Yakov Smart is the President at Linked Lead Enterprises. Yakov has been focusing on helping real estate investors with tools to help them raise capital through Linkedin. In today’s episode, Yakov, shares the mindset you need to have, and some of the steps you need to take.
Yakov Smart Real Estate Background:
- President at Linked Lead Enterprises
- Internationally recognized LinkedIn Expert and Author of Disrupting Linkedin
- He specializes in helping real estate organizations raise private capital from LinkedIn
- Based in Scottsdale, AZ
- Say hi to him at: http://linkedleads.us/raisingcapitalwebinar
- Best Ever Book: 50 cent book Hustle Hard
Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co
Best Ever Tweet:
“In a matter of minutes you can have a hyper-targeted list of thousands of your ideal investor” – Yakov Smart
Theo Hicks: Hello, best ever listeners and welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, we’re speaking with Yakov Smart.
Yakov, how are you doing today?
Yakov Smart: I’m well, Theo. Thank you for having me.
Theo Hicks: Yep. And thanks for joining us. Looking forward to our conversation. We’re going to talk about raising money on LinkedIn. So Yakov is the President at Linked Lead Enterprises and is an internationally recognized LinkedIn experts as well as the author of Disrupting LinkedIn; what he does is specializes in helping real estate organizations raise private money using LinkedIn.
He is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and you can say hi to him at his website which is http://linkedleads.us/.
Yakov, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?
Yakov Smart: Absolutely. So I’ll give you the really brief version of the background, so we can get into some of the concepts today as well. So my expertise for a number of years has been in the online marketing space. I’ve been marketing online, pretty much growing up with social media. I’ve been on social media since the eighth grade, way back in the days of something called MySpace, which I know a lot of people listening probably can remember as well. I first got into online business and online marketing as a college student. I actually wrote an ebook on success in college, which I think is actually still on Amazon funnily enough… But that’s when I first got into this online marketing world. I’ve pretty much been hooked ever since.
And fast forward a bit… I’ve had my business focus specifically around lead generation and attracting clients and investors using LinkedIn. Forward to the time that we’re having this conversation about for four and a half years, and as of recently, we’ve shifted our entire focus because of the opportunity that’s here at the moment of working specifically with real estate entrepreneurs and organizations and showing them a new way of raising capital and attracting the investors they’re looking for using LinkedIn… And through a series of strategies, tactics, and really innovative new ways of tapping into the LinkedIn platform and a few other online marketing platforms, we give people proven tools and a new way of raising more capital so that they can massively grow and scale some of their projects.
Theo Hicks: Perfect, thanks for sharing. And then you’ve also got your book on Disrupting LinkedIn. So I’m going to kind of toss it over to you and let you start wherever you want, and walk us through your tips, tactics, tools for using LinkedIn to raise more money.
Yakov Smart: So let’s start with some really important frameworks, because I know there’s people listening who are already very active on LinkedIn and have already given it a shot in terms of attracting investors and marketing and are seeing some sort of results. And I know there’s people who probably have a LinkedIn profile and haven’t really tapped into it for attracting investors and maybe haven’t even thought about tapping into LinkedIn for raising more capital, or maybe there’s people are transitioning from their day jobs and want to get into doing things like syndications and other real estate projects.
So the very first thing to think about is to understand the power of that platform, right? Because what LinkedIn allows you to do, it allows you to reach high-level decision-makers directly. So whoever is an ideal investor for you, whether they need to be accredited or not, whatever that number is for you that you’re wanting people to invest in your projects, there’s a great chance you can reach that person directly on LinkedIn… Because the average household income of a LinkedIn users $115,000, okay? That’s an average household income. And when people work with us, they’re just blown away by how quickly when you know how to build a list on LinkedIn, literally, within a matter of minutes, you can have a hyper-targeted list of thousands of your ideal investors, whether those are local dentists, dentists nationally, international investors, people at family offices, other real estate entrepreneurs, attorneys, tech founders, people who are working as project managers in corporations, who have 401 K’s to invest, for example. Pretty much any type of investor you can imagine. You can build a hyper-targeted list of these individuals and a hyper-targeted list of accredited investors if you’re working with or wanting to work with accredited investors only.
And the great thing is this data is the best data in the world, it updates in real-time, and you have access to those lists of potential investors at your fingertips. And what’s also really neat about that is as opposed to going out and buying a list or paying a list broker thousands of dollars, this information is available in real-time. And a lot of it, you can even get on the free LinkedIn search.
