Archive for the Mortgage Professionals Category

Twitter for Business: Learning To Listen Before You Tweet

Posted in Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Nobody ever mistook a bird watcher for an athlete. Which is a way of saying, observation doesn’t take any physical effort and can, if you’re a bird watcher, teach you a lot about birds. Twitter is no different. Taking some time to find, follow, and observe people in your industry and community, can better your business while building it.

Here are some tips for using Twitter when you have nothing to tweet …

Research: Search out other professionals in your industry using Twitter’s search function. Have a look at how they’re using their account. If nothing else, you may stumble upon an idea that you can use to make your tweets more effective. Follow the most successful Twitter pages you find, then watch and observe. Repeat as necessary.

Organize: Twitter tools, such as TweetDeck, allow users to set search terms and receive updates in real-time. In other words, if you sell houses in Santa Fe, you can monitor any activity on Twitter that has to do with real estate in Santa Fe. Then join the discussion. You can also use Twitter Lists to organize the accounts you’d like to follow based on any criteria you’d like. Create separate lists for community contacts and industry leaders and you’ll be able to quickly check what’s being said about your town and your industry without having to sift through hundreds of tweets.

Engage: Once you’ve made some contacts and developed a strategy, it’s time to participate. You can learn a lot from observation but you won’t generate any leads unless you engage. Twitter provides an informal way to communicate with just about anyone. Ask questions, leave comments, and re-tweet any interesting information you find along the way. You may find a Twitter-based conversation leads to a real-world referral partner or potential client.

More Twitter tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

The Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Social-Media Strategy

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by The Ibis Network

Think of setting up social-media profiles the same way you would buying a phone. Sure, finding the phone that best fits your needs is important. But after that, you wouldn’t, for example, expect to get any calls without giving out the number. And you wouldn’t return the phone if it didn’t make calls for you. And you certainly wouldn’t expect that, when you did call someone, the phone would do the talking for you.

In other words, too many businesses sign up for a Facebook page or Twitter account and expect the wonders of the Internet to do the rest. Social-media is nothing more than a form of communication, no different than your telephone. And, like a telephone, having something to say is ultimately more important than the fact that you have a phone. Your content, ultimately, will determine whether your pages will be productive or passed over.

After that, here are a few other things to consider …

Where And How: Choosing where to concentrate your social-media efforts can be confusing. Ultimately, though, choosing an online community that fits your business needs is more important than signing up for the most popular site or the one with the most name recognition. In other words, the channel you use to broadcast your message isn’t as important as the message you broadcast. Once you’ve found a site to join, spend some time learning how its users interact. Learn “best practices” and abide by them. It is a community, after all. Don’t be the obnoxious new neighbor.

Plan With Perspective: Once you’ve registered and set up a profile, think about how you’ll use it and what to expect. An online profile is not an advertisement and you shouldn’t expect to promote your services and be able to sit back while tracking your success. It’s about communication. Shameless promotion is about as welcome online as a telemarketer’s phone call is during the dinner hour. Produce informative, educational, or entertaining content and chances are you’ll attract an audience.

Publish And Distribute: Now that you’ve got some profiles online, a plan for how you’d like to use them, and some content to share, it’s time to syndicate. Say you have a blog, a Facebook fan page, and a Twitter account but don’t have the time to log in to each every time you have something to post. Most of the major social-media sites now offer applications that interlink your network and automatically share your content. Which means, any time you post to your blog, your social-media sites will also be updated, increasing your chances of building an audience for your information across your social network.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Three Strategies For Getting Your Facebook Fan Page Found

Posted in Facebook, Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2011 by The Ibis Network

By now, if you haven’t heard of Facebook, it’s likely because you’re still busy trying to program your VCR or you have a Victrola that needs cranking. Which is to say, it’s everywhere. But how does a professional use Facebook to build their business, generate leads, and meet potential clients? First, you have to set up a fan page for your businesses or brand. After that, you have to get the word out. The page won’t do the work for you. So here are some tips on finding an audience and keeping their interest …

Give it a Proper Name: Sure, it seems easy enough but choosing a smart name might mean something entirely different to you than it does to a search engine. The best name to use, if you’d like to be found more often in searches, is the exact name of your business. Using clever phrases or your web domain may seem like a good way to separate yourself from Facebook’s 500 million active users, but more often than not it’ll make you less likely to be found by the very people you’re trying to attract.

