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7 Sure Fire Ways To Get Referrals Using Testimonials and Reviews

Testimonials, ratings and reviews are critical to your online reputation.  And you really must have a systematic approach to gather and display your best testimonial evidence of the quality of service that you provide to your clients.

In fact, recent studies show that testimonials, ratings and reviews are the single most important factor when a person is considering a service provider to use.  And interestingly, the magic number of positive reviews that closes the deal is 10. So get started right away and gather at least 10 positive ratings and reviews!

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Here are 7 strategies to ramp up your online reputation with ratings, reviews and testimonials:

Strategy #1: Use Testimonials Liberally Throughout Your Website!

It’s very important to have a dedicated Reviews and Testimonials page on your website.  But don’t stop there! You can also add positive reviews on any of your product or service pages.

It’s a good idea to add testimonials specific to the service that you are talking about on that page as well.  The more relevant the review, the better the response!

Also add reviews and testimonials to your About Us or About Me page as that’s the second most trafficked page on any website when your prospective clients are looking to use your services.

Strategy #2: Sharing is Caring! 

Ask the folks who give you positive reviews to share that good news all over the place.  Websites like Yelp, Angie’s List and TripAdvisor have become billion dollar businesses solely on the backs of providing trustworthy reviews.

You can leverage the good name that they’ve developed in the marketplace by having your positive reviews posted there as well!

Strategy #3: Make Your Testimonials, Ratings and Reviews Social!

Don’t forget your testimonial provider’s social media networks! Social media is literally where people spend the most time online. And they are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

So if you can get your positive reviews posted there, it’s much more likely that your prospects will see them and be impressed!

Strategy #4: Encourage Sharing On Industry Relevant Websites!

There are many industry relevant websites that your testimonial givers can share their positive impression of your business on. In the mortgage industry, for example, they could submit it on Zillow, Trulia, and BetterLoanOfficers.

As your positive reviews stack up, so does your credibility and client attraction.

Strategy #5: Go Ahead And Brag About Yourself!

Have you ever heard about a “Brag Book”?  It’s a great thing to have handy when you are meeting with a client to convince them that they want to use your service!

We once used review postcards mailed to our clients at the end of every transaction. And then I would save all of the glowing testimonials and ratings when they were mailed back and I could show my prospects what other people said about my quality of service.

Online reviews do this very same thing, but you can print them out into a paper copy and share it with your clients in person.

Strategy #6: Spread The Good Word Around!

Make sure to add your ratings, reviews and testimonials to all of your offline marketing materials as well.  You can add testimonials to brochures, flyers, posters and even the back of your business cards if you like!

Also, make sure your printed materials provide a link back to your website testimonial page.

Strategy #7: Video Testimonials Are The Cream Of The Crop!

There is no more powerful way to share information online than video. A recent study showed that videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Think about the heavy lifting your cognitive system has to do when reading an article vs. watching a video clip! So make it easy on your clients and share video testimonials anytime  you can.

Pro tip: Break out your phone and record a video when you attend a closing.  It’s a great way to capture the excitement of the day at the peak of your client’s satisfaction. And it doesn’t need to be perfect.  You can even just ask them questions and then edit the video afterwards!

Bonus Strategy: Ask For REFERRALS!

Your happiest clients are very likely to be the best referral givers as well! So make sure to plan your strategy to educate your positive review givers about how you work by referral and then make sure they know that you really want their referrals as well.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking they will already know! In fact, many times people think that you might be too busy and they don’t want to pile on. You MUST let them know that their referrals are the most important way that you get business and you always welcome their call with a referral of a friend or family member!

Put those seven powerful strategies in place and you’ll be adding massive horsepower to your repeat and referral business!

What I’ve Learned: 2/7/17 Mexico, Lifetime Goals and Lost Keys…

Daily High: Today’s high was getting the tour of the reservations system for my new condo in Rocky Point, Mexico (AKA Puerto Penasco).

It’s been a lifetime goal to own a place in Mexico to travel to on a more consistent basis. I have a number of reasons. Here are a few…

First, I grew up at the coast and had immediate access to the beaches and ocean. Although I love living in the desert environment for the blue skies and beautiful weather, I do miss the crashing ocean waves and shoreline. So it’s nice to know I can be there in just a few hours drive.

Second, I’ve had a life-long goal of learning to speak Spanish fluently. I feel like the more time I spend surrounded by people speaking the language (and my willingness to become vulnerable and try to speak it too!) I’ll develop the skill a lot faster.

Third, my kids LOVE going to the beach and I’m really excited to spend as much time with them doing fun stuff as they are growing up SO FAST! We’ve taken a number of trips to Rocky Point and Cabo San Lucas over the years. It’s always a great adventure and different each and every time.

