Trick-or-Treat Yourself to Better Lead Generation

While it’s certainly true that some of your leads will be generated by word of mouth and referral source connections, that doesn’t mean your lead generation strategies should only be a skeletal effort.

As a professional, you understand that investing a bit of effort behind a worthwhile initiative can help it gain momentum. The same can be said for lead generation.

There are three basic strategies you can use to scare up more lead generation:

1. Feed Your Beasties

Your website, blog, email campaigns and social media marketing all work together to feed lead-generating content to your clients, prospects and referral sources. These access points help interested onlookers find your business and give “tire-kickers” an idea of the benefits they’ll get when they connect with your business.

Take the following steps to move prospects from cold to qualified:

  • Provide relevant and engaging content that connects with your target markets
  • Amplify your content through multiple access points, such as your blog, website, email messaging, social media and other online channels
  • Include calls to action in your messaging
  • Maintain consistent communications to create repetitive touch-points
  • Experiment with a fresh approach as needed – be willing to try something new

The key to successful nurturing is to consistently position your content in front of your onlookers.

    2. Feast Your Eyes On Your Metrics

    Without the reporting and metrics tools behind your efforts, you’ll never know who is responding to your marketing. You’ll also miss out on determining which content is garnering the most interest. Metrics and reporting pull double-duty by helping you connect with nurtured clients and prospects while also giving you a feel for what’s resonating with your audience.

    3. Pursue Your Lead

    Frame out a system for maintaining consistent communications, and include clear calls to action in your messages. Your efforts truly begin building momentum when you tap into the results generated by your marketing and proactively follow up on your warm leads.

    Identify your rainmakers, offer incentives based on achievement and build a system of lead follow-up accountability into your strategies.

    Using the example of an email campaign, your marketing and lead generation workflow could resemble a plan following these basic steps:

    • Gather contact information for your clients, prospects and referral sources and create a marketing list
    • Create email messages with informative, timely information that will be of use to your target markets
    • Launch your message and monitor readers clicking on content that has a direct tie-in to your service offerings
    • If possible, set alerts on such content to inform your rainmakers as new leads come in
    • Follow up via phone or email to contact your warm leads and begin a conversation that may segue into a new opportunity for your firm

    Granted, these are simplified tips, and there is some work involved in launching and maintaining strategies that consistently generate warm leads. However, today’s professional marketing options are endless. It is often possible to outsource a number of the steps along your prospect’s journey.

    Consider which steps your firm would like to maintain in-house, and which would be more efficiently handled by a third-party resource. With a little push behind your marketing and lead generation initiatives, you’ll be scaring up more new opportunities in no time.

    >> CLICK HERE to Check Out Some More of HomeActions Lead Generation Tools

    Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Marketing Content

    Are you trying to make the most of your content resources? Check out these smart tips for getting more from the effort you put into creating marketing content.

    Repurpose existing marketing content across multiple channels.

    Repurposing content is a logical way to make your content marketing work smarter, not harder. A single marketing article can turn it into multiple resources. Maximize the life and exposure of a single piece of marketing content by turning it into:
    • A blog post
    • An infographic
    • A digital presentation
    • A LinkedIn article
    • A series of short social media posts
    • A call-out quote that becomes a social media graphic
    • A chapter in an e-book
    • A video discussion or podcast
    • A series of short video stories
    • An interactive quiz
    • A downloadable info sheet or whitepaper
    • A handout at your next conference or in-person event
    Be creative, and consider all the ways you can stretch the life of your marketing content. As a result, you will consolidate your resources, be more efficient with your time, expand your digital footprint, and maximize the exposure of your key articles.

    Utilize multiple social networks, but be selective.

    More social media exposure is not necessarily better publicity. It pays to be choosy about which social networks your company decides to use. Consider your target markets. What networks are your customers and prospects most likely to visit? Before you build a profile on the latest and hottest social network, take a look at the demographics of their typical users. Make sure you will find your target audience on that network. You should also be sure you have the time and staff available to post consistently and respond to activity on any network you choose. Social media management platforms are excellent tools to help you manage your marketing content across multiple networks.