So the very first thing that people have to recognize and that they have to know how to do is how to find and pinpoint their ideal investors on LinkedIn, and build those lists. And that’s a really, really big thing, and there’s a number of ways to do that. But the other piece, the sort of the one-two punch where things really start coming together for you, is in the messaging. Okay? And if there’s a secret sauce to this, the messaging is that. Because you have to understand the difference between meeting that potential investor, let’s say at a conference or a networking event, versus LinkedIn, where if you’re having a conversation at a conference or a networking event and they’re not that interested at first, most people will give you the time of day, and they don’t want to just run the other way and give you the cold shoulder… Versus online, you’ve got a split second to get them to care. There’s a lot of noise out there, so you need to be able to build trust, you need to be able to stand out using your messaging and you need to understand the psychology of that ideal investor as well when coming up with your messaging on LinkedIn.
The upside here and the vision and the potential for you as a real estate entrepreneur who wants to raise more money and raise private capital using LinkedIn is you have the ability to consistently generate investor leads by having a system in place where quite literally with one press of a button, you have something that runs on autopilot, it’s 90% automated, where you’re generating high-quality investor leads day in and day out, staying within SEC compliance and constantly filling your calendar and building new relationships with potential investors. So it’s a tremendously powerful platform. I’ll also say it’s still one of the most under-utilized platforms out there for generating high-quality investor leads.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. So I’ve got basically three categories. Number one, the list. Number two, the messaging. And then number three, which is kind of like a combination of those two, is making it automated. So let’s kind of walk through each of those three. So the list – you already mentioned, free LinkedIn profile versus the more advanced LinkedIn profiles. Maybe tell us, is it worth getting that premium LinkedIn profile when it comes to making these lists? What’s the difference between the two?
Yakov Smart: So there’s five ways to build lists on LinkedIn, okay? And this will be a really good, thorough answer. So a question that I think a lot of people are asking themselves that are listening… So five different ways to build a list on LinkedIn… The first way is using the free search. It’s available to everyone. There’s a limit on searches you can do per month, but there’s some really good basics that you can segment for when you’re building your free list.
The second way is to search by LinkedIn groups. That’s also a free feature. That’s a way to see people based on behavior based on interests. For example, if you want attorneys who are interested in real estate to begin with, which tends to be a much easier group than just attorneys in general, having that type of overlap is another good way to build lists, and finding people by groups is the second way to do searches.
Third way, if you have a list that you could import previous contacts, or if you bought a list from somewhere, you could integrate that with LinkedIn.
Fourth ways to use the LinkedIn advertising platform. At the time we’re having this conversation, it’s not worth it for most real estate entrepreneurs. LinkedIn ads tend to be more expensive, and they’re not nearly what Facebook ads are at the moment. Now, that may change.
The fifth way, and this is where the premium accounts come into play, is something called LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Inside of our programs, I highly recommend for people who want to really ramp this up and do this at scale and get consistent results to use Sales Navigator. It’s not just the old school LinkedIn premium account. There’s a few different types of premium accounts. There’s recruiter, there’s old school premium and there’s Sales Navigator. And specifically, the upside of Sales Navigator is you can build hyper segmented lists. There’s about 15 to 20 different filters you can filter by. You can save these lists and use them like a CRM inside of LinkedIn.
And what you also have the ability to do is get hyper-specific. We’re talking about criteria like zip code, we’re talking about things like how long someone has been at their company, right? So oftentimes, a good investor or someone who has a retirement account that’s had that longevity. You can go by seniority in the organization. You can go by different interests, different affiliations, as well. So all that is available, and also by company sizes, where people live. For example, there’s an affluent zip code, you can build list of those people as well.
And where it gets really, really powerful, is having the ability to do that and get hyper-specific; the more specific you are in Sales Navigator, the better. And the reason why this is such a big hack, Theo, is this tool was originally intended for B2B sales prospecting, and part of this new way of using LinkedIn that I think a lot of real estate entrepreneurs are drawn to, certainly when they work with us and why they’re drawn to a lot of our programs, is we’ve taken a tool that’s very, very powerful but it’s never been used quite like this. And there’s so much upside potential to it.
Theo Hicks: Thanks for sharing those five ways. So let’s say, as I’m following and listening to this, I’ve got my free account, I already have my target audience defined; let’s say it’s attorneys and the zip code or whatever. So I do a search, I got my list. The next step, I’m assuming, is the messaging. So once I have my list, what do I do with the messaging aspect of it? What are some of your tips for making sure I’m able to get their attention right away, build that trust right away, stand out right away? And then I guess more tactically speaking, am I just direct messaging all of them individually? Is there like a bulk way to send a message to all of them? So I guess that’s kind of a two-part question, the what and the how.
