Why Bots are Now Critical to Your Online Marketing

Have you noticed that it’s harder than ever to reach customers with what used to be cutting edge technology? Bots may just be what you need for your online marketing.

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Bots for Marketing (photo: JamesM via Pixabay)

While 20% email open rates are considered average, the reality is that 4% click thru will barely keep your business afloat. Meanwhile, social media channels and content marketing were once considered just what online marketing needed. But now even these aren’t as effective.

My soccer coach used to tell us to go where the ball will be, not where it was. Where will you customers be for the next 5 -10 years?

Messaging Apps vs. Email

Something curious happened over recent years. While email isn’t going away, have you noticed how we use direct messaging, aka chat, to communicate more often?

No longer just for teens and gamers, we use chat to talk with friends, family and even co-workers. It’s easy, fast and engaging.

Social Networks vs Messaging Apps

There are now more users of messaging apps than social networks. Marketing is about meeting customers where they are.

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Messaging Apps are Bigger than Social Networks (source: Business Insider)

Bots provide a scalable way to communicate via chat. They can educate and sell in a way that is more engaging than any other tool.

Done right you can track and segment like the most sophisticated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms, yet keep your unique brand look and feel.

Still not convinced about the value of bots?

Check out this short video..

Although I’ve been running limited tests, the overall results are definitely impressive.

Typically, average open rates for email marketing is 15%. We get around 20-30%.

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Email Marketing Open Rates and Click Thru

With bots this jumps to around 80-100%, and even better are the click-throughs around 20%, which is 3 to 5% for the industry vs. 20-30% for bots!

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Bots Open Rate and Click Thru

Want to learn more about bots and messaging apps? Well, turns out we have an app for that! Click here to get started.

Top Video Marketing Tips for Realtors

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Many realtors realize the importance of video marketing for their real estate business, but they mistakenly believe that it has to be an expensive Hollywood production that only the million club members can produce.

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Video Marketing for Realtors – Photo Credit: moleshko via Pixabay

Here are some key tips on how to make sure your marketing videos not only have impact, but also easy on your budget.

Make It About Your Customer

Most real estate businesses love to do a “brag video.”
Yeah, we know that everybody on your team will work hard and care about your clients. But does this really make you different from the 99 other agencies?

And is “trustworthy” really something to make you stand out? Isn’t that a minimum requirement?

Here are just a few ways to offer value –

  • Give advice on how to get financing
  • Provide current real estate trends in your area
  • Offer tips on getting top dollar in selling a home

Make It Shareable

Okay, we’ve all seen the “like my page” – it’s the social media / online version of begging for spare change.

Instead, focus on one of these three key things – entertaining, educational, or inspirational, or better yet, some combination of all three! Here’s an example of a video that’s both entertaining and educational (if only tongue in cheek!)

Why do people share things? To be helpful or to look good. If your video isn’t helping them to do either, that’s why it isn’t being shared!

For more on how to make your video go viral, check out these ideas on real estate marketing.

Make It Short and Simple

While it’s great to give a lot of value, too much is just that. Create the Seal Team 6 of videos. Get to the point – get in and get out.

Make Sure You Show Up.. Consistently

Whether it’s Gary Vee or Mario Jannatpour aka the “Honest Real Estate Agent,” these guys will tell you that expecting to hit a homerun first time at bat is wishful thinking at best.

Be willing to commit to producing weekly, monthly or whatever regular posting that you can manage. Sure, you don’t want to spend all your time making videos. But you also need to show that you’re not a fly by night operation.

Get help. Consider outsourcing part of your operation. We have folks that we work with on Fiverr and other outsourcing. Contact us for a few referrals of our favorites in different areas of expertise.

Make It Personal

One of the worst expressions in my opinion is “it’s not personal – it’s only business.” ALL business is personal. We buy from people we “know, like, and trust.”

Often, we’ll go an extra 15 minutes out of our way or pay a few dollars more to buy from the friendly neighborhood cafe or store over the big brand name chain.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show some of your personality and connect with your ideal customer. In fact, what you choose to share will show them why they should work with you over your competitors.

Make Sure You’ve Done Your Homework

Before you hit the publish, there are a few things you want to make sure that you do on the back end. Things like getting the title, description and tags right can make all the difference.

It can mean the difference between showing up on page one, where over 70% of visitors go – or getting buried in the no man’s land of Google results.

Get your free quick tutorial. We’ll send you access to simple short videos on how to make sure that your videos get seen!

If you’d like to find out how to make a high impact video for more customers and sales, contact us today to discuss solutions that fit your budget.

Indie Creative – Kyle MacDonald of One Red Paper Clip

one-red-paperclipThis week we spotlight Kyle MacDonald and his story – trading up from one red paper clip until he got his dream house. Like many entrepreneurs, Kyle started his creative entrepreneur’s journey with an idea.

