Courtesy Jorn Barger Wiki
As Business Director for Inner Architect, my first priority is solidifying relationships with prospective clients in our industries of choice. Before we focused on Direct Marketing driven social media marketing strategies for corporations, our first niche of focus was the employment niche.
As early as June of 2008, we began writing about how important blogging would be to job seekers in finding a new position. Throughout 2008 and through Q1 of 2009 we continued to postulate and support blogging as the near perfect method for job seekers to differentiate themselves in landing a job. Unfortunately our messages mostly fell on deaf ears–leaving us no choice but to look for other niches more willing to leverage blogging in their businesses.
In today’s world, Corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs have adopted blogging in a steady stream since the advent of Web 2.0. The actual number of established blogs is in debate, yet the rough estimate is that their are over 150,000,000 blogs in existence today.
The vast majority of job seekers are not adopting blogging as a method and tool in their job search. Although this group has the need, and blogs are the nearly perfect application, the move to adoption is almost non existent. The following are 10 reasons why job seekers should blog.
10 Reasons Job Seekers Should Adopt Blogging
- Publishing Platform: a blog is the writing platform to begin creating content about you
- Control: blogging allows job seekers the opportunity to control their own information about their expertise and experience
- Delivery: blogs are delivery systems for a job seeker’s content. The url for articles can be delivered to potential employers that currently blog
- Networking: a blog allows job seekers to meet other bloggers; hopefully those new connections work for their targeted companies
- New Skills: by adopting blogging, job seekers begin to learn about Web 2.0, social networks, blog software, delivering links, and how the new paradigm shift of information is being formulated everyday
- Perception: job seekers that blog are perceived as being more savvy, as younger due to the perception that social media-blogging is a young person’s activity, and more relevant to employers because of these new skills
- Visibility: blogging allows job seekers more visibility as a blog is “open” 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. It is a organic, living resume
- Reputation Management: blogging provides a tool for job seekers to deliver messages that can correct or challenge erroneous information about them online
- Due Diligence: when hiring managers perform due diligence on a job seeker, the first place they begin is with a Google search of that candidate. Hiring managers are looking for information in Google (and online) that will give them a clue as to that candidates’ understanding of the internet. Equally important is the fact that hiring managers are also searching for any bad behavior or personal information that might signal the candidate is unfit to become an employee
- Research: blogging requires research. Research requires skills in searching and finding information online which is a new skill for many job seekers. Research into specific subject matters that pertain to a job opening will increase a job seekers knowledge base on that subject
Realtor blog sites are being created everyday to support careers, businesses, and communities. But do you know how to measure your progress once you have launched the blog? Do you have analytics in place? Are you measuring through Google Analytics, WordPress statistics, Alexa, Quantcast, Sitemeter and other traffic measuring sites?
Website Grader Measures
The best tool you can use to analytically measure your blog or website is hubspot’s Website Grader. Hubspot, a Boston based social media analytics marketing firm, is one of the leading industry think tanks devoted to everything social business.
- On Page SEO: analysis includes meta data, headings, images, & interior pages
- Off Page SEO: analysis includes domain info, Google Page Rank, Google Indexed Pages, last Google “crawl” date, traffic rank including Alexa ranking, Inbound links, blog directory listings
- Blogosphere: includes analysis of url established, Technorati ranking
- Social Mediasphere: analysis includes listing in bookmarking sites del.cio.us, digg
- Converting Leads: determines whether your site has RSS feed, Conversion form
- Competitive Intelligence: keyword analysis and info on competing websites closely related to your site
One of the most intriguing networking strategies for Realtors has yet to be truly leveraged here in Northern California. The idea is simple: Realtors should seek partnerships with employment agencies and individual headhunters as their next referral niche. At the same time, employment agencies and their individual headhunters should be targeting successful relocation agents for referral opportunities
Benefits of Networking with Employment Agencies
- Lead Generation: employment agencies deal with job loss which often results in a necessary quick sale of primary property, investment property, or vacation home sales
- Partnership: Realtors who partner with employment agencies could have an added value over their competition if they are privy to jobs, the hidden job market, and can guide people to those positions
- Value Add: relocation agents could market their services with the special value add of employment information via their employment agency partnerships. They become the go-to source of employment information for their region or niche. Ex: Silicon Valley would be a prime place for an aggressive agent to become a go-to source of employment information
- Employment Agency Associations: by networking with employment agencies the possibility of involvement into employment agency associations could accelerate the referral process
- Speaking Engagements: joining or being invited to speak at Employment Agency Associations would provide more opportunities to broadcast your business to a new audience
Real estate is all about location, location, location whether it means the location of a property or the location of your marketing efforts. We toil long and hard to ensure we are utilizing facebook, twitter, linkedin, blogging and other social networks. If you have a social media marketing strategy, you are already ahead of the masses that are sure to continue to adopt all of these networks. Whether you have a social media marketing strategy or not, here is a “location” that inspires me.
