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Are you a Lion in the jungle of today’s technology?

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So here I am part of this amazing group of Genius Realtors thinking…..How did I get here?? <pinch….OUCH!> A year ago I found myself doing what every other “normal” Realtor in the nation is doing.Real Estate Jungle

  • Direct mailings to my “sphere of influence
  • Monthly brochures that cost an arm and a leg
  • Cold calling (no….I never did that)
  • Thousands of letters to expired listings
  • Paying a lot of money for a static website with no presence
  • FSBO door knocking
  • Spending thousands of dollars on local newspaper ads
  • Bus benches
  • Magnetic calendars
  • Victoria Secret gift cards (just seeing if you were paying attention)

And all that for what? Was I seeing results? Was I selling listings? Was I doing a service to my clients? The answer is a big fat NO!

So what makes us Geniuses?? Is it that we are incredibly smart and good looking? (well…maybe that too). Or is it that we are taking advantage of the Web2.o tools that are in front of us?

Greg Swan, is trying out video interviews and did one with one of my favorite people, a non-Realtor that knows a lot about real estate – Jeff Turner from Real Estate Shows. Greg says the following in the interview:

“In the jungle where you are right now…..it is about how you take advantage of the opportunities that you have, anticipating that the world could be radically different 12 months from now”.

We ARE in a jungle and some of us are taking advantage of those incredible tools, some are hiding behind the bushes waiting for the tools to either come to them or to go away. Do you realize that by reading this post you are already ahead of the game? Many people that went to the NAR Convention in Vegas describe the majority of the attendants as being lost and overwhelmed by the amount of options that are out there.

How could people walk out of Seth Godin’s keynote speech before the Q & A segment? I would have had a list of questions longer than my 10 year old’s Christmas wish list!

We blog, we research, we use Trulia, MySpace, Yahoo, Real Estate Shows, YouTube, Facebook, MyBlogLog, Active Rain, Google Video, LinkedIn, Craigslist, podcasts, Twitter, Utters, Jotts…….yada yada yada ……the list in endless.

The reality is that some of these will come and go. We, on the other hand, Genius Real Estate Agents, are here to stay!

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Mariana

    November 20, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Super rockin’ 1st post, here Ines! You hit the nail on the head regarding the use of technology.

    I often say that this new Web 2.0 doesn’t bring me more LEADS. It brings me more CLIENTS… No cold calling … just folks who know all about me before they contact me. THAT is awesome.

  2. Ann Cummings

    November 20, 2007 at 10:24 am

    “In the jungle, the mighty jungle…”

    This post is pure INES!! I love the ‘old stuff’ list – still doing some of that myself, but I dropped much of it some time ago. I really love a lot of the techie tools out there for us now. And you’re right, some will fade away, but much will not. Those who embrace it will soar and those who don’t, well……

    I like people who contact me regarding real estate feeling like they already know me – that’s a really great feeling and an ENORMOUS business booster for sure!

    Great first post!!

  3. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Mariana – you’re not kidding about “rocking”! : ) WE do get clients not “leads” and we will always be ready to attack any changes in technology…because we bring value to the table.

    Ann- we still have to do some “old stuff”, but it stays in the back burner instead of becoming the focus.

    People do know us through our blogs….what could be better?

  4. Teresa Boardman

    November 20, 2007 at 11:37 am

    I tried being normal once. It gave me a headache so I stopped.

  5. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Teresa….and it’s so darn boring!

  6. Laurie Manny

    November 20, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    What is normal? And whos normal yours or mine, lol.

    a line from a song: Free your mind……the rest will follow…….

  7. Ines

    November 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Geesh Laurie, now I’ll be singing that all day!

  8. monika

    November 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Ines…I love it! I was at NAR and so many people were clueless and running scared at the same time.
    This morning I taught a web 2.0 class…no one in my class had ever blogged and no one had ever heard of web 2.0 but when they left they left excited. We’ll see what changes they make…if any.

  9. rudy

    November 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    i always knew you were a genius ines 🙂

  10. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Moni – you saw that too, huh? It’s amazing to think that the Internet scares so many – how they stay in business is beyond me.

    Rudy – YOU ROCK!!

  11. Daniel Rothamel

    November 20, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I am a Zebra with the heart of a Lion.

