Gotta love a good alliteration! All kidding aside, this blog post is about taking account of your business homepage to ascertain whether or not it’s time for an update!
Start With a Spotlight Video!
One of the best ways to inform your viewers of who you are and what you do is by adding a promo video at the top of your homepage underneath your banner.
The best way to sell your products or services is to present a problem/solution demonstration inside of your spotlight video. For instance, if you’re a pressure washing company, you could display a homeowner who is getting the home ready to list in this hot real estate market, but the driveway looks dirty and the neighbors are judging. Uh-oh.
The owner receives a flyer from your local pressure washing company in the mail and the owner has an immediate ‘aha’ moment. Cut to pressure washing service in action. Next, the owner peeks out the window to a line of buyers outside waiting to present their offers (above asking price, of course!) The homeowner (your prospective client) lives happily ever after!
Like a Good Kindergartener, Compartmentalize Your Wares.
It helps viewers when you compartmentalize each section of your business so they can go straight to the resources they are looking for (and reduces your click through rate in the process!)
Now is the time to channel your inner air traffic controller 🛩 psyche and plan how you’ll drive traffic on your homepage.
Start with a story. Why should a viewer stay on your page? What’s in it for them?
Compartmentalize your page into at least three sections:
Part One: problem/solution
Part Two: client testimonials
Part Three: CTA – appointment calendar links or order buttons.
Leave the “we’re the best on earth” braggadocio behind! No one cares about us, they only care about how we can make their lives better.
In closing, take some time this week to check the pulse of your page. is it time for a remodel? Even BK and McD know when it’s time to remodel, and look how they’re doing! Go remodel, revamp, and modernize your business page.
Having a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap Can Help Investors Identify and Visually Communicate Their Vision.
What is a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap?
A real estate portfolio roadmap (REPF) is a top-down view of your future real estate holdings that you desire to accumulate over the life of your investment career. The roadmap begins as an idea, becomes a plan of action, the steps needed to reach your end goal – the accumulation of real estate – and works as a punch list throughout your journey.
Because of the difficult nature of real estate transactions, namely their many interrelated pieces, the timeframes presented on this type of roadmap are more like aspirational guide posts rather that steadfast directionals or exacting deadlines.
Your REPR is a working, evolving document. It’s goal is to lay the foundation to reverse engineer your investment agenda over the next five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years.
Do I Need a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap?
For the novice private investor, a REPR outlines a specific growth path to follow which can help move you towards your end goal faster and with less surprises.
For the investment team, such as a REIT, it moves all stakeholders in the same direction, at the same rhythm, helping them achieve their business objectives with more clarity and synchronicity.
Moreover, using a real estate portfolio roadmap does all of the following:
Communicates investment impact
Guides the investor (or investment team) along the journey
Creates the initiative to forecast future income & expenses for each investment project (deal)
Assists the project manager in forecasting required resources for specific initiatives
Bolsters accountability, and
Tracks milestones and progress
Develop a Real Estate Investment Portfolio Vision.
Ask yourself, “how much money do I want to net in retirement?”
Talk to other investors, bankers, and real estate brokers to learn about income and expenses for any given investment.
Create your investor dream team, which includes an accountant, a lawyer, a banker, and a real estate broker.
Decide on your internal management team. (Are you a solopreneur or an entrepreneur?)
Create Your First Draft Picks – a ‘Bird’s-Eye’ View of Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio Over the Span of Your Career (the roadmap).
The private investor or management team should brainstorm investment options to meet the investment portfolio vision.
Identify specific purchase initiatives, cost estimates, and management (holding) expenses.
Decide on how to best structure each deal, taking into account the availability of investment and working capital, funding, tax implications, legal, government restrictions, and internal level of priority.
Create an Internal Investment Roadmap.
Start with your first purchase objective. Walk through the entire transaction to identify and document all of the potential moving pieces, costs, timing, potential pitfalls, risk reduction strategies, management duties & expenses, and BTCF.
