5 People You Need In Your Circle When You Want To Grow

Jim Rohn once said that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. What this boils down to, of course, is that we are greatly influenced by those closest to us. These people affect the way we think, our self-esteem, the decisions we make. If you’re ready to grow, here are five people you need in your professional circle, according to career coach Richard Leider.

#1 – Committed Listener

If you have a decision (big or small)  to make about your career, do you have a friend or colleague who you know will always listen? Knowing that you have someone you can turn to that will talk out a problem or debate a decision is a huge source of comfort – we all need a sounding board. Talking is a great way to process your problems and get some outside perspective. Keep this person on speed dial!

#2 – Catalyst

Hitting a rut in your professional life is common. And that’s where catalyst friends do their best work. Even if you don’t consider yourself or your career very creative, connecting with someone who likes to think outside of the box will help you do the same. Next time you hit a slump, take your catalyst out for a drink and share your woes. Chances are, their wheels will start turning and they will have plenty of ideas about how to get your groove back.

#3 – Connector

Connectors bring about change by bringing together people. They’re natural hubs of connectivity. We all know a connector – because they seem to know everyone! If you’re ready to grow your business, your connector will be your best resource. Connectors are easily able to recognize your strengths and the strengths of others who will complement your skills.

#4 – Task Master

Unconditional support is a wonderful thing, but there comes a time where a cold hard dose of reality is the best medicine. A colleague who will look at the facts and tell you what you need to hear is a necessity in every professional life. You should always have someone in your life who you can trust to tell you the truth–no matter what. They will be able to play devil’s advocate and help you see things in a new light. Next time you are lacking motivation or can’t figure out why your marketing plan isn’t working, ask your most critical friend for advice and they will set you straight.

#5 – Mentor

Even the most successful people can learn from others. Foster a relationship with someone you really admire – someone who has experience that you lack. Find someone you can trust to impart their wisdom on you. Just be sure to return the favor to someone in the future!

The best boards contain a diverse group of people, each of whom plays a different role: a committed listener, who holds up the mirror; a catalyst, who helps you get outside your comfort zone; a connector, who plugs you into other resources, people, and learning opportunities; a task master or trainer, who holds you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do; and a mentor, who helps you keep your eye on the long view and the big picture.

 

Are You In A Business Rut?

It happens to all of us. Suddenly, nothing seems to be working with your business. You’ve lost passion and motivation is nowhere to be seen. You’re not alone. And the good news is, if you find yourself in a business rut, we’ve got a few ideas to get you through it and on the road to success again.

#1 – CALL IT WHAT IT IS

The first step to solving your problem is admitting you’ve got one. Say it out loud, acknowledge that this is happening. You may even consider telling a trusted friend or colleague who can encourage you through a lull. And ignoring the problem could just get you deeper into a rut.

#2 – IDENTIFY THE ISSUE

In your downturn, it’s not going to be easy to pinpoint exactly one problem. But, if you’re feeling a lack of energy in your work, it’s important to know if you’ve lost passion in your career, or if there are smaller issues causing you to want to give up, whether it’s for a day or for longer. Figure out where your dark cloud is coming from and you’ll be a step closer to solving the problem and getting yourself “back in business.”

#3 – BRAIN DUMP

Business owners and entrepreneurs tend to focus on the “public” side of the business and let the “behind the scenes” work suffer. Chances are, there are things you want to accomplish in your business, but you lack the time to do them because the daily business itself gets in your way. Take some time to write down or type out every single idea that comes to mind – don’t focus on whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, just write it down. As you write, you’ll feel inspiration starting to bubble up and you’ll realize what your next step will be.

#4 – FIND A MENTOR

If you don’t already have someone in your life who inspires and convicts you, it’s time to find one. This doesn’t necessarily need to be someone in your same industry, but someone that you admire professionally and personally. If it’s hard to think of a mentor in your network, find one online – even long distance! Search for others whose businesses or professional style you admire. If you haven’t met personally, send a short email telling them about yourself and asking about mentorship. The worst that can happen is you get a “no” and you move on to the next.

