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9 Tips For A Killer LinkedIn Profile

 Powerful LinkedIn Profile For Real Estate Agents

 

9 Steps to Creating A Powerful LinkedIn Profile

Two every second: That’s how many people join LinkedIn as new members,  many of whom hope to exploit the platform’s rich resource for industry contacts, new clients and partnership opportunities. It’s a real estate agent’s goldmine.

That means that by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have on average 350 people and counting to compete with for the professional world’s attention. What you do with your LinkedIn profile can mean the difference between garnering views as compared to converting those views in taking the next step of building a relationship with you.

With over 1 billion searches per day for names and companies, LinkedIn is your opportunity to build your business reputation, expand your professional network and help companies and connections know who you are and what you do.

And with so many people fighting for attention, your first impression can most often be your best or last. Here is an excerpt from an infographic by linkhumans.com on Slideshare that shows the facts behind optimizing your profile on LinkedIn.

 

Perfect LinkedIn profile

To help you get noticed and stand out from the crowd, here’s Alex Pirouz’s top 9 tips on how to create a more compelling profile.

1. Header

Having a “Profile Header” is a powerful way to showcase your personal brand, get your company exposure in front of hundreds of potential clients and make a great first impression.  Remember a picture is worth more than a 1000 words.

When designing the banner, make sure it’s a JPEG, PNG or GIF file that’s under 4MB in size with the correct dimension for the header being: 1400 x 425. Be sure to leave some space at the bottom as the top section of your profile tends to cut into the image.

Oh! And be sure not to hit delete because you wont be able to get the header back. I learnt that lesson the hard way when I was playing around with the feature a few weeks back.

header

 

2. Photo

Your LinkedIn profile is your digital introduction with those who view your profile. People like to do business with a face. Your photo should be up-to-date, clear, professional, and an expression of you, preferably the smiling you. If you are a casual guy, no one expects or wants to see you in a suit. In a virtual world we may do business with someone we have never met.The connection provided by a photo, especially when you can see the eyes and a warm reception can go a long way.

profile

 

3. Headline

Your headline is very much like a headline of a news story in the newspaper. If it’s not eye catching, does not draw your attention or raise enough curiosity then chances are your not going to read any further.  When writing your headline make sure it’s a reflection of what you do, who you are and make it relevant to your target market.

Your goal is to get your viewers attention in order for them to get curious enough to read more about you. Try and stay away from tacky sales pitches, remember people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

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4. Website Links

Instead of using the default “Personal Website”- type anchor text links in your profile, change the text to make the links more appealing to people who view your profile. By changing the text to something more attention-grabbing than the standard options LinkedIn provides, you increase the number of clicks to your website or blog.

For example, if you want to include a link to your website, rather than choosing LinkedIn’s standard “Company Website” anchor text, customize it to include keywords that indicate what your website is about, like “Learn To Master LinkedIn”

Each profile can display up to three website links like this, and they can be customized by editing your profile, clicking the pencil icon next to your website links, and selecting ‘Other’ in the drop-down menu.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.01.23 am

5. Summary

In my opinion this is the most important section within your profile given it’s the first place people read once you’ve caught their attention with your header and headline.

There are many different theories but in my opinion and from a personal branding perspective, I believe that on social media, people buy into people they trust and like. Unless you establish this right from the start then no one is going to care about your business, let alone your product or service.

And the best way to establish this trust is to share your business journey to date. Let’s face it; everyone likes a good story. Now there are 3 main stages to this:

Past: Start off by sharing how you got into business
Present: What has led you to where you are now
Future: And finally what you are working on going forward

Within each of these sections be sure to weave in any key achievements, awards, career milestones, endorsements and even your failures as it adds a human element to your profile.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.40.32 am

5. Skills & Endorsements

Back in 2012, Linkedin launched a feature called Endorsements, which enables users to endorse their connections for skills they’ve listed in the Skill & Expertise section of their profile — or recommend one they haven’t yet listed. These endorsements then show up on your profile within that same Skills & Expertise section, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Whilst you can have up to 50 skills displayed, 3-5 is generally a good number to list. In today’s business world consumers only want to deal with specialist, so when you list too many skills it shows you’re a generalist rather then a specialist.

And most importantly make sure that the skills you do list are consistent with your personal brand and is solving your clients challenges, objections and creating you a unique difference in the market.

 skills

 

6. Optimize

Just as you would optimize the foundations of your website before you start an aggressive inbound marketing campaign, do the same for your LinkedIn presence, starting with your profile, to get ranked high on LinkedIn.

There are 5 key areas within your profile where you will need to insert key words in order to get ranked high within search results when your target market is searching for your product or service.

a)   Title, Current & Previous Experiences
b)   Website URL
c)   Summary
d)   Work Experiences
e)   Skills & Endorsements

By including keywords that people are using to find someone like you, you are ensuring that your LinkedIn profile performs well in search and that you will be found.

7. Layout

LinkedIn also enables you to reorder the sections of your profile in any way you prefer. Over the past few years we’ve tested many different ways to structure a LinkedIn profile in order to reach optimum flow and consistency. In my opinion the structure you see below is by far the most engaging and compelling:

a) Summary
b) Skills & Endorsements
c) Experiences
d) Volunteer
e) Honors and awards
f)  Publications
g) Additional Info
h) Recommendations
i)  Groups

When in edit mode, simply hover your mouse over the double-sided arrow next to the Edit link for each section. Your mouse will turn into a four-arrowed icon, at which point you can click, then drag and drop to another position on your profile.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 11.09.26 am

8. Groups

Joining groups that relate to your industry or the industry you wish to enter is another step in building a compelling profile. This not only helps you keep up with industry news and advances, but group members may be the very people you want to do business with. Your participation in groups helps build your visibility, credibility and involvement within your industry.

