Every Real Estate Agent needs an Introduction Video

Real Estate Agents are always looking for an edge over the competition. An Introductory video is a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients and tell them a little about yourself. Your Introduction video can really work as an ice-breaker and begin to establish a personal relationship with folks looking to buy or sell a home.

Your video should be one minute or less in length. Tell your viewers why they should choose you as their agent. Talk about your experience or interests. Just be yourself. Make it personable and friendly.

Below is a sample Introduction video that I made for myself to show you as an example.

You don’t have to make it fancy. Your video could be shot with with your phone’s camera.

Once your video is ready, upload it to your YouTube channel, and share it on your eEdge and eAgentC websites, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, or email list. My next post will show you how to do that.

This won’t take much time and will be an effective way to put yourself above the crowd. Take Action!

Posted in Small Business Marketing, Video Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Google Search by Voice on your Computer

I have been telling the Keller Willliams Chervenic Realty agents that I work with that SEO has changed. Google is less interested in keywords and more interested in providing answers to the searchers’ questions – real questions posed in a conversational tone. People talk to their phones. They ask Siri a question. They type in broad questions in the search bar. The Google has become more ‘conversational’ and it’s coming to your laptop.

Google released this video today. If you use the ‘Chrome’ browser (you should try it), you can add a plugin called ‘Google Voice Search Hotword’ to enable the voice search features. Yeah, it’s a plugin and kind of a pain, and I don’t expect that you’ll actually install this thing and use it, but it’s an important signpost of things to come. It’s here and you need to chew on this and adapt.  Your customers can’t find you if you’re not out there.

 

Posted in KW Training and Tutorials, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Branding Your Listings in KWLS

 Keller Williams agents have a secret weapon available. It’s the KWLS listing tool. By leveraging the power of the KWLS, you have a distinct and potent advantage over your competition. You have the ability to brand your listings in the popular real estate websites that ListHub syndicates, such as Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and hundreds of others. This means that you can include your contact information in the description of your listings. You can add additional photos to your listings beyond what MLS allows… maybe these photos have your name and phone number on them… can you really do that? Is that ‘legal’? Would you like both sides of that sale?

YES!

keller williams agent training ninjas

Become a Keller Williams Ninja!

I put together a step by step walk-through showing you how to optimize your listings using the power of KWLS.

If you don’t feel like doing this yourself, or would like a personal lesson, contact me to discuss your options.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my free newsletter which will give you a heads-up on new posts, videos, and exclusive insider information.

Click the link below to get the free PDF.

PDF Report KW Agents – Brand Your Listings Using KWLS

Below is a quick video leading you through the whole process.

Posted in KW Training and Tutorials Tagged with: , , , , , ,

KW Mobile App – Use an eEdge Campaign to share the Love

Hi Keller Williams Agents! In this video, I show you how to start a Campaign in eEdge that will notify all of your contacts about your Personalized Mobile Property Search App. The Campaign is pre-built so all you have to do is add any or all of your contacts and GO!

The Campaign consists of 3 emails sent out at intervals that you can control. The emails are attractive images that contain your photo and contact information.  Using a Campaign is a great way to get the ball rolling for your Mobile App.

Keller Williams Mobile App

Posted in KW Mobile App, KW Training and Tutorials Tagged with: , , ,

KW Mobile App – Embed a Link in Your Email Signature

As a Keller Williams Real Estate Agent, you have a new lead-gathering tool at your disposal. It’s your personalized KW Mobile Property Search App. Your new app has the potential to be a great asset to your business., but you will need to take steps to get it into your potential clients’ hands.
This video is the first in a series showing you how to begin distribution of your app. I’ll show you, step by step, how to attach a link to the app download page in the ‘signature’ section of your emails.

As always, watch my videos in ‘Full Screen’ and at high resolution to be able to see the screens clearly.

Posted in KW Mobile App, KW Training and Tutorials Tagged with: , , ,

KW Agents, your mobile app is available. Are you promoting it?