This is a shot of a vineyard row, taken in November of 2008, during late harvest in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley on the Silverado Trail. This picture represents the passion and love I have for this location–do you use pictures and video to elicit an emotional response?
In what was purely a chocolate meets peanut butter accident, ReTweeting took on a new possibility for me. I am not sure if this is a new Twitter strategy or simply a “renaming” of something old. With that spirit in mind, I decided to combine a RT with a with a blog article I produced. For lack of a better phrase, let’s call this new experiment: ReTweet Combos or RTC for short.
What is a RTC?
A ReTweet combo is the combination of a tweet you feel is valuable enough to recognize, by ReTweeting, and one of your own articles or that of another resource. Here is an example of my first ReTweet Combo:
In the example, I am ReTweeting @mashable’s tweet about UCLA’s Study that describes how searching on the internet activates your brain. The second bit.ly link is to my deansguide article “Twiter Strategies: How Smart Do You Want To Be?” which describes how research on Twitter will make you smarter and more relevant.
Benefits of ReTweet Combos
- Recognize Your Resources: your RT recognizes your resources of people and companies
- Building: by adding your own article or an outside source you are building upon the original RT idea
- Authority by Association: by adding a link to your work you could be tied to that person-company’s concept
- Networking: this could open up the lines of communication for networking
Possible Negatives of ReTweet Combos
- Authority by Association: the original source of the tweet may not want to have a “partner” in a RT
- Disagreement: the original source may not agree with your link regardless of whether it is your work or that of a 3rd party
- Recognition: the original source’s information could be overshadowed by your information if it is stronger or more relevant
Courtesy The Great Gazoo Wiki
Before Twitter became my biggest resource for research, I was an old schooler stuck with a library card. From that library card, came the advent of the internet and portals–places information flowed from with little structure. And from that evolution came the dawning of the Web 2.0 social media paradigm shift we have today. Although Twitter.com is not the biggest or the baddest social network on the block–they do hold one major distinction–real time instantaneous access to valuable information.
Why Twitter Is The Resource for Information
- Real Time: instantaneous information links
- Multitude: information from every niche, subject matter, topic, and genre can be found on Twitter
- Freemium: the information is free, it is not charged for except in the case of the “old school” news agencies unwilling to understand that information is becoming an “open source” commodity
- Authority: forgetting the welebrities for a moment, some of the smartest most brilliant new thought leaders from many niches share their research, expertise, studies, and cases
- Crowdsourcing: information can be examined, commented upon, and scrutinized via the masses with new information formulated based on these “group” efforts
Courtesy The Big Cartoon Database
Grow Your Brain On Twitter
Twitter is like your diet. If you choose to consume junk and crap you will end up with a bad body. But if you choose to be careful and mindful of what you consume, perform your due diligence, and be open minded–the sky is the limit. Here is how to get started:
- Identify Niche(s): before you can learn you must target the niche(s) you want to learn about in depth
How: that is up to you so look within for this answer
- Create Lists: once you have your niche(s) you need to create rough lists of people-companies to follow that fit your research needs. These lists will change as you become aware of more resources. Note: always be willing to experiment & tweak your list(s)
How: you can use any number of Twitter applications to create lists. Some of the favorites are Tweetdeck, Hootesuite, and soon to be “Lists” function on Twitter
- Search For Sources: roll up your sleeves and begin looking. Start with wefollow.com, try Twazzup.com, utilize Twitter’s internal search engine, & look on Google
How: list your keywords & keyword phrases relevant to finding your sources; input these keywords with relevant factors like region, geography, or demographics if they apply
- Due Diligence: once you have your list of resources, begin to follow their tweets. Perform some due diligence by going through their tweets to make sure they are the right source for you
- Mine The Blogroll: after finding each important resource (person-company) mine their blogroll of people-companies they follow. Note: this is often an accelerated way to gain new resources to follow
- Save Your Links: once you begin to utilize Twitter you will find massive amounts of important links containing great information. The fastest way to bookmark, bank, these links is by using the “Favorites” button. By favoriting a tweet you automatically save it in your “Resource Bank” for later consumption
Courtesy Bouncer Wiki
Have you ever been stalked? I have. Have you ever had your home robbed? My parent’s home was robbed. Have you ever been confronted by an unknown person? I have. Security in today’s world is often a consideration we fail to understand. Either we feel safe, we reason we are not celebrities and thus immune, or we do not worry about the subject altogether. Twitter is a wonderful real time communication tool with ramifications if you are not careful. Like real estate, location-location-location, security begins with protecting your plans or location.