Actually, Kyle started off with several creative ideas – until a high school friend reminded him of a game of “Bigger and Better” that they played where they traded up items as much as they could.

Kyle wondered what if he could create an online version of this? So, that’s what he did. Along the way Kyle traveled around the country meeting interesting people and sharing his adventures.

1:15 What made Kyle decide to follow the Red Paper Clip idea and see where it led him?

2:52 How to get others involved and be a part of what you’re doing

4:22 Overcoming self-doubts and negative influences

6:23 Lessons learned transform us on our creative entrepreneur’s journey

7:24 How to recognize those who can help on your journey

8:58 Finding stability by bootstrapping and launching from your personal base camp

10:40 Going outside your comfort zone to connect with your creativity and the importance of creating space to be creative

12:48 What are Kyle’s top creative habits

14:32 Where Kyle finds some of his creative inspiration

16:40 Biggest lessons Kyle learned on his creative entrepreneur’s journey

17:58 How not having a backup plan can guarantee success

20:12 How following curiosity can lead to bigger things

 

Here’s the talk on Blab –

Indie Entrepreneurs – Casting Director Pixie Monroe

 

Recently, I chatted with Pixie Monroe of Monroe Casting. She has worked with productions with blockbuster budgets to indie film projects.

We talked about how Pixie got started in the entertainment industry with the near tragedy of her mother’s stroke during the aftermath of 9-11.

0:18 What lights Pixie up and inspires her work

3:25 How her career found her when her mother had a stroke

6:40 Where was Pixie on 9-11 before mentorships with Dreamworks

8:30 Inspiring words by casting legend Lynn Stalmaster “Leap and the safety net
will appear”

9:25 how working with different gifts and talented people inspires her

11:45 What helps her keep balance with all that happens

14:45 how a $100 background acting gig turned into music video spot

19:10 dealing with actors who don’t live up to expectations

21:55 which is more difficult – nightmare parents vs animals on set

25:10 strangest casting call of all – fainting goats

29:05 upcoming projects for Monroe Casting

31:40 advice to vets get started in film and television

34:50 what to do if you lack skill sets and how to find your mentors

38:00 how the relationship gave Pixie a chance to repay her mentor

To learn more about Pixie and Monroe Casting’s creative services visit her website – http://monroecasting.com/

Indie Entrepreneur Chef Chris Hill is Back

..and he’s getting ready to launch his 2nd restaurant in Atlanta.

Hot-lanta has been in the 90’s with 90-something percent humidity! But we’ll do our best to keep it cool, talking about Chris’ challenges and goals.

 

Here’s his recent TEDx talk –

 

We’ve invited George Ohan back as a panelist.

My friend and co-instructor, Sarah Davidson of Visual Marketing Edge will be joining us as well.

This is turning out to be an exciting night, so we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Here’s the link to the Hangout on Air event where you can post your questions and comments – https://goo.gl/lKkPTG

Indie Entrepreneur Xavier Ybarra

This week we spotlight indie entrepreneur film maker Xavier Ybarra of Signature Xavier. He’s been working with artists in the Los Angeles area.

Like so many entrepreneurs with growing businesses Xavier has a full plate. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem like enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. The key, of course, is focus, and maybe getting some outside guidance because we can be too close to the forest to see the trees.

Too often entrepreneurs feel the need to act like they know everything or like nothing is wrong. They may be acting on the false belief that their clients expect them to know everything.

In reality its often much more damaging to hide behind this false image and get caught or called on this. But this takes a courageous step that not many entrepreneurs are not willing to take.

We’ll take a look at his successes and setbacks. What are his challenges and current opportunities? Who are his ideal customers? How can he connect with them? Where is the best place to reach them?

Don’t miss this chance to hear what it’s like from the entrepreneur frontlines of growing an indie business.

Here’s the link to attend this live event – https://goo.gl/zp9wuh
(we’ll update with the streaming video)

 

How to Repurpose Content Like a Rockstar

Okay, rockstars and celebrities are not known for their frugalness – in fact, they’re often associated with a life of excess and waste. But musicians like John Lennon and Paul McCartney know that real creative success came from a sustainable system where they can mine for gold as often as they wanted again and again.

Repurpose-Like-Rockstar

credit: Unsplash (these guys rock!)

So, here are ways that you do the same with building your own content marketing machine.

First, find a key topic and an audience. This is the art of creating content – finding the balance between broad enough to be worth your time and effort and niche enough to attract your ideal audience.