Keller Williams agents have a valuable new tool to use to capture new leads – your own personalized Property Search Mobile App!  This is an innovative new way for you to provide your potential clients with a tool that they will really benefit from using. Subscribe to my Newsletter to make sure that you don’t miss my videos showing you how to set up, implement, and promote your app. In the meantime, here’s an official KW video providing an overview of the app.

Your app truly has the potential to be an awesome tool for your business. I’m looking forward to helping you to take action and get the most from your new tool.

keller williams mobile app

Posted in KW Training and Tutorials

YouTube now requires comments be made through your Google+ account!

by Rob Lightbody

A couple of weeks ago YouTube announced that they were taking action against comment trolls. YouTube has been known for being the absolute worst website for people unleashing their anonymous venom in the comments area for videos. It really has been bad. No one can disagree.

Well, tonight I started to comment on a video (a nice complimentary comment, I must say.) A pop-up appeared telling me that I would  now be posting that comment using the username associated with my Google + account (Rob Lightbody, my real name of course) that was associated with my YouTube account. It’s not really a big surprise, since this is exactly what has happened to what used to be called Google Places. Places has now been integrated into Google +. Now it’s called Google + Local. For a user to post a review to a local business on Google + Local, one must be logged in to G+ and use their ‘real’ name. I couldn’t agree more with this move by Google. When the Places service was associated with Google Maps, it allowed anonymity in the reviews. Of course, this became a really easy way for competitors and disgruntled employees to post completely dishonest, inflammatory, and libelous reviews on businesses’ Places listings. These reviews could seriously damage a merchant’s business. No joke.

Tonight the same thing came to YouTube. I generally agree with the move, but I must admit I have some reservations about it. What do you think about this?

Posted in Small Business Marketing Tagged with: , ,

‘Exact Match’ Keyword Strategy is Necessary for your Internet Marketing

Here’s a great article from JILL KOCHER in Practical Ecommerce describing the correct use of ‘exact match’ keyword research and utilization. This technique is of utmost importance for the success of your search engine optimization efforts. I am offering a free report that goes into detail of exactly how to perform keyword research for your website or blog. Simply enter your name and email address in the box in the right sidebar to get my free internet marketing report.

SEO Keywords: ‘Red Roses’ vs. ‘Roses Red’

JUNE 22, 2012 · BY JILL KOCHER

Search engines are code-driven, logic-based pieces of software and hardware that know and do what they’re programmed to do: rank data gathered from crawling websites according to specific algorithms against searchers’ queries. Those algorithms based on keyword relevance prefer exact matches between keywords and search queries. As a result, a site attempting to drive sales on the phrase “red roses” will not rank as well if it uses the phrase “roses red” across its pages.

Search engines are picky, and consequently so is search engine optimization. Small details matter. If two web pages look the same, the typical human will assume they are the same page. But if those two pages have different URLs thanks to tracking parameters, they are not the same page to a search engine. If a bad URL renders an error page, the typical human will understand that that page can’t be found. But if the error page serves up a “200 OK” server header status instead of a “404 File Not Found” status, search engines assume that the URL is not bad at all and hold on to it like a dog to a bone. This is really picky stuff bordering on annoying for most marketers. However just as using the exact keyword matters, all of these picky elements matter in the world of search engine optimization.

Exact Match and Search Keywords

Back to the example of “red roses.” According to the Google Keyword Tool, approximately 8,100 searchers query Google in the U.S. for the exact phrases “red rose” and “red roses” in an average month. But fewer search for the reverse ordering of the two words, “rose red” and “roses red.” In fact, only 110 people in the U.S. search for “roses red” in the average month. Consequently, a site that wants to target the most possible organic search traffic will optimize for the exact phrase “red roses.”

Zoom Enlarge This ImageKeyword data for "red roses" from the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Keyword data for “red roses” from the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

For example, a florist’s ecommerce site would be able to target many more searchers by using the exact phrase “red roses” in the title tags, headings and navigation for the site. The florist sets up a category for the flower type “roses” with subcategories for color, including red, to achieve this. But the ecommerce platform’s default title tag, heading and navigation formulas place category first and subcategory second like this: “Roses – Red.” As a result, the florist’s page meant to target the 8,100 searches that “red roses” drives is actually targeting “roses red” and its paltry 110 searches a month.