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    5 Digital Marketing Tips All Real Estate Agents Need to Know

    It’s not just the real estate industry that’s going digital — almost every industry you can think of is taking the plunge. But digital marketing is especially essential for real estate agents because homebuyers are looking at websites like Zillow and Trulia as their first step toward finding a home. They are also checking out social media to find inspiration for their dream home and recommendations for REALTORS®. That means you need to position yourself in front of these homebuyers online. If you already have a real estate website and social media accounts, are you utilizing those spaces correctly in order to get leads? If you’re not keeping yourself abreast of how to improve your digital footprint, chances are you will get overlooked for agents that have a more robust online presence.

    1. The Most Important Social Platforms for Real Estate

    Some of the more important social platforms for real estate agents are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a presence on these platforms, get on them today. Your potential clients use social media to find referrals for all kinds of services, including real estate agents. Social media is also where you should showcase the best of the best when it comes to images and videos of your listings. Always post high-quality images that highlight the best features of the homes you’re selling. The standard for content is very high these days, so a few grainy images won’t cut it. You will get buried by competition using professional-looking photos. Hashtags When you post content on social media, make use of relevant hashtags. This will help you get recognized by more users and increase your followers. You can easily research hashtags by typing in some keywords into the search bar on Twitter — such as “open house” (#openhouse) or “real estate agent” (#realestateagent) — and see what popular posts come up and take note of other hashtags they’re using. Then you can incorporate those hashtags into your own social posts.

    2. Paid Advertising to Promote Your Real Estate Business

    Consider paid advertising using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising. Facebook Ads Facebook makes it easy for you to “boost” a post, whereby you put a certain dollar amount behind a post. You choose your budget and the audience you want your post to target. For instance, you can target buyers or sellers based on location or demographics, or even their hobbies and behaviors. Boosting a post on Facebook ensures that your message gets in front of the right people. Google AdWords You should also consider Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your real estate website. It’s a way of advertising your website on Google so that it appears at the top of the page when users search for different keywords, such as “homes for sale,” “local realtors” or “open house.” Every time someone clicks on your ad, leading them to your website, you pay Google a fee. There are still things you want to do to get organic traffic to your site, which we’ll go over, but PPC is a way to bring in additional paid traffic through advertising.

    3. Make People Come Back to Your Website

    Make sure that your real estate website is easy to navigate and a place where users want to return. Start by making sure all your images look professional. If you have pictures of yourself or your business, these photos need to be high quality. First impressions matter, and potential clients will choose another Realtor over you if their website looks more professional. Content Creation Another way to keep people coming back to your site is to create content that interests them. You could post weekly blogs about the real estate industry or certain markets. You could also blog about open houses, listings, up-and-coming neighborhoods and more. Try mixing up the content with some charts, videos and infographics. Creating interesting content will keep users engaged.

    4. Collect Emails

    The purpose of your digital efforts is to get leads, so you need to give users the option to provide their email addresses. In marketing, a squeeze page or landing page is where you collect the email addresses of those who visit your website. Make an Offer A squeeze page should act as an offer to the user that requires them to input their email. This could be in the form of an e-book, e-newsletter or an estimate on the value of their home. Whatever the offer is, make sure it’s essential for them to give out their email in order to receive the special gift.