Whilst you can join up to 50 groups, in my opinion it’s best to only show 6-8 groups within your public and LinkedIn profile. You can choose which groups to display by changing the visibility settings in your system and notification settings.

 groups

 

9. Blog

After opening up their publishing arm back in February last year, LinkedIn have just reached over 1 millions posts. As a result they’ve now opened up their publishing arm to all English speaking countries

Becoming a publisher on LinkedIn can be a powerful way to reach your target market and generate new leads. The new platform promises to match the blog’s topic with users who share an interest in that particular vertical.

Writing short articles and posts helps set you up as an authority on your particular topic and puts you in the newsfeeds of your connections. This in turn keeps you and your business top of mind within your target market.

My blog posts results so far:

  • Appeared on the homepage of LinkedIn 4 times now
  • Over 128,000 blog views and 1000 comments
  • Shared more than 18,193 times
  • Generated us over 430 leads – and
  • Increased my following by an extra 2,300

Here’s a screenshot of a few articles I have written:

 

linkedin-posts

It also gives you greater exposure to your current network given every blog you post is distributed to their news feed and displayed within their notification settings located at the very top of their LinkedIn profile.

If your contacts like the article and decide to share that on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, this will not only create greater exposure but those who aren’t connected with you; may like your work that much that they end up “FOLLOWING” you to receive future posts helping you create a following of raving fans for years to come!!

Having a compelling LinkedIn profile is paramount to your success on LinkedIn. It’s your face to the online networking world and your first point of contact when promoting yourself to potential clients, joint venture partners, journalist and the business world. The steps provided in this article are the fundamental steps in creating a compelling LinkedIn profile. Be sure to update your profile as you progress throughout your career.

Author: Alex is an entrepreneur and founder of Linkfluencer

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Stealth LinkedIn Tools Real Estate Agents Should Use

social media icon

 

There is no doubt LinkedIn has become one of, if not the most powerful marketing tools of the 21st Century. With over 300+ million members and 49% of them being key decision makers, it’s never been faster, easier and more cost effective to get your message in front of potential clients, journalist, partners and even future employees.

Whilst it’s a powerful marketing tool, in our experience of training thousands of business owners we’ve realized that very few are using it to its full potential.

There are many tips, tricks and tools that most business owners don’t know about. So many, that we could literally write a book about it. However in this article, we’re going to focus on the top 2 LinkedIn tools that the professionals use.

1. Hiding your connections

This feature gives you the flexibility to control how open or private you make your connections to others within your network. You can set your settings so that your connections are only visible to you or those who are also connected with you.

My personal recommendation is to make your connection private so that it’s only visible to you. This will stop competition, recruitment companies and others accessing a network of potential clients, employees and channel partners you’ve worked hard to build a relationship with over the years.

Here are the two steps to make the necessary changes.

1) Scroll to the upper-right hand corner of your LinkedIn profile, in the drop down menu select: Privacy & Settings.

 

LinkedIn Privacy & Settings 2) Then click on the link “Select Who Can See Your Connections” and from there choose the option: “Only Me” When this is done, save your changes.

 

LinkedIn Who can See Your Connections

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2. Becoming anonymous when viewing other people’s profiles

For any number of professional, legal, personal, or other reasons, you may not want other LinkedIn users to know you are viewing their user profiles. Sometimes you just need to be an anonymous viewer.

By default LinkedIn sets up all profiles to report their LinkedIn user name and headline to every other user profile they have viewed, unless the viewing user has specified otherwise.

LinkedIn shows this information in the viewed user’s LinkedIn notifications screen and on the Who’s viewed your profile screen.

 

LinkedIn Who's Viewed Your ProfileTo change your settings go back to your Privacy & Settings section of your profile, select the link: “What others see when you’ve viewed their profile”. A pop up that looks like this will then appear:

 

LinkedIn What Others See When You've Viewed Their ProfileSelect the degree of anonymity you want to present to other users than click on the Save Changes button. By using this screen, you can change your viewing privacy settings between total, partial, and anonymous identification as you please.

Make sure to change this feature back to the default settings when you’re finished investigating, especially if you are reaching out and connecting with people given the likelihood of a new contact connecting with you is far greater when they see that you have viewed their profile.

Article by Alex Pirouz, founder of LinkInfluencer

No time to manage your LinkedIn profile. Here’s an infographic to help you master the task in just 5 minutes a day.

http://www.magneticrealestateagent.com/5-minute-linkedin-marketing-plan-real-estate-agents/

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Insider LinkedIn Tip For More Real Estate Leads

LinkedIn Tool To Explode Your Real Estate Business

 

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn That You Should Start Using Today 

The following article by Alex  Pirouz outlines a super insider tip when using LinkedIn to grow your real estate business. You can connect with Alex at the bottom of this page.

The phrase “It’s not what you know it’s who you know“, is not just a cliche. It’s an insight into the power of human networks. Almost all successful entrepreneurs understand how to build relationships that lead to lucrative joint ventures and collaboration.