Decide who will be the project manager for the first undertaking (and each project thereafter).
Hire your ‘dream team’ and ask your real estate broker to “shop the market.”
Implement your plan!
Rinse & repeat!
As your portfolio grows, so will your ability to scale up small projects or take on bigger projects. Thus, your roadmap will undoubtedly be edited several times throughout your career.
Remember, not even “…the best laid plans of mice and men” ever happen perfectly. Be flexible. And, above all, enjoy the journey!
In closing, if you want to be (or already are) a real estate investor who has several properties in mind, then you should create a REPR. It will help you to organize, evaluate, prioritize, forecast, track, and communicate your investment initiatives throughout your investment journey.
As a real estate broker, my team and I want to help you understand our markets and identify potential investment opportunities for you. We want to become your ‘go-to’ real estate consultant, “your source for real estate investment solutions!”
How are you showing up to your sphere of influence (SOI) and potential clients? Are you tuning in to their frequency?
In this context, frequency is decibel of sound that your audience (SOI & prospects) listens in?
Are you communicating to your audience with frequency?
In this context, frequency is defined as the number of times you show up and communicate.
For the former, there is a pre-requisite that you know how your audience prefers to communicate about your subject matter. You can research the answer to this query by going to Quora or Reddit to see what questions and answers are shared around your subject matter. (That’s the easiest method.) Alternatively, you could conduct surveys to a random sampling of your audience to determine their communication styles & preferences. With this background research completed, you’ll be able to tune in to their frequency and get your messages across effectively! 📡
As for the latter, the level of frequency in which you need to show up is dependent on the level of noise surrounding your audience. In our Social media age, you will need to show up more often in order to be seen by your audience. Traditionally, the rule of thumb was market to your audience seven times. 7️⃣➕
Today, because of the high quantity of content distribution, you should be showing up about 20 times per prospect. 2️⃣0️⃣➕
You may think that 20 times seems like a lot, because it is a lot, and I may not sit with you well to communicate with one person 20 times on one social media platform. I think the same way too. The good news is that you can mix up those 20 messages over multiple social media platforms so that you don’t come across as desperate or pushy. So let’s say you shop for times on Facebook, four times on Instagram, four times on LinkedIn, four times on YouTube, and four times on Twitter. Now you have made 20 contacts with your audience over 5 channels – not too shabby!
Question: what do I say 20 times?
I’m glad you asked! Use the F.O.R.D. method (family, occupation, recreation, dreams). Spread your communication out so that you communicate four times per day.
Start With a Post that Talks About Your Family.
Share an activity that you just did or will do together. People know, like, and trust (KLT) other people who are similar to themselves, so you can earn cool points if you happen to be engaging in similar family activities as your audience and their families. 💁♂️🤱💇♀️🤷♂️
Make Your Next Post About Your Occupation.
We all know that there are good days and bad days at work. Sharing your ups and downs humanize you and makes you more relatable to your audience, just don’t bash anyone from your workplace because you might have a boomerang come back at you. You can vent while being civil. And if you are venting, ask your audience for advice! People love to help other people that are facing similar challenges that they have gone through themselves, it is in our human nature to do so. 🏢 🤫😩😮😬
Write Your Third Post About Recreational Activities.
When was the last time you and your family had a picnic in the park? If you haven’t done this in a while, I recommend that you pack a bag or picnic basket (are those still a thing?), a blanket large enough to provide space for everyone in your family, f&b, and perhaps a good book to read together. Snap a photo and share it! 👨👩👧 📸
Lastly, End Your Posting Day by Talking About Your Dreams (or Your Audiences’ Dreams)!
What are your plans for the future? What plans does your audience have that you can help them achieve? People love to dream about the life they want, but seldom do they write it down and reverse engineer a path to achieve their desires. You can serve them well here.
Q: But When Should I Post?
Let’s follow the KISS method (keep it simple, silly). All of us pretty much start our days between 6 and 10 a.m., so let’s start posting in 4 hour increments (frequency) beginning at 8 a.m.!
