Why is it that some real estate investors are super successful multimillionaires and others are just barely getting by?
One of the biggest factors is marketing. How you market yourself has a direct impact on your bottom line, in the size of your real estate portfolio, and ultimately how long you’ll be in business. Real estate investors that get serious about their marketing efforts will succeed regardless of current market conditions.
It’s funny how many people give marketing little to no thought on a regular basis and then wonder why their business is failing. It’s very simple, really. If no one knows you’re in business, you’re not. One of your most important jobs as an entrepreneur is to make sure as many people as possible know you’re in business and what you do.
Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
I’ll do my best to share with you the “right kind of advertising.” However, there is more to marketing than just advertising. Obviously, that’s a big part of it, but truly marketing yourself and your business goes beyond advertising.
Advertising is a pretty direct, obvious type of marketing which probably comes to mind first when you hear the word “marketing”, and advertising is certainly vital to your business. But there is a lot more to marketing than just placing ads. In fact, if you don’t lay the proper groundwork and know specifically what you need to accomplish through those ads, advertising could just be a waste of money and not get the results you truly want.
When you market effectively, advertising is just one piece of the puzzle. Effective marketing does more than just let people know about you and your business. It also causes them to like you and trust you and therefore want to do business with you. So marketing includes building relationships with people.
When you think about how many people you’ll come in contact with, it may sound like a lot of work to try to build a relationship with so many people. And if you were to try to build a relationship with each of them on a one-to-one basis, it would be. But that wouldn’t necessarily be a good use of your time because some of those relationships wouldn’t produce anything beneficial.
So what I want you start thinking about is being aware of the ways you can build a relationship with many people at the same time. There is only one of you and there are many, many people you may potentially do business with. There are ways that you can build a relationship with lots of people at once. Rather than being one-to-one marketing, this is one-to-many marketing.
Now, this is a somewhat one-sided relationship. People will know you or your business, but you won’t necessarily know them. Think about people who are big fans of a certain actor/actress or musician. They may read the magazines you see at the grocery store checkout lines, watch gossip shows, and read information online to learn all kinds of information about that person and know many details of their life.
But wouldn’t you agree that it’s a one-sided relationship? For instance, lots of the die-hard fans may know a certain celebrity’s birthday. But how many of their fans’ birthdays do you think the celebrity knows? Probably few, if any. Some people read everything they can about their favorite celebrity and feel like they really know that person. But the celebrity is usually completely unaware that those people even exist. All they know is that they have a good following because they’re making money. They may have millions of fans, but they only personally know a few of them.
That’s basically a form of one-to-many marketing that the media uses to promote movies, music, television shows, etc. If people like and feel a connection to a certain actor/actress, they’ll watch the show they’re on or go to their movies, buy their DVD’s, and so on. One individual can have millions of people around the world who think they know and like them.
Politicians do the same thing, especially when it comes to a big election like the presidential election. They need the votes of a lot of individuals, but there’s no way they could personally meet and talk with each of the people. So they have the challenge of trying to build a relationship with all those people some other way. They have to do their best to make as many people as possible feel like they know, like, and trust them.
So again, they engage in one-to-many marketing. Sure, they meet some people in person, as many as they can. But you’ll see them on TV, in newspapers and other publications, on billboards, etc. They’ll put their face anywhere they can, along with a message about why you should like them. And then they get other people who already like them to tell their friends about them.
Now, I’m not saying you need the kind of media exposure that a celebrity or presidential candidate has to be an effective marketer. I’m just showing you some examples of one-to-many marketing that you’re probably already familiar with and help you to look at it from a marketing perspective and understand what’s happening and why.
Some simple forms of one-to-many marketing that you can implement easily are:
- Having a mail or e-mail newsletter
- Making blog posts
- Using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Essentially what one-to-many marketing amounts to is taking advantage of technology to keep yourself in front of your prospects in a way that causes them to feel like they know you.
If you can get some 2-way interaction involved (for instance, by allowing people to post comments on your blog that you respond to or by interacting with people on social networks), then that’s even better because you’re not just emulating a relationship but to some extent actually building a relationship with your prospects.
It might sound a little overwhelming to think of having a blog that you allow people to comment on and to try to respond to everything people post. But most people don’t post comments. It’s only a small percentage of people who read a blog that actually post comments. The nice thing is that even people who don’t post comments can see where you have replied to other people’s comments, which makes you seem more like a real, approachable person who cares.
This is much different from advertising, which basically amounts to buying an ad space somewhere. If you read an ad in the classified section of a newspaper, do you feel like you know the person who posted the ad? Or what about when you see a billboard? Do you feel like you have a relationship with the person who is advertising there? Probably not.
But what about when you get an e-mail that includes your name and it’s not just a sales pitch, but the person is sharing some personal details about their life? Or if you read on their blog their thoughts and feelings about a particular topic?
That’s a completely different story. These type of things cause you to feel like you know the person, and to some extent you do. We all prefer to deal with people we know and like as opposed to strangers. We trust people we know more too, and trust is an essential part of business.
You might be thinking ‘But I don’t have time to send a personalized e-mail to every one of my prospects.’ That’s where technology comes in. There are e-mail follow-up services that allow you to send personalized e-mails to your prospects automatically, all at once. You type one e-mail and hit send and it goes to all your prospects, whether there are 5 of them or 500,000. Each one can be personalized with the prospect’s name. There are a couple services I would recommend for this.
One e-mail auto-responder/follow-up service I would recommend is Aweber. They’ve been around quite a while and have a great reputation. Or, if you’re on a tight budget and won’t have too big of a list for a while, a great option is MailChimp.
I know, it’s kind of a crazy name but their service is really good from what I’ve seen. And the best part is they have a free account you can sign up for that, as of this writing, lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 e-mails per month. So if you had the full number of 2,000 people on your list, you’d be able to send out 6 e-mail broadcasts per month. Or if you had 1,000 on your list, that’s 12 broadcasts per month, or for 500 subscribers, that would be 24 broadcasts, etc.
For many people, this is plenty for a while. And if you get more subscribers or need to send more e-mails than that, you can just upgrade at any time to a paid membership or buy credits. The good thing is, the more people you have on your list, you should also be making more money from that list, which makes it justifiable to spend some money on the upgrade. But until then, you can use their free service, which is really nice. Again, the company is called MailChimp.
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