My Content Strategy Secrets Revealed! The Story of the Evergreen Octopus

How to Guarantee Eternal Visibility Online

Grant Cardone’s top message — Being Seen is Job Number One. Without being seen many times, you’ve got nothing. Anyone starting a business knows that for certain. They’ve got a great value prop but no one knows they exist.

Grant sells real estate and he’s become one of the top coaches and influencers in the field of sales.

Grant Cardone. Graphic courtesy of inspirationwithval.com

He’s producing more content than ever including videos, podcasts, books, and social media posts. His sales message is direct but valuable.

His advice is to get attention, avoid competition, and dominate your market. As digital marketing people know, dominating means developing fantastic content, getting in front of everyone’s eyes, engaging which means increasing attention, leaving nothing for competitors, and promoting frequently.

The end game for him is creating a one to one relationship with the client.

You Should Have A Good Sized Budget

That’s a big job that might require a big team.

Wait a minute. No, you could hire a digital marketing specialist with multiple talents and give them the tools to improve their work. Match a good researcher/copywriter/SEO guy up with a great graphic artist/designer and you’ve got the beginnings of something awesome.

Add a social media strategist and a video producer and you may be able to challenge top sales performers and influencers like Grant Cardone.

(Then you could use AI marketing software to learn more about what prospects and customers actually do want. The benefits of AI Marketing solutions are something you should start weighing).

Like Grant says, you must dominate your market. As Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, and Amazon demonstrate, dominating a market has incredible benefits. It’s so crowded out there. Competing kills you, wastes resources, strains staff, reduces clear thinking, and cuts profitability severely. Others have said it too — don’t compete!

Why Is Excellent Content So Important?

  1. Content is the medium of digital marketing – from Tweets to blogs to Video
  2. Good content creates visibility and engagement
  3. Content positions your company as completely unique – negating competition
  4. Content is sustainable and Evergreen Content continues producing forever
  5. Paid media campaigns benefit from good, engaging content
  6. Paid media is expensive
  7. Organic rankings are prestigious
  8. Organic rankings augment paid ppc advertising and email
  9. Good content can be redeployed for social media and is the currency of social exchange and sharing
  10. Supports good customer loyalty and brand awareness
  11. Educates, entertains, and reinforces your company’s value persistently
  12. Content testing gives you feedback to learn faster
  13. Organic content generates better, pre-motivated, informed prospects so your sales team doesn’t have to work so hard
  14. SEO produces website traffic continuously for free — give Google value and they’ll send you leads

Am I Better Than Other Digital Marketers?

I innovate. One such innovation is “Evergreen Content.” It’s content that keeps improving in performance despite seasons, over the years, hot or cold, through any harsh times. It rides on current events and is seemingly relevant to everything (LOL). That’s why I enjoy it so much. This is fun to me.

I produce content that is epic, in-depth, and it’s real. It’s continually tested and revamped so it keeps producing more traffic, inbound links, social shares, and return traffic.

Rather than disappearing in the corporate content archives, my top evergreen content is reinvented, redesigned and so it keeps producing forever. In fact, its strength grows every year until it completely dominates.

Octopus SEO – I’ve Been Doing It a Long Time

Evergreen content has even more benefits when combined with the octopus strategy where I grab up the top rankings for all related keyword phrases. I prove to search engines that my content is more relevant, high quality, engaging. By using semantics, search engines rank my client’s pages high for similar phrases. The engagement levels over years verifies to Google that this is the best content.

That pulls in 100 times the traffic!  So much better than only capturing the traffic from a single, obvious high volume keyword phrase that so many SEOs and content people obsess over. And this persistent “omnipresence” generates excellent brand recognition.

Advertisers realize it takes repeated exposure before prospects will act on their intent. The more revisits and longer the stay, the more likely they will become a customer or client.

Building an Unbeatable Advantage

Beating the giants is something I’ve always done. I expect to beat big companies with big budgets because they lack innovation, flexibility and a broad frame of reference. They kill their performance obsessing with best practices, taxonomy, and meta tags. Customers just want good content and a good visit.

By not focusing on routine, we’ve got time to keep producing the highest quality content. Great content is like a great quarterback. It can make everyone look good. We need that time for research and to strategize how we’re going to make it better.

Don’t complicate things for the sake of bringing more mediocre content into play. We focus on the 10% that engages and creates real results in leads and sales.

Good content and powerful SEO are the cornerstone of content strategy and a worthy digital marketing campaign. If you don’t develop great content, leverage it to the hilt, and get your UVP/Brand visible, Grant Cardone won’t have kind words for you. And you won’t close sales either.

Good content is a real lifetime workhorse and makes you and your business look really good.

You can keep floundering with silly content strategies that sound good but don’t produce, or you can hire me. Put me together with your graphic artist and other team members and we will dominate your market. And good content is a lot more fun for us all.

Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s start dominating your market.

11 Better Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads

11 Better Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads

I know, you get all your leads from word of mouth and all the rest “don’t do nothin” for me. What you may not be recognizing is that all channels power up your personal referral network and build word of mouth referrals from anywhere.

Staying old school agent and procrastinating on using all methods to grow your word of mouth referral network is unwise. 90% of agents avoid digital marketing. I hope you’re not one of them, because the top realtors I know all talk about how online is their growth area.

What is random and slow can be accelerated and improved.  You can build your audience and continuously engage them and avoid leaving your local neighborhood markets to your competition. Weave these 11 tactics below into a powerful overall strategy that is self-supporting.

Header graphic above is a Business vector created by Freepik

How Impressed Will Clients Be if They See You Have it All Together?

It’s not this or that tactic or, it’s using all of them to win.  Smart professionals who take the future seriously know they need to combine tactics like these and stick with them. Persistence is paramount.

And social media? Well, that has a special place in the engagement of your inner circle  and their connections. Each of these 11 tactics below will feed the others. Look at them as an army that will bring it all together for you. Have faith that this inexpensive effort will pay big dividends.

Most Realtors lack an overall strategy and they resort to hacking tactics to scrape out leads. Wouldn’t it be better to put together a multichannel strategy that helps you dominate local presence? These tactics below should help you step it up in lead gen.

Feed the Team!

If you’re a Realtor team leader, it’s not just about you.  Teams are where the success is, yet your team members need leads and to feel they have reach into the market. and supporting them generates big returns for you and a healthier sustainable agency. If you’re not doing it, your agents know it and begin jumping ship.

Let’s revisit the whole lead gen thing quickly with the 11 Best lead generation tactics.

The essence of excellent lead generation is wide scope visibility to the buyer and seller market and creating a clear emotion to choose you. Sounds so simple and maybe it is?

  1. Create topics, events and beliefs that bring you and prospects together. If they fish, play golf and tennis, travel, like fixing old cars, build furniture, grow flowers, watch HGTV, or eat health foods, then shouldn’t you be into these things too? This is more than blog and FB posting. It’s a way of getting invited into their lives.
  2. Create a visually welcoming website: a new website is fresh, easy to read and navigate, and has pics, videos, text and interesting headlines to draw them in. They’ll come back again and again because it’s fun, helpful and interesting. You may need to hire a good creative content person to get this accomplished. No, it isn’t easy but if you have the goal of a great website in mind, you will get your wish.
  3. Promote through social media, print flyer and local radio ads: A multichannel approach helps to focus the impact of your promotion. One channel by itself may not be engaging enough for your audience. Your offline promotions should bring them to your website and FB page, and get them on your email list. How well are you doing that now?
  4. Create a highly visual brand image and use it on your website, lawn signs and vehicle wrap: bright and ugly is what one very successful agent did, it really worked and made him stand out from the rest. Differentiation is the key. Don’t be boring.
  5. Leverage the new RETS industry standard MLS IDX system: RETS IDX gives you more flexibility and success in using your local MLS listings. These are the assets that your prospects crave.
  6. Use a new CRM system: with advanced lead scoring and engagement/conversion analytics, and the ability to send to a friend thus getting your circle to promote for you. Are your Google leads looking for bungalows, condos, or 4 bdrm houses near schools? Let your analytics tell you what they want and then give it to them.
  7. Hire an SEO / Content Strategist: 90% of buyers and sellers go online as part of their sales process.  To create high Google rankings along with epic, lead converting content that gets shared social you need someone who loves doing this stuff.  Plenty of strategically generated, amazing content optimized for Google really can generate huge traffic and leads. Don’t stick your head in the sand about online traffic — it’s the future of real estate and it’s your future.
  8. Build social media connections, interact with them, make them feel good:  because people buy when all their miseries fade away and they’re left with one clear state of feeling good. You make people feel good when you rid them of their troubles.  One agent I know of relies totally on Facebook and uses it as a central lead conversion center (he revealed some of his secrets to me). You can only have 5000 connections but that’s a big farm to grow sales.  The points is that homeowners are avid FB users and you can go from stranger to friend.
  9. Travel, meet people, study industry news and be more interesting: dull and uninteresting kills so build interesting material for your blog and FB page. That’s engagement. All that activity inspires others. Show your travels, celebrations, achievements, learning, and other people’s good stuff too. Celebrate everything and show them life is a fun blast and they need to buy or sell and start living themselves. Who wants a dull life?  Yes, travel is expensive. I wish I could travel because it can take your business to a whole new level and revitalize your personally. You need an “experience strategy.”
  10. Start a charity that helps homeless people, unemployed people, physically challenged and other forgotten people: show genuine caring by doing something them to suffer less and feel more hopeful: generosity does work so give away things for free and don’t favor any recipient. Be fair and helpful. You’ll get respect and admiration with your own local charity.
  11. Advertise on Google and Facebook: Can’t ignore his quick direct connection to prospects. It isn’t because you can’t afford it, it’s because you can’t convert the leads with just a phone number. This comes back to your CRM and lead conversion system, and the quality of the value offer prospects are seeing in your web content. Some agents win solely with PPC ads because with local targeting on FB, Google and remarketing. These give you an economical, continuous presence. Don’t use the lead gen companies. You can do it yourself.