In closing, knowing the frequency at which your audience communicates 🗣👂 and communicating with frequency 🗣✖️4️⃣, using the 🚘 F.O.R.D. Method, across multiple social media channels 🎙 📺 🖥 📲 will provide you with the quality, quantity, and variety sufficient enough to break through the 🚪 barrier of noise (other people’s messages) to get your communications heard by your intended recipients. 👏 🤩 🥰
Use a survey to ask them questions which will help you narrow down what services you may provide them with, when, and how often. The goal is to satisfy what they want to accomplish by discovering what’s keeping them from getting there. Use their answers to craft a personalized service offering that is unique to them.
2. Create a Client Loyalty Program.
People want to be rewarded for hiring (or shopping from) you. Offer them a rewards card or send them random gifts to show them how much you value their business.
3. Personalize Your Communications.
People tend to get lost in technology these days, so bring things back to the good ole days with a handwritten thank you card. You can also up your impact by sending random gifts and company swag.
4. Learn About Their Ongoing Needs.
If your clients/customers will be shopping or using your services more frequently, consider offering them a discount for frequency and throw in a occasional freebie – this is an excellent, low-cost opportunity for you to improve the “lifetime value of a client.”
5. Build Rapport By Getting to Know Your Clients Upfront and Stay Informed.
Let your prospects do most of the talking during your initial consult. Use sifting questions to discover their problems/goals so you can curate a personalized solution. Stay informed of their changes by being their friend and trusted advisor.
6. Find Common Interests.
What are your hobbies? Finding prospects while participating in common interest activities is a sure fire way to build bonds faster and get to the Know-Like-Trust stage that is a prerequisite of doing business. Take note of your favorite sports, music, restaurants, recreational spaces, faith and so forth, then brainstorm activities around those interests. Scan your community events postings to schedule which events plan on attending. When you and your prospects have the same tastes, your connection will happen naturally.
7. Start With Humor.
The best way to get your prospects to let down their guards is to inject a little humor in your introductions. Laughter is a positive emotion and helps move a person from “skeptical” to “know-like-trust” faster than normal pleasantries. Humor makes us more likable to others. Use funny stories or clean jokes that are related to what you do or sell, but don’t overdo it. (Don’t be a Bozo!) 🤡
8. Let Them Do The Talking.
We all know it’s hard to be in the backseat of a conversation, but resist the urge to yap and only speak when asking clarifying or prompting questions. It’s okay to paraphrase what they said occasionally to show them that you’re actively listening. When you can get your prospects to “trip” on the idea of using your products or services as the solution to their problem or desire, you will have mastered the art of subtle persuasion, while earning their trust in the process. People don’t like to be sold to, but they do like buying things that improves their quality of life (whether it be to resolve a pain point or to elevate their pleasure and happiness.)
9. Discover Their Values.
How does your product or service align with their values? Are you a good fit for them? Prospects are more apt to buy what they are looking for from a provider who aligns with their internal value system.
10. Begin With Giving.
According to the Law of Reciprocity, the recipient of a gift will naturally want to reciprocate your kind gesture by doing something favorable for you in return (such as hiring you or buying from you). You can open the reciprocity loop by giving a free initial consultation (but I’m afraid that’s been overused) or boosting an initial consult by throwing in a high-value bonus offering if they engage you at the close of your session. Retailers use loss leaders to allure shoppers into their stores, then up the sticker prices of commonly purchased goods that are prominently displayed at the front row, making it easy for shoppers to pick up along the way.
Pro Tip: Making an irresistible offer improves your close ratio!
In closing, making your products and services personalized vs. standardized is something your clients and customers want and expect in the 2021. It’s time to give your clients a “yes day” to a more personalized client experience.
A special thank you to the following content creators (in order of appearance) for their photos from Pexels:Andrea Piacquadio, Brigitte Tohm, GiftPundits.com, Marko Klaric, Edmond Dantès, JEShoots.com, Anna Shvets, Juan Vargas, Eva Elijas, and Gabby K.