Social media provides tools and technology that let you grow and build connections at scale globally. On the social web it starts with tweeting someone’s content, sharing their post on Facebook or adding value to people’s lives on LinkedIn by publishing great content. This is the “weak tie” part. Once this is made you can meet up on Skype, send an email or even have a face to face meeting.

The often ignored connection tool on LinkedIn

Having spoken and delivered presentations for hundreds of business owners over the past couple of years, I’m constantly surprised to find that majority of them are not taking advantage of this amazing “connection tool” on LinkedIn that is underused and often ignored.

The tool I’m referring to is LinkedIn’s ‘Advanced Search’.  In my opinion, this has to be one of LinkedIn’s best features. It’s by far the quickest and most accurate way to search, find and connect with 100’s of contacts in your target market.

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn

Now before I go ahead and show you how to use the tool, the first thing we must do is get really clear on your target market.  This is the key in order to fully maximize your search result. Here are a few things to consider when creating you ideal client profile:

  • Location
  • Company Size
  • Industry
  • Organization Role
  • Job Title
  • Keywords (common words they would use within their profile)

Take a moment now and ponder about these points. Remember, the more specific you are in whom you want to target, the more quality contacts you will find and connect with.

Once you’ve completed this, you’re now ready to start searching for your target market. Go to the top of your LinkedIn profile and click on the ‘Advanced’ Search Link located in the middle. Once you click on this link a pop up should appear that looks like this:

 

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn For the purpose of this example, we are only going to focus on the areas I’ve highlighted in the image below. These are the same points we discussed earlier on in the article when you worked on identifying your ideal client profile.

 

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn

Once you’ve populated these areas, simply hit the “Search” button located at the bottom left hand corner of the search feature.This will then bring up a list of all the potential contacts you can connect with based on the information you supplied within the “Advanced Search Feature”.

As an example here’s what a typical search result should look like if you were looking to connect with directors of accounting firms in Sydney, Australia.

 

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn Go ahead and complete the advanced search feature based on your own target market and then hit “SEARCH”

Depending on the keywords and titles you’ve chosen, your first result may not generate a large number of people you can connect with.

If this is the case simply go back to the Advanced search tool and change the ‘title’ and ‘keywords’ until you reach a search result that lists a minimum of 400-targeted contacts.

Once you’re happy with the search result, go ahead and save it by clicking on the link on the top right of your search results page.

 

The Most Powerful Connection Tool On LinkedIn Saving your search result will allow you to quickly access previously ran advanced searches.  This eliminates the need to keep performing the same searches every time you log in to LinkedIn.

Keep in mind that you can keep up to 3 saved searches if you are on a free account.  Another cool thing about the saved search is that it will automatically run the searches on a weekly or monthly period and send email alerts of any the new changes to you.

As you can see, the Advanced search feature is a very powerful way to connect with hundreds of potential clients week in week out. I would love to hear your thoughts so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and share your experience after using this feature.

Author: Alex is a Sydney based entrepreneur and founder of Linkfluencer, the world’s leading online community for LinkedIn training. He loves playing basketball, travelling and covering the latest stories on entrepreneurship.

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How To Do Less, Create More Freedom And Make More Money In Real Estate

realestatemoney

Real Estate Money Making Formula

Whether you are just starting in real estate or a seasoned veteran wanting to boost your real estate business along, you have probably asked yourself “How do I make more money in real estate sales when there’s only 24 hours in a day?” Actually there’s probably only 16 if you get your 8 hours of beauty sleep a night. Throw in a couple of hours for administration duties, prospecting, database management, leaflet drops, advertising creation, stock viewings, networking, customer calls and you are probably down to an hour a day to actually list and sell real estate; the money making part.

Real estate sales is a time in exchange for money business if you are a salesperson. The boss on the other hand has leverage. He’s got 2, 5, 10 or even 100 of you all running around making sales, from which he takes a cut. And the cut can be pretty deep like 60%.

So how do you, a salesperson, take control of your real estate career and give yourself the opportunity to move on up into the big league. Every office has a hero (or heroine ). They are usually driving the car you want. A BMW, Mercedes or something European. They are wearing designer clothing that makes your ‘Targeee’ brand feel inadequate. They talk about skiing in Aspen while you put up with a ‘staycation’ (stay at home vacation).

But what really pisses you off, is that these super heroes seem to make more money in real estate in half the time you spend in the office. You could dismiss their success by thinking they are smarter and have money to make money. Both are probably wrong.

Leverage

What they do have is leverage. They have other people doing their administration tasks, updating their databases, calling customers back, running social media campaigns and dealing with the ‘$10/hour’ stuff. Successful agents use the services of PA’s or VA’s.

Personal Assistants vs Virtual Assistants

Personal assistants can carry out a lot of tasks that keep you from doing your job; listing and selling real estate. They can even do open homes and making initial contact with buyers and conducting seller meetings on your behalf. A good PA will definitely help you make more money.

But the $50,000+ annual salary may not be in your budget right now. You can see the benefits of offloading all those ‘$10’ jobs but your current income won’t allow you to employ somebody for 40 hours per week. It’s a catch 22. Your stuck.

You could employ a PA part time but you’ll probably only get a part time result or minor lift in your income. A better solution is to look at outsourcing your tasks that take you away from your main money making activity.