Promote Your Page: Like anything else, if you want people to know about something, you have to tell them. So take advantage of Facebook’s widgets and badges and add links to your page on your business website, your blog, and anywhere else you can think of. The more opportunities you create to promote your page, the more likely you’ll have a burgeoning fan base before long.

Advertise: Facebook offers an advertising platform that allows you to buy a simple ad that you can target by location, age, or interests. That means, your ad appears before exactly the audience you want to attract. It’s not free, but if you’re serious about building your fan page, it’s a good way to start adding fans that aren’t in your family or social circle.

More Facebook tips from The Ibis Network here and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

The Basics: LinkedIn Tips for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals

Posted in Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by The Ibis Network

LinkedIn claims to register a new member every second. Which means, in the few minutes it’ll take to set up a profile on the popular social-networking site, there will be hundreds of new prospective partners, customers, clients, and connections available to you. In other words, if you’re looking to take your business online or just looking for another opportunity to meet people and market your services, LinkedIn offers plenty of professionals and potential business to the social-media minded mortgage or real-estate professional.

Here are some tips to building a more productive profile …

Write a Summary: Writing a short professional bio will not only help visitors to your page learn more about you, your business, and your services, it’ll help visitors find your page to begin with. In other words, make sure to use the terms you’d hope people would use to find you. If you’re in the mortgage industry, say so. If you’re in Atlanta, add that. But, if you write about how much you love the outdoors, don’t be surprised when you’re contacted about fishing gear. Keep it professional and focus on your target audience.

Have a Goal: Decide what it is you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn profile and focus your efforts on that. Connecting with former co-workers and friends is fine but it won’t generate any interest in your business. If you logged on to meet other professionals in your industry or community, then search for and join relevant regional and industry-related groups to make more productive connections and generate potential business down the road. Remember, though, it’s about communication.

Use Applications: LinkedIn offers a number of applications that allow you to share everything from your Amazon.com reading list to your most recent blog posts. They’ll fill out your profile and can help drive traffic to your other pages, blogs, and websites.

Be Strategic: Once you’ve set up a page and joined some groups, develop some content, discussion topics, or questions to share. Then think strategically about how, where, and when to post it. You don’t, for example, want to post your content on Christmas morning, or on the weekends for that matter. Posting the right topic to the right group at a time when there’s likely to be more traffic and interest will make the difference between being ignored and being active in your community or industry.

For more LinkedIn tips from The Ibis Network, click here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Three Common Sense Steps To Reaching Your Audience and Building a Better Business Blog

Posted in Blogging, Blogs, Free Training, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by The Ibis Network

If you’ve ever scoured the Internet for tips on how to make your business blog more effective, you’re well aware that the available information can range from the contradictory to the incomprehensible. In the end, you’re only trying to reach the right audience for your services and have little need for number-one rankings on all the major search engines, especially if they’re only delivering empty clicks and hits from half way around the world.

Here are some simple steps toward more effective blogging …

Keep a Schedule: You can find so-called experts that will advise you to post, at least, five times a day . You can find others who will advise that you should post no more than once or twice a week. Both of them are right … and wrong. Only you can determine how much time to invest in your business blog. But don’t become discouraged if you can’t generate enough content to post every 20 minutes. If you keep a consistent schedule, readers will know when to expect updates. If you only post once a week, people reading your blog will learn to expect your weekly post and return to your blog accordingly. Sporadic posting, on the other hand, will leave even interested readers confused about how often to check your site.