If you are not already treating your clients like the VIPs that they perceive themselves to be, you’re at risk of losing them as lifetime clients. Many professional entrepreneurs claim to be interested in serving their clients for life, but their actions speak otherwise.
Why You Gotta Be So…Blasé?
Reach Out To Your Past Clients and WOW Them!
It’s time to think outside of the box and differentiate yourself. Send your clients a thank you gift. Not only will this put a smile on their faces, but you’ll stand out from the crowd of other professionals vying for your market share, earn repeat (hopefully lifetime) business, as well as prime your client pump for new referrals.
Do a little creative brainstorming to identify some simple, but effective and meaningful gift ideas. Here are a couple of examples to help you out:
If you work in real estate sales, finance, or title, offer your clients a movie night at home by sending a gift box with a downloadable movie gift card, two bags of popcorn, a package of twizzlers and a box of chocolates.
If you work in law, send your clients a gift certificate for a simple will and advanced directives consultation along with a home fireproof safe.
Have you considered sponsoring a “client of the month” on your social media channels? A great way to improve your brand image is to select a client of the month who either provided you with the biggest transaction or who sent you the most referral business in the prior month. Sending the winner tickets to a upcoming play with notoriety or to an upscale restaurant will win you major client loyalty! (Be sure to ask the winners to tag you in their social media posts during their “night out on the town! so that your other clients can see it and get inspired to be your next VIP winner!)
In closing, finding ways to honor your clients with elevated experiences AFTER the transaction will help you stay top of mind, win loyalty, earn repeat business, and generate more referrals. While you will take on a bit of costs to implement this brand loyalty program, the ROI can be your very own golden globe of a reward!
I was listening to Dr. John Maxwell talk about “Do Overs” during this morning’s Minute With Maxwell motivational video message, a weekday morning ritual I have become accustomed to participating in for about six years now. The key takeaway is this: if you didn’t make the mistake, then you couldn’t learn from it and be who you are today.
The problems you experienced and the bad decisions you’ve made in the past guide you to become a better person. If you learn from your regrets, those difficult life lessons often called “the school of hard knocks,” then you should be able to avoid repeating those same bad choices because you know from your personal experiences how they will end.
When you come to a fork in the road where you have two choices, pause for a moment to reflect on where each road will take you, then make a choice.
Be mindful of the choice you’re making and take notes of the consequences that follow, good or bad, so as to learn from them.
As I think about my own life journey and the recent choices I’ve made, I think about my decision to move to The Woodlands (north of Houston), Texas last July. As a person of faith, I believe God answered my prayer in enabling me to move to Texas in 2020, even though it wasn’t the right place for me to be.
By that October, I was right back in Jacksonville, Florida where I belonged. I realized that we have to be careful what we ask for when I heard a biblical story about an ancient King who received a prophecy that he would die within a year.
He prayed fervently for life – and God answered his prayer (to the detriment of his people.) During his extended 15 years of life, he had opened the city doors to an enemy that eventually robbed the city of its gold and enslaved their people. It would have been better for Israel if their King had died as was originally planned.
Moving to Texas last year cost me about $10,000 and a lot of loneliness. I contracted shingles in my first month there and I was all alone with no friends or family to care for me. I spent my birthday alone with no cake, no company, and no birthday gifts. And even though I tried, I didn’t make any new friends. It was a beautiful location, but not the right fit for me.
This biblical story, and my own recent life experience, taught me to “be careful what you ask for.”
Self-discipline is not about refraining from making bad choices, in and of itself, but about being a good student of yourself (disciple means student). In the end, you’ll look back at your entire life and realize that your own self-discipline was the roadmap to a better life.
Let your bad decisions propel you to make good decisions going forward. We are all on a journey and we can strive to live 1% better with every choice we make.