What Is Global Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is an allocation of specific business processes to a specialist external service provider. Most of the times an organization cannot handle all aspects of a business process internally. Additionally some processes are temporary and the organization does not intend to hire in-house professionals to perform the tasks.

Once the task is outsourced to the service provider, he will take the responsibility of carrying out the tasks and maintaining the organization’s assets.

Advantages of Outsourcing

  • Expertise with speed. Most jobs can be done quickly and with great quality control.
  • Concentration on core procedures rather than supporting roles. You get more time to do the money making stuff.
  • Spreading the risk. With proper upfront description of the task to be completed, you can move the risk of getting a job done to the provider.
  • Reduced operational and recruitment costs. You save money by not having somebody in your office plus the cost of finding a suitable candidate via a recruitment company.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

  • Risk of exposing confidential data. You can put risk management practices in place to minimise problems just as you would with a full time employees within your office.
  • Co-ordinating job delivery. With different time zones, sending and receiving work needs to synchronized.
  • Lack of customer focus. This can be a problem with small outsourcing providers. Bigger more established outsourcing companies usually allocate a designated high quality, well trained person to your business.

Outsourcing using virtual assistants is definitely a great option for those agents wanting to step up their business and earn more money. There is a growing trend amongst larger agencies to move data basing and accounting functions to overseas outsourcing companies; thereby freeing up time for their agents to make more sales.

If you are wanting to look at outsourcing but are not sure where to start, please message me on our Contact page. The global outsourcing company I recommend has over 500,000 bill hours to enterprises in Australia, UK, China and USA. And their value rates will pleasantly surprise you.

 

 

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Reinventing Yourself As A Real Estate Agent

reinvent

 

Real Estate Agent Reinvention 101

So you want to reinvent yourself as a real estate agent. You’ve had a few goes at this reinvention stuff and your current gig is not quite cutting the mustard.

You love property and you think that selling a house or two can’t be that hard. Here’s a few observations I think you may need to consider when thinking about reinventing yourself as a real estate agent.

  1. Reinvention Never Stops

    Reinvention occurs everyday. You are in motion but only you can decide if you are going forward or backwards.

  2. You Start From Scratch

    Every label you cover yourself with before is just that, a label. You are a doctor, head of marketing or a janitor. You’ve made millions or lost them.
    You’ve lost everything. As a beginning real estate agent you are at ground zero. Don’t try to fluff it any further.

  3. You Need A Mentor

    Someone needs to show you the ropes. They must have walked the path before and preferably are continuing to do so.
    Mentors can also be something indirect like books, websites or audio.
    What’s a good book, website or audio programme? I dunno but if you immerse yourself in 200 – 500 of these things over time you’ll find the one for you.

  4. What If You Don’t Have A Passion For Real Estate

    Don’t worry. Read Daily Rituals by Mason Curry and you’ll discover that many writers, artists and other creative types hated doing their tasks daily.
    But if you do what you do with LOVE, then success will find a way to your door.

  5. How Long Will It Take

    Reinvention remember is ongoing but I’d suggest it’ll be around 5 years to create the new you.
    a. Year 1. You’re failing. You are reading everything and only just starting to DO.
    b. Year 2. You start to know the players you need to be networking with and learning from.
    c. Year 3. You’re good enough to start making money. Sure you’ve earned a few shackles along the way but now you are getting a consistent decent coin. It may not be a  huge fulltime living yet but you are closer than Day 1.
    d. Year 4 You’re making a good living.
    e. Year 5 You’re making wealth.
    Yes you maybe some freak who can condense it down to just 5 months but I’d suggest you have long term vision to ride over the humps of frustration and despair.

  6. How Do I Make Money

    Well by Year 3 you would have put 5000 – 7000 hours into this reinvention thing. That should put you into the Top 200 – 300 in the world as a romance writer, crime author or whatever your genre is.
    In Year 4 you scale things up and by the time you hit Year 5 you should be in the Top 30-50. So how much is that? Well the Top 30 – 50 professional tennis players do pretty well. So do the top real estate agents, finance brokers, sales managers etc.

  7. What If Your Family Wants You To Be An Accountant

    Hey my Dad did. But how many years did you promise your family? Ten? Your WHOLE life?
    Choose freedom over family. Freedom over people pleasing and then you will be pleased.

  8. What If My Friends Think I’m Crazy?

    What friends? True friends support you no matter what.

  9. What If I Have No Skills, I’m Too Young Or Too Old Or

    Or what? Another excuse holding you back. Everyone feels a fraud at first. It’s not easy to tell somebody at a party that you are a real estate agent got your first appraisal or if you are tanking it in the sales department in your office.
    Stop beating your self up with doubt and just keep going.

  10. What If I Get Scared

    Sleep more and stop gossiping. Sleep is the #1 key to better health. You need 8 – 9 hours of it daily. Not 4 or 5. You’ll die young on those hours.
    And stop gossiping. No value in it at all. You hang out with a friend and start gossiping about one of your other 150 mates. What a chump.

  11. What If You Feel Nothing Works For You

    Spend 10 minutes a day practicing gratitude. Don’t suppress the fear but notice the anger.
    Allow yourself to be grateful for what you have. Anger is never inspirational but gratitude is.

  12. Dealing With Knockers

    On the journey of reinvention you will cross the paths of many who try to bring you down. Sidestep them. Learn to say ‘No’.
    Don’t engage with them. They will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.
    Hang out with those who build you up, not tear you down.