#5 – LEARN SOMETHING NEW

When you feel knowledgable, you’ll feel better about yourself and your work. There are a myriad of options available for affordable online courses and free webinars in every topic under the sun – marketing, social media, sales. If business is really bumming you out these days, use your time to learn something completely new. Take an art class or learn a new language. The confidence you’ll gain from a new skill could be just what you need to change your attitude.

#6 – ENJOY YOUR “DOWN” TIME

If you know you’re going to be slacking off a little during your slump, why not use your downtime better? Instead of sitting in front of your computer for 30 minutes and trying to convince yourself to work, take a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood. Or, take your “work” to the beach or the mountains, and give yourself a mini-vacation to inspire your mind.

#8 – SET REASONABLE GOALS

A mile-long to-do list can be just enough to keep you in your slump. Don’t try or expect to conquer it all at once. Set goals you know you can accomplish. For example: Between 9am and 10am, I’ll make three phone calls. Or: By lunchtime, I will have accomplished x, y, and z. Break your work into small pieces and handle only the next thing.

Remember, setbacks are normal. It’s a part of the game. Acknowledge that there are things you can learn from this. Recognize that you will eventually emerge, ready to take on your work with a new and inspired vision for your business.

7 Ways To Grow Your Email List

First, the bad news. Each year, the size of your email list decreases by a little more than 20%, mostly due to contacts changing jobs, opting out of emails, or abandoning old email addresses. Sad to hear, especially when we also know that a good email communication system has one of the highest Returns on Investment for your marketing.

Now, the good news. We have 10 creative ways you can continue to grow your email list and generate more leads.

1 – Create Fantastic Content

E-mailing stock information or templates won’t get you far in an age where people want transparency in business. If you want people to stay subscribed and forward emails to friends and colleagues, make it personal and make it useful.

2 – Host a Contest

Promote an online contest or free giveaway, requiring that entrants opt-in to your email communications. This is a no-brainer – people love the chance to win free stuff!

3 – Target Your Audience

By creating different lists for different kinds of customers, you can send more appropriate information to each group. Your first time homebuyers won’t get much out of investment property emails. And your luxury market doesn’t need information on saving up for a down payment.

4 – Start Over…Sort Of

This might seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out. If your list is a few years old, it’s very likely that your emails are bouncing or being sent to spam folders. Email servers keep track of how many times users are sending things to spam, and after a certain threshold, will automatically send emails from a specific sender to spam. For example: If you have 20 Gmail users on your list, and half of them have marked you as spam, rather than unsubscribing, Gmail may start to assume that you are sending spam and automatically send you to the junk folder of future prospects. Send an email out to your list, asking them to opt-in a second time. Even if your list shrinks, it will do you better to have a smaller list of engaged contacts instead of a large list of contacts who don’t read or receive your communications.

5 – Make An Offer

Offer something useful on your website. A free eBook on the home buying process? A simple pdf guide on mortgage rates? Whatever you choose, offer it in exchange for signing up for your emails. Don’t forget to promote the offer on social media!

6 – Add A Call-To-Action Button To Your Facebook Page

You can find instructions here on how to add a call-to-action button to the top of your Facebook Business Page. As followers peruse your page for information, they’ll have the option to join your mailing list then and there. Optimize this by sharing your email blasts on social media so they can preview the kind of information they’ll be receiving.

7 – Promote With A Friend

If you run a promotion or giveaway with a colleague or business partner that requires signing up for both of your email lists, you’ll be gaining followers and helping your friend do the same. And as we said above, people are crazy for giveaways.

 

Will One Of These Three Things Be Your Next BIG Move?

Frontier Title Texas | Real Estate Advice

We think 2017 is going to be YOUR year. This will be the year you take things to the next level in your business. Big things are ahead, but what will be your next big move? Here are three ideas if you’re ready to go BIG.

Big Move #1 – Vlogging

You know the benefits of a strong blog and online presence. But did you know that videos reach 135% more users than regular posts on social media? And that’s organically – no paying for ads or boosting. On average, people are watching 8 billion videos per day on Facebook. We like videos. Why? They’re visual, engaging, and easy to understand. So take advantage of this and start putting some energy toward your own video production. Whether you go all in with a professional videographer or shoot some footage on your own, you’ll see a big boost in you social media engagement. And social media engagement leads to more followers which leads to more…leads!