You may be a good candidate for a credit restoration program. Once you’ve improved your credit scores above the qualifying standards and have the eligibility income required, you can get an approval from the lender. If you need help with your down payment, there are sometimes local housing grants that are available on homes being sold in certain regions. You should consult with a credit repair specialist and a mortgage lender for an analysis of your current income and liabilities, as well as guidance on your next steps. Lenders can be found on Rocket Mortgage. Lexington Law specializes in credit repair. If you would like to speak to one of our preferred partners, we can arrange an introduction. Stay persistent in your pursuit of homeownership, your future self will thank you.
I just finished reading a case study about the following pizza co. who’s earning more dough by being a benefactor to charities (sorry for the blatant pun.) 😚
Here’s What They’re Doing:
i Fratelli promotes their charitable giving weekly using social media, allowing residents surrounding their 10 corporate-owned and 5 franchise stores to vote from a selection of local NPOs, churches, and high school booster clubs as the beneficiaries – on any given day, 15% of a stores sales are contributed to a worthy cause. More than 100 charities have benefits since 2016.
In the first quarter of their charity campaign, the pizza restaurant chain tripled their Facebook impressions, grew their retweets by a whopping 5X, and earned a 300% ROI in sales!
Here’s How They Do It:
Uses influencers to share the story
Cross-promotes posts on FB, IG, T, and blog
1 in-house team member spends 20 hours/wk on content creation (4-5 posts/wk)
Uses Google Analytics to monitor PPC AdWords campaign
Occasionally uses FB Ads campaign to promote a specific sweepstakes or event (less than $500 spent in total)
Targets the organization’s supporters when promoting a fundraiser to ensure they reach the right audience
Tags the Convention & Visitors Bureau on “DoughNation” posts so it gets retweeted to their followers
Charitable giving bolsters your biz’s positive brand image, increases sales, and provided an opportunity for viral sharing which translates to free marketing exposure (wider reach).
Consider what charities you can align your business with
Capitalize on post shares and retweets with allies such as the chamber of commerce, the visitor’s bureau, and other civic-business entities
Allocate your social media charitable marketing tasks to an in-house marketer or outsource to a reputable media company
Want more info? Here are some stats on the impact of charitable giving in 2019.
Some time ago I had the privilege of speaking with a former director of marketing of a condo conversion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The gentleman had been responsible for driving sales for this project during the pre-recession boom, and back then anything superior to a cardboard box was flying off the market like a SpaceX rocket headed towards the International Space Station in 2020.
I remember seeing lines of buyers waiting to get into a new pre-construction development sales office to buy a condo or single family residence similar to what you may have seen outside of a popular night club or at an Apple store the morning of the release of a new iPhone!
Even with all of the fast equity buildup hype, developer sales still had lots of competition and I was very curious to know how this marketing pro ran his customer targeting to optimize sales. Here’s the “Aha!” result I got from his answer: market segmentation!
Start With Building Your Buckets: Market Segmentation
The former marketing director told me that he identified 20 types of potential buyers – that’s 20 different client avatars – and created a landing page with copy and graphics that specifically spoke to the wants and needs of each customer segment. Now, I was not a novice about market segmentation. During grad school, I took a feasibility studies class on hotel development and we segmented our prospective hotel guests into three groups: business class, government, and travel/leisure. But this was way beyond that! To identify 20 types of buyers is hyper-focused, granular research (and a lot of work!)
I LOVE IT!
So, the next obvious question should be, “where do I begin?”Fortunately, you’re reading this article and I’m about to guide you through the marketing segmentation forest!
Disclaimer: This segmentation is not intended to redline or dissociate any class of persons, particularly U.S. federally protected classes, from being presented with an opportunity to purchase your goods or services via your marketing efforts. Rather, you should market to all classes using communication skills that speak to each class in a way that resonates with them while accomplishing your marketing objectives (making sales). I would not travel to France and expect the wonderful residents there to speak in English to me. In point of fact, while studying abroad there, I tried to speak the little French I knew at every encounter. C’est mon plaisir!
You can use these 5 marketing segments as “characteristics ofyour client avatars.”