There’s plenty more lead generating ideas, but these 11 give you the best bang for your buck.  Check out these top skills for luxury real estate agents.

Search Engine Marketing Services

I provide packaged services for successful agents, yet I am fully open to helping agents at a lower price point.  Take another good look at your website and ask yourself what’s missing.  Does your website and digital promotion really hit to the heart of what buyers and sellers like? Are you making them feel really good?

Call me anytime at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to working with a progressive and success minded realtor.

 

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How to Attract and Capture your Dream Client for 2018

Win Your Dream Client

Are your current clients bubbling with enthusiasm about your work? Are you being a big hit together? No? Well it might be you have the wrong clients. All the drama and misery you’re enduring is unecessary.

If your consulting or marketing agency clients aren’t giving you glowing commendations about your work and contribution, you’re doing no one any favors by continuing with them.

Get the right clients and everything changes. This post on strategy reiterates what should always be your strategy –  to identify your goal/ideal, then work your way back from there. Our beginning is the end – a happy customer who feels one single emotion –  fulfilled.  There’s something for every company or consultant below, and this post is updated constantly. Please bookmark it and come back again.

Let’s Explore Dream Client Strategy.

This is the EPIC post you’ve been waiting for.  There’s tips wrapped in a strategy that will lead you to better business outcomes for you and your clients. And even if you don’t get your dream clients soon, you might discover your current clients suddenly will like you a whole lot more.

Acquiring dream clients is about positive outcomes. The real value in striving to acquire them is in how you improve your technique, strategy, and unique value proposition. You’ll learn more about yourself and your actual value which might sting at first, but soon will be your primary source of  knowledge and skills growth. It won’t be perfect but it will take your life to a new level.

Dream Clients = happy partnership + reaching higher potential + higher earnings + better results

Photo courtesy of Joethetutor.org

You’ve got the Wrong Clients

In business, you could work for great clients or employers who are sincere, intelligent, who want to build extraordinary outcomes. You might earn 100x more with these clients as opposed to a client from hell, who runs you both into the ground. Is it time you jumped off that rat wheel?

Take a quick scan down the page and you’ll see a study and actionable plan to help you supercharge your client acquisition and revenue simultaneously. It finishes with important questions to ask yourself and includes dream client meeeting preparation tips.

I know you’re skeptical. That’s fine, we all are. But it won’t take long for you to grasp the potential of Dream Client Strategy. Here’s the sections:

  1. Why Dream Clients are the Best
  2. Why You Don’t Have Dream Clients
  3. The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan
  4. Right Now You’re Irrelevant
  5. Two Keys: Optimism and Confidence
  6. Dream Client Persona Development
  7. Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting
  8. More Questions to Ask
  9. The Key Goal to Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion




Dream Client Strategy — Sounds Wonderful!

It is, and it could easily generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for you as a freelancer, or millions if you operate an agency. In fact, below you’ll read about a Toronto marketing agency that takes it seriously. And what it takes is faith in yourself.

Few agency CEOs bother targeting perfect clients and instead, cast a wide net to work with whoever they get. Word of mouth is a good example of walk in traffic. The difference in money and satisfaction is staggering. And you won’t need hand me down anything when you get this strategy in place.

 

Imagine if you Landed just One Dream Client

 

This new EPIC business post covers a repeatable process of determining who your ideal client is and positioning your UVP to attract and win them over.  I’ve done it and I know it’s worth it. Yet it is more difficult today, so let’s be positive and certain that we will succeed.

Dream Clients are the Essence of a Successful Business

Graphic Courtesy of Thinkcreativekc.com

The one thing all successful employees, freelancers, and businesses have is great customers, employers or clients. That’s what success is –  great customers or clients to serve.

According to a study from Mark W. Schaefer, an internationally-acclaimed college educator, author, keynote speaker, and strategy consultant, 3 to 4 buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. Our best clients generate our revenue. You can’t escape this.

 

As we venture into this topic, you’ll learn a repeatable, ever-improving process of understanding and focusing on the best clients possible. I’m happy to say I’m learning at a high rate myself and I’ll be updating this post with more insight and resources. Please return later.

We Deserve Fantastic Clients not Crappy Ones

Graphic courtesy of http://wonderlass.com/blog/how-to-attract-your-dream-client/

Raise your Standards. Targeting and winning a quality client shows you’re serious about your business. Because if you have crappy clients, the future can’t look all that good. Once you’ve had dream clients, you won’t want crappy ones again. It’s not just money. It’s about living well. And it’s about working with people who’ll inspire and elevate you and make every second count.

Show You Do Care. This EPIC post on attracting and capturing dream clients is well worth sharing with friends and coworkers right now. There’s nothing more important you’re going to read today. From a 5 step plan to tips on how to maintain the dream client relationship, it’s all you need to know to take your business to the level it deserves.

Better still, consider having me help you with your digital marketing strategy and get truly business changing results.




 

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Why Haven’t You Found your Dream Clients?

It’s most likely because you’ve never tried, understood who they are, or had a plan or strategy.  From experience alone, I believe these are the most important reasons why. Here’s some reason below. Read all of them because the pain and frustration you feel can help you give up on your old techniques.

  • low reach; they don’t know you exist or you were a flash in the pan
  • successful people are busy and you aren’t intercepting or disrupting them
  • successful people are obsessed with their routine business activities not being open to new solutions
  • dream clients prefer specialists who are very good at whatever is their biggest pain point
  • they don’t believe you offer anything special or of significant value
  • dream clients have big expectations in terms of fit and character
  • competition is overwhelming and you haven’t found a way to be more competitive and make the competition disappear
  • you’re not yourself right now, you’re depressed or trying too hard and prospects are unsure who you really are
  • your offer isn’t personalized and relevant enough to them (someone else is more relevant than you)
  • you haven’t done enough research to identify your dream client accurately
  • you haven’t shown thought leader type knowledge of their market and situation
  • your style, tone of voice, and topics don’t appeal to them
  • you’re too much this or not enough that
  • you’re not catching their attention with a specific topic or a news item they’re very keyed into
  • your brand image is unfocused – they can’t figure you out
  • you have too much clutter for them to weed through
  • you’re not telling what you like and admire so they can feel appreciated
  • they don’t believe you really care about what they’re doing

Aside from SEO You’ll need to do some awesome outreach.

Okay, do you see how competitors have beaten you? You haven’t taken control of Dream Client’s field of vision, concerns, or their values. Here’s a simple 5 step plan that gets you on your way:

The 5 Steps of Your Dream Plan

Just to get oriented, let’s map out a 5 Step Beginning Plan:

  1. a brief summary of what you offer and what makes you unique
  2. a brief statement of your target customer or dream client
  3. how you’ll get in front of them
  4. how you’ll convince them of your value and relevance
  5. how you’ll make beautiful music together – you become their dream partner

When I created my dream clients previously, it was easy. There were few competitors and prospects had a unified view of the help they needed.  Now competition is insane and the prospect’s view is fragmented. Worse, many don’t even believe digital marketing works — it’s worthless.

That’s why a plan and strategy are so vital – for reach, visibility, impact, and convincing them you have a powerful and sustainable solution.

However, discovering who our dream clients are, what their interests and preferences are, and then connecting with them on their terms online is very difficult.  That’s where attitude comes in.




Step 1: Define What you Offer

Take my situation as a marketing services provider.

—  I generate leads and sales by attracting high quality targeted traffic and then strategically position my client’s brand and value proposition via epic content marketing pieces so their UVP is impactful, significant, engaging, and convincing, and they sell like crazy.