Remember this reinvention thing is ongoing. Your plans will constantly be evolving. You may start off as an acreage salesman in the back blocks of Biloela but move to the fast life of penthouse selling in the CBD.

But whatever you do on this journey, keep going!

This article has been adapted from the original works of James Altucher Reinvent Yourself. Read the original article and more great works by James at his blog. http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2013/12/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-reinventing-yourself-2/

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5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Plan For Real Estate Agents

Get The Most Out Of LinkedIn Infographic

 

 

5 Minute Linkedin Management Plan for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Users

How long is your current Linkedin management plan? Would you like to learn how to manage your Linkedin presence in just 5 minutes a day?

You should be using Linkedin if you would like to take lead generation seriously as it can help you generate almost 3 times more leads than both Facebook and Twitter. Here’s an infographic that can help you with this.

Whether you’re trying to gain more connections, get more people to see your content, build your presence or generate more leads, you will find this infographic, with its 5 minute Linkedin management plan, from Bluewire Media, extremely helpful. A great thing you will notice about this infographic is that it has a Linkedin management plan for users of all levels, staring from beginners, to intermediates and of course advanced users…

 

5 Minute Linkedin Mangement Plan for Users of All Levels [Infographic]

Infographic Credit: Bluewire Media

LinkedIn is a great way for real estate agents to brand themselves as the agent of choice whether they are selling homes or wanting to recruit staff into their business.

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Awesome Instagram Contest Secrets Revealed In 7 Steps

Real Estate Success With Instagram

 

The 7 Must Do Steps to Running a Contest on Instagram 

Do you want to learn how to run a successful contest on Instagram? Well, you’re about to find out…

With more than 300 million active users, Instagram has fast become one of the most popular social media platforms to date. The simple notion of snapping a photo and sharing it with the world has turned into a $35 billion idea, and it just goes to show how powerful visual communication can be. Running a social media contest has plenty of benefits such as building brand awareness; gaining more followers; and increasing your leads, but since Instagram is a new playing field for many businesses, it can be hard to know where to begin.

If you want to run a successful Instagram contest but don’t know where to start, take a look at these 7 steps to create a contest on Instagram.

Step 1: Plan a strategy

Creating a strategy is the most important step as it will help bring clarity to your campaign. Start by setting out achievable goals so you have something to work towards. Whether it’s increasing your followers by 50% or gaining 100 leads, you need to set out credible goals so you can measure how successful your campaign has been, once it’s over.

In the planning stages it’s also important to think about the T&C’s. How does a person enter your contest? There’s plenty of options including like-to-win; tag your Instagram name; enter their email; follow your page; or use a unique hashtag within their photo.

nce you’ve considered your contest type, think about how long you want it to run for. It should have an expiration date so you can encourage a sense of urgency, but make sure you run it long enough to get the most out of your campaign. This infographic suggests the best duration is between 25 – 60 days, but so long as you are putting in the right promotion, you should see the results you want.

Step 2: Check out the competition

Another crucial step to take before you jump head first into a contest is to snoop out the competition. Has your competitor run a similar contest? What theme did they use? How successful was it?

This kind of data can help influence the steps that you put in place for your own contest. You can take inspiration from their strategy and use that as a foundation to make yours better!

Step 3: Decide on a theme

Marketing is all about telling your brand’s story, and Instagram is the perfect tool to help you do that. You should choose a theme that will reflect your brand’s story, making it creative and inviting enough for people to want to join in. This can be the difference between 10 likes or 1000, so take your time and consider who your audience is and the type of content that they are likely to post.

Take Tiffany & Co as a great example. They chose a theme around ‘true love’ and encouraged fans to submit photos of what they defined true love to be. As an iconic jeweler that oozes romance, this theme suited their story perfectly.

 

The 7 Steps to Create an Awesome Contest on Instagram 1What about a collage of ‘Reno Kings’ or ‘Renovation Disasters’ and get your fans to submit their worst renovation photos.

Not only does this type of User Generated Content campaign (UGC) encourage people to engage with your brand, but it also helps to promote your products on a broad scale, helping to create a winning campaign!

Step 4: Choose your hashtag

When people enter your competition you should make sure they add a unique hashtag to the post so you can build up a stream of photo’s to pick the winner from. Sure, it needs to be relevant to the theme of your campaign as mentioned in step 3, but it should also be memorable and easy to search for.

Remember that you’ll want to utilize the hashtag across all of your social platforms, so keep it consistent with your brand. It may be tempting to use a popular hashtag such as #win, but this will be harder to judge the entrants as you’ll find many posts that are not relevant to your contest.

If you want to do some hashtag research on your competitors then check out Talkwalker as it’s a great tool that lets you analyze and compare hashtag campaigns.

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Step 5: Design awesome artwork

Now you’ve got the basics out the way it’s time to put the wheels in motion and there’s no better way than to start designing the artwork. Take advantage of Instagram’s ‘arty’ style and get creative with your banners.

To make your contest a success, include an example photo of what you want participants to upload, simple instructions on how to enter, the competition hashtag and ask a question to encourage your audience to get involved.

Take a look at Mark Jacons #CastMeMarc as below as the perfect example…

 

The 7 Steps to Create an Awesome Contest on Instagram 1

Step 6: Promote across all channels

Clearly you want to bring more exposure to your campaign so start cross promoting on all of your social platforms. In addition to sending out emails to your database, try and reach out to influencers and write a blog for them which mentions your contest within the post.

