouble and frustration from making cold calls. Basically, the only way that I had a prospecting and lead generation was smiling and dialing, it was driving me crazy. So out of necessity, I turned to LinkedIn as a different way and I inadvertently stumbled upon a new way of using LinkedIn for growing businesses. And you know, I live in Vegas at the time and started taking on private clients and turning it into a business. And you mentioned, Disrupting LinkedIn, I authored that book a little while ago and since then became known as one of the top authorities when it comes to using LinkedIn to generate leads, and attract A list clients. And the way that I got into working with people in the real estate space, especially when it comes to raising capital and attracting investors, which I know is the focus of our conversation today.
I was at a forum for entrepreneurs and a couple of gentlemen approached me and they were intrigued by the concept of using LinkedIn to connect angel investors. So people who are high net worth individuals and founders of companies, and they were putting together these deal clubs and they had a vision for running these deal clubs in major markets across the world. And they asked me if I thought it was possible to approach extremely high net worth individuals, people who were in venture capital, angel investors, people worth, sometimes hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars and get them interested in this concept using LinkedIn. And I said that I thought it did. And I took them on as clients. And it was fascinating to see just the caliber of people who we could find on LinkedIn. And using the strategies and the methodologies that you and I are going to talk about today, getting them interested in, in their case, attending the deal clubs, and investing in these types of startups.
So those are some of the hardest to reach decision makers out there. And that was sort of a starting point. And my entry into the world of raising capital where, you know, at around the same time, I had a lot of influencers in the real estate syndication, real estate investment space, reach out to me and, you know, we worked on a couple different projects that at this point, my primary focus of the students I work with and the mentees that I have inside of our various programs is around a new way of using LinkedIn to attract high net worth investors and raise capital. It’s funny because LinkedIn has changed a lot which we can talk about the changes as well. But it’s funny because I know a lot of people in real estate, a lot of real estate entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs, that commercial real estate may still see LinkedIn as a resume platform where people go to update their resumes. And what we’re going to talk about today is a new way in a very prolific and powerful way of attracting high net worth individuals using LinkedIn.
J Darrin Gross 6:27
Well, I mean, everything you said there from the beginning of eighth grade and MySpace to you know, now you’re attracting high caliber angel investors. That’s, that’s, I mean, that’s a journey that I think everybody likes to have the fast track the the shortcut on. I’m assuming on on MySpace, you were kind of nurturing the, your perspective leads in order to attract the dates. Is that kind of the the that nurturing thing? Is that kind of a key to your, your approach? I mean, we can get into more detail, but I’m just kind of curious. I think a lot of times people think of sales as being like a, almost like a shopping cart mentality as opposed to more of the nurturing kind of thing.
Yakov Smart 7:21
So, you know, it’s funny, I don’t think anybody’s ever asked the question quite like that, comparing MySpace and LinkedIn and I would say that I wasn’t very successful using MySpace to hit on girls. So I think those strategies could sort of be be left behind us, but I see what you mean like because my space was a platform for at least making those connections in that context, right versus LinkedIn. And when people work with us and they want to accomplish this, the big thing is, yes, nurturing leads and there is a lot of value in nurturing and you know, getting in front of people and having that consistency in relevancy and it’s a big, LinkedIn has a lot of different tools and features for accomplishing that. But the biggest thing is, I don’t want people to put unnecessary hurdles between them and investors.
I’m a big proponent of direct response as well. And so I’ll give you the methodology. And we can go into, you know, any, any of the different nuances of it. But the first piece is finding being able to build a list of investors. So I call it magnetizing, to your list. And what that comes down to is using the various searches inside of LinkedIn, there’s several ways you can build lists of high net worth individuals on LinkedIn, and there’s different angles for building lists as well. And when I say magnetizing, your list I mean, finding a list of the people who are going to be perfect potential investors for you, right. So you know, I have people who want to attract institutional investors, I have people who want investors from family offices, I have people who want local dentist or attorneys or military personnel, these are all different angles, all people you can potentially find on LinkedIn because there’s 675 million users.