That’s a little long winded, however it’s important to highlight traffic, engagement and revenue since these are client’s 3 biggest pain points.

Step 2: Describe your Dream Client

—  A SMB manager or professional in California who needs broad visibility on Google and high quality content marketing to engage and convince their prospects

Your ideal client may be in a number of industries in Florida, New York, California or Canada,  so you can break your ideal clent down into let’s say 5 unique categories (e.g., legal, real estate, professional services, travel, finance) and geo location.

Step 3: How Will I get in Front of Them?

— I will use Google, Linkedin, Facebook (and email) to position content in relation to their search for perspectives, insight, data, and solutions they believe will serve their needs.

They will never find me via topics I am interested in. They search for solutions and information using their own unique inquiry process and questions. Therefore, I must write and create beginning with their problems and interests in mind.




Step 4: How Will You Convince Them?

—  By blogging and posting unique perspectives with authoritative yet friendly insight into topics they believe are relevant and timely in their industry, and which makes an emotional impact to create one single emotion that makes them focus on me and my solution.

Convincing means bringing their beliefs into a new alignment and dissolving their fears because they don’t act until they feel good about it.

Step 5: How Will You Make Beautiful Music Together?

—  I will show them how our work together will grow and sustain itself to create a feeling in them that results will only get better in the years ahead. I will reinterate why our dream business partnership will work and how we will share a role in it and help them see the vision of where we’re going.

You’ve got to allay their post-purchase anxiety before they purchase.  You’ve convinced them them, but at the zero moment of decision, you must crystalize with a clear and fulfilling vision.

What I discovered previously is that BIG VISIBILITY gets their attention and is absolutely necessary. That means high Google rankings and a good social media strategy will be part of your “Dream Repertoire.”  Patient positioning on the right topics is where it’s at. And it doesn’t matter what business you’re in.

Good prospects will be quietly impressed that you’re in the right zone, and are potentially a good choice. They’ll use their own process to check you out deeper. They don’t let enthusiasm get in the way of good judgement.

They’ll Talk to You When They Know You

So you’re thinking, how do you reach and connect with your dream client if they won’t talk with you?  You have to let them find you, and discover your message of how relevant you are (your EPIC online content).

Did you know your marketing content determines which clients or customers you get? So does your choice of topics, words, phrases, characters, stories and tone of voice. That’s the thing here, is that we need to discover enough about them to build a pathway to their deepest gaps and dreams and then slowly build a pleasant relationship with them.

Right Now, You’re Unknown and Irrelevant

The Missing Piece. Graphic courtesy of https://linkedin.com/pulse/i-am-actively-pursuing-right-opportunity-perfect-fit-jack-albert

If you get turned down or discriminated against, it’s because you weren’t the right fit, which means you don’t fit into their dream. They believe you’re irrelevant to their goals and how they want to solve them.

We need to develop a target client persona and formulate a laser like understanding of the most essential needs they have.  We need to look at their most recent activity and drill down to find the ideal they’re searching for. And we’ll need to speak to them via the media they like. That could be a blog, video, unique web design, visual content marketing piece, or a top ranking spot on Google rankings. They get the ball rolling.

Optimism and Confidence aren’t Skills, They’re a Vital Attitude

I really admire those who pursue ideals, because it takes the time, money, confidence, and an optimistic frame of mind that I want to have. That’s the kind of leader anyone wants to work with. Their forward vision carries you along in their tailwind, lifting your outlook and giving you courage and confidence you didn’t think you had.

LIFE’S MORE FUN WHEN YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY. BUSINESS IS TOO — Nikki Ellidge Brown




High Quality Dream Clients Also pay More

Focusing on high paying dream clients isn’t what this is about. However, dream clients will certainly pay more, and those with no resources might be the wrong clients to get involved with. Price depends on what they feel your perceived value is.

What Dream Clients Need

Here’s a quick list of why it’s smart to pursue dream clients, just to ease you into this topic of targeting ideal clients:

  • ideal clients have the specific opportunities/gaps that you can fufill
  • dream clients need your specific skills, attitude, and experience
  • dream clients need your leadership
  • dream clients will appreciate you more and thus will be sustainable clients
  • dream clients want reliable providers/partners — and you’ll be able to cut down on your new client prospecting efforts
  • dream clients know you aren’t the recognized greatest, but they know they will turn you into the greatest — they’re confident they can turn their partners into market leaders
  • they need more money, enjoy more time and freedom, and to be happier
  • they need confidence, focus, and support

 

You Must Maintain 100% Responsibility for the Relationship

Client management is a big task that we often neglect. But as your client goes, so goes you. You have to take care of your precious dream client.

This is one area I failed in and I’m still having trouble with it. I didn’t remove barriers for them, keep in close touch, nor keep my dream clients primed for ongoing success. Often I left them on their own (sometimes thousands of miles way) where they becamebored, confused, stressed, lacked inspiration and confidence and thus found progress difficult.

Their imagination imploded and they simply lost it. I discovered they are human. Although I could see some of this beforehand and I questioned them about decisions (some poor quality clients for them)  it wasn’t enough to get them back on track.

What I failed to understand well, is that I needed to step up and assume 100% responsibility for the relationship.  0% for them and 100% for me. Not fair, but that’s how it is.

They Think You’re a Leader

Clients view us as dominant leaders – authoritative, fearless and visionary. That’s why they’re hiring us and paying us big money. Yet when I saw that success was making them bored and ineffective, I failed to act and help them overcome their issues. I wasn’t the fearless leader after all.

That’s why you need money in the bank and plenty of new clients waiting. Options give you poise and courage and helps you make better decisions. Because sometimes people in your personal and business life won’t progress or take your advice, you might have to plant your feet. And sometimes they won’t participate or listen.

Let’s face it, if others are taking 0% responsibility persistently, you have to question why you’re involved with them. Or you have to teach them to be more involved in their own success. That’s what client account managers do.

However, in business, dominant leaders need to step up and take 100% responsibility.  You’re there because you’re smarter, more optimistic, skilled, visionary, energetic, relentless and confident. Your outlook carries a company in your wake and you may have to keep the captain of the ship focused on the mission.

Keep your client properly directed, focused, informed, feeling good, and you may never have to face that situation where you have to fire them. You’re not a doormat or a cog in someone else’s wheel. You’re someone building genuine, authentic, mutually constructive relationships. And that means big picture planning.




88Creative in Toronto – Chasing the Dream Client

Some marketing agencies are very specific, such as Toronto’s 88Creative who targeted specific companies — with their gutsy Dream Client List. To me, the fact they had this list shows they are on the ball and driving themselves to big successes with great clients. It’s classic big picture thinking that shows us why a focus on details is the stuff of losers.

We started a ‘dream 100’ client list, thinking about the types of brands and companies that we would love to work with someday, and Warby Parker was on that list,” said Erin Bury, managing director at 88 Creative. “When we heard that they were launching in Canada, we said, ‘okay, this is our chance and we need do something attention-grabbing.’”

Even if 88Creative didn’t land one of their listed dream clients, just doing this makes them think creatively, boldly, to perfect their process, assess results, and improve their attraction to dream clients. I’m not sure of Erin’s full expertise in dream client theory, but she seems very smart. What if you applied this dream client thinking to all of your business activities regardless of what industry you’re in?

And with respect to how 88Creative went about showcasing their attractiveness to dream clients, Erin Bury added, “The goal of this was always to get their attention, but I think the larger goal is to showcase the type of aesthetic we have as an agency and the type of creativity that we put into our ideas.

That creativity can be expressed very effectively in blogs or marketing magazine articles where you explore the topics clients feel strongly about. The type of aesthetic and creativity should be relative to specfic types of issues prospects face. A lot of agencies exercise all their creative genius, but then apply it to the wrong topics and forget to highlight how they approach solutions.

Whenever prospects call me and say they loved my blogs, they always refer to a topic. It’s the topic itself that inspires them and they like that you recognized the importance of it.

10 More Questions to Ask to Identify Your Dream Clients

Back to analyzing who are your dream clients. Think deep:

  1. who have you enjoyed working with in the past and why was it so enjoyable?
  2. what do they talk about most on their blogs and Facebook page?
  3. what is their biggest problems and complaints?
  4. what topics, keywords, and values do they mention?
  5. what is their idea of heaven?
  6. who are they working with right now?
  7. are they going anywhere or are they spinning their wheels? Why?
  8. who do they talk about and link out to on their website?
  9. how do they talk and what events do they attend?
  10. what is the opportunity gap in markets, content, and visbility they could enjoy?

After you’ve done your surfing, stalking, and assessments, you’ll need to figure out what it is about you that will be compelling to them. That willl be the foundation of your future content strategy and your professional brand.

Yes, you probably should develop a list all of their needs, preferences and ambitions and then explain how your company’s solution is best for them or how you’re the ideal person or agency for them.