    5. Use Website Analytics Tools

    The only way to know whether your website is working is by tracking views and the behavior of users on your site. How long are they staying on your site? How many unique visitors are you getting a month? Are users visiting your site and then navigating away almost instantly? The easiest way to track this is with a tool like Google Analytics. Google makes it easy for new marketers to learn how to use their features, which you can read about here. Once you understand some basics of website analytics, it’s simple to start developing your website around what users want to see. Perhaps your site isn’t user-friendly enough. Maybe your content isn’t as engaging as your competitors’ content. Tracking the analytics of your site will help you identify and fix these issues. We always recommend making sure you have a digital footprint because most of your clients will hear about you through the web. A great way to get started is by following these guidelines and signing up for biweekly real estate email newsletters. We make it easy for you by writing email newsletter articles and sending them out to your sphere of influence on your behalf. Check us out today! Visit today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business. Learn More About HomeActions

    Tips & Tricks for Inspired Marketing Articles

    What will fill your marketing editorial calendar in the months ahead? It can be daunting to lay out writing assignments for your marketing efforts, but it does not have to be. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can tap into writing inspiration on a regular basis.

    Focus your real estate newsletter writing.

    Your first step should always be to consider your audience. To really craft meaningful lead-generating content, you need to focus on your target market. The goal is to keep your readers’ needs in mind while also keeping your business growth goals in mind when writing marketing content.

    What are your goals?

    Map out a hierarchy of what is most important to building you pipeline.

    • Are you trying to build up specialty areas, such as vacation properties or retirement properties?
    • Looking to generate more new opportunities overall?
    • Seeking to improve client retention and nurture existing relationships?
    • Want to stand out in a competitive marketplace?
    • Growing a base of referral sources?

    Lead generating content has a pain/gain approach. It is important to consider your goals when you begin building lead-generating content. Your articles should provide a path toward solving a pain point so readers naturally follow that path to seek out your services.

    Think about how your services could tie into an article and offer an obvious connection back to you for help. Focus on providing just enough relevant advice to give your prospects the confidence that you are the expert source who can address their real estate needs.

    The next natural step for your readers should be to connect with your firm to solve their needs.

    When you have key articles focused on generating new opportunities and leads integrated into your strategies, be sure you’re setting lead alerts so you can follow up on new warm prospects.

    What should you write?

    Inspiration can originate partly from preparation and partly from borrowing existing ideas. It’s always good to have a stockpile of starting-point themes to fall back on when writer’s block inevitably strikes.

    “Inspired” Ideas for Your Next Article

    • Interviews
    • Case Studies
    • Client Features
    • Q&A – Or “Dear Abby” Approach
    • This vs. That Strategy Comparison

    All of the ideas here could come from a single interview with a client. If you sat down and interviewed a client for just 30 minutes, you could get all the information you needed to create five articles with each of the above approaches. If you did this with just several clients, you could stagger that content out and have a full calendar of meaningful content for a year.

    More Ideas to Inspire Creative Content:

    • Trending Topics Following Current Events
    • Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
    • Spotlight Your Team Members
    • Feature Events and Philanthropic Involvement

    Don’t forget to invite a bit of the human element into your content marketing to help readers develop brand loyalty and keep your audience engaged. People stories for fun, and features focused on your staff members’ pets, babies and activities can be a delightful addition to your marketing.

    Fun Topics to Consider:

    • A dog day at the office
    • Match the staff member with the baby photo
    • Birth announcements – tiny tee shirts with your brand logo on new babies
    • Take Your Child to Work Day
    • Holiday or seasonal themes
    • Office family picnic highlights
    • “Where’s Waldo” theme following staff members on vacation snapping a photo at a noteworthy spot with your company mascot

    When does timing impact my writing?

    You should be following deadlines and seasonal trends to develop an annual content calendar for your firm. Take note of holidays and changing seasons to inject timely, fun themes into your writing. Incorporate these strategies to keep your content marketing fresh and engaging.

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    HomeActions Ranks Most Popular Topics of 2017

    HomeActions LLC (HA) and IndustryNewsletters (IN), which send out newsletters on hundreds of topics, have compiled lists of the topics their 3.6 million readers found most compelling in 2017. The results provide startling insights into what consumers are interested in.

    HA is an e-prospecting and client relationship platform for real estate agents, and its IN division serves the accounting, payroll, PEO and legal estate planning markets.