Fourth, it’s a good investment. Both financially as well as for family vacation time and relationship building. Even if there is no price appreciation in the value of the condo over time, it’s like a savings account with the side benefit of almost no cost vacations as long as we own it. The way it’s structured, we are able to rent the unit enough to cover the vast majority of ownership and maintenance expenses. It does require a little bit of risk, but after thouroughly looking at the financials the risk was easily outweighed by the benefits.

I could easily come up with more, but I’ll wait to share more as we make trips down south.

Here’s a video of one of our fishing trips in Puerto Penasco a few years ago:

Daily Low: Without a doubt the day’s low was after a very long (but productive!) day at the office and wanting to get home to make dinner, I realized that I locked my office door with my keys still on my desk. Ugh! The horror…

So I was on a quest to figure out how I could break back in to get them.

The credit card in the door jamb didn’t work.

I considered punching a hole in the wall to reach through and unlock the door… After all, I could then just spend a whole afternoon on sheetrock repair.  No, clearly that wasn’t such a good idea.  Mostly because I’m not mych of a handyman!

Then I considered getting a Lyft back to my house and getting my second set of keys.  That would be great to get my car, but I realized the only other office key was with Liz and she’s gone to Utah with family for the week…

As I was getting more and more frustrated and depressed about the situation, I thought through having to call a locksmith tomorrow to come and bail me out.  Probably another $100 down the drain on an unnecessary mistake.

Think Mikel, Think!

And then I remembered when I had the guys come in and run cabling for the office.  It has those acoustic tile drop ceilings and I still had access to the office next door.

Full MacGyver mode now!

I found a broom handle, some duct tape a paint stirrer stick and an allen wrench.  And luckily we had a ladder in the back. So I crafted a big stick fish hook and climbed up the wall in the adjacent office.

You can only imagine the joy when I removed the tile, looked down and saw my keys waiting patiently on my desk!

Just a quick hook up to get the keys, replace the tiles, turn off the lights and I was on my way home 45 minutes later than I started…

But I was grateful.

Daily Challenge: The key situation was clearly a challenge as well as the low.  But I also had a challenge of cleaning up excess office equipment, furniture, etc that I’d been packing around for a long time.  I got some of it listed and sold, but I’ve got a ways to go.

Daily Lesson: This was easy.  Get an extra copy of the office key to make sure I don’t get permanently locked out in the future.  And maybe take a little more time to make sure I don’t lock myself out in the first place…


Get Noticed In a Noisy World

get-noticed-in-a-noisy-world-2There are different methods that home buyers and sellers may use to find a real estate agent to work with. While some may use the services of a real estate agent who they know personally, others may reach out to a professional who they have located online. In any case, you want to ensure you stand out from the crowd when your services are needed.

In the vast sea a real estate agents to choose from, how do you stand out in the crowd?

First things first, be clear on why you stand out. Show your clients what your standards of quality prove that you are the realtor for them.

  1. Be a valuable resource. Once you’ve identified something your customers are interested in, set up a Google Alert to monitor that topic so you’ll get a notification when something matching those keyword terms surfaces on the Internet. You can then pass the message along through an e-mail or quick phone call to let your client know about something they may not know about yet.
  2. Be fair to your cooperating broker. When offering a discounted rate let your clients know that you are discounting your service without hurting the motivation to sell their house.
  3. Be knowledgeable about the latest and most effective marketing strategies. Mention the marketing materials you will use. (Brochures, postcards, website, etc).
  4. Give them MORE than what they pay for; provide consultations.
  5. Give them an easy form of communication. Offer your office hours and contact information for any inquiries and appointments.
  6. Mention your values and motivation behind your work.

Some things to keep in mind when learning more about your potential clients.

  • Talk about your recent clients and their experiences
  • Credentials are important. Show them they can trust you; prove your licensed.
  • Give them the right attitude. Everyone wants to do business with a winner!
  • Show them your educated and know your industry. If you’ve been in the industry a while, state it.
  • Bring up current listings and listen to their wants and needs.

Now that we talked about how you can stand out once a potential client finds you. Well, how do you get these leads in your funnel?

A funnel is also known as a sales process. This process is divided into several steps. This ties into finding your target market. If you don’t know who is going to be interested in your product or services, then you will have a hard time starting the process of a funnel.

Social Media is today’s platform to stand out of the crowd! Do you have social media already but not sure how to start making an impact and pulling in leads?

Check out “5 Keys to be Successful in Social Media.”

Creating your funnel starts with social media. Click here to read more of the importance of social media.

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How Savvy Realtors Boost Their Reputation with a Blog

As a knowledgeable business professional, you know that your reputation is everything. People simply refuse to work with those they can’t trust, which is why establishing your credibility is paramount especially if you’re only just starting out. And in the online marketing realm, one of the best ways to establish your reputation is by creating a blog.

So how can you build a great reputation by publishing blog articles on your website? Here’s what you need to know.