Does Exact Phrasing Still Matter?

SEOmoz, the SEO consulting firm, conducted a study of ranking factors. It concludes that keyword relevance is alive and well. True, the search engines have made great strides in determining the relevance of a piece of textual content. A decade ago, using the exact keyword phrase was critically important because the engines’ algorithms didn’t include semantic indexing, analyzing contextual relevance, advanced synonyms, and other relevance factors. While it’s true that the engines are quite aware that “red roses” and “roses red” are very nearly the same phrase, it’s also still true that search engines are still designed to some degree to prefer the exact match.

In a search result for “red roses,” if all other algorithmic elements were exactly the same between two pages except for the use of “red roses” or “roses red” in the title tag, the page using the exact phrase “red roses” would rank ahead of its competitor. Granted, it’s virtually impossible for all of the other algorithmic elements to be the same between two pages. Still, exact match represents an advantage that’s relatively easy and inexpensive to exploit. There’s no reason not to take advantage of it if SEO traffic and sales are a priority, especially when the competition probably already is.

Zoom Enlarge This ImageThe search result for a page optimized for "roses red"

The search result for a page optimized for “roses red”

What Is Exact Match Exactly?

Time and again I’ve trained teams of highly intelligent and creative people to optimize content using the exact phrase. When it comes time to review their content post-training, I invariably find that the concept of “exact” is more flexible in their minds than it needs to be for SEO purposes. If the targeted phrase is “red roses,” then “roses red” is not an exact match. The phrases “red and white roses,” “red velvet roses,” and “painting the roses red” are also not exact matches. These phrases may all support the general keyword theme of red roses, but they do not constitute an exact match of the phrase “red roses.”

It’s obvious, right? Obvious in theory often becomes murky in practice. Take a look at the next piece of textual content you write through exact eyes. What was the keyword that content was meant to target? Objectively, did that exact phrase actually make it into the elements of the page that a search engine considers prominent? Does the exact phrase lead the title tag and heading? Is the exact phrase used in the navigation, if at all possible? Is the exact phrase used in the meta description to increase the likelihood of searchers to click through to the site? Is the exact phrase used near the beginning of the content and at least one other time after that? Do the supporting keyword phrases actually support the exact phrase using similar words in different phrasings or synonyms?

To illustrate the point, paste the text into a word cloud generator like Wordle or Tagxedo. The most frequently used words will stand out larger. Is the targeted keyword one of the larger words — excluding and, the, and similar frequently used non-keywords? Or just use the “Find” function in Word to find the instances of the exact phrase. Is it used as frequently and in the optimal places you thought it was? If not, the content is likely not as optimized for the exact phrase as it seemed to be during the writing. This is very common and not an issue as long as the content is written first for customers and then reviewed with an eye for SEO.

The last couple of paragraphs placed a lot of emphasis on the number of times a keyword is used, also known as keyword density. To be clear, keyword density is easy to measure and visualize but it is not the key to optimal content. Keyword prominence, placing the exact keyword in the most optimal places in the content and on the page, is far more important.

For more on how to optimize content for SEO, see “Optimizing a Page for Search Engines, Part 3: Keywords to Content,” my previous article on that topic.

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Posted in SEO, Small Business Marketing Tagged with: , , ,

YouTube is a Valuable Tool for your Small Business Marketing

by Rob Lightbody

As a local business owner, YouTube is one of your best resources to help you spread the word about your business. Some only think of it as the home for clips of cute kitties and bad singers, political candidates and old home movies. It is also an incredible resource to learn about, literally, anything. For instance, I have searched for and found instructional videos about how to fix a particular model of clothes dryer, and I’ve learned how to disassemble and repair my XBox’s Red Ring of Death, and all kinds of other things. Here is where the opportunity lies; YOU can be the teacher, the demonstrator, the tour guide . . . the EXPERT!

The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t matter what type of business, hobby, or interest you have – you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your field.

Here are some ideas:

  • Make a video explaining your most frequently asked questions.
  • Guide a tour around your showroom, offices, shop, or vehicles.Optimize your videos to rank in local search results.
  • Demonstrate your newest or most popular products.
  • Explain to your audience why you are the best choice for the job.
  • Introduce or interview your employees.
  • Let your customers in on the latest news about your business.