So it starts with magnetizing. And building that list and getting really specific. The next piece, and this is really if there’s a secret sauce here, or if there’s something that really makes this thing go, it’s the messaging, right? So I call it accelerating trust, using messaging, because what your listeners need to understand, and this is really key because of you know, the world has changed recently, building a relationship with an investor online outside of your current sphere of influence is significantly different than it would be in person, right? And the big difference is the level of trust or lack thereof, because let’s say you go to a local, you know, REI club meeting or a networking event or you know, whatever the case may be an in person event, and you meet someone as a prospective investor and you start to have a conversation. Unless they’re just completely rude and inconsiderate. They’re not going to walk away as you’re in mid sentence, they’re not just going to turn their shoulder walk away and go talk to someone else. Because that would just be really impolite and most people wouldn’t do that. Well online, if you don’t immediately grab their attention and start building curiosity and trust, they can say next, and they probably have five other windows open on their phone or on their computer. So there’s a lot more distraction. And it’s about getting them to care first and having them understand what’s in it for them.
So on LinkedIn, there’s three important places for your messaging. There is your LinkedIn content. So what you can be posting on to LinkedIn. There’s your LinkedIn profile, which you can make very attractive to those ideal investors, which is a big topic of conversation. And then there’s the actual messaging, the direct type of messages you can send to people where you can reach your potential investors directly. So that messaging tailoring it the right way to build trust, is of utmost importance. We can make the world of a difference between you getting somebody interested in responding and wanting to take that conversation beyond LinkedIn, versus somebody just not even giving you the time of day. So that mess accelerating trust is a big thing. And then the next part of the methodology, once you’ve got a system for doing that, you want to be able to delegate it, okay? Because it’s my contention that real estate entrepreneurs shouldn’t be doing the day to day management once they’ve got a system that’s reliable for generating investor leads on LinkedIn. So we want to look at how do we reverse engineer a system that you can then delegate to an assistant, intern, family member, you know, whatever the case may be, and get and make it very much so that they can follow along and just still for them make it a matter of what buttons to push.
And then the final piece is actually enrolling investors, okay. The transitions to getting a conversation offline, okay. And then what happens when they’re interested? How do you nurture that lead further, that when you have a project or a deal, you’re staying in front of them and top of mind. So there’s a lot of nuances, there’s a lot of different parts here, but it is no the best approach Darrin, and and you you mentioned you mentioned a really good point is yes, you want to nurture but you also want that direct type of lead generation as well for accelerating trust. So there’s there’s both facets to it.
J Darrin Gross 12:17
Well, and you know, everything you you mentioned there I’m familiar with the terms I think that there’s a kind of a thought process with online marketing that there’s a lot of sites have like a shopping cart, you know, and it’s a matter of somebody see something or Amazon’s think of amazon prime example you know, you you see the object you click it you buy now, and in a couple days it shows up on your doorstep unless you’ve got your your prime membership, some like that. And but I think the reality is, especially in higher ticket items, is that then the nurturing part of it I think sometimes people forget Get that just like if you were calling on somebody, you know, in, in person, you know, the first time you meet them, you might just kind of introduce yourself, get to know them and maybe send them a “It was nice to Nice to meet you” kind of know, then maybe follow up with something. You know, but just that that process kind of thing, understanding that the full cycle, you know of a, for something from sombody, from an unknown, maybe a suspect to a client kind of thing. And so, you mentioned three things are the the content, the profile and the messaging. And my guess I’m kind of curious, is there any one of those you find to be more important, or one that could more easily jeopardize a go forward.
Yakov Smart 13:56
So here’s the order of importance. And this is true in most cases when it comes to attracting investors. That profile. I mean, the LinkedIn profiles have gotten to be so important other than your website, for on for attracting investors online, it’s your most important marketing asset. It’s by far more important than any other social media profile. And it’s so much more than just a resume, right? I mean, there is a few big mistakes that I see real estate entrepreneurs making their LinkedIn profiles. There’s three big ones actually, besides not having one.