But let’s cut to the key stuff now.

What are their outlook, dreams, self-image, brand image, goals, assets, tools, staff, and market opportunity? Are they a winner and how do they view providers?

Dream Client Persona Development

You can use persona development solutions to help you understand your dream client better. I’m not sure it will create miracles for you, but it could help you get better organized. Check out Marianas, a company in San Mateo, California. They use artificial intelligence software to build detailed profiles of target customers.

You’ll need to go beyond software and worksheet templates. You’ll need to ask detailed questions about what your client needs, how they think and make decisions, and how you’ll be meaningful to them. Many times, it means getting out there and meeting them so you can learn their values and prejudices. And don’t think for a minute that you can’t overcome anything.

Wise Planning for Your Dream Client Meeting

When your ideal client invites you for an in-person a meeting, things get real. This is where it’s all about them and how you’ll make a difference. I like what I read in an article by Mike O’Horo about the preparation time for a dream client being months or years.

With all that prep for research, website development,  published materials, and content marketing, your next stop is a meeting with them. Here’s some questions ato ask to create your meeting presentation:

When your presentation is good, it makes you look like you care about their buiness. You’ve invested time, thought and energy. it’s likely that no one else has ever peered into their business. You’re the first!  That’s something to smile about.




The Key Objective in Creating your Dream Client – One Single Emotion

Your content strategy matches you up with the emotion they feel about the issue and lays out the connections or path they need to take.

And when they feel one single emotion about you, that’s when your dream client contacts you.  And they feel powerful that they found you and that it was their decision.

You’ll never achieve brilliance in business unless you’re willing to let go of what doesn’t work.  I hope this post revolutionizes what you think about client acquisition and about the content you need to land them. Good Luck!

By the way, SEO and Content Strategy combined will have more impact on your clients than anything else you can do. Clients are always searching, and they’re hoping to find you in those search results. You’d better be there. Check out my book on how to build a dominant presence on Google, engage them, convince them, and show them how you’re the best asset they have.

Ebook SEO Content Strategy Guide by Gord Collins

Here’s a few dream client marketing resources you might useful:

How To Use Buyer Personas To Win Dream Clients

http://1000media.s3.amazonaws.com/coaching-zhdy27x/1-Dream-Client-Worksheet-vwao.pdf

How To Make First Contact With Your Dream Client

8 Ways to Make an Emotional Connection with your Dream Client

http://www.braidcreative.com/blog/know-your-dream-client




 

Highest Quality Content for Realtors

Dominate your Market with Great Content 

What real estate web design and marketing companies have learned is that Realtors want their cake and eat it too. The battle is on to give everything they ask for, but it seems the one key piece that makes it work.

Zillow, Real Estate Webmasters, Commissionsinc, and AgentLocators try to provide such a complete comprehensive real estate marketing solution. That includes technology, messaging, analytics, and more. But in my discussions with prospects who have tried them, they aren’t too satisfied. They assumed that by having it all, that the most important things would be magically solved. Turns out, digital marketing in real estate isn’t that easy despite the promises.




You might be underperforming because your web and social content sucks. This is where a creative real estate content specialist is the solution — they create unique, significant, and relevant material to your specific target clients




Google too has discovered that as a helpful their ad service is to Realtors in providing leads, that home buyer and seller conversion rates are outside of their control. They advise persistently to offer better content for your visitors. And customers of the lead generation companies see the same thing. They provide all these tools and services ad nauseum, but Realtors see the same results regardless of who they are. There seems to be something in uniqueness, significance, and personalization that makes prospects pay attention.

So what’s determining Realtor conversion rates if it’s not the all inclusive service? High Quality Content.

High Quality Content is the Holy Grail

The value home buyers and sellers are seeking is the feeling of satisfaction that they’re getting close to what they want. If they see the perfect home for them, that’s the best content you can have — the thing they want. Well, chances are you don’t have that perfect home and it may not even be on the MLS. However, your content can persuade them that you are the best channel to get that satisfaction. It’s the same with sellers who want the best price.

  • High quality content is text, video, images and value propositions that represent what they are after. It’s your reasonable facsimile
  • High quality content serves many other purposes too such as high Google rankings, and social media sharing.
  • High quality content makes a better impact resulting in more buyer/seller intent and more immediate action.
  • High quality content keeps buyers/sellers more engaged and keeping you top of mind.

So this missing piece of the pie, is also kind of an all-inclusive benefit in itself. High quality content serves all of your promotional needs and does it really well. It’s like the product on the shelf that sells itself. But it’s not a simple matter to create exceptionally good content. It’s a matter of strategy, budget and time. Too often, realtors have none of these which is why 95% of all agents never improve their earnings.




At some point, you have to stop following trends and all you can eat digital marketing schemes and begin pursuing a unique route to really satisfying your prospects. That will take expertise, time, money and confidence. Keep reading this blog and you’ll build the spirit and confidence necessary.

Content is central to success in real estate marketing today, so start thinking strategy and how you’re going to present an irresistible offer via that content.




Additional Reading:

The Essence of SEO: What Is High-Quality Content?

The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content

 

Related posts: Housing Market Forecast | Home Price Forecast | RETS IDX | Los Angeles Auto Insurance | Will there be a Toronto Housing Crash? | San Francisco Housing ForecastLos Angeles Housing Market | Toronto Housing Market | San Diego Housing Market | Toronto Real Estate SEO | Marketing for Realtors | Realtor Branding | Bidding Wars | LA Real Estate SEO | Realtors Benefits  | San Francisco Bay Area Housing Market | Los Angeles Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Toronto | Real Estate Marketing San Diego | SEO Blogging

How To Improve Visitor Engagement | Customer Engagement Strategy Tips Website Social Media

Build Your EPIC Engagement Strategy for 2018

Is your website strangely quiet? Do your visitors from Adwords, Google, Bing, and Facebook leave quick? Well, you’re not alone. Do they hit your landing page and evaporate?

Most websites suck because the content is shallow and not engaging. It generates no emotion and moves the visitor nowhere. These are the issues a content strategist resolves (join me on Linkedin for updates).

To fix that, you will design a better visitor engagement strategy. Many other areas of business are into engagement strategy too, from shopping mall and retail store design, to urban planning, to software UX de

sign. Engagement is very important and can significantly improve leads and revenue.

While the website traffic you’re getting from SEO and PPC channels is wonderful, it’s useless if you can can’t generate the customer action you need. This post describes in great detail how you can power up your content and site design to make your site more “sticky.”

Let’s Explore Website Engagement (and social engagement)

You’ll enjoy discovering how to rearrange your content strategy and prospect journey to convert more leads and raise your revenue.

You’ll be able to peer into the depths of customer engagement strategy. This one improvement, might be the most important thing you’ll do in 2018.

Do we have to do it all in EPIC fashion? No, that’s just my branding thing. You’ll be able to pick out the most relevant engagement tactics and fill the holes to make your content engagement and converations super pleasant and easy to consume.  You can come back to this post forever and I’ll have new info for you.



Engagement is an Exploratory Process Leading to a Conversation

When you hear the word engagement, you might think of videos or chatbots and something interactive.  Actually,  engagement is a process of creating a conversation or experience with your visitors, so it’s actually what’s happening via the content or media.

Content won’t do it by itself, even if the content is very, very good. I have plenty of experience in creating deep, informative, helpful, sharable content and I still lost prospects. Even good content can fail if the engagement funnel process isn’t clear and achieve the conversion goal.




Even the smallest interruption in the conversation, could end it. That’s very frustrating when you’ve worked so hard on your copy and visuals. To do engagement strategy well, you need to really know your customers. Study them, meet them, ask questions, take notes, get feedback, and understand their views and pain points very intimately.

That’s the only way you can optimize this website content process to convince them.  And convincing them is more than making the solution laser clear andhelpful.  Making them feel good is the  last phase of a process, which may be complicated. That’s why an engagement consultant might be in your future.




Focus Means Not Confusing Them

As many startups, freelancers and SMBs discover the hard way is that visitor engagement needs a specific goal. As a digital marketing specialist, I’ve fallen into the trap myself by being too many things.

What the customer actually wants is a clear vision of the solution to their pain, and a direct route to it. Offering multiple, value-added paths could confuse them.

That’s why many companies just present “their stuff” on their site and let the visitor decide for themselves. Given how competitive the market is now, that’s not sufficient anymore.




The Visitor and The Customer Journey

The visitor’s journey begins on Google. They have intent. They’re following a path to find a solution. They’re looking for a practical entry point, one they can comprehend, and then building their confidence.  If your UVP or the goal is transparent, undertandable, and inviting, they’ll continue their exploration.