Personal Security Risks: Tweets That Tell Too Much?
Transparency is a staple of Web 2.0 and social networks yet how much information is too much? The following are the type of tweets that could be security risks to you or a loved one:
- Locations: tweets that divulge your exact location
Why: you have no idea who is following your tweet stream and monitoring your whereabouts-giving exact locations places you in a position to be approached; add a close likeness in your bio picture and you are “findable”
- Times: tweets that provide exact times of your location or a location you will be in the future
Why: these tweets can provide a possible unwanted someone enough information to locate you
- Future Travel: tweets that outline specific travel activities with time or time frames
Why: the possibility of a burglary, although remote due to address information and other logistics needed, is not impossible considering the amount of information available about you especially when criminals know you are leaving your home
Business Security Risks: Lose Your Job, Business, or Advantage
Like our personal safety, our businesses should remain secure. The following tweets could be a security risk to your business or your job:
- Partnerships: tweeting your new partnerships before they are solid business arrangements
Why: competitors looking for partners could be monitoring your efforts with an eye on your business partner
- Sales: tweeting your new accounts, new contracts, new consulting gigs
Why: competitors can quickly act to attempt to under cut price, provide better product or service, and steal your new clients who are yet to be sticky to you or your company
- Future Niche: tweeting your intention to pursue a new niche
Why: this alerts your competitors of new or fertile ground to be examined. If you believe you are first to the party–don’t tell anyone or you will have company
- Business Travel: telling everyone you are attending a conference filled with your prospects is a sure fire way of attracting added unwanted competitors
- Personal Opinions: As the Ketchum PR disaster already taught us, if you have an opinion detrimental to your customer you would be best to zip it and not say a word.
Why: if you have to ask why you truly do not get it
- Realtor Open Houses: this is especially ominous. Be careful to have security measures in place before tweeting your open house information
Why: Incidents of open house crimes are on the rise nationally with murder, rape, attempted rape, assaults, and burglaries some of the felonies committed
The top 3 articles for 30 days ending October 16, 2009 on deansguide are
- “Twitter Strategies: #FollowFriday To Recognize and Attract New Followers” with 909 pages views
- “Hearst Mansion: Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing-$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!”
- “Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angel’s 50th Anniversary”
My deansguide blog has 573 articles published to date. That library of content will be buried and unbeknowst to the reader if I do not do the following things to ensure it’s continued readership.
Leverage and Repurpose Your Content: Revisit Your Past
The content you write on your blog builds a library or reference point to your past. The following are strategies that will continue to add new readers, gain exposure for past articles, and provide you with an easy to write blog articles when necessary:
- Internal Linking: make sure to create internal linking to your past content library of articles. By linking past articles to current work, you open the gates to new material for readers unfamiliar with your past works
- Categorization: categorizing your articles makes it easier for readers to find your work; another benefit of categorization-you can create an article on the best of a particular “category”
- Retrospectives: if you have written a past article or series of articles, you can write a retrospective aka “look back” article to analyze where that particular subject matter has progressed today
- Repurpose: if you have articles in your content library that were too long, losing readers in text, you can repurpose an important point creating a new “tighter” succinct version of the old content
- Listing: like so many great bloggers, see BeingPeterKim.com, you can write an article based on your best articles from any time frame ie. quarter, month, or week
The Top 3 articles by page views this week for deansguide were written:
- September 25, 2009 Twitter article
- July 10, 2007 Hearst Mansion article
- March 30, 2007 Hell’s Angels article
Your content library will serve you well if you understand how to link back to it, create new versions, and make the content easy to access.