The first one is going the whole corporate resume approach, right. So it’s having something that sounds stuffy and professional, your LinkedIn profile, if you want to truly attract the high net worth investors and raise capital, it shouldn’t be an executive buyer. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Right. The next mistake that I see is what we call the wide eyed squirrel where someone looks like they’re doing five different businesses scattered all over the place. And again, that very quickly diminishes trust. And the third key mistake that I that I often see is what I call the 90s marketing brochure. It’s when somebody is trying really hard and it’s coming in, they’re talking all features and benefits, and it’s coming across as Super contrived and salesy, right so I don’t recommend any of those three approaches.
The approach that I recommend for your profile is what if you could get somebody when they look at your profile to instantly understand this is for them and start building intrigue and trust Okay, that’s what your profile needs to be accomplish the accomplishing no matter how long you’ve been in the business if somebody feels seen and understood, you can cut through the noise and that’s often the key to doing that. So the profile is a good foundational piece in getting people to decide whether or not they’re going to give you the time today whether or not you’re an authority I’m it’s funny, you mentioned Amazon and shopping cards because those things are all know for the most part product businesses are commodities. You know, you buy something 2030 bucks, okay, it’s a commodity A lot of us don’t think twice about it versus, you know, if you’re asking somebody To write you a check for 250 grand, that’s you know, there’s a little more thought and trust that goes into that, obviously. So you want to get past commoditization. And the best way to do that is to become an authority and your LinkedIn profile is certainly a great asset for doing that.
Now, other than your profile, your messaging, the direct messages dear able to send us someone on LinkedIn can be much more powerful and important than posting content. I mean, I tell people this all the time, you don’t necessarily even need to post content to generate significant leads on LinkedIn, its content as a way to supplement and nurture. But for the direct lead generation, you can distribute your concept through direct messages, right? You know, I never know the big mistake that I see with direct messaging people go for that sort of one shot killer, right where they, you know, try to come up with the perfect sales pitch and I call it the mama messenger. It’s like, they just like, you know, vomit vomit their entire life story and pitch and all the features and benefits there. And it’s just, it’s a complete turnoff, you know, to be on the receiving end of that. So It’s having multiple steps nurturing that lead. And the very first thing you have to do is that person needs to raise their hand and say yes, I’m interested in learning more. Yes, I’ve got questions. Yes. That sounds like it might be interesting.
J Darrin Gross 17:14
Yeah, I think we’re all you know, or at least speak for myself just the fatigue of, of, you know, your inbox with with messages that are the the full offer, when I’ve never met the person have no idea what they do. And it’s, you know, it’s not just a Hey, nice to meet you. It’s, it’s got the full meal deal with links and, you know, kind of thing and I’m, I’ve always been wondering, like, do they work I mean, cuz I just like kind of just, you know, a little overload there. So, what, let’s talk about the strategy, the direct messaging strategy that you you utilize it Is there a? Is there a formula to that? Is it kind of a an intro warm up? Do you have any kind of, you know, an approach that you recommend?
Yakov Smart 18:12
It what’s not a one size fits all? Okay? So a lot of this is gonna be just like your profile, just like content just like anything you do. That’s why we talk about magnetizing, you would talk to a college professor, for example, very differently than you would talk to a tech CEO. Probably different value systems, different ways of communicating, right? So there’s not like some magic, you three step formula that works every time guarantee that just gets people you know, to not be able to control themselves, right? That’s just not not really something that exists. However, as sort of a general rule of thumb. The very first piece is you’ve got to connect with that person, right? Because when you connect with that person, you have the ability to now message them directly. Okay, you have there now in your sort of LinkedIn database And when you are posting content, they’re going to be much more likely to see it, they’re gonna start to see you as much more relevant.