The goal/solution must be apparent and clear in their terms or the conversation will end

 

If they leave, it could be your content itself, lack of a clear solution, or perhaps how it’s laid out to be experienced. It’s this on site experience that may be the problem.

What I find with many sites and on those I’ve worked with, is that there is no invitation to a conversation. Lacking that invitation, visitors feel the company really isn’t sincerley interested in their needs.  The conversation afterall, is to explore the visitor’s needs.

For us marketers, the engagement is about finding out what they need and then clarfying and customizing our solution to them.

How Do Your Customers Feel?

Engagement is a general term marketers created to describe how people feel about your website and your content. Engaged means they like being on your site, find value in it, and are pursuing the path to become your customer.

Engagement is the New Scorecard

And if they are already your customer, highly engaging content will help to keep them away from competitors. And remember, your customers are always searching and interacting on social media.  Engagement is good business sense and ultimately big profits.




Strangely, so little is available online about this important topic and how to do it, that it’s driven me to write this ultimate guide to visitor engagement.

We’ll cover why it’s important, what engagement is, how to make content engagement your new strategic focus, why your site sucks, what are content engagement metrics, and lots of tips to optimize your content engagement strategy.

Don’t forget to come back because in typical evergreen content fashion, I continuously update and improve my blog posts. Please be sociable and pass this onto your friends using the share bar!

What do the Lifestyle People Know?

Speaking of social and engagement, take a quick first example look at these Twitter/FB posts from a lifestyle blogger. Consider how much effort lifestyle bloggers put into their posts and how focused the visual message is in them.

We can learn a lot about social media and blog engagement by studying the lifestyle bloggers. They show us that connection can happen via simple things like a bowl of salad and a tasty dipping sauce.

Practical, down to earth, visual, sensual, and people are what they’re all about. They focus on a consistent pain point of people – creating interesting, tasty and healthy meals.  The food begs a conversation in so many ways. But the focal point or goal is, “what’s in this and how do I make it?”  The conversation is launched, yet a good blogger will be constantly interacting via Facebook and asking visitors what ingredients they like, how they categorize this food, what dietary issues vistiors have, and what’s their favorite food.

Prospect Engagement is Critical to Sales Conversion

Customers don’t buy until they have a clear, positive feeling of confidence. So engagement is a process of creating that feeling of positive confidence. Engagement isn’t empty interaction and clicking, it’s purposeful movement like exploring, learning, assessing and deciding.

Engagement builds emotion, buyer intent, and sales velocity. It’s the most important element in marketing yet very few business people want to know about it.  It gets little respect even among marketers who are hard pressed to create an engagement plan or strategy, or to measure engagement performance.

The reason engagement was rated 3rd in importance in this survey below is because marketers are confused by engagement and how to quantify it.  Aren’t lead generation and brand awareness hollow goals if the audience isn’t engaged?




So why don’t we start solving this audience engagement challenge right now?

How to Improve Visitor Engagement

This post offers 22 useful tips, some infographics, examples, and more insight into powering up your new website engagement strategy below.

However, engagement shouldn’t be a hackathon. Hacking is in vogue yet that could reveal everyone has no plan or strategy and are making unwise choices. Better results come from a good plan and a powerful engagement strategy. Then you can hack your improvements.

Understanding visitor/customer engagement can make your job more fun, increase customer retention and grow your sales revenue for many years ahead. It shouldn’t take long to see results but you’re likely to see massive improvements over the years ahead. Have faith, you can do it.

What if Engagement is the New Focus of Your Website?

artnewspaper

Why aren’t websites and social pages engaging?  Because everyone uses them for “show and tell.”  But websites shouldn’t be an Amazon shopping page or like a museum where there’s no touching and no talking.

Your product and service pages are probably the focus of your website currently. What might be better is your very best content such as an informative blog that makes visitors feel they will solve their need and then contact you for the next phase of becoming your customer.

You can deliver engagement via a great video, amazing product pages, or a blog post with data, using compelling facts and stories. Even if visitors are visiting from other channels such as Facebook, or Pinterest, or Linkedin, immersion in your epic quality content is likely the clincher. Poor quality posts however can destroy your credibility so always — quality first.

Connecting with Your Visitors

Videos, podcasts, Facebook pages can be engaging if they provide real value and if they align with the prospect’s problem. The challenge of course is that each customer has a different problem and need. Your content strategy would then create a different engagement path for each major type of prospect.

Okay, so now you know you’re going to have to put your thinking cap on and map out these paths of fulfillment for all the people coming to your website and social pages. The goal is to peak their intent and create a 1 to 1 relationship.

Regardless of the media channel, we have to create an emotional commitment within them to connect with us. Depending on the nature of your service or products, you may need to find to find some simple pain point to make an initial conversation. That simple conversation piece builds a bridge between you and them. It could be a common experience (e.g., a shared travel destination) you mentioned that gives them the emotional justifciation for continuing to read your website. One more such connection, and they’ll pick up the phone!

One thing about Facebook is that it seems to put those events, people, places first and foremost, rather than the business side of things. Avid social media users seem to excel at conversations.

“Companies and brands need to recognize that social media is the best way to engage their customers. What other media allows them to have one-on-one conversations and address customer service in real time?  Social and blogging done right, is an opportunity to show the human side of your brand and generate emotion. Take the time to develop a relationship with customers and use your social media soap box effectively”.

— Maureen Turner, Public Relations Manager at Homewood Health.

Video can be engaging. As you can see in this short video, the Realtor gives a spontaneous  “on the go” tour of available homes for sale in the La Jolla California area. And on the go busy buyers like that approach.

 

Engagement is the strategic process of connecting with visitors/customers on an emotional level and making them feel that they are fulfilling their purpose

 

An Example of Creating Engagement Channels

Let’s look at a practical example of engagement.  Let’s say you own a kitchen design and renovation firm and you’re wondering how your content strategy might be organized.

You need an overall plan. And you don’t need to be a genius. You do need to understand what your customer actually wants, what drives their interest, and how they make decisions (and all decisions are emotional).

The visitor, a homeowner has searched for kitchen renovation Toronto in Google search and they click through to arrive at your designer/renovator website.  The website is ready for them because it was designed not for presenting “here’s our stuff” but rather to let them choose the path and to experience the solution they’re looking for.

The prospect wants a better kitchen, but they’re not sure what style, layout or cost. The best approach might be to give them a general slideshow, video, or before and after pics of a typical kitchen reno so they can visually experience the design/renovator firms ability to solve their need.

Giving them a picture gallery might only confuse them and they’re not ready to fill out a quote form. That’s not respecting this wonderful, emotional journey they’re on.  Content strategy means patience and a kind of romancing of the visitor.

Artisan Kitchens of Calgary, Canada uses a simple solution of showing the step-by-step process right away on their homepage. This strategy suggests that homeowner education is the top problem to solve, and that you should get them to contact right away.

But is this enough of an experience where the visitor is ready to make that call?  Consumers want to be 80% through a process before they contact sales. Otherwise they’ll feel awkward, confused and vulnerable to high pressure tactics. That step-by-step process just described however does lead them to a high res gallery of kitchens. Have they answered the visitors vision, concerns and generated emotion?

This video shows a little more engaging approach with an interview with an actual customer.

After this, the prospect could be directed to a design studio for design ideas where they can click on features they want. A video is nice but it can’t possibly carry a whole engagement strategy by itself.

Once Fully Immersed in Your Content You Can Gently Move Them Forward

Once they’ve filled their imagination with design possibilities, you can move them onto kitchen layout plans, materials, and your pain-free construction solutions.

So now they’ve gone through a solution experience and are ready to ask questions, check your credibility, and contact you.  The solution experience helps to focus their thoughts and emotions in the direction you need.

You’ve built an expectation of fulfillment and they’re starting to feel emotionally ready to go through with a kitchen reno.

Their next action is to resolve their post-purchase anxiety, get the price, consider financing, choose the right kitchen design/features, and arrange the date for renovation.

That’s a lot of issues and tasks. Fortunately, your website content made it easy for them to progress from beginning to end. You painted the picture they wanted, resolved anxieties, and created focus for them. That created one single pleasant emotion and that’s what everyone wants before they push the buy button.

2 Aspects to Engagement: your Content and your Interaction.

Content:

  • your homepage, blogs, tweets, videos, pictures, data, etc is the experience and the your brand promise. If you can somehow discover what it is your visitors actually want to experience online (learning, purchasing, certainty, validation, confidence building, esteem, empowerment, getting rid of conflicts and problems) you might be able to research and develop richer content for them to read or view.
  • They  expect content that is relevant and significant to them and which is somehow personalized to their unique perspective and needs. The term significance is important to ponder.

Interaction:

  • this begins with scrolling, reading and clicking, and progresses  to them using their imagination and making some calculations
  • the next is to move them to content that creates excitement, surprise, delight, and awe, and it should have a good mix of emotion-laden content that suggests promise of satisfaction.  That’s why pics of kids, pets, meals, birthday events, and construction workers doing their wok makes sense. The next interaction should be with a real human being.

