Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mayorism: Marketing Yourself and Your Community

You need to promote yourself online, but you can attract more consumers by being a resource on real estate transactions and your local area. Learn how.

You are your niche: Your personality, expertise, and knowledge of your local market and community is what gives you the opportunity to earn commissions once you are in front of a potential buyer or seller.
You already leverage this skill set every single time you have an in-person conversation with a potential client. But why wait for the opportunity to have a discussion about real estate or your community? If you publish your expertise online as part of a long-term, hyperlocal marketing strategy, you will leave your competition in the dust.
Your content on the Web can be your voice to consumers you haven’t met in person. Here are a few strategies you’ll want to use to promote yourself on the Web to your local market.

Writing “You” Content

This content comes from you sharing your personal and professional experience as a real estate salesperson and a member of the community. Probably the most simple and almost endless source of content for your Web site is the Sent folder in your e-mail.
How many times have you answered the same types of questions from buyers or sellers? You can almost cut and paste a dozen of these e-mails (and let’s be clear: e-mails are content marketing) and post them on your site. If you do just one a month, you have a year’s worth of content in there already, and maybe much more.
If you’re really up for a challenge, be proactive and educate yourself about aspects of the buying and selling process that you are not completely confident about right now. Do a series breaking down every single aspect of the RPA, disclosures, inspections, making offers, competitive selling strategies ... the list goes on.

Creating and Curating Community Content

Community content is how you establish yourself as a local expert, the go-to source for information about the community.
Let’s take a look at a couple of great sources of community content.
Local Restaurants and Bars
What are your favorite places to eat and drink? As a networking opportunity, chumming up with the owner of a place that has thousands of people go through it a month is a pretty good one.
You probably already know the owner or manager or have a favorite waiter or waitress at a local eatery or watering hole. Publish nice things about them on your site and they will tell everyone they know!
Additionally, info on new restaurants coming to your community can be a huge driver of traffic to your site. This information isn’t hard to come by. Spend a half hour a week doing Google searches for new restaurants or bars coming to your community and write a few paragraphs about these new businesses.
For a more advanced approach, negotiate discounts or specials at these locales for mentioning your Web site. Provide information to servers and employees of the restaurant so that they can instantly recognize that you referred someone to them.
Events and Cultural Institutions
A great way to get readers coming back to your site is to stay on top of what to do. This includes churches, civic organizations, fairs, fireworks displays, local historical events, and other activities.
Most of these events and activities are already posted online. By searching for and consolidating this information in one place, you are giving consumers a convenient way to find community information and helping search engines understand where you do business.
Spend 30 minutes a week researching things to do in your community. Post contact links and information about the event (activities, times, dates) in your article. Write a couple of short paragraphs about your experience with this event or organization and why people might want to participate. Use this information to build your readership and e-mail list.
How many people you drive to an event or activity is really not nearly as valuable as the fact that you’re trying to promote it for them. You will earn major karma points and build great reciprocal referral relationships this way.

Your Mayorism Campaign

As candidate for “mayor” of your community (see my first column for more information), it’s important that voters (consumers) know you for who you are, what your experience is, and how you contribute to or help the community.
Being an authority on real estate transactions and the local housing market is one way to do this. Creating allies with local businesses and influential people in the community is another. If you can spend a few hours a week doing this for at least the next year, you can strengthen both.

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