For instance, you can start defining a client avatar as: male, 25-30, 4-year degree, mid-level professional, married with children, $75k-$100k salary, lives in Miami, works from home, wants to home school his children, needs two extra rooms, one for a home office and another for home schooling, drives luxury vehicle, enjoys smooth jazz, fine European wines from Total Wine, follows Jane Monheit, Emilie Claire-Barlow, and Sophie Milman (my personal favorite jazz singers), and enjoys outdoor recreational activities that include hiking and paddle boarding. Websites visited include Pottery Barn, Ashley Home Furniture, Toll Brothers Homes, and Lennar Homes. Favorite clothing includes Nautica and Polo by Ralph Lauren. (Okay, so I’m borrowing my own personal characteristics – you gotta start somewhere!) 🤷🏻♂️
So there you have it, we just defined ONE client avatar; 19 more to go. 😉
After you go through the tedious process of defining your client avatar…🛑 (hold the phone! Isn’t there an easier way to get this task done?! Yes, there is. You need 20 profiles, so target yourself first, then ask 19 people that are different from you in 19 ways, but would still have a need or desire for your product or service, to target (identify) themselves, bada-bing! Get it done smarter, not harder.
Next, craft your marketing message to each client avatar with the following Q in mind: “How can I satisfy this person’s wants and needs”❓
Your answer should include a curated version of your brand message; the main content is about the features and benefits that your product or service offers, graphics and video that (1) showcases the value and benefits of the product or service in action, (2) includes testimonials that validate your authority and reliability, and (3) includes a call to action, all of which appeals to that one specific client avatar.
Third, find out where they are. each niche client avatar has social media platforms that they prefer to hang out in. Go there.
Fourth, give them what they want. Attract your client avatars by presenting information that either solves a problem or satisfies a desire. Your goal in the initial engagement stage is to drive them to your webpage, so present a compelling call to action that drives traffic to sales or a lead capture page.
In closing, getting hyper-focused on who you are trying to serve will improve your chances of getting higher conversions and the bottom line is the bottom line. 😉
If you haven’t taken the dip in the video marketing waters, now is the time to start – if you like connecting with your community where your future clients exist and you realize that inbound marketing is superior to outbound marketing. 🙀
Okay, so you may be timid about getting in front of the camera, we all are. But, if you turn your attention away from “how you’ll look” and towards “how you will help,” then recording yourself isn’t so bad and is worth a bit of temporary discomfort – being of service often requires some self-sacrifice. 🤨
To help you with your foray into 🎥 recording, I’m giving you a 5-part outline for video content creation that’s applicable to any subject.
1. The Hook.
Start with an attention grabber – this could be an analogy or a question. For example, what if I start my video by stating, “in this video, I’m going to show you how Fozzy the Bear can make you a better writer!” I then show an image of the cute bear and rewrite his name as FOSC, which stands for Focus, Organization, Support, and Convention (which is how the FSA writing test is graded for middle and high school).
Now let’s try a Q: “What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring a Lawyer Who Specializes in Estate Planning and Probate to Draft My Will Versus Going to a General Practitioner?”
As you can see, either hook can draw your audience in with curiosity and open a loop that they will feel compelled to close by watching your video ‘til the end.
2. The Intro.
This is where you’ll give a quick intro to yourself and claim your authority (why they should trust you). You can include your name in writing (a graphic) in the lower third of the screen to identify yourself and your firm.
3. The Bumper
Switch up your video with a mini call to action (CTA) with the following suggestion, “If you get value out of watching this video, hit the like button so others can know.”
4. The Body.
This is where you answer the question or explain the metaphor. Using an outline and sequential order helps your audience follow along each step. Content is critical! Do your hw before making your video.
5. The Conclusion.
This is where you wrap things up with a CTA. For instance, you can ask your audience to book a consult, call your toll-free number, or hit subscribe to learn more.
There you have it, a 5-part outline for making a video. If you have a smartphone, then you’ve got a 2-in-1 high tech camera and video editing studio at the palm of your hands. Now it’s time to take 🎬 “ACTION!”