Next piece is rather than pitching anything or making an offer right out of the gate, I recommend having at least one piece of educational content that you share with them in your message. Okay, something and now without asking for anything either dislike, you can you can share something that maybe you found on a third party source like Forbes magazine or entrepreneur, for example, let’s say you’re doing apartment investing, right? And you found, you know, a Forbes article talking about the three surprising ways apartment investing is going to be one of the best alternative investments for the next 10 years, something like that. I just made that up. But it’s something that’s educational in favor of your type of investment. And you so you leave it at that and then the follow up can be rather than again, if you’re, if you’re ready to test the waters, ask them a question. Instead of laying the whole you know, me on them, like you talked about. So asking them and inside LinkedIn capital raising accelerator when I work with people we talk about, you know, magic question. So I’ll give you a couple of examples. They it’s all about how you start with a magic question. So have you ever could it be possible? Would you Would you ever consider what are your thoughts on right? These are type of open ended questions that you want to gauge somebody’s temperature, because if they’re, if they’re not aware, and if they’re not interested, you’ve got to get them to raise their hand first. Otherwise, it becomes you did the one big mistake that I see is you know, people talk to the wrong people, right? There’s no need to and the great thing about this too is you can automate a lot of the legwork about 90% of this can be automated without looking automated. But the big thing is, you know, if you if they’re not interested yet, if they’re not aware, then you have no business talking to them. about the specifics of a deal, or you know, even scheduling a call, it’s a big waste of your time in theirs. So the messaging, you know, this real strategic way to think about it is, what are all the different angles that they care about that’s relevant to make your messaging relevant to them? And can you get them to raise their hand and ask you a question or respond or say that they’re interested.
J Darrin Gross 21:35
So you mentioned kind of the different angles and kind of qualifying I’m kind of curious because, you know, a lot of times I think digital marketing, a lot of times it’s thought of as more of like a masses, kind of a thing as opposed to more of a select, you know, I guess I’m, I tend to think of it more of like the it’s in the numbers. kind of thing. Do you find that by being more selective? Like, first of all, I guess, do you identify your What do you call it? The there’s a there’s an acronym or there’s some sort of word for but if you don’t identify your specific type of you’re your best possible client by character trait. And then you identify that, you know, Yakov has these characteristics, he’d be a good prospect. And then do you, does that, do you find that the, I guess what I’m trying to ask is a percentage chance of getting into a conversation. I mean, I assume there’s still a numbers aspect to this from a standpoint of not everybody’s going to say, Oh, my God, does the I’ve been waiting for you to call. I mean, I’ve been looking for somebody on LinkedIn to talk to and finally you’ve you’ve, you know, you’ve answered the bell. Can you speak a little bit to the percentage success you find when when people are more more selective about this and do this more of like in a personal way as opposed to, you know, we’ve already talked about all the ways that can annoy people with you know, the full meal deal out of the chute with never not even introducing yourself.
Yakov Smart 23:16
So this is all about quality, right? This is about being specific and finding that quality investor you are there is strengthen numbers, especially as you’re building this up. But what’s great for a lot of people is if you find just one or two good high net worth relevant investors on LinkedIn, you build those relationships and they invest with you and they receive a return and they have a good experience. There’s a certain psychology where they’re likely to tell other people who are just like them so it tends to snowball into referrals. That’s why you know, it’s this isn’t digital marketing where you need 10s of thousands of leads, right? I think those days especially for attracting investors are in the past. This is about you know, for for a lot of people listening maybe To your pool of potential investors on LinkedIn is 500, or 2000, or 3000 or 5000 people, right? And so not huge numbers, quality, though, being really specific. And you can do that when you build a list on LinkedIn. What’s great though, is I’m big on automating the initial piece, right? So there’s different software’s available where you can automate the legwork of the initial outreach and you know, the way that I always described it’s like good plastic surgery, right? When you have good plastic surgery, people shouldn’t be able to tell like it’s and when you see bad plastic surgery, you can almost always tell right we have a lot of plastic surgery in Arizona so I’m sort of become well versed in that in that regard, but my point is, with plastic surgery, right, it’s like you there is a you know, there is a natural element to it right? Where you know, even though the message is short, concise, you’re you’re not manually reaching out to people. But it’s feels manual, it feels personalized, it feels specific based on the messaging. And then when they raise their hand or in fact interested in the right person, that’s when you can transition that conversation, that’s when you could ask additional questions and move that relationship off of LinkedIn. So it’s, you know, not being in that there’s, there’s two sides of the coin, right? I don’t want anyone being in that scarcity mindset of Oh, no, there’s only, you know, x finite amount of people who have money, it’s just not true. It’s never been true. It’s not true now. However, at the same time, you know, if you’ve got a very specific criteria, and there’s only a couple hundred people that you know, would match really well. It’s going deep with that group and really, you know, creating this big fish small pond phenomenon, which works really, really well on LinkedIn.
