A Purposeful Approach to Social Networking

October 15, 2009

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??


Creating Your “Lead Receiving” Plan

October 15, 2009

We spend a lot of time talking about our Lead Generating plans.  For any new business, it is critical to generate leads (new clients); but we often forget to build a systematic Lead Receiving plan that will continuously fill our pipeline with future business.  Without this system, you are doomed to live out the up and down, typical business cycle of: generate new business, serve the customer, close the deal, generate new business.  It’s the “feast or famine” cycle, and it’s stressful and draining.  Gary Keller describes this cycle in his book, SHIFT (see image below).  Today’s powerpoint is HERE.

The Lead Generation Cycle (SHIFT at www.millionairesystems.com)

The Lead Generation Cycle (SHIFT at http://www.millionairesystems.com)

Using Systems To Beat The Cycle

Two systems that have been time-tested by today’s most highly successful Realtors are the 12 Direct and 33 Touch.  These were discussed in our last class and we dug into best practices today.

 

Below are some of the Brainstorming ideas we came up with for your 12 Direct Plan:

Don’t forget the myriad of Social Networking tools available to expand your network/database which could also be included.  Well written Tweets, blog posts and Facebook posts will attract “Have Not Mets” to you as well as get shared by your current network to others you may not already know.

For the 33 Touch, the class came up with:

Don’t forget your out of town family and friends, Allied Resources (industry connections) and other Realtors as sources for referrals.  You should use these tools as a touch system for them as well!

 Utilizing Social Media, and Getting Results!

You know the old saying about a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it?  The same concept applies for your Social Media attempts in a community of one. 

 Are you on Twitter because someone told you you should be?  What’s your strategy to increase your Buyer and Seller leads by tweeting?  Have you been strategic about who you are following?

 Did you get on Facebook as a networking and business tool . . . only to trade silly comments with the same people you talk with on a regular basis already?

 Are you spending any time writing a blog on real estate?  Who is reading your posts, do you have an audience?  Is there a community there, where the participants are plugged in and getting involved?

 The reason I’m asking is that I frequently talk to Realtors who are “doing” these things, or “have an account” but aren’t sure how it could lead to more business.  Part of that comes from not knowing your target audience, and using a “shotgun” approach to spewing information out into the black hole of cyberspace.

 Experts far beyond my Social Media knowledge and experience constantly tell us that “Content is King.”  Having something to say that is important to your audience is critical.  To know what that is, you have to understand your audience.  If you are blogging to your BMW Fan Club buddies, you have no way of knowing if they are interested in real estate . . . but you know they like Bimmers!  So blog on BMW – build the relationship and attract others who share a common passion.  When it comes time to buy or sell real estate, they will want to work with their knowledgeable friend who happens to also be a Realtor.  The point is:  stick with what you know and aim your content towards the audience you are looking to connect with.

 Last thing . . . I highly recommend reaching out to some key friends in the target group to help you spread the word of your new blog, tweets or fan page.  That third-party endorsement is priceless and it helps you get plugged into a broader audience.

 Unleash the Power of the Mastermind

Okay, let’s hear it . . . what do YOU use to stay connected with your network???  If everybody leaves a comment, we’ll have hundreds of new ideas to choose from!  Information on specific companies helps too!  What’s your best tool?


Your Million Dollar Lead Generating Strategy

October 12, 2009

If you opened a restaurant and hired the area’s best Chef, a world-class interior designer, experienced and friendly staff and designed a killer menu . . . but forgot to spread the word and get customers in the door . . . you would have the best restaurant that ever failed.  Unfortunately, this happens all of the time in business.  We focus on the “stuff” and forget that we need Customers.  Our 3rd Session begins a four-part mini-series on Lead Generation.  Ge the Powerpoint HERE.

No Customers  (photo from Flikr: sjpettersson)

No Customers (photo from Flikr: sjpettersson)

You Are A Lead Generator

Whatever your ‘profession’, if your income depends on successful completion of a transaction, and the transactions are not provided to you automatically, your real job is to be a Lead Generator.  There are dozens of method categories for lead generation, and most of them work when partnered properly with a person’s personality, skills and relationships.