Monitor your Engagement

Assess your engagement success via your Google Analytics reports. See which links they’re clicking on in your page, where they go next on your site, how long they read the page, how many pages they visit, and whether they’re returning to your site.

If your engagement is low, you need to discover which of these root causes are suppressing it:

  • weak value proposition
  • ugly website with some unpleasant material
  • poor flow to the copywriting and other content
  • low quality, poorly qualified visitors
  • ranking on the wrong keyword phrases
  • hard to read and navigate content
  • negative or boring tone to content — too stiff and unimaginative
  • content too deep for shallow audiences – have some light stuff for them
  • irrelevant value proposition – they don’t want your stuff
  • lack of content – you have to have something for them to read or view
  • poor quality content – get a content strategist/writer/videographer to help
  • lack of credibility – your site, credentials and linkedin profile may be hurting you
  • lack of color and zest in your content – find something interesting — curate some content
  • lack of personal presence in your content – why aren’t you in your content?
  • lack of engaging stories to tell – you need to get out and about, travel, network and engage with others yourself so take some time out for those activities

Do You Need Better Sources of Visitors?

Sometimes websites are drawing the wrong crowd. You might have low Google rankings, your email lists might not be great, and your social traffic is flighty. Take at  look your analyitcs reports for info on what your visitors are interested in. Are these the customers you want? Could you incorporate something into your content to warm these people up?

Engagement Metrics

How do you know your website or social media content is interesting and engaging to your visitors? Are there any metrics you can use to assess whether you are moving them toward your goals?

We need to look deeper into the stats to see how people feel about your site, your content, your brand and whether they’re moving from stranger to friend.

Engagement metrics isn’t something most companies do well. It’s actually a complicated visitor statistics thing. Most peruse their web stats looking at single statistics which really isn’t good enough. Others just count how many sales or sales inquiries they get.

You get a lot of traffic to your site however, so plucking out the data is something you need a good analytics expert to set up.

They would drill down, by eliminating those visitors who came in and left right away. Those are poor quality leads, customers who needed a phone number or part number, or those you couldn’t impact right away. Those visits don’t tell us anything.

Experts would measure the engagement of those who spend at least a few minutes because they’ve been on the site long enough for you to have affected them somehow. To learn the most, we might only track those who reached certain pages or did certain things, and then track back to what they did on the site to get that far.

We might find out what interested them and moved them to the next phase.

But What to Measure?

In your Google Analytics reporting tool for instance, you’ll a bunch of stats to look at, plus other stats you can gather with other tools from social media and stuff out there on the web.

Here’s some of the metrics to examine:

  • time spent on site
  • time spent on your key pages
  • number of pages viewed on a specific topic (drilling down)
  • scroll depth – how far down the page do they scroll
  • click through paths – are they progressing through pages like you want?
  • video views and amount of time spent
  • reaching key target pages
  • downloads
  • subscriptions
  • blog comments left
  • return visits
  • visit frequency – time between last visit and most recent visit
  • pageviews per visit
  • direct visits (bookmarks)
  • social media shares
  • phone calls
  • actual purchases and amount of revenue

So what is it in all of this that you’re actually measuring anyway?

You’re measuring attention, interest, satisfaction seeking, relevancy, significance, involvement, commitment, information gathering, calculation, assessing, verifying, action, goal completion, and much more. You’re assessing whether they’re really checking you and your product/service out.

You can’t measure an emotion, but you can calculate how many purchases and phone calls you get. If they followed through, you must have made them feel pretty good.

A Visitor Engagement Formula!

Some believe everything in life can be reduced to a mathematical formula. Well, turns out that an engagement formula is exactly what we’re after if we want to improve measurement.

How about this homemade engagement formula:

number of interactive clicks x minutes spent on site / number of unique visitors.

This formula responds to the percentage of visitors who click a lot and stay awhile. Then we filter it further by applying it only to those who view any of this certain key content such as testimonials, product specs, price packages, contact and about us pages, key blog posts, and downloadables and who actually send an email or make a phone call.

A good programmer could set this tracking up on your site. Once you get into this, you’ll begin to see which customer touchpoints are the ones that result in more leads and revenue.  New AI marketing software is promising to not only do this for you, but also to experiment with your content to find out what works better. Learn more about AI marketing software solutions.

Marketo is a marketing platform that offers some engagement scoring.

Screen Capture courtesy of Marketo.com

At this time of writing, I have discovered no analytics solutions that track engagement at a serious level. So there’s a big opportunity for an analytics software firm here. If you know of any, please leave a comment below.

23 Tips on How to Increase Engagement

  1. Know what your conversion goal is before you begin creating the content that will take your visitors there.
  2. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious, or
  3. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious – include some content or an interactive widget (a game, test, or photo) to let them exercise that personality trait
  4. Remember why your visitor is visiting you since it’s your starting point
  5. Use visual content graphics video original relevant photos
  6. Ask them questions in your copy and in some graphics – warm up their decision making muscles
  7. Ask them to share or connect on social media and give them something to shre and react to
  8. Create more, deeper, helpful, spirited, open-ended content that invites visitors to explore. It’s content that beckons, surprises, and fascinates. Being fascinating is very hard work, yet customers love a fascinating person, brand or product. They talk about it, share it, and become a brand ambassador.
  9. Give your content some embellishment since content that’s too efficient is to dry and doesn’t build intent. And it could turn visitors off.
  10. Use relevant symbols and people to elevate your brand or make it more fun (e.g., the Charmin toilet paper Bear cartoon characters increased social shares 585%)
  11. Be distinct and memorable. Make your dialogue and voice distinct and relatable yet sound like someone who actually can help make their dreams come true by linking to your explicitly professionally worded services page.
  12. Create stories if you can but they must be very relevant — a story about how you helped a client with that very problem or how a person was made happier or more successful is always effective.
  13. If they like some of your content, create more of it, go deeper with insight and ask them if theyd like to ask you a question
  14. Stimulate emotion because people make decisions based on emotion
  15. Get them to visualize forward to how their dissatisfaction and future success will be impacted if they don’t get involved with you
  16. Create likability and empathy by discussing what you do for others, use humor, and tell them why it’s so good to do what you’re talking about — enthusiasm!
  17. Trust, crediblity and authority is important to readers so ensure youre building credibility with facts they can quickly verify so link out to relevant, high quality articles on other websites
  18. Create content continuity by publishing content that adds value to previous posts but all points to some key post/offer/event off in the future
  19. Toward the end of our posts/content, have links and leads to your social pages. This gives them a fuller view of you right now and what you’re up to.
  20. Have a good call to action. The body of your engagement should lead to a contact, but it’s okay to ask them to move forward and ask for a free consultation of some sort on a pressing issue.
  21. Use a contest and an online survey where possible. This enhances the visit and makes it more memorable.
  22. Ask them to email you for something for free such as special guide to solving a problem
  23. Ensure you link to your relevant content throughout your posts – in fact this is a key part of your content and SEO strategy.

Engagement Isn’t Isolated Events – It’s a Process

Engagement isn’t really a goal, it’s a process of achieving your goal of getting visitors into your content and to become emotionally connected to you.

Don’t be perfect. Show sincere intent to fulfill their need. Be interested in their need for fulfillment — your content will generate the spirit of following through on their intent or mission whether it’s to buy your product, buy a house, sign a mortgage, or travel to exotic locations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this immersion in visitor engagement. Bookmark it for future reference because if there is one improvement you can make to your sales and marketing efforts, it’s engagement that matters.  I’ll be updating this post regularly. Check out the recent post on social media strategy.

 

Further Material on Online Engagement

 

infographicengagement

infographicengagement

 

 

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Local SEO Mastery – Dominate Your Local Market

Local Search Optimization is Serious Business for some Industries

What if I told you I doubled the traffic of a major hotel? Well, it happened. From 1.2 Million visits per year to 2.5 Million per year. A lot of people travel and search for hotels online and they often book with the first few they see. Being ranked at the top of Google search results is very important.

Fast forward a few years, and consumers are becoming very dependent on their smartphones, often using them in the retail stores, while walking, driving and dining. Whether driving around a neighborhood looking for homes or while in transit and looking for a restaurant in town. Local search is a big deal. And Google maps is seeing a lot more use and it is tying in local businesses to map users.




Google serves up local business results as you can see the 2 screenshots below.  These results are separate from the regular search results and are a key FREE source of the very best traffic and leads online.

This post on Mobile search growth  shows smartphone use is trending higher. Visibility in local search results and being mobile friendly is vital. It all ties into the local and smartphone connection.