    As Lions, we should be aware of our pride (I know, bad pun) both literally and figuratively. One of the core underlying principles of Web 2.0 is the creation of relationships and community. We must also be aware that while we do a lot of talking amongst ourselves, talking out is equally as important. That is what I love about my fellow AgentGeniuses!

  12. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Daniel – and a great Zebra at that!

    Pride can get in the way of anything – didn’t HUBRIS bring down Julius Caesar?

    I totally agree that community and relationships are key to what we do and although we are talking amongst ourselves, the consumer is also reading and learning. I’m glad to be a part of AG.

  13. Mariana

    November 20, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    I am completely normal. So there. (https://youtube.com/watch?v=tVzAnm9QYtc)

  14. ines

    November 20, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Mariana – thanks for the laugh – now I’ll have that visual in my head and I’ll crack up all by myself.

  15. Laurie Manny

    November 20, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Mariana, Now that is what I call spitting nails! LOL

  16. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I wrote a blog entitled “How to turn FSBOs into listings.” You can find it at:

    https://blog.mariah.com/2007/11/how-to-convert-fsbos-into-listings/

    It details a strategy of providing FSBO tips to FSBOs so that they later think of you when they wind up listing. It’s worth reading if you have spent time knocking on FSBO doors.

  17. ines

    December 1, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Wade – I love links when they pertain to the article at hand. Can you tell me how your FSBO tips relate to web2.0 technology?

  18. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    One of your bullet points was FSBO door knocking. Since you’ve spent time doing that, I thought that you might be interested in my strategy. Just trying to be helpful.

  19. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I’m just giving you a hard time Wade – you make good points in your blog, but the whole idea here is how we do things differently.

    How would you have felt if an agent offered to include your FSBO listing on their website or their on-line marketing?

  20. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Yes, things are done differently now — yet of course to be proven if it is effective. When I have asked people point blank if they make real money from efforts like blogging, the answer is no or they skirt the question. One of the top posters on Active Rain wrote in his blog that he only got three deals from all of his blogging efforts. He would have done much better using the old strategies. Whether or not these Web 2.0 tactics are effective is highly questionable until someone steps up and starts giving numbers.

    I read a post today about a woman who is doing direct mail to get reverse mortgages. She gave out real numbers — mail this many cards, get this response rate, get this many loans done. I know people who have built big businesses based on the old strategies. I have yet to meet someone build a big business based on the new strategies.

    Your post says that one year ago you were knocking on FSBO doors. My point being that the old strategies work if done properly. Perhaps there are new ways to implement the old strategies until the new strategies prove themselves successful.

  21. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Wade, where have you been? If you would have asked me the same question 7 months ago when I was only blogging on Active Rain and not seeing any results, I would have agreed with you. The ROI on the blog was not paying off and that’s why I had to reassess what I was doing and what changes I needed to make.

    I realized that I was not blogging for my audience, that I had not narrowed down who my customers were and that I was writing posts for other agents.

    I think everyone here in Agent Genius is seeing results. 80% of my business is coming from blogging. Just this week I signed 3 listing agreements from my blog. One of them a FSBO who called me on the blog and did not want to deal with the pushy agents that had dropped off information for him and called him constantly to try to get his listing.

    No cold-calling here, no FSBO strategies and no newspaper ads. Our customers are getting results and we are getting business from our blog.

  22. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Oh – and I am sure that the rest of my Agent Genius colleagues will jump in here to tell us their results.

    Do you think we blog just because it’s fun? I think most of us are too busy to blog just because we like to.

  23. Benjamin Bach

    December 1, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    I wrote 3 deals this week from people I’ve met off of my blog. One of them is buying his 2nd property through me, the other two are both buying other property this month as well.
    The relationships I’ve formed with people I’ve met on my blog are real, and they’re profitable for all parties involved!

  24. Benjamin Bach

    December 1, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    “If you would have asked me the same question 7 months ago when I was only blogging on Active Rain and not seeing any results, I would have agreed with you. The ROI on the blog was not paying off and that’s why I had to reassess what I was doing and what changes I needed to make.

    I realized that I was not blogging for my audience, that I had not narrowed down who my customers were and that I was writing posts for other agents.”

    WOW – thats a powerful statement.