In what became a perfect example of why newspapers are failing business models, the Navy’s Blue Angels were forced to cancel their show, in San Francisco, yesterday due to fog conditions. The simple fact that fog was present forcing the Angels to cancel is not the reason American newspapers are going to go under–it’s the lack of breaking news delivery speed. Even worse? I wake up this morning and buy my local newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal a Gannet property, paying $1.25 for my “news.” Yet the news I wanted to read about, the most dominant story in the Bay Area, was not covered. Not even a mention in my Sunday edition.
Why Newspapers Will Fail
- Mobile News: while a crowd of thousands stood around waiting for the Angels to reappear (after an initial flyover) one of the audience members announced that the show was canceled due to fog–he received the information off of his iPhone
- Real Time vs. Their Time: if the “IJ” had run a story the next day on the show’s cancellation it would have at least been the opportunity for the paper to be more thorough by providing interviews or additional information.
- Google Indexing-Where Are They?: In the most telling reason why newspapers will lose, a Google search “Blue Angels Cancel show” the top 10 results:
- SF Chronicle #7 with no other newspapers in the top 20 first two pages of results
- CBS, ABC, and bloggers dominated the news capturing the other 9 spots on page one
#1 Reason Why Newspapers Will Fail
Newspaper braintrusts do not understand that breaking news is not a commodity for monetization any longer. Bloggers and more agile online sources are crushing the newspaper industry at their own game. Even the name newspaper is no longer accurate. There is very little news in the papers that has not already been reported hours or even days before online.
Newspapers should monetize and sell their ability to create valuable commentary. Produce expert opinion, how to, or resource information. In essence, newspapers should follow the model of the most successful bloggers who have built audiences based on their ability to be perceived as a go-to source of information important to the audience
Who is Guy Kawasaki and why is he telling you how to sell? Better yet why should Realtors or real estate professionals care about a man who has made his living in Silicon Valley raising money and capital for start up fame and fortune? Here is why: the man knows how to sell without angering his audience, he knows how to inspire evangelistic behavior from the most reticent audience, and he knows why most of us do not understand how to sell. Please pay attention to the following quotes from Guy’s book Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition
2 Guy Kawasaki Quotes on Selling
- Sell don’t enable buying: ” An iPod is bought because people walk into the Apple store intending to buy it. They’ve already made the decision. The products and services of most organizations are sold, not bought. If you don’t have an iPod-like product, you need face-to-face, personalized, and intense contact. Advertising can’t do this, so for most organizations the best lead-generation methods are seminars, presentations by company executives, and schmoozing.”
dg: Kawasaki’s notions of lead generation are absolutely correct. For Realtors or real estate professionals, lead generation is no longer a print advertising, newspaper or magazine play. If you want to “enable buying” and you do not have an i-Pod like product:
- You (the Realtor) must take your case (why I should hire you) live to the people
- Speak in front of groups & organizations made up of your prospective targets not your industry associations where you speak to your peers and competitors
- Webinars are essential. Give free real estate webinars to large companies in your region who have an aggressive relocation policy for staff
- Differentiate your messages or run with the pack that is dropping out of the industry
- Make prospects talk:“If prospects are open to buying your product or service they will usually tell you what it will take to close them. All you have to do is (A) get them talking about their needs; (B) shut up; (C) listen; (D) explain how your product or service fills their need”
dg: The following are things that destroy or hinder a sale
- Lack of product knowledge
- The person can not listen or stop talking long enough to listen
- Lack of prepared questions for the prospect
- Inability to think on their feet (if they had only been listening) and ask questions of the prospect based on the live conversation