Solopreneur? 4 Reasons to Manage your own Social Media

solopreneur working from home

Soloprenuers and other self-employed professionals, like real estate agents, b2b consultants, lawyers, accountants, dentists, and ADR professionals, often feel themselves to be in a bit of a bind when it comes to social media marketing management. It can be hard to find time for social media, not every entrepreneur feels like information technology is a core competency (or necessity), and on the other hand—hiring a marketing agency to manage Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, can be quite expensive. Too often the end result is that the solopreneur simply forgoes social media completely, or dabbles lightly just to be there.

There is Another Way!

It is possible to have a successful social media marketing strategy that any solopreneur can self-manage. The key to this lies in choosing only the social media platforms that make the most sense for your particular circumstances, and then dedicating just a few minutes every day to those platforms.

Why do it Yourself?
Here are 4 good reasons that every solopreneur should manage their own social media marketing:

  1. The first and most important reason is an unquestionable truth. Only you can be you.
    Unlike larger businesses in which the brand is represented by multiple employees and multiple stakeholders, the brand of the solopreneur is represented by the individual human being behind the brand. This also holds true for people like lawyers and accountants who may be part of a partnership, and for people like real estate agents who are working on behalf of a brokerage. Social media are for social networking. People like to interact with other people when they participate in social networks. Solopreneurs have a unique advantage over even the largest brands in this regard, and working social media as a “real person” can deliver dividends that are simply unavailable to big, impersonal, brands.
  2. It is way less expensive to manage your own social media accounts than it is to hire a marketing agency.
    On the page of this site that talks about pricing, I cite an example of a smaller marketing agency and their fees, which are also compared to the fees of their competitors. Suffice to say that typical social media management fees run to several thousand dollars every month. Hiring an employee to manage social media (even part-time) is still going to cost thousands of dollars, on an ongoing basis. And, most importantly, outsourcing social media account management, effectively kills the number one advantage that the solopreneur has when it comes to social media networking. Only you can be you.
  3. Why use a fishing net when you can simply bait a hook? There is no need to waste time, money, and energy on platforms that are not likely to yield results.
    Big corporations and their big brands pretty much need to be everywhere all of the time. Solopreneurs only need to be where their customers are. There is no point to filling your sales funnel with leads to nowhere. Learn where your ideal customers spend their social media networking time, and join them there.
  4. Get closer to your clients. Building community with stakeholders is what social media is all about. Join your customers, and potential clients, and become an important part of their online communities. At the end of the day, networking through social media is not that different than networking in the “real world”. Offer helpful advice. Be ready with solutions to problems. Ask for input, or even for help. Always remember that the people at the other end of your keyboard, are real, flesh-and-blood human beings, just like you are.

self-employed woman working on a computer

Next Steps

Now that you know why you should manage your own social media marketing, what can you do next?

  1. Choose between 1 and 3 platforms, sign up, and start posting.
  2. Be interactive and responsive to comments and inquiries.
  3. Post anything that you believe your community will appreciate from you. That means that you should NOT post only advertising slogans and sales pitches. If you would not appreciate seeing something similar from someone trying to sell to you, don’t post it.
  4. Ask for help! If you are not sure how to get started, or what platforms make the most sense for you, get help from a professional like me who can get you moving in the right direction. Yes, professional services (like your own) have to be paid for. But as you know very well, the right kind of help, from the right professional, is worth every penny.

Contact Allan Revich

 

Real Estate Blogging, for Agent’s Eyes Only

Real estate is a great topic for a blog

Very few independent professionals put more time, effort, and money into marketing than a real estate agent. And, nearly every agent enjoys considerable support for their marketing from the brokerage firm that employs them. Brokerage support usually includes some web presence, but is that presence really enough to support your own marketing efforts as an independent agent?

Many real estate agencies also have a blog. The agency blog is a fabulous tool for the agency, and is helpful to agents as a group or team. However, because of the agency blog, many agents don’t think that they should have blogs of their own. Relying exclusively on the agency blog represents a lost opportunity for the agent.

The agent/brokerage relationship can be complicated at times, since there are always going to be a mix of mutual interests, compatible interests, and sometimes even competitive interests. Here is the root of the relationship complication:

When you do well, the brokerage does well. Obviously then, your brokerage wants you to do well. And that’s great!

BUT

Your brokerage does equally well when any other of their agents does well too. There is not much incentive for your broker to help you become more successful than your peers.

As an independent sales professional, it is necessary to distinguish yourself, independently. The “free” blog on the agency website does not help you to separate yourself from the pack. If your brokerage has one, good. It’s better than nothing. But it is not enough.

There are many real estate companies with excellent blogs. And these blogs bring people into the firm’s orbit. Chestnut Park, in Toronto, has a good blog, that helps the agency stand out. But Chestnut Park has over 300 agents, how much can the “corporate” blog help any one of them individually?

A Blog Just for You

There are two approaches to independent;y blogging for sales people with contractual and/or employment relationships with a parent organization, such as a real estate brokerage firm.

  1. The Direct Approach
  2. The Indirect Approach

The Direct Approach

This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, you set up your own blog, under your own name, and start blogging about your work as a real estate agent, your experiences with the properties, and kinds of properties you sell, etc. Basically you become a real estate blogger, blogging about your work and your passion for that work.

If you are lucky, you will get full support for this direct approach from the broker that employs you. They might even set up your personal agent’s blog on their website. You get to blog your own content, and to distinguish yourself as an independent expert, on their dime.

If you are less lucky, you will be faced with technical and procedural barriers, or told to let the agency handles all inbound marketing, and you should just forget about it and leave it to them. Hmm…

The Indirect Approach

Blog about something else! One of the nice things about blogging (and social media) is it allows us to build our personal brand. The people that buy real estate have many other interests, just like the people that sell real estate. There are amazing opportunities to build your brand through other interests. Are you interested in architecture? Blog about the architecture in your city or town. Interested in history? Blog about local history and historical sites in your city. Do you like to bicycle? Start a blog about the best cycling routes in your city. Into gardening? How about a photo blog of the best gardens in the neighbourhood.

Every blog post lists the author. That puts your name on top of every article you write. And of course every post should also contain a link back to your bio on the company website.

By blogging about a passion one step removed from your vocation you build your brand and boost your visibility. You offer value to your clients. You expand your web presence beyond your employer’s website. You let people learn about other aspects of your personality and interests, and become someone that they look forward to hearing from.

Why Blog at All?

Whether you choose to blog directly about real estate (or your industry specialty), or you choose to blog about something else, blogging is a fantastic way to reach out to your current clients, and to potential new customers. A blog may not result in an instant increase in new closings, but it is a great way for you to distinguish yourself from the crowd (in a very crowded field) and great way to provide something of value to the people you care about.

My last post offered a short list of 7 Benefits of Blogging, if you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Remember the goal of blogging is to make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services and buy your products.

…make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services

~ Allan Revich

7 More Reasons for a real estate agent to blog:
(even if you blog about something besides real estate)

  • Homebuyers (and sellers) think of you first
  • Reach potential new listing clients
  • Reach potential new purchasers
  • Rank higher in Google
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Share your knowledge
  • Stay ahead of competition