Graph Courtesy of comscore:  comscore.com/Insights/Blog/US-Smartphone-Penetration-Surpassed-80-Percent-in-2016

Local Search is Worth Winning

If you run a Hotel, Restaurant, Clothing Store, plumbing or auto repair shop, or real estate agency, you’ll want to show up in these local search results. Not only does your website come up right at the top left of the page, but Google gives them driving directions right to your store. How nice is that! Gotta love Google.

Local Search Results for Chinese Restaurants in San Diego
Local Search Results for Los Angeles Hotels

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: LA Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Company Toronto | Real Estate Marketing San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Company | Real Estate Website Design

It’s Part of the SEO Solution

I wanted to bring this local search visibility opportunity to light for you. I’ll spare you the deep stuff. The point here is to see the opportunity for a local business to grab really good quality local, easy to convert sales prospects. Getting into the top of Google’s search results is very rewarding. These are the best leads possible — prospects who are eagerly searching. That’s a hot lead. So when you believe it, stop reading and get into action.




Millions of Searches for Hotel Rooms

My client, the major hotel chain in Canada for many years, Delta Hotels, had 35 locations across Canada. You may have booked a room via my hotel SEO work and didn’t know it! Delta Hotels rooms and services are top notch and they charge a higher price for bookings. In my stays throughout Vancouver, Banff, Toronto, Mississauga, and other cities, I found Delta’s hotels to be very high quality. Unfortunately, Marriott Hotels bought Delta Hotels and the past is gone.

It was a challenge to get visitors to choose Delta Hotels over Motel 6, Super 8, and even Best Western. Hotel bookings are competitive and price sensitive. In hotel SEO, you’re up against tough competition including hotels.com and expedia.

I have to mention that I created new top rankings in the local search results for Toronto hotels, Vancouver hotels, Montreal hotel, hotels in Mississauga, and Calgary airport hotels and tens of thousands of other keyword rankings.  I ensured we dominated the 10 Pack with several hotel locations in each city.  That actually helped double their amazing website traffic and leads. Doubling a hotel’s traffic has a big impact on the bottom line. I can’t divulge numbers, however I can say what I accomplished in terms of SEO.

Of course, a hotel’s unique selling proposition, its branding, lead conversion strategy, content strategy, website mobile friendliness, and other supporting elements contribute to a converted lead. SEO brings them in and the content generates the booking and converts the lead.

You don’t just sign up with Google local business listings and see the traffic roll in. No, you must prove to Google’s algorithm that your site content and service is relevant to that location. Yes, there’s a number of factors that Google processes to determine rankings. Leave that stuff to me including the Google+ misery. Your job is your business, mine is getting you that great local traffic.

Here’s a couple of local search infographics though to tell you why you don’t want to think about it:

Graphic Courtesy of Moz.com Local Search Factors Survey: https://moz.com/blog/local-search-ranking-factors-survey-results-2017
Local Search
Local Search Ranking Factors Infographic Copyright Ranklocal.com




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Toronto and Vancouver 2016 Real Estate Market Forecast

2016 & 2017 Sales Potential is Looking Good

Has there ever been a better time to be a realtor, property developer or mortgage agent in Toronto and Vancouver? Probably not. CREA, Royal Bank and CMHC are giving the thumbs up for realty transactions over the next few years. Pros are going to do well.

Agents and brokers should be looking for new ways to be the BIG Kahunas of their markets through digital marketing strategies. The payoff for some will be shocking. I hope you’re looking at 2016/17 with an eye for income growth.

Sutton Group = West Coast Realty for instance had a record $11 Billion in transactions last year and this year probably higher.  If you’re a broker, you may want to look more closely at building a cohesive digital marketing presence, one that’s innovative and above common thinking about how to build realty business online.

Royal Bank: Outlook is Very Good

RBC is forecasting continued prosperity for the Toronto and Vancouver regions including stronger employment, rising exports, low loonie, low interest rates, and strong consumer spending.  BC is forecast to be the strongest at 3.1% GDP growth, with Ontario and Saskatchewan just behind.

2015 was ruined by a huge drop in energy company expenditures and unfortunately, Alberta will see further retraction. As the dust settles in the energy sector, the Ontario and BC economies will grow stronger. In fact, RBC believes Ontario’s growth will pick up steam in 2017 to 2.7%.  Both provinces are expected to see full time job gains in 2016 and beyond.

“Although frothy in some areas (e.g., Toronto), we believe that the provincial housing market will continue to be supported by strong demand, which will maintain housing construction at historically elevated levels.”

Toronto and Vancouver: Home Prices Remain High with limited Availability

Toronto and Vancouver home availability and prices will continue as a big story. Nationally, CMHC predicts that home prices will continue to climb over the next two years, but at a slower rate – 1.3 per cent in 2016 and 1.4 per cent in 2017. In this first graph from a report on the GTA housing market, it’s suggested that sales are edging lower due to affordability, however the real underlying problem is a lack of housing stock for sale. Realtors need to be more creative in enticing homeowners to sell.

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cmhcchart2

cmhcchart3

In Toronto, new housing starts may fall by 5% and another 10% although experts are not in agreement about that slowdown, especially regarding the new condo market. Most growth occurred in only 5 property developments, meaning there may still be untapped demand in the greater Toronto area.

Fewer new detached homes will be built in Toronto and multifamily construction will actually make up more than half of new homes constructed there in 2017. Existing home sales will drop to 87,500 units by 2017 as prices grow much too high for first time buyers. If China’s investment rule stays relaxed, more Asian buyers may support a less precipitous drop from 2015’s record home sale numbers and prices.

In Vancouver, CMHC forecasts Vancouver’ s host housing sales will slow only slightly in 2016 and 2017. Affordability is the issue that will cool sales from their record hot numbers. New housing starts are expected remain strong with 20,000 units under construction. The home resale market should grow to their highest levels in the last 10 years and moderately slightly in 2016 and 2017. 2015 was a sizzling year, rising 9% so a further 3% grow is actually fairly positive for realtors and mortgage agents.

Seniors in Vancouver and Toronto

In another story in the Advisor, it’s reported that seniors in Toronto and Vancouver may not want to sell their homes even though they may not be able to afford to live well in retirement. When seniors run out of money, they may have to sell their homes. Some may turn to reverse mortgages which are becoming a hot type of financial service.

reversemortgagestorontovanc
From a Report in the Globe and Mail

That means much of the available housing stock may not be sold. Seniors can live in them until they die and that means a good portion of the resale market will not enter the market. Of course, creative real estate marketers may find a way to help seniors understand the advantages of selling now while prices are so high. Seniors have options such as living in low cost Caribbean or South American countries, or moving to regions of Canada that are cheap.  With more babyboomers entering retirement, the sales potential of senior sellers and buyers will be of interest to innovative real estate agents.

Realtors who build their own brand of innovative services can get an edge in the coming years. Persuading homeowners to sell their home and progress with their lives, is just one example of innovation that top selling realtors will use. What else will they be doing? Take a look.

Looking for some more useful tips for Realtors?  What to do first?  A digital marketing audit can give you the insight you need to make better decisions about to be a winner in the digital wars.  Avoid the pain of being an unsuccessful realtor. It’s all in the insight and planning.

Is a high powered, responsive IDX-based website the only asset you need for the years ahead in your career? Actually, such sites are a great, but small part of the total integrated success program.

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Real Estate Market Forecast Housing Outlook Vancouver 2016

There’s Cause for Optimism in Vancouver and the Rest of BC

bcforestgraphThe irony of it all. BC is now Canada’s economic darling and yet some are complaining (justifiably, those who can’t pay the high rents). The question is whether politicians will try do something negative to spoil this growth.

The BC economy is expected to expand nicely at 2.9% to 3.1% next year. BC exports are growing as new liberal international trade deals are increased and as our loonie keeps falling to .75US.

CMHC believes there will be 30,000 more households in BC next year, and that will support sales of rising new homes being built. Mortgage and borrowing rates will stay low, energy prices will stay low so it’s a superb business situation for BC companies who need the investment money.

bcexportsgraph
Exports to China strong. Growing trade will make Vancouver the key city in Canada in the next 5 years.

BC’s latest jobs report is pretty good too. BC is leading the country with 12,400 jobs added, while the rest of Canada lost jobs. And 2016 has a nice look to it — supporting a healthy real estate sector.

The big controversy is the influx of Chinese investment money into the BC commercial and residential real estate sector. If the Asian markets continue sliding, more rich Chinese will be seeking to park their money in Vancouver and Toronto property. This is a short term financial anomaly that won’t continue so why bother trying to kill it?

September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC's growing economic power
September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC’s growing economic power

A Better way to Manage the Influx of Billions

Chinese investing in Vancouver
Chinese buyers surfing the Net to find Canadian Properties

There are those who want to end the infusion of investment from Chinese property buyers.