You should also add your promotional banners to your blog, Twitter, Facebook pages etc and start posting about it when your audience is around.

So when should you post?

Well according to this post, users will interact with your Instagram pictures regardless of when you post them. But if you’re promoting it across other channels then research shows that the best time on Facebook is 1pm – 4pm, and on Twitter it’s 1pm – 3pm. It’s also good practice to check out your social media analytics to find out when your audience is most engaged.

Step 7: Measure your success

Once the contest is complete and you’ve notified the winner, it’s time to measure the success of your campaign. Did you reach the goals that you made in step 1? Third party apps such as Iconosquare will not only help you run an Instagram campaign, but it lets you check out the metrics of the campaign too.

Don’t forget to use the data that you’ve gained from your contest to your advantage. Write a blog post about the winner and include their photo; send an email to all who took part; and keep engaging with your new followers!

The rest is up to you!

Hopefully that has given you every step you need to run a contest, so now the rest is up to you. With 60 million photos uploaded to this platform everyday, it’s clear that Instagram offers a valuable opportunity to any business. Think carefully about your strategy and your contest theme, to help bring the exposure your brand needs. Good luck.

Guest Author: The author of this post is Issa Assad, a social media strategist and best selling author of Instant Profits with Instagram.

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12 Pinterest Marketing Tips To Boost Your Real Estate Business

 

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Start ‘Pinning It’

When it comes to marketing your business, social media engagement is the best way to go. The question is, which social media would you go for? If you have already created a Facebook page, then you then you have made a great start. Your next step should be pinning with the queen of visual social media networks, Pinterest.

Shareaholic.com reveals that Pinterest has increased its traffic driving capacity up to 7.10% from 4.79% in just three months (from December 2013 to March 2014). This 48% increase has a huge effect for brand exposure through digital marketing in products such as books, magazines, antiques, services, and even IT/computing.

Pinterest is a social media platform based mostly on images. For more than four years, you increase your social network by pins of uploaded, saved, and shared photos which are then organized into pinboards. It can be compared to Facebook as it has an increasing number of fans reaching over 70 million and still continues to grow. If you want your business to be big, here’s why you should go ahead and start pinning and start some Pinterest marketing.

Reasons to start Pinterest marketing

Here are some top tips to start Pinterest marketing today!

 1. Strengthen Your Brand

With Pinterest, you could personalize your page to your business name and your logo as your profile picture to reach maximum exposure every time you pin an image. You could also add a paragraph describing the nature of your business including your business website, and even link this to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If your business involves different types of services or products, you could categorize them into different pinboards for easier navigation. eg sales, property management, rural sales etc

2. Drive Heavy Traffic

To drive traffic for your website, Pinterest provides a hover button which leads directly to your site. This is beneficial for users to pin images directly from your site and check your site as well. You do not even have to worry on how to use Pinterest for your business, Pinterest has a guided editor which helps you navigate through the pages without breaking a sweat.

3. Market Research

Pinterest gives you an overview of the trend in the market and what appeals to customers most. You may think that most Pinterest users are women but these women still have husbands and male friends who they would want to give gifts to or shop for. By the way they build pinboards and pin things, you see what makes them tick as a customer and the other products that are trending.

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Pinterest marketing

Photo by Bunches and Bits {Karina} via Flickr

4. Gain New Customers

Once your pin has started to gain popularity in various pinboards, you still get a hefty amount of views even when these are pinned or not. Imagine a billboard along a highway, these are seen by the public and could still win them over as long as it stays there. If pinned and shared by various users, you have a higher chance of gaining new customers in the process.

5. Be An Authority In Real Estate

Since you are able to do market research, you can change and focus your ways on how to be an authority in Pinterest. With the right amount and quality of photos and descriptions, you could easily target these descriptions to what most new Pinterest users would want.

6. Free Marketing From Your Fans

Just like Instagram and Facebook, Pinterest makes use of the followers and images that need to increase their popularity. The more the photo or image is interesting, the higher the chances of being pinned by other users. You don’t have to spend more money on a separate content marketing strategy, all you have to invest on is the right description and the quality image that you could pin.

7. Customer Engagement Through Contests

You could increase customer engagement through contests. With Pinterest, you could try hosting a photo contest of the best photo with your business logo on them. First National Real Estate recently did this and the winner got $5000!This will definitely initiate a pinning spree all over the world with your logo which is an instant marketing for your product. Your brand is being shared not only to you but to their friends as well which are potential or current customers of your product.

 

Pinterest marketing

Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

8. Widen Product Exposure

This has been said a number of times above, but the point is Pinterest is often linked to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media websites so expect to have numerous customers with just one pin.

9. Boost The Sales

Scattering photos all over Pinterest increases exposure to different pinners and boosts your product sales. You may create different pinboards for every target audience you have which, with the right board name, entice these potential customers to patronize your business. Also, part of the sales process should also include the company’s target, vision, and mission. eg community interests like your local football team or school. Be creative and pin photos that aren’t straight real estate related.

10. Longer Post Exposure

According to WebpageFX, the average lifespan of a Pinterest pin is three and a half months, which is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post. Overtime, as your pin gets to be shared with other users, it still continues to spread like wildfire. You don’t have to repeat the pin over and over again to achieve this exposure. Wisemetrics.com shares that a Tweet achieves the peak of its views and retweets in 24 minutes and then dies, a Facebook post could live 90 minute half-life at best, but a Pinterest pin lives for forever. Pinterest makes it easier to search for your product not only on your page but also on other pages as well.

