Is trying to be everywhere online actually helping grow your business?

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Social media experts have probably told you that keeping your clients up to date on your activities is an important part of your day-to-day tasks. But with all the social networks out there (and new ones popping up seemingly every day) how do you find the time? From LinkedIn to Facebook to Google+ to Twitter it seems like all the posting and tweeting is eating up every precious moment in your day. It’s keeping you from doing what you really love – and what will ultimately bring you additional business.

And even if you can squeeze in getting on all the social networks, is all your hard work in putting content out there building a lasting, sustainable presence that will help you grow your business? As an someone who has talked to many agents over the years, I’ve felt that pressure too. There are three simple strategies that can help you release the pressure and focus on what works to grow your business!

Too many sites, not enough time

Like many of your colleagues, you know the challenges of the business but want to stand out from the crowd. You need to be top of mind with your prospects when they make that decision to do a transaction. But of course its not like they are buying groceries or gas – buying or selling a house is not something they do every day. So building up a relationship with them and keeping them aware of your service offering is crucial to grow your business.

As we all know there are lots of different sites that your prospects use to chat with friends and exchange information. But the problem comes when you try to cover your bases by putting content on as many of these networks as you can. Even though the goal is to keep your name front and centre, it takes a lot of time and energy to be on top of it all!

Facebook and Pinterest and Tumbler, oh my!

I’ve gotten a look at the emails sent to agents selling the latest ways to attract new leads. A few years ago Facebook was the new way to get leads. Then it was Google+. Now it might be Tumblr, Houzz or some other network that’s the hot new thing. Recently I got one that said an agent used Pinterest to generate 30 new leads in the last month!

But the result for the most of us is just confusion. Its exhausting trying to be everywhere on these networks because they all have different interfaces and it seems like new ones sprout up like mushrooms almost every week!

Now I don’t know about you but some of these experts who have tried to push me towards the “hot new thing” didn’t have a clue about what I do (residential and commercial architecture). So for them to say that going “all in” on this new thing would “for sure” grow my business set off some alarm bells. And trust me, in my line of work we also have to remain top of mind for those potential clients who want to hire us.

Quick fix or long-term solution: Who do you believe?

So with all the noise out there, is there any hope of gaining back time to focus on what really matters in your business? Well its important to realize that there are no quick fixes or magic bullets out there that deliver an unlimited supply of leads (sorry about that). However, there are tools that will help you free up your time so you can build up quality content that supports your service offering to your prospects and existing clients.

But make sure the tools you select really are right for your needs. For example, there are some large enterprise focused CRM tools out there that can work for the Real Estate industry but they have so much functionality that they can be hard to use or worse too general to take into account the needs of agents.

However, there are tools and sites built from the ground up around the needs of agents in the industry. These can really help free up your time to do the things you love and help grow your business. For example, there are sites that allow you to update many social networks at once so that you can keep your clients and prospects up to date. Yes I know that each site has a different focus, but if you take a moment to explore the different platforms and get a sense of how content is shared, you can put together updates that work.

There are also web platforms that cater to the real estate industry that make it super easy to build up and maintain a website that showcases your work. This will help prospects more easily find you when they do a web search.

And there are also other tools that help with your day-to-day activities that streamline frustrating tasks so you can focus on prospecting and getting additional transactions.

Bringing it all together

Now I won’t tell you this is easy- if it was everyone would be doing it right?

But just to get going here are three ways to start to free up your time to build your content and attract prospects.

  1. Carve out some time on a regular basis to update your networks through some sort of tool, which allows you to update the social media sites you care about at once. This could be in the morning or at night but try to do it regularly so people see you are committed to the process.
  2. Research and use tools that allow you to automate tasks (like updating your social media sites) to help focus on other more profitable things. The other benefit of removing frustrating tasks is that it keeps you open to new opportunities without getting “stuck in the weeds.”
  3. Build up a stable of content that allows prospects to find you on the web and get a good sense of what you offer. This does not have to be just blog posts but can be your current listings, your bio and anything else that can help prospects see how you can enable a result they want to achieve.

If you work at it hard and long enough, eventually you’ll have a large, dedicated audience … and you just might be viewed as an online expert of your own!

 


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