Yakov Smart: So the messaging is a really big thing. There’s three important places to have your messaging, Theo. And we could talk for hours about messaging, but I’ll give you sort of the essential start with.
So the first place, as some people could probably guess, is going to be that LinkedIn profile. You don’t want it to sound like a resume, you’re not looking to put your executive bio out there. Your messaging on your LinkedIn profile needs to be all about what’s in it for them, because you’ve got to grab their attention first and gear it towards your ideal investor. The more specific you can be in your messaging on your LinkedIn profile, the easier it’s going to be to start building that trust. And you want that ideal investor, when they look at your profile, to look at it and think to themselves, “Wow, this is for me.” Okay? That’s a really big thing that you want to have happen. But there’s some other important areas of the profile where you can do that. There’s some tactical things, headlines, your About section, having a great cover photo, making sure your profile is set to public. Those types of different things that are a really good place to showcase a lot of your messaging.
And the other reason why the LinkedIn profile is so important is because other than your website online, this will surprise a lot of people, but it’s really important – your LinkedIn profile is your most important online marketing asset. Because when people Google your name, even if you haven’t logged into LinkedIn in years, that LinkedIn profile is usually going to be at least on the first page, if not in the first three results. So it’s really important to have that updated. It’s really important to have that powerful messaging on your profile.
The second place is in some of the content that you’re able to post on LinkedIn. Just like Facebook, there’s a newsfeed on LinkedIn, and it’s using content when it comes to messaging. It’s not about volume. It’s not about posting five times a day, right? There’s a lot of gurus who talk about posting five times a day or whatever. That’s an overwhelming amount. No need to do that. It’s more about posting quality things, that educate people and get people to have an ‘Aha!’ moment of like, “Wait a minute, this is something I might want to learn more about.” And there’s a number of best practices there, but as a rule of thumb, just think about content that moves people closer to action, that makes them more aware and makes them more educated about the type of investment opportunities that you have to offer.
Now, a real strong word of caution – when you post on LinkedIn, do not post individual deals. There’s a bunch of SEC compliance and regulations that you just don’t want to go there, right? So it’s never about individual deals, offering up individual investments just out in the open on LinkedIn. That’s not what I recommend at all; I want to make sure people do not do that.
The third important place for messaging is, as you mentioned, Theo, direct messages, right? And the big mistake to avoid with direct messaging, you don’t want to go for the one-shot kill. And something as nuanced as investing, with you – you know, there’s some cases where people are going to write you checks for hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars over time, and to just start that relationship off, you do not want to start off by connecting and pitching them immediately, right? It’s one of the worst things you can do, and you can ruin someone who might have been interested by taking that sort of approach.
So instead of doing that, you want to think about it as a series. I call it a LinkedIn messenger funnel. It is a series of messages you can strategically send to someone on LinkedIn over time that’s going to get them to want to find out more about what you’re up to, about investing with you, and it’s going to get them to want to schedule a call with you, and then eventually join your investor club and your investor list. So it’s a really powerful way to look at messaging.
And some other best practices, you want to keep things concise. You want to make sure that you’re always leading with value, you want to make sure sometimes you’re asking the right questions that are going to get their wheel-spinning, they’re going to get them interested, and you want to make sure you’re automated. This was your other point as well, sort of on the systems and automation. I’m big on delegating. I’m big on you as a real estate entrepreneur being the visionary behind your business and having a system you can actually delegate.
First of all, you want to automate as much as possible, but you also want to have a system for generating investor leads on LinkedIn that you can actually delegate to an admin, an intern and an assistant. And the big thing is to have it be systematic in a way where they can plug into, right? Where that becomes mechanical, that becomes a button-pushing. So first the strategy in the messaging and the processes and the individual tactics that are going to work for you. Then the mechanical on the day to day upkeep.
