“If you can't sit down and write out 50 topics or ideas for your blog, then you probably shouldn't start.” – InmanNext
Each month here at BoomTown, our Success Manager team hosts “continuing education” webinars for our clients in a series aptly named BoomTown U. Our topics vary from team structure and recruiting, to appropriate lead follow up measures, scripts and templates, but our July session focused on content curation: what to say, how to say it, and where to put it. We broke it down into a few easy steps for our clients, and I'm about to do the same for you.
So, now that you're in the “write” frame of mind, where do you start?
1. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
The purpose of writing content, particularly compelling content, is for you to grow your brand and your business. You are a business person, first and foremost, and you need to make that very clear. Your audience will have expectations (we'll get to who they are in a moment), and you will too; your main expectation being that you will one day sell their house, or sell them a home (See what I did there? Semantics are important!). By providing valuable content that is relevant and reliable, you become a trusted source. When you become a trusted source, your audience will listen. A listening audience becomes a fresh lead source, and what comes with new clients? New deals. It's that easy!
Now, your audience. Who are they? That depends on a second question – who are YOU? How are you planning on positioning yourself? Are you the King of Condos? Or the Queen of Luxury? No matter who you are, be yourself. Be honest and approachable. Show your personality through your writing, but do not get too personal. You are still a business person and you are your brand. By defining your brand, you define your audience…and now you know who you are writing to.
2. Define Your Strategy
Now that you have identified your brand and your audience, you need to define your strategy. This will encompass how often you are posting, where you are posting and what you are posting. The foundation of any strong brand is consistency. Think of some major brands – I guarantee that when you hear phrases like “It's the Real Thing,” “The King of Beers,” or “What Would You Do For a _____,” you know exactly what products these slogans represent. Those phrases are offering those brands consistency. Your brand needs to be consistent, as does your posting, and you need to exhibit symmetry across all of your outlets including, but certainly not limited to, your blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. I implore you, do not create social media graveyards. If you are going to set up a blog, you should be posting to it at least once a week, a Facebook business page at least once a day, and a Twitter account at least two or three times a day. If you don't think that you'll be able to keep up with it, then don't start it in the first place. Social media accounts that are left unattended, or even worse, are comprised of only your listings, are not social at all. A great way to keep yourself organized and to hold yourself accountable is to create a posting schedule.
While consistency is imperative, you must also remember that your main priority in defining your strategy is QUALITY over QUANTITY. When you begin to write, no matter if it is a tweet, a blog post, or a wall post on your Facebook page, you must ask yourself the 4 U's: Is it Urgent? Is it Unique? Is it Ultra-specific? Is it Useful? No one is going to read what you have to say if it's not interesting.
3. Start Inside the Box – Content ideas to get you started
Here are 10 ideas to get you started, care of InmanNext:
Condos — Develop a series for condo buyers and sellers (if applicable to your market)
First Time Buyers – Define what is involved in buying a home
First Time Sellers – Define what is involved in listing, staging and selling their house
The Offer Process – What is involved in making an offer on a home?
Interview Professionals – Contact your preferred lending partner, lawyer, or home inspector about an interview
The Pre Approval Process – Why is being pre-approved important?
Niche Marketing – Talk about the neighborhoods that you work. Activities in the summer and winter. It doesn’t always have to be about real estate – and shouldn't be!
4. Move Outside the Box – Curate your own
Now that you have a general starting point, you should be flooded with ideas at every turn. Standing in line at the supermarket? Check out the tabloid headlines, they may just inspire your next post. Create Twitter lists of your peers, experts and media outlets. A “RT” can easily lead to your next blog post. You are not just looking for content – you're learning. Set up Google alerts so that you are the first to know of local news and events. Take photos and tell a story with them – again, NOT just of your listings. Contact your former clients and interview them. Is there anything more compelling than a video testimonial? Don't forget how valuable video can be in aiding SEO efforts as well.
5. Remember, Sharing is Caring!
Once you have your content drafted, edited and posted, remember to share it across your social media channels. This will only help to maintain brand symmetry and will give your audience the opportunity to share your content as well.
So, no matter what type of content you ultimately end up curating, be yourself, have fun and be creative!