Just a few ideas for video content:

  • Live video tours of a new listing
  • On-site interviews with open house attendees, reviewing the home’s features
  • Follow-up interviews with families a few weeks after you’ve moved them into a new home (think House Hunters, but local!)

Big Move #2 – Podcasting

Podcasts are hotter than ever these days, thanks to their mobility – most listeners are listening via smartphone or tablet. A staggering 57 million Americans are listening to an average of 5 podcasts per week, and searching for every topic under the sun. Episodes don’t need to be hours long to show off your expertise in the world of buying and selling real estate. And you don’t need to be a technical genius either. A quick search on Google for easy podcast startups yields plenty of results to help you get started. Try this one for a good primer on podcasting.

Big Move #3 – Writing A Book

In the self-sufficient modern world, your authority is in your own hands. Don’t wait around for someone else to declare your leadership. Own it! Services like Lulu and CreateSpace make it easy and extremely affordable to self-publish. Think of what you know best and write down your ideas in an outline before filling in more in-depth information. You don’t need to publish a 200-page tome on the ins and outs of buying and selling. A short manual on staging, why you need a REALTOR®, or even educational stories from your experience as an agent is enough to position you as an industry leader.

 

We can’t wait to see where 2017 takes you, and we are here to help it happen! And remember – think BIG!

Marketing Directly To Your Target Demographic

Frontier Title Texas | Real Estate Advice

While there’s not one exact way to speak to an entire age demographic, there are certain generalizations that may help you as you try to connect with a specific group. Below, we’ll guide you through the values and  buzzwords for each major age group, along with the reasons that those tools work.

Traditionalists (Born 1925-1945)

There are roughly 55 million men and women within this age group in the United States today. These people either experienced first hand, or saw and heard of their parents’ experiences in World War I and II, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the rise of corporations in America. Because of these experiences, they value family, community, honor, respect, legacy, and patriotism. If you plan on marketing to this group of senior citizens, use these kinds of words to bend their ears.

A message that matters: “I respect your experience.”

Baby Boomers (Born 1945-1965)

There are about 80 million Baby Boomers living in the United States today. This demographic has seen revolution…revolution in music, culture, and civil rights. In fact, this demographic is directly responsible for a lot of that revolution. They also experienced the Space Race and the Vietnam War. In their youth, things were constantly changing. Now, in their adulthood, many have been replaced at work by younger employees, and though the world is still changing quickly, this demographic doesn’t have the same relationship to those changes. Baby Boomers are competitive and hard-working, and they value success and recognition.

A message that matters: “You are needed. You are valued.”

Gen X (Born 1965-1981)

The 55 million members of the Gen X demographic are savvy, skeptical, and self-reliant. Their generation saw a bit of a bubble burst from the picture-perfect advertisements and television shows of the 1960s. In their youth, they saw the Cold War, the rise of divorce rates and latchkey kids, and the beginnings of the internet. They are adaptable and driven by results, and they appreciate honesty rather than pretty pictures. Gen Xers also value time, structure, and an understanding of the process behind things.

A message that matters: “Forget the rules. Let’s do things your way.”

Milennials (Born 1981-2004)

Ah, Milennials – the group that everyone wants to cater to these days. There are 75 million Milennials in the United States, and the internet has been a part of their lives almost from the beginning. As such, the world has always been at their fingertips through Google searches and social media. Your knowledge and experience isn’t quite as valued as the personalized service you provide. Communication via text message is preferred to emails and phone calls. Milennials are entrepreneurial, independent and tech savvy. They value speed and individuality.

A message that matters: “My process is customized just for you.”

Write A Better Blog Today

We are living in a magical time. In a world full of platforms to showcase your knowledge and skill, you no longer have to wait for someone to recognize your expertise – you can declare it!

You may have heard it a million times, but writing a blog is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors and establish yourself as an expert in your field. But when it comes right down to it, blogging takes time – our most valuable luxury. The idea of adding one more thing to your daily tasks is almost impossible to think about.  However, with a small time investment and a good roadmap to getting there, creating good content isn’t so impossible.