YouTube can be a great tool to let your customers see your company in a novel way. You don’t even need extravagant equipment – your family’s video camera or even your smart phone is good enough to make short videos. So, what are you waiting for? Let your star shine!

Posted in Small Business Marketing, Social Media Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Basics of New Media Marketing for Small Business

by Rob Lightbody

I’m casting my net in person as well as online. Knocking on doors. Old School! Here’s my report – I’m hearing frustration in the voices of small business owners here in Michigan regarding the current state of affairs in the world of advertising and marketing. Of course, the old methods aren’t working out so well for them. For many, the new methods might as well be from another galaxy. As I research many local small businesses (and some that are NOT so small), I find that very few are utilizing Google, Bing, and the social networks in any meaningful way. Most have a static website. Some have started a Facebook page or Twitter account, posted once or twice and have apparently walked away. Others don’t have ANY presence except a phone book ad or a map on Facebook (that Facebook generated). I have to say – I find that surprising. Really.

Small business people out there, let’s step back and start from square one.

The three basic goals of any marketing plan are:

  • Attract new customers
  • Engage previous customers to buy again
  • Generate referrals from customers

It’s as simple as that. That’s how we try to make money, whether through an ad in the phonebook, a coupon in the weekly shopper’s mailing, a spot on the local radio station, or any number of other techniques. Where I live, the pizza shops hire guys to walk the neighborhoods and put flyers on everyone’s front door – doesn’t seem like a very effective way to spend the advertising dollar.

Participating in the social Internet is critical today. The three goals outlined above are efficiently met through the careful outlining of your marketing plan – online and off, regardless of the type of business that you operate.
When consumers are looking for products of services to satisfy their needs, the phone book is no longer the first place they will check. . . unless you’re my Mom. Her phone book is six years old. But even my Mom is learning how to Google.

I know, I can’t believe it either, but it’s true. You can bet that if my Mom is heading to the Internet to find a phone number, or a restaurant’s hours of operation, or the nearest place for yoga class, then more savvy people are using the network in many other ways to answer their needs. Folks – Google, Bing, Yahoo – these are your friends. Make sure that they are serving your business in the best way possible. I can help you to make sure that your company appears near the top of the list.
Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools to get you connected to your existing customers. Most of them are already using these services.This is where your community building begins. Search Facebook and Twitter for the names of some of your most enthusiastic customers (you should be gathering their names and email addresses now. List building is important) and ask them to help you put out the news about your awesome new page. You also need to reach out through conventional means to let your people know about your online presence. This can be done by simply putting up some signs in your business, and making sure that your Facebook and Twitter addresses are right there next to your phone number and address on your usual marketing materials. It will take some time to accumulate your base of followers, but as you provide value and content on a regular basis, you’ll be seeing new faces on your pages and then if you play it right, coming through your front door. THAT’s what I’m talking about!

There are other avenues of social networking to explore and exploit that are at least, if not more important than using just Facebook and Twitter. I’ll explain some of those social marketing tools in my next article. Thanks for spending your precious time with me. I hope you can see the value in these methods. If you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting to discuss the best strategy for your particular situation, please jump over to my contact page and shoot me an email or phone call. Thank you, Rob

Posted in Small Business Marketing, Social Media Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Small Businesses MUST use Social Media

by Rob Lightbody

That might  seem like a bold statement, especially to those of you who’ve been in business for several years. Here’s the news – the world is changing. FAST. Marketing, advertising, and customer relations are different now than they ever were, even last year.

I’m going to say it again. Small Businesses MUST use Social Media.

Why?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
There are several BIG reasons that a small business needs to include aggressive use of social media in its marketing plan. Let’s have a look at them. . .

First, it’s where your customers are. Simple as that. If you want to get in front of some eyeballs, this is how to do it. People are using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and others. A lot! You can’t afford NOT to participate. People talk to each other using these channels. They talk about what they do, what they like, what they buy. Consumers trust their online friends’ recommendations almost as much as they trust their real-life friends’ recommendations. You can’t buy better advertising for any amount of money.