Shift Your Mindset from Cost to Investment

Business owners, such as Realtors, must carefully differentiate between costs and investments when making important financial decisions, and this holds true when you are thinking about blog marketing expenses as well.

A cost is something that generally will provide an immediate result. An investment, on the other hand, will have a long-term residual return. When it comes to blog marketing for your business, there are three good reasons why you need to think about this as an investment rather than a cost.

1. Building Brand Awareness

Marketing generally has many purposes, and one of the primary purposes for most marketing efforts is to build brand awareness and develop or enhance your reputation in some way. Blog marketing essentially creates a series of blog posts that can shape the image your target audience has of your brand.

2. Increasing Visibility

Another goal of marketing is to increase visibility for your brand. Each blog post that you create may be linked to from other online sources or a previous blog post. Your consumers may also send links of the posts to their own friends and family members.

3. Generating Need

A blog post can be created so that it defines consumer needs and shows how your products or services may meet those needs. The blog posts will generate an immediate response from your consumers when they are initially posted, but they also can remain online for others to view. This also has long-term benefits for your business.

Generate Credibility With High-Quality Authoritative Content

‘Content is King’ is a good saying, but ‘Good Content is King’ is a better saying, for a good reason, with so many places to go online to consume content, every blog has to stand apart. Focus on in-depth blog posts that are well-written and cover an aspect of the industry that isn’t discussed much.

Exceptional writing stands out in an age where most blogs are quickly pieced together just to have something to post each day.

Writing to get to the top of search engines a great side benefit of having an engaging blog. However, writing your content exclusively for search engines will alienate your readers – especially if you’re using outdated SEO tactics.

Create Trust And Engagement By Fostering Audience Connection

In order to get people to care about you, you need to show that you care about what they think. You need to show them that you belong in their circle.

If you want people to engage with your blog, you need to show them how you are similar to them. You need to show them your human side. Don’t be afraid to talk about personal experiences or use colloquialisms on your blog it shows your readers that you’re like them, which helps them to trust you.

Branch Out Into Other Content Arenas

A really well-written, long form blog post can be deconstructed to make several additional pieces of content that cover the same topic but target different users.

Social media is an incredibly useful tool for exposing content to new viewers. One of the major benefits of social media is the ability to share content that stands out with people who will, in turn, share it with each one of their friends and followers.

A short YouTube video highlighting some key points from the blog post, a podcast discussing the industry or an eBook that covers the same ground can all be useful ways to expose a website to new viewers and boost the traffic, provided all new forms of content link back to the blog.

An effective content marketing strategy should start with creating content that people will want to share and help go viral. From there, it will be time to get that content to social media followers and then branch out into new pieces to target people who consume their content in different ways.

Determining how to invest your marketing funds is rarely a simple task. You want to generate an immediate return, but some marketing methods also will give you a long-term benefit. There are numerous marketing methods that you can choose to use for your business, and blog posts are just one. With how cost-effective and advantageous it can be to invest in blog marketing, you may consider including this in your overall strategy.

4 Social Media Tools to Boost Your Productivity

4 Social Media Tools to Boost Your ProductivityThere’s a reason large corporations have a team of social media marketers monitoring their online presence, it’s because creating content and tracking social mentions can be a full time job.

There are plenty of social media tools that are designed to boost productivity so that small businesses can create social media campaigns that are just as effective as their competition.

Use Canva To Create Social Media Images

Finding the right image is imperative to boost engagement with readers across every form of social media. Brands need to maintain accounts on a variety of platforms and because each one has its own preferred dimensions and styles it can be time consuming to create new ones for each site.

Canva allows users to easily create a variety of banners, covers and graphics for social media campaigns across a number of platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Track Content That Works With Buzzsumo

Curating content to share with followers is a marketing trend used by many brands. Identifying what content is trending and performing will take up too much time for busy business owners and marketers.

Buzzsumo allows users to search for terms and phrases to track how well content is performing with key influencers. This will provide users with the opportunity to handpick content that has proven successful to share with their own followers.

Schedule Posts In Advance With Buffer

The best time of day to post content to social media is not always the same time that the posts are created. Buffer is a social media tool that allows businesses to create and schedule their content to be posted at a time of their choosing.

The app allows customization across a variety of social media accounts and provides the opportunity to alter the same post for different profiles so that the content fits each network it is posted to.

Use Google Analytics To Determine If Social Media Campaigns Are Working

The entire purpose of a social media campaign should be to increase followers so they can be driven to visit the brand’s main website where they can book services or make purchases.

Engaging content may keep followers entertained, but brands need to be aware of how many social media followers are visiting the website. Google Analytics will provide insight into where website visitors are coming from so businesses can decide which social media platforms are the most effective.

These are just a small handful of the many social media tools that have been designed to make online marketing and engaging with followers easier for small businesses.