Rather than making these investors use devious ways to buy property here, we could make it easier for them to buy in the Okanagan, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto tax-free, since this investment money could go elsewhere instead. We could lose it all.

If Asian buyers can’t buy here, they will choose the US to park their cash. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and New York are very attractive too. But Vancouver’s better.

A report in the Globe and Mail states:

Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty Ltd., estimates that 16 per cent of his firm’s 1,500 sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses within the city of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Of his firm’s 544 sales of detached homes in Vancouver proper last year, 150 of the purchasers were from China, or 27.5 per cent.

Another Globe and mail report suggests Chinese sales are aided by a tax loophole that allows them to avoid tax by listing the purchase in the name of a relative.  33% of all these purchases are bought under these circumstances. If this loophole is closed, it could send a shockwave through the real estate market.

Big Sales but fewer Homeowners are Selling

The G&M report also revealed that number of listings in Vancouver has dropped 27% from last year.

In Vancouver, housing starts are expected to grow from 9500 in 2015 to 9600 next year. Resale home sales will rise from $820,000 in 2015 to $835,000 in 2016. According the BC real estate association, the average price of a single detached home will rise from $885,000 currently to $920,000 next year. That’s up more than $100k from 2014.

The GVREB HPI index price for a detached property rose to nearly $1.41 million in Sept 201, up 11.5% from last September.

If the Liberals win the October 19th election, which is very likely, we could see a boost in the economy with them increasing spending.  The latest jobs report is a rise of 73k part time jobs and a drop of 62k in full time jobs.

federalelection

What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing’s “Big Three”

The pillars of digital marketing are: SEO Strategy, Content Development/Strategy, and Social Media Strategy.  They’re interdependent and very powerful when they work together. This post is about how to develop a social media strategy — easy to digest, giving you the overview you need before you go about Tweeting, posting and liking.

Without a good strategy, it’s almost certain you’re wasting your time. No need for that. I’ve got a series of blog posts to help you build your value proposition, understand your prospects, create great content, use persuasive copywriting,  build your brand, and optimize your sales conversion funnel. Let’s begin with social media!

This graphic shows realtors are using social media, but are they using them together with content and SEO as a strategic force?

This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of  Overseas Property Professional
This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of Overseas Property Professional. Read his excellent account of how realtors are using social media today.

Social Media is the fastest growing marketing channel because it’s free (unless you’re using advertising), allows you to be very creative, is fun, and has tremendous reach into customer’s lives.social-media-bandwagon

Without a strategy, you’re very likely to get confused and frustrated with social media. This complicated medium needs a strategic path.  It’s simple really if you’re  a good marketer who can research, write, develop pictures and stories, network widely, and keep the conversation going.  If not, hire someone who is into it, create a strategy, and get this going.

Social media success doesn’t mean you have to go viral. A success is when you create prospects and engage with them, helping them understand your unique value proposition.

A good example is the realtor targeting the young millennial buyer who rents right now, then establishing themselves as “the realtor for millennials” is the right strategy. The content and dialogue should be focused on the millennial’s beliefs, pursuits and values, and their current situation — student debt, need for low down payment, renting, mobile, with parents who may have money to invest. Of course, you already know this.

Before we embark on this journey into social marketing strategy, let’s get our definition set first:

social media marketing strategy is a plan of action to focus and magnify the reach and persuasiveness of all the diverse content and conversations a company generates for social media, and to create the greatest impact for sales revenue.”

There has to be a bottom line goal. When marketers talk about brand impressions, they’re basically admitting that they can’t create a customer via social media. As Google chokes out its customer base via its algorithm, only social media will be available for SMB marketing campaigns. Social media is already producing customers, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon and start making real money with it.

Photo courtesy of Buffini & Company — Real Estate Coaching for Agents and Brokers – Carlsbad, CA

A Strategy isn’t so Difficult — Just one thing to the Next

SimplicityldTo use social media effectively, you’ll need a simple strategy to help you select the best channels and use them to gain real results. You don’t do social, you must be social. That’s the key mindset as you head into social channel use. The process isn’t all that difficult, however you may want to hire a social media expert who you can bounce ideas off of. It is a partnership.

Research shows that most businesses use an ad hoc social media strategy (shotgun or hit and miss approach) while a small portion use a defined strategy (rifle or narrow path approach). Either way, it should be driven by strategy not tactics.

Some businesses get too narrowly defined to the point where their content and conversation is stiff and unattractive. It’s better to be human, personable, generous, expressive, and engaging since social media is really not for business — it was meant for everything that isn’t business.

Create something Compelling about You through your Content and Conversation

If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, landscaper, insurance company, mortgage broker, construction services provider, dentist, plumber, medical services provider or other professional services provider, you can post material about almost anything that your prospects and customers find interesting (opinions, reviews, statistics, photos, video, infographics, news commentary, personal stories, sports and cultural events, neighbourhood events, etc). If it’s relevant and gets your messages across, you connect in a deeper more relevant way with your prospects.

78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases — Forbes

And by messages, I mean your significant, compelling, unique value proposition. If you don’t know what that is, you can hire someone like myself to research and develop it. I can help you create a picture of more value and a brand that exudes trust, generosity and sharing; Excellent traits that customers like.

5 Step Strategy for Social Media Marketing

  1. Set your goals and objectives: how many followers do you want for each channel, and ideally what action do you want visitors to take? (e.g., sharing an infographic or video, visits to your website, comments, and actual leads). Do you only want to make branding impressions or get them to download something or get them to ask a question? Which metrics will you use to evaluate performance of your social strategy?
  2. Choose the most relevant channels: B2B marketers will likely choose Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. B2C may choose these plus Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Who is your customer target? You’ll need to create a customer persona — a description of your ideal prospect, what they believe, what they do, and about their online habits. Are they older and sophisticated buyers who are all business, or young millennials who have broader interests?
  4. What content will you need to curate or develop that your prospects will feel passionate about? Your products may be boring and your value proposition might not be the most exciting. This is where imagination comes in handy.
  5. How will you interact with them? What will be the tone of your interaction? Will it be friendly, humorous, very helpful, participative, or a more detached, corporate voice?

A thorough strategy would drill down into the details of value proposition, content, interaction, and execution.

Good luck with your social strategy. When you’re ready to launch your presence with digital marketing, then it’s time to give me a call at 416-605-7026.

Here’s some further helpful info on social media for real estate agents:

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/58926524787/social-media-for-real-estate-agents-21-tips

http://www.inman.com/2015/02/12/canva-evangelist-guy-kawasaki-on-how-real-estate-agents-can-dominate-social-media/

http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/how-realtors-are-using-social-media-8788/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/25/100-killer-ideas-for-your-social-media-content/

What Plagues Unsuccessful Realtors?

Practice a Successful Realtor System

To serve my realtor clients as best I can, I needed to know what successful agents do and what unsuccessful agents don’t do. What I’ve learned about agents, I can apply to my own real estate marketing service.  You can never be too good.

frustrated realtorAs the realtor in the video below talks about, you need leads. Other realtors say it’s a numbers game. Make more connections and you reach more people. But who are the best 20% of prospects who will create your commissions and how do you capture them as clients?

Connect via Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter and offer up great content that makes them feel good. Everyone selling a house will go online and visit realty websites. It’s so quick and easy, why wouldn’t they go online?

Word of Mouth + Social = Powerful Brand

Your neighborhood word of mouth network might die out too often, meaning your time consuming, physical ground work is wasted.  With a great Google and social media and advertising presence you can keep those fledgling leads alive. Power up your brand in their minds, and use all channels strategically — show up on their smartphones too.

Take a look. Here’s why many realtors don’t become successful:

  • don’t build enough leads
  • don’t have a system of identifying the top 20% of great prospects
  • lack the funds and marketing campaign to take it to a profitable level
  • expects broker brand/website will build enough leads
  • don’t prospect enough therefore don’t get wind of people who might sell
  • it’s a numbers game and they don’t get enough leads
  • procrastination — never taking chances and leaps of faith
  • don’t follow up
  • don’t take care of their clients – poor relationship and customer service skills
  • don’t treat the customer like a good friend
  • poor communication skills — don’t get their value proposition across
  • don’t maintain a friendly, courteous relationship with all contacts
  • lose confidence after some frustration such as losing a sure sale – better to be overconfident, optimistic and resilient
  • believe the job is too tough when they really haven’t made the decision to be great at it
  • react slow to seeing opportunities and acting on them
  • don’t use their imagination to generate a wider approach to collecting leads and making contact

Contact me today gordcoll5@rogers.com for a review of your online presence and about a new content strategy.  Now’s the time to ramp up and accelerate your digital marketing and lead creation.

PS, remember that digital marketing including Adwords is a bargain (this graphic shows how you can create a lead for less than $2!)

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