Now, the great thing about the day to day upkeep, using different types of automation software, you can actually automate about 90% of the work, right? So once you have the messaging in place, your profile looks good, you’ve got a really good list, you can automate pretty much all the follow up. And the only manual part, and this usually takes people between 15 to 20 minutes a day if they don’t have an assistant do it on their behalf, is responding to people who are actually interested. You’re going to start to see inquiries, you’re going to start to see people who are interested in finding out more about investing with you, people engaging, asking questions and messages. And you’re going to either give yourself 15-20 minutes a day, which is usually time very well spent, for responding to actual leads to people raising their hands wanting to know more, or eventually delegating that to an assistant or an admin person. So you definitely want to tap into automation. Automate 90% of the outreach and the follow-up. That’s a really big thing.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Yakov, besides all the amazing advice you’ve given so far, what is your best ever advice for raising capital on LinkedIn?
Yakov Smart: To think of it as a system and reverse engineer. You really want something that’s going to work for generating investor leads and getting people on your investor list over the long term. So the best ever advice is to reverse engineer the process, have great messaging, and think about this in the long term, something you can duplicate again and again.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. Are you ready for the best ever lightning round?
Yakov Smart: Let’s do it.
Theo Hicks: Okay.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Yakov, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?
Yakov Smart: The best ever book I’ve recently read, it’s a book actually by 50 Cent, that 50 Cent, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It’s a great personal development book. I think people, if they listen to the audio especially will be very pleasantly surprised. It’s called Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.
Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?
Yakov Smart: I would figure something else out to market. I would generate some leads and sell some stuff.
Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?
Yakov Smart: Through education. I think educating people, upgrading their levels of awareness; it’s a great way because collectively, one person has a new range of skills or one person is doing better in their business with raising capital, and it positively impacts the people around them as well. So education first.
Theo Hicks: I’m not sure if you have a specific consulting program or your book is your main education source, but maybe tell us the most amount of money, either one of your clients or someone who’s read your book and reached out to you, the most amount of money someone has raised by using your LinkedIn strategies.
Yakov Smart: So I wouldn’t say that the book is a great source for attracting investors. It’s a general LinkedIn book. There are some better resources for accomplishing raising capital. I think, at the time, I think it’s 3.2 million actually raised. And I need to check that, but that’s the highest number that I know of.
Theo Hicks: Nice. And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?
Yakov Smart: So there’s a very specific place for people who are listening to this and want to go deeper and know more. There’s a free online training, it’s http://linkedleads.us/raisingcapitalwebinar/. It’s a free online training that covers the methodology, and they can get access to that by going to http://linkedleads.us/raisingcapitalwebinar/.
Theo Hicks: Perfect, thanks for sharing that and I’ll make sure that that is included in the show notes. Yakov, thanks for coming on the show and giving us your best ever advice and tactics for raising capital on LinkedIn. We were very specific, and you gave all your advice in list form, which makes it very easy for me to summarize, aas well as for people listening to remember. So your framework was how powerful LinkedIn actually is, and that not all people are necessarily using it to generate leads, and some people are, some people aren’t.
But you mentioned that something that seems to shock people, is when you mentioned that the average household income for a LinkedIn user is $115,000. So it allows you to reach people that have that salary or even higher directly.
You mentioned that there are three different aspects of the strategy. First, is the list. Second, is the messaging. And the third, is making sure that it’s on autopilot.
For the list, there’s five ways to build lists; there’s the free search function, there’s searching by LinkedIn groups, there’s importing a list, maybe a list you bought somewhere else, there’s advertising, which you’ve said, probably not the best, at least right now for real estate investors. They can get more out of some other advertising, like on Facebook. And then fifth would be the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is one of those paid accounts that allows you to hyper-segment your lists, and there’s a bunch of filters you can use.
And then for the messaging, which you said was the secret sauce… I liked how you said that you have to recognize a difference between networking with someone face to face, where they’re not interested, they’re not going to just instantaneously walk away from you. They’re going to be polite, maybe listen to you a little bit, and then walk away. Whereas online, it’s a split-second, you’ve got a very short amount of time to get their attention, or they will just click away.
So you mentioned that to set yourself up for success, the three places you need to focus on are your profile, the content that you post, as well as the direct messaging. And you kind of gave us all examples of what to do for each of those. And then you talked about the third category, which is putting the system on autopilot and that you’re able to automate 90% of it. And then the only manual part would be responding to people, which you could automate even further by delegating to an admin.
And then to wrap it all up, you said your best ever advice, which was to think of it as a whole system, reverse engineer the process and then realize this is a long term strategy. Don’t get discouraged if you make your first list and don’t raise $3.4 million in a week.
So Yakov, again, thanks for joining us. Best of listeners, make sure you take advantage of that free course at http://linkedleads.us/raisingcapitalwebinar/. Thank you as always for listening. Have a best every day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.
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