 

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Start ‘Pinning It’ 4

Photo by Kris Olin via Flickr

11. Excellent SEO Strategy

With the way Pinterest works, keywords are still important. If you google keywords, most of the time a pinterest page comes up with numerous pinboards in it containing the product or the search item.

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12. Free Sales Promotion

You don’t need to hire anyone to do the pinning for you. Get a great shot, work on the words, and post it online. Viola! Free marketing! You don’t need to spend a dime on this and this works 24/7.

Why use Pinterest for your business? Pinterest is not just about fashion and other girly stuff. With the rate pinning takes your business, you might just need to start pinning it!

Guest Author: Jeanette Anzon is a freelance writer.

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How I Sold 11 Homes In 5 Hours – My Real Estate Story

auctionfnrealestate

 

Yes I actually sold 11 homes in 5 hours. Outlined below are the steps I actually took to do that. And since it worked once, I’ve kept on using the same principles to create many multiple million dollar sales months.

If you adopt what I am about to outline, you’ll create a 5 figure/month income minimum and go on to grow that into a 6 or 7 figure annual income. The steps are simple but not necessarily easy.

Real estate agents typically think the action plan or methodology of sales will produce the big results. Well not wholly. There are two sides to this equation if you want to taste real success. Both work hand in hand and one does not succeed without the other.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I Got The Right Mindset For Me

    In the information age where we can access tons on data on how to be a successful, it is great to be able to immerse ourselves in outstanding training and connect ourselves to fantastic real estate leaders and role models.
    When I came across so many agents throughout the world creating huge 6 and 7 figure incomes, I knew that it was possible for me to emulate that. The evidence was directly in front of me; all I had to do was to do the work.
    One thing I have learned is that the top real estate agents are not geniuses. They are not taller, better looking, better dressers or whatever other limiting belief you may have about yourself. They simply do the deal every day by putting their butts in seats and dialling prospects, carrying out appraisals or meeting sellers to deliver the cold hard facts about their over priced home.
    I decided that this was going to be my focus and I was determined to follow the path.

  2. I Prospected Everyday

    Come hell or high water, I actively prospected everyday. I called past clients, open home attendees, letterbox drop home owners and potential sellers.
    Some days I was tired, felt ill, was in a bad mood or just simply didn’t feel like it, but I pressed on. I WANTED to change.

  3. I Hired Help

    I hired somebody to do my letterbox drops. I found a part time person to do my admin tasks. I eliminated my $10/hour tasks so that I could focus on the money making tasks I needed to complete.
    Today if I was starting out and needed assistance I’d hire a virtual assistant. At around $7 – $10/hr I’ve come across some world class companies who can provide this service.

  4. I Quit Flip Flopping

    For me I stopped becoming a general real estate agent trying to sell everything, anywhere to all and sundry and I focused on a specific market. I became a specialist.
    I chased the business migrant market coming into Australia and more specifically into my area.
    In order to gain business migration residency the migrant would need a specific dollar amount to invest into a business here. I also realised that they would need somewhere to live and that they would be cashed up.
    What area could you be a specialist in? Golf course communities or marina properties. What about exclusively selling penthouses?
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  5. I Learned to Say No

    I am a serial entrepreneur. It’s in my blood and I suffer from ‘Shiny Object’ syndrome chronically.
    But I had to learn to say NO if I was to achieve any significant results.
    That meant that I didn’t troll the internet and get suckered into buying another widget just because some marketer told me I’d make $93,431 next month if I bought his programme for the ridiculously low price he was offering for today only.
    Yes I did invest in good quality training but not to the point that I solely became an academic and never put the info into practice.

  6. I Paid For Marketing

    This is my business and I will grow it on my terms. I am not reliant on vendor paid advertising. I’m bigger than that.
    I bought ads in local community newspapers. I competition boxes in local businesses. I advertised in school newsletters.
    Today I would still have a local community presence but would also incorporate social media marketing into my branding.
    I also used greeting card marketing to prospect for need leads and to keep in touch. Letters get opened 100%; email don’t and usually end up in somebody’s junk mail.

  7. I Checked In Every Day

    I connected with my mentor. I participated in online forums. I listened to motivational tapes. I was in the zone.

  8. I Practiced Daily Gratitude

    I decided it was better to find the good in somebody rather than finding fault. I even practiced this mantra on complete strangers.
    And here is what I found. They felt better in receiving it and I felt better for giving it. It is a win win situation.
    I found greeting cards a great way to express gratitude.

And that’s it.

I know the ‘right brain’ real estate agents would have got a light bulb moment after reading the above but the left brainers’ would be screaming about now, feeling deprived of the method I used to make those 11 sales.

Well here it is. The properties were sold by auction, hence the 5 hours. There was a long marketing lead up to the auction day during which I contacted, wrote greeting cards, emailed, faxed, invited and spoke to prospects up to 9pm 6 nights a week.

I did the work but it’s been my ‘right brain’ skills that have helped me sell many 12, 14 and 16 property months. Good luck in your selling career.

 

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12 Social Media Facts That All Real Estate Agents Should Know

social media facts and statistics

As the world continues to embrace social media, the ways we use the social networks are becoming clearer.

