A Purposeful Approach to Social Networking

Been successful, but not as successful as you could be?  Do you have a huge list of ideas just waiting to be implemented?  Do you know what to do . . . you just need to do it?  You have probably been operating on your natural abilities, meeting fair success – and never stretching yourself by adopting new systems that are outside of your natural comfort zone.  Sound familiar? 

We’ve all been there . . . in fact, it’s so common that there have been several book written about it (Good to Great, by Jim Collins; Good is Not Enough, by Keith R. Wyche, etc).  Gary Keller calls it “E to P”, or, “Entrepreneurial to Purposeful.”

Purposeful

Many Realtors utilize their Entrepreneurial abilities – their enthusiasm, their “name badge as conversation starter”, and the tried and true traditional methods of marketing that they have seen other Realtors practice for years.  It’s what they know.

I have seen reasonably few Agents truly focused, in a purposeful and meaningful way, on communicating consistently and effectively with their Sphere of Influence.  Let’s break down a typical Sphere into target groups, using two complimentary methods.

SOI Bulls Eye

The SOI Bulls Eye

Your Sphere of Influence is made up of three groups:

  • Have Mets
  • Inner Circle
  • Advocates

Your Have Mets are comprised of anyone you know, by face or by name, but don’t have relationship with.  Their number’s probably not in your cell phone.  This is likely to be approximately 40% of your SOI.

Your Inner Circle contains Family, Friends, Past Clients, Allied Resources, Co-workers and others that you know more closely than the Have Mets.  It has a wide range of relationship types and is likely 55% of your SOI.

The Advocate group is typically 5% or less of your SOI, but it will generate more than 50% of the referrals you receive every year (when they are treated right).  Advocates have some unique characteristics:

  • an Advocate likes or respects you
  • an Advocate believes in the services you provide
  • an Advocate likes to be “in the know”
  • an Advocate is well placed to provide referrals

In your communication with these 3 groups, the language, approach and style should vary with the audience.

SOI Pie Chart

Break It Down

Within your Inner Circle, you can break the audience down further into the following major groups, as seen in the pie chart:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Past Clients
  • Past Co-workers
  • Neighbors
  • Industry (Allied Resources) & Local Businesses
  • Other Agents

The most balanced and effective Lead Receiving strategy will consider each of these audiences and reach out to them in a way that speaks their language.  If your friend receives a form letter that was also sent to local business owners, they may question your intent.  Conversely, sending a casual note to both family and also neighbors you hardly know may seem a bit forward to the neighbors.

If you have decided to begin a blog, you will need to first consider which of these audiences you are speaking to.  Often you can include several audiences with certain subject matter.  Blogs are meant to be virtual “communities” and can’t be all things to all people.

 “Viral” is a Good Thing?

In the world of Social Networking, “viral” describes the virtual word of mouth that occurs when something is passed from one person to another through social media applications.  If your content is relevant, interesting, funny or wild . . . it will likely find its way in front of thousands of people.  Think about the NAR studies which reveal that the average person will know at least 5 people who will either buy or sell (or both) real estate in the next year.  See below . . .

Friend Leverage

Simple math tells us that a relatively small SOI of 100 people will contain a direct link to an average of 500 Buyers and Sellers each year!  The million-dollar-question has always been “how do I get my SOI to refer me to their 5?”

Social Media just might be your connection to those 500.  Not only can you add many of them directly to your own SOI; your sharable, relevant content will likely get passed along from your friend to their friends . . . making the connection for you.

New Commandments

  1. Thou shalt use Social Media to connect with your SOI
  2. Thou shalt divide your SOI into audiences
  3. Thou shalt create content that is relevant to your target audience
  4. Thou shalt make your content easy to share

What else??  What are YOUR absolute rules to follow in connecting with your SOI??

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