That statement leads us to our next reason that small business must use social media – Traditional marketing and advertising is in chaos. People simply don’t rely on newspaper, television, or radio as much as they once did. Back in the day, there were three television networks. A company could buy a couple of thirty-second ads, even in their local market, and rest assured that it would be seen by most of their target audience. Today, the medium of television is incredibly fragmented and has become a much less effective marketing tool for small business. Newspapers? Do we even need to talk about it? Classified ads have moved online. Craig’s List anyone? As for radio, this medium’s audience has been destroyed by our love of devices, mp3 players and such. Even today’s phones undercut radio’s popularity and usefulness with their ability to play music and podcasts. It has become abundantly clear that the dependable old ways of marketing aren’t so dependable any more. When consumers want to gather information about a product of service, they Google. I hope that your company or product appears near the top of the search results. Utilizing social media can help make that happen.Internet Marketing Clinton Township

As a business owner, you need to know what people are saying about your company. Using the social web permits you to monitor the buzz about your business. Hopefully, you will be thrilled to see all of the glowing and enthusiastic reviews about your wonderful service and beautiful products. There will probably come a time when, through no fault of your own, I’m sure, someone will have a less-than-perfect experience with your company. In the past, this person might tell their family about it, maybe their close friends, and damage would be somewhat limited. Today, on the other hand, the dissatisfied customer can tell the entire online world. The practice of reputation monitoring allows the business owner to be quickly alerted to such a complaint and to respond quickly to address the issue before it gets out of hand. This is an important and powerful tool in itself; another great reason to use social media for your business.

The last reason that I want to illuminate for you today – and if nothing else convinces you to take your business ‘social’, this alone should – YOUR COMPETITION IS DOING IT!  ok? ok.

Now, social media is not an end in itself. It is not the silver bullet for success in the digital age. Social media is, however, a hugely important tool to include in your marketing strategy. The days of simply ‘broadcasting’ your product, your service, your image, are done. Your image is what the customers say it is. To be successful, a business needs to engage the consumer. By using social media, your business can create a feeling of pride and community among it’s customers. To me, that sounds like a recipe for making money.
I’d love to help your business make the most of social media. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss the most effective strategy for your company.

Posted in Social Media Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

It’s been said that starting is the hardest part. I’m going to have to agree. My previous endeavors have usually begun as an interest that began to simmer, then percolate, and finally boil. Not this time. This time I decided that THIS is what I’m going to do. I am going to be a Social Media Manager, and I am going to be GREAT at it. I see a tremendous need in the marketplace, and I’m going to do something about it. So, for the sake of transparency, I’ll say it out loud – I’m new at Social Media Management. Well, I’m new at parts of Social Media Management. But, hey, Social Media Management is a new kid on the block itself, so I don’t feel too bad.

I live in Metro Detroit. Everyone has heard the jokes and seen the pictures. Yes, this area was hit fiercely by the economic uh…downturn, but people here are tough and don’t give up easily. Small businesses are still in the game, working hard to grow and thrive. Now more than ever, these businesses need to use all the tools available to them.

The world is changing. Customers are changing their behaviors and business needs to follow their lead or be left in the dust. To quote Gen. Eric Shinseki, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevency even more”.

Here are some startling facts:-The 10 BILLIONTH social networking account was recently created.
-According to a Nielson survey, 70% of respondents ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat’ trust recommendations from consumer opinions online. Online trust ranked #2 behind ‘recommendations from people I know’ which garnered a 90% trust rating.
-With the staggering rise in popularity of ‘smartphones’ people have unprecedented access to information and their networks. It’s not just the kids who are heading to the web. Babycenter’s 2011 Mobile Mom Report finds that moms with smartphones like the iPhone spend more time with the mobile Web (6.1 hours a day) than the PC-based Web (4.1 hours).

I could go on and on (which I will, in future posts), but the point of today’s message is this: Social Media is where your customers are talking about your business. You need to be involved in that conversation whether you like it or not. I can help.

Let’s put on another pot of coffee and get to work.

Posted in Social Media Tagged with: ,