    Top 10 Real Estate Articles

    1. The 5 Home Improvements That Give the Best ROI
    2. Must-know Tips for Arranging Your Linen Closet
    3. How to Finish Your Basement Right!
    4. The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist
    5. 4 Old-school Kitchen Design Trends That Need Updating
    6. The 4 DIY Bathroom Upgrade Errors
    7. How to Keep Your Home Cleaner
    8. 10 Fun Home Technology Gadgets
    9. 3 Trends in Kitchen Hardware to Keep an Eye On
    10. 4 Common Items That Start Home Fires

    “What makes you more comfortable in your home?” asked Barry Friedman, CPA, founder and CEO of HA and IN. “What makes your home more efficient? And most important, what makes your home more valuable? Homeowners have their eye on the bottom line, which is why the ROI story was number one.”

    Top 10 Accounting/Finance Articles

    1. Big Changes in Social Security and Retirement Plans for 2018
    2. Who Gets Copies of the Will?
    3. How to Divide Things, Not Families
    4. How Does the Gift Tax Work?
    5. How to Avoid the Big Estate Planning Errors
    6. When It’s Time to Take Money Out of Retirement Plans
    7. New Pension Plan Limitations Announced
    8. How to Leave a House to Heirs
    9. How to Leave Your Indivisible Wealth to Your Heirs
    10. Should You Put Your House in a Trust?

    “This list shows people are focused on achieving a financially comfortable future for themselves and their families,” said Friedman. “There’s no surprise that the major changes in 2018 caught everyone’s attention!”

    Top 10 Business Payroll Articles

    1. Big Changes in Social Security and Retirement Plans for 2018
    2. Bracket Changes and More From the IRS
    3. Giving Your Employees All the Vacation They Want
    4. Must-have Items for an Employee Handbook
    5. Don’t Ask Job Candidates These Questions!
    6. Being on Time: How to Handle the Unpunctual
    7. Overtime Pay: Up to Speed on the Details
    8. Benefits You May Not Have Thought About
    9. How to Make Annual Reviews Work
    10. Take a Look at the New HSA Plan Limits

    “In this low-unemployment era, businesses are looking for ways to attract and retain employees,” said Friedman. “Articles on job interview techniques, effective management, legal responsibilities and employee benefits all did well.”

    Top 10 Legal Estate Planning Articles

    1. Nursing Homes: Not the Only Option
    2. Big Changes in Social Security and Retirement Plans for 2018
    3. Adult Communities: The Pros and Cons
    4. Why Nursing Homes Are Not Always Necessary
    5. How to Keep Assets Safe for the Long Term
    6. Setting the Stage for Your Own Funeral
    7. Who Gets Copies of the Will?
    8. The Ins and Outs of a Living Trust
    9. How to Divide Things, Not Families
    10. How Does the Gift Tax Work?

    “This list shows an increasing concern for the finances of estate planning, as well as the practical and emotional concerns,” said Friedman. “There are three stories on living arrangements for the elderly, an issue that will only become more important with the aging of Baby Boomers.”

    About HomeActions and IndustryNewsletters

    HomeActions LLC and its IndustryNewsletters division are digital marketing and lead generation solutions with compelling content and interactive widgets for real estate agents, accounting firms, law firms, payroll bureaus, professional employer organizations, human resources and employee benefits companies, and other service providers.

    The HomeActions/IndustryNewsletters platform provides automated prospecting and marketing delivered biweekly via email to a professional’s sphere of influence. The professionally written articles portray a range of professional trusted advisors looking out for readers’ interests. With instant lead access, CRM capabilities and robust predictive metrics, the system has the capability to generate real-time leads and top-of-mind awareness while nurturing relationships that lead to long-term success and more referrals.

    HomeActions is a privately held virtual company that employs more than 35 people and is headquartered in Green Cove Springs, Florida. and