Create and promote the event. Although there are many webinar tools out there, Hangout on Air (in spite of its glitches) is still great for two main reasons: 1) Google juice 2) live streaming to YouTube (#2 search engine OWNED by.. wait for it.. Google)

Here’s a recent example of an event –

Guess what? By using a Hangout on Air you’ve automatically done this step – create a video. Here’s the kicker – you can create different highlights by editing clips your video. These can cover key points or moments.

Now, you can also edit and republish as a sound file. By using a program like Audacity (free download) you can now create a sound file that can be uploaded to SoundCloud or possibly made into a podcast.

Here’s where I posted a recording on my blog post –

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Example of Post with SoundCloud

 

Of course, all of these types of content can be used for creating a blog post where you cover the key points in more detail. These points can be used to generate graphics using a program like Canva for tweets or other posts on social media such as infographics that you can pin.

Here’s an infographic from Bill Belew’s forum which I pinned to my Pinterest board on content marketing.

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From Bill Belew’s Forum

Depending on the amount of content these can be used to create PDF reports and ultimately published as ebooks which, of course, can get an even bigger boost from Amazon – the world’s largest search engine for buyers of information.

Last but not least, this old content can inspire new content. By studying how your audience responds or has questions, you can look at ways to approach the topic and decide on your next directions.

What are some other ways that you have reused and repackaged your content?

Indie Entrepreneur George Ohan Shares His Success Secrets

A short while ago I had a chat with George Ohan and quickly realized that he has a tremendous amount of valuable experience and insights to share on his entrepreneur’s journey. (here’s where George shares a dark moment)

Brief Bio

George Ohan is an accomplished film producer with a background in Marketing, Public Relations, and Communications. After serving in the U.S. Army he graduated from The Los Angeles Film School, George began his own video production company before moving to his current home in Puerto Rico. Now he works with aspiring indie entrepreneurs and helps them grow their business through online and social media.

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George Ohan in Puerto Rico

Lots of folks want to make money in the film industry. How did you make it a reality?

I never saw myself as the Steven Spielberg artsy filmmaker type. Yes, I’m an artist. Yes, I’m a filmmaker.  However, I’m a digital artist with an interest in business.  As I created content I was always looking for a way to sell it or get paid before creating it.  I turned that passion for getting people to respect my art with their wallet into a reality.  I wasn’t afraid to put a price on my creations or my time.  Get paid – don’t be the typical starving artist.

What was your biggest challenge getting started in your indie business?

Sales.  As an indiepreneur we never stop to think about who will actually ask us for money to do this “thing” that we love to do…. The challenge for me has been to focus on many things at the same time.  When someone says “FOCUS” most people imagine they should focus on one thing.  I approach focus with a couple of dashes of TIME MANAGEMENT and then we’re cooking!   I put my tasks in groups of what can be done”today” and I go 100% after the current tasks at hand.  Everyday, one of the tasks is to ask people to hire me for my services.

So with all the things it takes to run an indie business – how do you do it all??

The way to do it all is to know that there is no Cavalry coming to save you.  I can only do what is physically possible, the rest I trust to delegate to others.  This business was my idea and my plan to become an entrepreneur.  I must be intelligent enough to figure out how it works.  I constantly seek advice, counsel, and mentorship from people that have done what I am trying to do.  Nobody is obligated to help me.  My willingness to help others is why people are willing to help me.

If you had one thing that you wished someone had told you early on, what would it be?

Losing is for losers.  Do NOT have FEAR of success.  I’m not a loser, so why would I ever doubt myself?  As humans, we are built to win.  We have more good times than bad times.  We laugh more than we cry.  So, why do we have a FEAR of failure?  Why do we FEAR the unknown?   If giving up your life’s biggest fear can give you your life’s deepest desire, could you let go of that fear?

How does a “typical day” look for you?

Wake up, Thank God for all of the things that I’ve been blessed with.  Coffee.  Read a book for 30 minutes.  Social Media updates for 1 hour.  Content blogging, video editing, meeting clients, shooting new video, creating new docs for my business, reviewing local tax laws, etc… Social Media 1 hour updates.  30 minutes of email follow ups with former contacts.  There are variations for going to the beach, volunteering, and having fun too!

 

Contact Info

You can reach George –
georgeohan@gmail.com

 

Join me on this Indie Entrepreneur Hangout where we’ll get to ask George your top questions –

http://bit.ly/indie-jam-07-08-15

Social Media for Content Marketers

In what’s becoming the second part of a series of Google Hangouts with some of today’s top minds in content marketing, we cover how these folks are using social media to reach their 1000 True Fans aka their core audience.

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Some of what we’ll cover include:

  • What is Working Best Today
  • How to Choose the Best Social Media for Your Audience
  • What is Their #1 Challenge Right Now

Here’s the replay –

Special thanks to Steve Cartwright for putting on an awesome case study of his own successes with Twitter and LinkedIn. He’s generously made it available via Slideshare here.