As a starting comment there were 2 really powerful messages today from the sessions which I want to share at the outset.
1. I get Twitter! – I first heard about Twitter last year and thought that is a bit geeky and kind of ignored it. Well 12 months later, I can see a value that is beyond the banal voyeuristic world of “following others”. I sat today next to a lady who was twittering throughout the sessions – she would almost verbatim capture the content just like a stenographer in a court room – the only difference being that the messages are limited to 140 characters and perfect English is not obligatory!
The point being was with her and others the Twitter world was being exposed to the “ramblings” of the Inman Conference which means in NZ you could be following the twitter conversations live – such was the “noise” of twittering at the conference that the conference tagged twitterings (called tweets) reached a ranking of #4 in the world for some of the day!
2. Blogging and online is now firmly a part of the toolkit of a smart realtor – it is not the whole toolkit, as a slight shift from a year or 6 months ago when you would have thought that blogging was everything there seems to be a return to a balance of online and offline connections and networks which each supporting each other to build an agents business.
Anyway back to the sessions.
Here is a note form digest of comments and thoughts shared in the sessions:
- The best source of articles for blogs comes from your audience – listen to what they talk about and then provide them with this content or information. Spend time listening.
- When it comes to blogging as a local agent – don’t regurgitate the market stats which are available from other sources give buyers and sellers reasons to buy and sell, help them better understand the market through interpretation rather than share data.
- Blogs will fail if they become too ego driven, in some ways they are not about you but more about your community and your audience.
- Try and spell check – whilst there is a tolerance for occasion grammatical errors, be conscious that too many errors or bad grammar can lead people to get frustrated in reading articles.
- Be patient – it may be many months of starting to blog before you ever get a call that has come from your blog, equally once you have a well established history of blogging this counts hugely for you for the future in terms of leads.
- It is very unusual that the leads that you secure from a blog come from people who comment, it almost is never these people, however people who comment are important they are the value referencers who add credibility to what you say and who you are.
- You will attract an audience related to what you write about, if you write about foreclosure sales (mortgagee sales) then you will likely attract an audience of people looking to buy these type of properties or distressed sellers, you will not get people looking for lifestyle properties – this is the facts of life of search engines.
- If you want to drive traffic to your blog you need to go out into the online community – to sites / blogs that are read by your audience (non real estate blogs) and post comments on those blogs – that way you extend your circle of influence and people will link back to you.
- The old adage of the web that “Content is king” still rules, however without links content is lost in hyperspace – so create links to your content on your blog on other peoples blogs.
- Use your blog actively as a marketing reference tool for your own website and social networking sites – your profile pages. Add links to your “best” or most popular posts so others can see what your expertise or opinions are.
- Engage with your community; for example your school – your blog is a media and the principle of the school may well appreciate for you to interview them to tease out local issues where you can leverage your blog to engage a wider audience – kind of a social service. In addition the likelihood is that when published your article will be circulated within the school community opening up your blog and therefore by inference you to a wider audience, in effect you become a local newspaper.
All of these great thoughts and ideas follow a similar path and neatly fit within a new 3 letter acronym! – wouldn’t you know it – YEO, it replaces or complements SEO (search engine optimisation) and stands for You Engaging Others.
This concept and phrase was coined by one of the speakers today Jeff Turner, however I would recommend you reading the wisdom of another of today’s great speakers Nicole Nicolay who has written a great post – The secret to blog sucess: YEO, You Engaging Others