J Darrin Gross 25:56
I think when when you’re you know, Talking about that it kind of reminded me that, you know, the goal, keep in mind, what is the goal, the goal is first to get the connection so you can have that conversation. And then two, the goal is to get the conversation offline, is it not? I mean that you’re not meant to stay online and it just be a click, click Yes. for, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got millions, I’ll give you that. That’s not an option on the, you know, on the landing page. Right. Right. So it I think that’s, those are, I think two things that I think get lost. And again, I like your your sentiment about automating because I think there’s the initial stuff if you if you can automate it, but I’d be kind of curious on your experience when when starting out, I’m assuming that people are still manually doing the messaging, trying to find what works for the process. Do you do you advise that people kind of keep track of You know the process from from those that work versus those that didn’t work to try and then to be able to then, you know, I guess turn over that to some sort of an automated process? Or what are your thoughts on that?
Yakov Smart 27:14
I think to have something and have metrics and everything, it needs to be metric based. You need to it’s all about the numbers, right? where we want to be as scientific as humanly possible. And you’re absolutely right with reverse engineering that out, right. So I don’t, is for someone who’s an entrepreneur, I don’t recommend that they manually sit there and manually send messages at first. It’s just not the highest and best use of your time I recommend, once you have the messaging down, automating out of the gate, the software actually tells you the metrics, it keeps track of that for you all in one place. It saves you a ton of time, and then you have some numbers, right because if you only have if you’re without getting too, you know, scientific and analytical here, but if you only have 30 people that you’ve tested a message with, you know, I mean, you don’t really, you don’t know much no matter you know how many people have responded, you don’t know much. But what you’re going to, you’re going to notice are some common patterns you’re going to notice. I call them the eight buckets of different responses. And you’re going to notice what some of those are, as you start reaching hundreds of people, and then you’re going to be able to course correct or double down on what’s working. So I recommend automating right out of the gate. Now, there’s best practices for automation, right? If you don’t have any connections yet, not a good idea. But once you’re past, like, let’s say that 500 plus connections mark and you have a bit of a foundation to start testing different messages and different approaches, absolutely automated because what automation allows you to do is let’s say you’ve got a list of 1000 prospective investors, for example, on LinkedIn, you build that list. You can get really specific.
I think LinkedIn is the best list building tool in the world for getting accurate, real time. data, the old way to do it was you had to go pay a list broker a few thousand bucks. For a list of accredited investors. By the time you got the list, half the list was outdated. This is they’re really online, you can reach them on their mobile devices. Now. So let’s say you have a list of 1000 potential investors, you plug them into the software, you’ve got your messaging, you press that button. Every day, there’s 100 connection requests going out from you, there’s gonna be a percentage of those people that accept and the follow up the and I call it a messenger funnel, it’s all automated. And as soon as they respond, that’s when the automation stops. So it never looks canned. It never looks robotic when you’ve got the right messaging, and then that’s when it’s worth manually following up and transitioning that relationship and moving it outside of LinkedIn. So they’re actually getting to know you and getting into the process of investing in your projects.
J Darrin Gross 29:55
But you’re at least you’re initiating the conversation, and you’re kind of trying to get them to kind of the fish to bite without being the, you know, manually doing all that that makes a lot of sense. So, for real estate investors are there any, you know, I guess, must do best kept secrets, ways that you’re seeing the people have have really had success. I mean is is basically like what we’re talking about is make sure you’ve got your, your criteria, you’ve got your profile setup and then start the messaging.