Get A Good Title

It would be nice if we could make people click on blog posts and read great content, but we have to draw them in with a strong headline. One of these 5 starters may help:

  1. Make A List: 10 Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent
  2. How to: How To Style Your Home On A Budget
  3. Question: What Does A New President Mean For The Housing Market?
  4. Controversy: You’ll Never Believe What’s Inside This House
  5. Numbers: This Step Will Increase Your Home’s Value By 5%

Focus On Your Intro

When you’ve got great content to share, it might be hard to think of a way to get started. You don’t want to jump too quickly into information. It will create a dry blog. Instead, use an opening sentence that builds curiosity. Ask a question of your audience, challenge an idea, or be a little silly to keep them reading. With blogs, like any form of social media, the tone should be light and conversational, not journalistic and stuffy.

Write Your Outline, Then Fill In Content

Once you know what you’re going to write about, jot down a simple outline to get your thoughts organized. This makes sure that you don’t leave out important information or get carried off on a tangent. Once your outline is solid, start filling in your ideas. Search engines grade posts on their readability, among other factors. Keep sentences short and break the content into small paragraphs. Your total word count should be around 400-600 words.

Link Where You Can

Your blog also grabs more attention from search engines when it links to sites with similar information. If you’re citing a source, add the link to the original material. The more connection your post seems to have with other relevant sites, the higher you’ll appear in search results.

Add Some Visuals

Pictures break up the content for your reader, but they also add weight to your search engine results, especially if the picture file names relate to the information in your blog. For example, if you’ve written a blog titled “5 Problems You Shouldn’t Overlook When House Hunting” and including a picture of a home, double check the file title and make sure you change it if necessary. A picture of a home titled “new-home.jpg” will get a lot more mileage than “image00159.jpg.”

Writing A Great Blog

Publish And Promote

Congratulations, your blog is looking good! But wait! How will anyone know it’s there? Make sure you share your content to social media to help drive visitors to your website. You can also send the link out in your next email blast, forward it to a client who may have asked about the information you’ve posted, or share it in a variety of other ways. The point is, if people don’t know it’s there, they may not go looking for it on their own.

Building Your Business In January

Happy New Year! If you’re taking a little bit of time to get back and running after the holiday season, you aren’t alone. In fact, CNN reports that the “back to work blues” are definitely real, and even treatable with a few changes in mindset. While you ease your way back into your regular routine, here are a couple of energizing ideas to help you grow your business this month.

Start Valentine’s Day Marketing Plans

Start planning for any marketing you plan to do for Valentine’s Day. It’s only a month or so away and you’ll thank your January self for being on stop of the game. Whether you’re organizing a giveaway bundle for a perfect date night, sending cards to your favorite clients, start setting it up now.

Flush Out Your Annual Marketing Plan

While you’re at it, why not schedule a few more promotions throughout the year? Send yourself calendar alerts to remind you when it’s time to design a postcard, order giveaway items, and more.

Drop Off Some Warm Treats

The holiday season is over, but hot cocoa and coffee never go out of style. Send your clients cozy kits to keep them warm this month and take advantage of the fact that very few others are sending treats post-Christmas.

Focus On The Great Indoors

With colder weather, more people are meeting at restaurants and bars. Talk to the managers at local dining establishments about how you can start marketing to their customers.

Send a Year-Round Reminder To Homeowners

Create a home maintenance schedule, along with a list of your favorite service providers, to send out to your clients. You can create a digital chart through services like Canva or Piktochart to give it extra “pop”, or send out a hard copy for them to post on their refrigerator year-round.

Schedule Some Social Media Time

If you’re waiting through a post-holiday lull, why not use the time to schedule a month’s worth of social media posts, blogs, or wade through all the LinkedIn messages you’ve never answered? Keeping current online sends a message to your potential clients that you are invested and active in your industry.

The Resource: January 2017

Happy New Year! We’re happy to share some great articles with you this month. Please feel free to pass these along to clients, friends and family.

New Year, New Start

Around The House

Decor Inspiration

Buying And Selling