Twitter with its short and snappy messaging is very dependent on mobile usage and smart phones. The rise of the visual web is making Pinterest and Tumblr the fastest growing social networks on the planet. Facebook is where we share with friends and family. Google+ is no longer an afterthought and is embedded in Google’s web assets including Gmail, local checkins and the mobile Android ecosystems.

Google is getting the data it wants from Google+. Demographics, usage and content popularity. This is feeding into how it is ranking search results and much more. The universes of content, social and search are being woven together and creating a web experience that looks more like magic everyday. The social and mobile web is becoming an extension of our lives as we share, search and upload photos.

Artificial intelligence that adds other dimensions to humanity has already arrived but we just don’t notice it. We take it for granted

So what are the latest social media facts and statistics provided by the latest study by GlobalWebIndex for the second quarter of 2013? Yes these stats would have been surpassed but let’s start here while waiting for the 2014 edition

#1. Google+ is catching up to Facebook

Facebook still dominates at 70% of account ownership but Google+ is not far behind at just over 50%. Keep in mind though that Google+ account is mandatory whenever you create a new  Gmail account. This is pushing up the account ownership stats. No other social network has Google’s web assets leverage.

The large Chinese internet user population is producing some large Chinese centric social networks including Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Qzone. So Facebook doesn’t just have Google+ breathing down its neck. The rise of China’s social networks will possibly be a threat in the future.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#2. Facebook active usage still dominates

Facebook has nearly 50% of all the world’s internet users as active users. This is only set to increase as regions and countries in the developing world including Africa, Asia and South America get connected to the web.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#3. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network

The visual web is driving the rise of Pinterest and Tumblr with growth rates of 88% and 74% respectively over the last 12 months. It’s easy to pin your real estate photos and people just love photos. Twitter and LinkedIn though are still rapid risers with growth rates around 40%.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#4. LinkedIn is the most popular for older users

LinkedIn is the network of choice for most knowledge workers and professionals. It is maybe the most conservative of the social networks due to the fact it is all about business. It is becoming more social as it has realized that this will enhance its user penetration and attractiveness. Great place to connect with other real estate professionals and potentially recruit them into your business.

The latest statistics show it having 7% of its users over 55 and 14% in the 45 to 54 age range.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

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#5. Usage of social networks by older users is increasing

Social networks were and still are a hit with the younger demographics. Don’t think though that social media is just for the for the teens and people who still have their hair. The increase in usage by the 55 to 64 year olds is greater than 100% for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

The young aren’t the only ones having fun.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#6. Google+ dominates on monthly visits

Google+ has very large numbers on visits per month at 1,203 million. This has a lot to do with activity generated by visits to Google services (read Gmail) that is counted as a Google+ visit. This is providing serious skewing of the figures so don’t take the headline number of 1.203 billion as an accurate indicator of monthly visits.

Facebook visits are 809 million and Twitter had 416 million.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#7. Facebook dominates social media engagement

What this graph doesn’t show is that engagement of all the social networks actually dropped in the last  12 months. Maybe we are becoming over saturated with social?

Facebook though dominates with 62% of all its account owners being active in the last month of this study.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#8. Facebook usage highest in North America

Facebook has 59% of all internet users in North America as active users. Google+ only achieves 15% and Twitter 25%.

social media facts figures and statistics 2013 8

#9. Asia Pacific region dominates the social media landscape

When you have one region (Asia Pacific) with a very large population including two countries with more than 1 billion citizens each then these statistics shouldn’t surprise. This is despite the fact that it has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world.

social media facts figures and statistics 2013 9

#10. Uploading photos is the most popular activity on Facebook

Facebook has become the place to put your photos. This is not just from the desktop but the smart phone and the tablet. Facebook is making a big push to become even more mobile.

What is surprising is the very low ranking of “like” as an activity on Facebook compared to the other actions

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#11. Twitter is about daily activities

Do you get sick of hearing about what someone had for breakfast, where they have been or who they are talking to on Twitter? The figures show that Twitter is a lot about your daily activities.

You could call it the personal news channel.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 1

#12. Google+ is a lot to do with photos

Google had a clean slate just over 2 years ago when it designed the user interface and feature and function set for Google+. Its banner and image display makes the user experience compelling, contagious and immersive.

Photo uploads…that is one of the things that Google+ and Facebook  have in common as the most popular activity.

Social media facts figures and statistics 2013 12

Key findings

The GlobalWebIndex study found these to be the major insights into social media usage

  1. Active usage of the major, global social platforms is growing worldwide with mobile being the key driver
  2. Google+ remains the second most actively used social network with 318.4 million active users in 31 markets
  3. Emerging platforms have experienced notable growth in popularity since Q2 2012 with Pinterest and Tumblr being currently the fastest growing global social media
  4. Facebook maintains the highest penetration of active users among account owners at 62% globally. This compares to 51% for Twitter and 44% for Google+
  5. Emerging markets remain more active on social networks compared with developed countries. In Q2 2013 South Africa had the highest proportion of active Facebook users: 68%.
  6. Mobile and tablet usage is beginning to heavily impact social media usage with mobile having the biggest effect on Twitter which is used by 94 million active Twitter to share photos compared to 140 million on PC. This is the highest proportion of mobile vs. PC photos sharing of any social network

Thanks to Jeff Bullas for this great article.

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