Yakov Smart 30:42
Well, it’s all about messaging, right? I mean, the best kept secret is that this is a lot of people don’t even know what they don’t know that this is possible. And that you can attract investors from anywhere in the world using this strategy. But the biggest thing is you need to build trust using your messaging. I cannot emphasize Is that enough? I mean, it’s if you don’t have that trust your, your shoot, you’re shooting yourself in the foot really. So it’s having concise messaging, having messaging that gets people to raise their hand first and not talking to people like you would offline, right? Because it’s online is really, really different. And it’s to have a methodology to write it’s to be intentional about it. The the other big thing, and I’m gonna get on a soapbox for a second is there’s a lot of quote unquote, digital marketers and gurus out there who talk about posting, right, you’ve got to post five times a day, like that’s BS man. I mean, it’s, it’s nothing to do with posting frequency just because you put more time into something doesn’t mean it’s going to pay off more that’s like the whole work hard but not work smart deal. It’s just not really what generates the results that you want. So instead of doing that, have a methodology where you can actually generate real leads. And if you’re going to post something, use it to supplement that and make yourself more relevant that That’s, that’s another big thing.
J Darrin Gross 32:03
No, I love that because I think there is this notion that if you’re not posting, you know, five times a day and you know, staying up all night or I mean, I don’t know how people do it other than that that’s basically become their job is posting online especially if they’re doing it themselves. And I don’t know I, I tend to think there’s so much I mean, there’s so many people that are trying to compete for your attention. After a while it almost like it feels like there’s a lot of noise whereas if you have a specific it’s almost like getting a handwritten letter anymore. In a really stands out just like what you’re saying is if there is a message that’s specific to you, and you open it up, and it’s not some lengthy, blah, kind of a message. I mean, I know I’ve had success in reaching out to people on LinkedIn and basically doing like you’re saying just kind of a small not an ask for a, you know, buy or something like that. But hey, I saw you on this. Just wanted to say I really appreciate it. You know, like if I heard somebody on a podcast or if I read something where they were mentioned or you know, congratulate them on something I saw I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positive, you know, response as opposed to some of the, the overwhelming dread I get when I see my inbox and it’s just full of these, you know, complete offers just sign here. kind of thing. So, that’s good. And just looking down here, as far as the ideal, you know, who would you say is an ideal candidate for implementing LinkedIn is a strategy to, you know, is there anybody that this doesn’t work for?
Yakov Smart 34:09
Um, who this doesn’t work for. So today’s conversation is specifically around a strategy for attracting investors and raising capital. So, but overall, I mean, there’s I work with people in some different niches and industries. This doesn’t work for someone, for example, who wants to sell trinkets online or do e commerce. I mean, it’s not, not what we’re talking about here. Right? So it’s about high quality lead generation. With a methodology we’re talking about today specifically, is for real estate entrepreneurs or people who you know are building up syndications or maybe wanting to reinvent themselves or maybe they’ve been in the business for a while and, you know, they want to raise more capital or now that they’re not networking with people in person, they want a way to create those key contacts. So that’s who this is really designed. For and it’s designed, the way that I look at it always is big picture is that it’s designed for a system that you can rely on. Because the biggest thing I think, you know, if you sliced it down to one thing, this is a way for you if you’re listening right now to put yourself back in control of you to lead generation to not have to sporadically scramble to raise capital or only rely on people in your sphere of influence. This completely gets rid of those limits for you and puts you back in control. And that’s who this is really for.
J Darrin Gross 35:34
Another question that occurred to me. You you’ve not mentioned once paid advertising on LinkedIn. You’ve spoken pretty much about the profile, which last I checked free account will give you a profile. And I believe you can message people you’re connected to unless you have a paid account. Is that still the case? I don’t know.