Don’t Get Personal: There’s a difference between a personal blog and a business blog. If you’re sending your blog out to clients and referral partners, chances are they’re going to be more interested in relevant information about your business, industry, and region than they will be about your daughter’s birthday party. Keep focused on your audience and write posts that will be interesting, entertaining, and informative.

Make It Easy To Find: There are plenty of sites that will tell you about the importance of keywords, tags, and search engine optimization. And all of those things can be an effective way of getting your site noticed. But an even easier, and more targeted, way of attracting readers to your blog is telling people about it. Put links to your blog on your website and in your email signature. Put the address anywhere you’d put your website’s, including business cards and marketing materials. Syndicating your content through social media sites is another good way of spreading the word and luring readers.

For more business blogging tips from The Ibis Network, click here, here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Fact or Fiction: The Truth Behind Four Common Social-Media Myths

Posted in Active Rain, Blogging, Blogs, Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by The Ibis Network

There are always those that are slow to adopt new technologies. There were likely a stubborn few who insisted that the horse-and-carriage was, in fact, a much more effective means of transportation than the early automobile. Then there are those that fundamentally misunderstand the medium, like those that thought television would be a passing fad. In other words, innovation can lead to myths, mistakes, and misconceptions.

Below, we tackle some common social-media myths in an effort to better understand the benefits and best practices of any online effort.

It’s Not For Business: Social-media marketing is good for any business, despite those that say it only works for some. After all, in any business endeavor, getting word out about your services is the name of the game. Social media is yet another platform to do just that. Keeping in touch with clients, announcing new products or services, educating, communicating, and engaging your customer base are made easier with a smart strategy and some effort.

It’s For Kids: Last year, social networking was named the top emerging channel for lead generation. In addition to being an effective way of branding your business and syndicating your message, social media has been found to help build and maintain businesses by improving their relationships with their clients, customers, partners, and prospects.

It’s Automatic: For as many people that will tell you social media won’t work for your business, there are those that will tell you that it’s easy, automatic, and requires little more than setting up the pages and reaping the rewards. But having a successful networking strategy, whether online or off, means work. In order to build and keep traffic coming to your profiles and pages, you’ve got to maintain your presence and offer something of value. That means, responding to comments, offering interesting content, keeping your pages fresh, and, most of all, participating.

It’s About The Numbers: Having the most Facebook fans in your region certainly can give the impression of success. But having 20,000 fans outside of your target audience only means your business isn’t doing as well as your Facebook page. Don’t get discouraged. Having five fans that bring you consistent business is better than having a million that don’t.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

Social Media: How To Find Friends, Fans, and Followers Online

Posted in Facebook, Free Training, Linked In, Marketing, Mortgage Professionals, Networking Strategy, Realtors, Social Media, Twitter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by The Ibis Network

 

It’s been said that it not what you know, it’s who you know. And these days, who you know includes your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections.

So how do you meet more people online? Here are a few ideas to help you build a bigger online network of friends, followers, fans and connections …

Import Your Contacts: Increasingly, social-media sites offer their users the ability to import contacts from their other online profiles. In other words, if you’ve got 121 connections on LinkedIn but your tweets are going unnoticed, you can locate your LinkedIn contacts through Twitter’s “Who To Follow” function and boost the number of people reading your tweets in a few simple clicks. Or try this.

Promote Your Profiles: Make it easy for your contacts to find your online profiles. Most social-media sites offer badges and banners that can be added to your blog, website, and email signature. Adding a link to your profiles will provide potential clients and business partners an effortless way to find and follow you online.

Be Active: There’s a reason it’s called social media. The more you socialize and engage your network, the bigger your network will be. That means, posting regularly, offering interesting information, running contests and polls, and asking friends, family, and online fans to help you promote your pages. Keeping your profiles active and updated will keep your existing contacts coming back and lead to new connections you wouldn’t have otherwise made.

Offer Something Exclusive: Once you’ve successfully driven some traffic to your social network, you still have to convince that traffic to become a fan or follower. Deals, discounts, and freebies are a great way to build your fan base and your business.

More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, and here.

The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com

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