 

The goal, over time, is to promote yourself from a Lead Generator to a Lead Receiver!  That’s where the systems come in.

 

Using Your Goals

In the last session, we created goals using the Action Plan Worksheet.  You should now know how many Buyer Appointments and how many Seller Appointments you need to have every week.  This is your lead generation goal for the week!  You have your Timeblocking set up with Lead Generation time allocated as 50% of your business time – now it’s time to fill in that blocked time mwith specific activities which will give you those appointments you need for the week and the weeks ahead.

 

KW Goal Entry and Tracking

If you are already affiliated with Keller Williams Realty, the you should log in to MY KW  and go to Coaching > Goal Entry and make sure your goals for the year have been entered (use the Action Plan Worksheet).  Once your goals have been entered, your actual results will be tracked and compared to your goals every month automatically!  All you have to do is check out the amazing reports and graphs created for you.

 

In the Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA), Gary Keller discusses the Two M’s of Lead Generation: Message and Method.  The questions to ask yourself are:

1) WHO is my intended audience?

2) WHAT do I have to offer them?

3) WHY should they respond to my message

4) HOW can I best reach them?

 

Once you have these questions answered, you need to design your Lead Generation time to make it happen.  Get specific on how each hour of your lead generation time will be spent.

 

Social Media as Lead Generation

Slide 8 of the class powerpoint shows a diagram of information flow using Social Media.  The red circle is your Network – this is the WHO.  The green circle is the WHAT and WHY, and the arrows are the HOW.  Your goal is to build a large, well-connected Network and then communicate with it consistently and effectively.  Today’s Social Media applications allow us to grow our Networks faster and bigger than ever before.  If you’ve been afraid to contact those old frinds or past customers . . . become facebook friends and reconnect!  Looking to boost your referral network with peers and business relationships?  LinkedIn and Active Rain can connect you quickly with a referral base!

 

Now it all comes down to content.  You have their ear, briefly – do you have something valuable to share?

 

Designing Your Content

Your content should be broken down into two strategies, which are taken directly from MREA: the 12 Direct and the 33 Touch.  The 12 Direct is simply a system of 12 touches, one per month, usually to people with whom you do not have a relationship (A.K.A. “Have Not Mets”).    The 33 Touch is a system of , yep. . . 33 touches,  which targets your database of friends, family, past customers and allies (A.K.A. “Sphere Of Influence” or “SOI”).  The GO FAR Lead Generation Implementation Plan worksheets provide a template to brainstorm and design each touch.  The last page of your plan is the implementation schedule.  Each touch should have an action plan associated with it, as well as a deadline to have it ready to go and a date to ‘pull the trigger’.

 

Coming Up . . .

Session Four will begin to uncover the best methods of Lead Generation and how to choose the right method for your own business.  We will create Social Media timeblocking schedules and learn how to track our effectiveness.

 

Fun Math That Might Shock You!

If you’re like me, the concept of “fun math” is shocking all by itself!  I crawled my way through Calculus in college, because it was required – but I’m sure that some part of Hell includes eternal problem solving with letters and weird symbols.  However, adding up commission dollars and profits never quite feels like ‘math’ to me!

 

We did a little exercise to better understand what Lead Generation could do for your business, and what opportunities we may be giving up if we don’t stick to our blocked Lead Generation time:

  • With a 40 hour workweek, 50% blocked for LG = 20 hours /week
  • 20 hours of LG/week  = 80 hours of LG/month
  • 80 hours LG = 40+ Leads/month
  • 40 Leads/month = 12+ Closings/month
  • $375,00 Avg Sales Price (in our area) x 12 =
  • $4,500,000 x 2.75% commission =
  • $123,750 GCI per month

 

Now check your ACTUAL current time spent Lead Generating, and compare it to your ACTUAL GCI per month.  What would life look like for you if you stepped it up a bit???

 

Could you find someone to handle all of these transactions and ONLY focus on Lead Generation???