Yakov Smart 35:59
You can do it with a free account. So LinkedIn advertising for most people right now doesn’t make sense. I mean, it’s it’s an expensive place to advertise and all of these strategies that we’re talking about the direct messaging profile, you can do that organically without spending any money on digital advertising. The different things that I recommend, you know, spending money on what I personally spend money on when it comes to LinkedIn marketing is on the premium account, Sales Navigator because that’s its own type of CRM, and it’s, it gives you much better and more specific searches. So it’s well worth it. And then you know, the different automation software and then obviously, you know, whatever people’s back end and CRM so we’ll do things a little differently there. So there’s no need for paid LinkedIn advertising is just not not a good investment right now. And, and even if it was paid advertising is a whole different conversation because that requires a whole different marketing and advertising skill set that the good news is isn’t really necessary on LinkedIn. attract investors.
J Darrin Gross 37:02
Gotcha. One of the things I know that on all the platforms is there’s constantly changes occurring. Are there any recent changes are coming changes to LinkedIn that people should be aware of?
Yakov Smart 37:22
Well, the big change, is that just the caliber of audience, right? I mean, it’s, it’s been evolving. I think that the thing that really triggered a lot of these changes it was a few years ago, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, they bought it for 26.2 billion. And since buying LinkedIn, they’ve completely revamped the platform. It’s much easier to use than it’s ever been. You don’t have to be a tech whiz. And you know, just to give you some stats at LinkedIn has about 675 million users right now that number has grown significantly in the past few years. Fastest Growing age group on LinkedIn 25 35 year olds, so you have people who are actually younger and successful. And they’re there for very different reasons than other social media. And a lot of people are getting tired of Facebook because of politics and different things. And the only social media that they’re spending any significant amount of time on has become LinkedIn.
Same thing with C level executives, high level business professionals, LinkedIn has become their social media of choice. I mean, so much so that the average household income on LinkedIn is 115,000. And that’s an average household income. So you know, you think about all those things. And you also think about their vision they want because the reason LinkedIn makes money is when people invest in premium accounts and paid ads and businesses and all those different things. Um, but the big thing is they want people to spend more time there. So they’ve made it more user friendly. They have a bigger sense of community than ever before. And so people are spending more time their vision as a company, they want to get to 2.2 2 billion users by the end of 2022. So they’re actively expanding, they’re growing in other countries as well. So that audience, right, no matter who your ideal investor is, you can either reach them directly on LinkedIn or you can reach somebody who’s a trusted adviser to that ideal audience. So you there is that direct opportunity for you on LinkedIn? The other big change? And this also is a good way to answer your question is video and content. Personality driven content has really come onto the scene. Okay, because it used to be stuffy and professional and boring. People are tired of that, especially now they want to feel connected. They want some personality. So personality driven content is a great thing to include video is getting more exposure. LinkedIn live is coming onto the scene. LinkedIn stories are coming out of the scene. So it’s just becoming more of a personality driven platform and it’s becoming a place where people are paying more attention. They’re everywhere. Looking for something refreshing, especially right now everyone’s you know, people who wouldn’t have otherwise been open to, let’s say alternative investment opportunities or new ideas. There’s a different openness right now, when a message is delivered the right way.
J Darrin Gross 40:17
That’s good. I know. It’s changed a lot in the time I’ve used and I remember when I first got on, I didn’t know what it was or how to use it. Talked to some friends, they didn’t quite understand it either. But I know it’s been a great opportunity to connect with professionals and make some business connections and stuff and, and this is all these are all good, good ideas and good points.
If we could, I’d like to shift gears for a second. As I mentioned you before we started by day, I’m an insurance broker. And I work with my clients to assess risk. and determine what to do with risk. And we typically consider one of three different strategies. The first is we look to see, can we avoid the risk if we can’t avoid the risk and we consider as our way to minimize the risk? And if neither are an option, and we look to see if there’s a way to transfer the risk, and that’s what an insurance policy is. And so, what I like to do is I like to ask my guests if they can identify what they consider to be the BIGGEST RISK. And for clarity sake, I’m not necessarily looking for an insurance related answer. But if you’re willing, I’d like to ask you Yakov Smart, What is the BIGGEST RISK?
Yakov Smart 41:51
Right and it’s a it’s a great question. It’s not something that I you know, honestly think about on a daily basis. I guess I’m you’re a little more. You know, you see, you see A lot more different scenarios as being an insurance than I probably do when it comes to risk. But I’m gonna I’m gonna give a bit of what might be a bit of a surprising answer here. I think the BIGGEST RISK is a combination of plagiarism and misinformation because in the space, let’s call it mentorship or online programs or coaching, consulting. There’s a lot of knockoffs. There’s a lot of people who are trying who here’s something, it’s good, they claim it as their own, or they put a slightly different flavor on it and they go and they completely knock off content ideas, intellectual property. And they you know, sometimes do it without repercussions sometimes do it for a while. So, you know, it has a lot of people in the space that I met and also, you know, a lot of coaches in the real estate space as well specifically, a lot of us understand that the bigger we get, especially if we And scalability reach or impact that’s just a risk that naturally comes up. So you know to mitigate that risk and what puts me at ease around it is somebody could duplicate content okay? I mean and plagiarize and and do whatever but you know what I know at the end of the day is the unique way that I have delivering it and also with working with people, that’s just not duplicatable because that’s personally my unique perspective, my insight, my approach my methodology. So and the other side of that is misinformation. Someone you know, can play the blame game and say, well, you they can do something stupid, for example, on LinkedIn and post their deal and, you know, not be compliant with the SEC not something that I would tell them to do first of all, but then they could say, well that that guy said I can mark it on LinkedIn. So I can’t I post my deal and say invest now on it just to the public. Like it’s, you know, obviously something that I wouldn’t recommend anybody does. But sometimes there’s misinformation or people misconstrue things and human error. So it’s always a risk to I mean, humans are humans.
J Darrin Gross 44:11
Yeah, that’s, that’s something you don’t want to get sideways with the SEC or, or any of the authorities on that. But I think that that’s a risk that I don’t know that everybody fully understands, I think, you know, in the age of Twitter, and all these other things where people are, like, so compelled to, you know, get a reaction or or, you know, get their voice out there, you do run the risk of, you know, having regret for something you put out there or maybe, you know, not having all the facts. That’s, that’s good.
Yakov Smart 44:44
Yeah. And the key thing I want to add to that real quick, right, because, and I want people to understand this, because it’s really important. Nothing that we talked about today was a you’ve got to deal just put it out to the public. Ah, that’s not we’re talking about we’re talking about building a relationship. And then what’s the relationship is built with that investor talking about specific deals and numbers. That’s that’s really, really important.
J Darrin Gross 45:07
Right. And and even I think the thing that I take away from this morning, I think the goal is to get offline.
Yakov Smart 45:13
J Darrin Gross 45:14
You know, I mean, it’s that’s as much as we become, you know, kind of used to the online relationship. The goal really to have a relationship is to get an offline so that’s, that’s a good reminder. Yakov, where can listeners go if they’d like to learn more or connect with you?
Yakov Smart 45:37
So there’s a couple things the easiest way is if they go to linkedleads.us/ forward slash I’m sure we can include this in the notes as well the link to leads that us not LinkedIn leads linkedleads.us/raising capitalwebinar. If you like this stuff, if it appeals to you, if you listen to this, and you want to know more about free training, you can go and uh, we usually run a couple of these a week, you can sign up for the free training. And it’s a webinar where I’ll cover this methodology in greater detail on how to raise more capital and make you real estate contacts using LinkedIn. And then of course, anyone who would like you can send me a connection request on LinkedIn. Yakov Smart, let me know you heard about me on the show. We’ll be glad to get connected with each and every one of you on LinkedIn as well.
J Darrin Gross 46:28
Awesome. Yakov, I’ve really enjoyed our talk. And I’ve learned a lot. And I can’t say thanks enough for taking the time and I hope we can do it again soon.
Yakov Smart 46:40
You’re welcome. It was a pleasure.
J Darrin Gross 46:42
All right. For our listeners. If you liked this episode, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Remember, the more you know, the more you grow? That’s all we’ve got this week. Until next time, thanks for listening to Commercial Real Estate Pro Networks. CREPN Radio.
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