    Have you read Good to Great? Jim Collins talks about the Flywheel concept… it may take hundreds of turns of the wheel with no movement to get the flywheel to take off. While it looks like there are no results, they are right under the surface.

  25. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Benjamin – I love when people recommend books – I will definitely take it on. And you may be right…..I might have been planting seeds at that time. But the truth is that I did some real soul searching and real business scrutiny at that time.

  26. Wade Young

    December 1, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    If there were true geniuses here, none of us would be here. So we’re all here to learn, first of all me. Where have I been? Not blogging; that’s for sure. Perhaps I am not up to speed. I appreciate your forthright numbers. I want to hear more of it. If what you say is true, I’m wrong. I encourage (and I mean this sincerely) for your colleagues to share their own testimonials. I need to hear that Web 2.0 works. I know traditional strategies work, but does blogging work, for example?

    And yes, people blog because it’s “fun.” People also run for Student Class President even though it yields no girls or money. They do it out of some sort of internal need. People do blog for self-fulfillment. I know about those cats. Who blogs for business? Indeed that is the question. I am short on mouth and long on ears, so I will await your colleagues’ response.

  27. Shailes Ghimire

    December 1, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Wade,

    I just read through your comments and I know exactly what you’re talking about. In fact I wrote a post on this very blog a few weeks ago wondering about Social Media Production Efficiency (SMPE) Ratio or ROI as you may call it.

    In Q3 of this year I generated 25% of my INCOME from blogging and the use of social media. However, that is only one quarter. This quarter has been slower, but the mortgage business is slow across the board. However, I do get quite a bit of applications from blogging and all of them are now in my drip campaign. I have one hot lead right now from Canada – that is promising and once that comes through the numbers will be off the charts. I hope to generate at least 40% of my business from blogging in 2008. I don’t believe that is unrealistic.

    I think blogging in Real Estate is young yet and developing. We’re still refining our strategies to make it work better. Someone will hit the jackpot and will hopefully share the story. Quite honestly – I hope to be that guy in due time.

  28. Ines

    December 1, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Wade – it’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Blogging is not for everyone and for me it’s taken a lot of reading, studying, modifying….and can guarantee there is more to learn and more changes to come.

    I’ve been sharing as I go along – in Active Rain and now here. The beauty of this medium is that the more you give and put yourself out there, the more you get back. I do warn you about feeling vulnerable at times, but that’s part of it.

    Shailesh – thanks for the back-up….I am only beginning to know peole here.

  29. Mariana

    December 2, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Wade – There is a business model for everyone, but times are a’changing and people want to be more involved in the “conversation of real estate” than merely SOLD a house.
    Web 2.0 is offering that conversation and empowering the consumers … Something that many old-schoolers are afraid of. Like giving consumers what they actually WANT will make our profession disappear? (To that I say, “Ha!”)
    No, I am not implying that YOU are afraid of the change toward consumer empowerment in real estate, just that the professionals who choose to be a part of this whole Web 2.0 thing EMBRACE this change.
    My Numbers:
    About 80% of our business comes from the internet. Of that, a large chunk of that is because of our blogging (in one form or another). These numbers are rough, as blogging has only been a part of our business for a little over a year. However, here is our data since March 2007:
    • 12 Listings Taken
    • 10 Buyers
    I used the following criteria to come up with these numbers:
    1.People who FOUND us from our Blog (Active Rain and our Other Blog), or
    2.People who were referred to us because their agent found us from our Blog (Active Rain) or
    3.People who were “on the fence” about whether they should use us to list and/or buy, but decided to use us after we sent them to our Blog.

    What’s more, because of my Blogging, I rank top of Google Page #1 for MANY search terms that bring me an average of 5-8 GOOD leads a week. Effective Blogging = Awesome SEO.
    To me, blogging is a VERY viable business tool. I am an avid time-blocker, and so I measured the ROI from the time I spent chasing FSBO’s and Expireds vs. the time I spent blogging. Results? ROI is MUCH better with blogging. And I actually LIKE it.
    However, like I started this comment… There is a business model for everyone, and blogging is not always the answer for every agent.

  30. Wade Young

    December 2, 2007 at 12:57 am

    Thank you all for real numbers. I asked and I received. After hearing your numbers and comments, I hold out hope.

    Mariana-
    You are right about blogging and SEO. That is the real value as I see it — the link love and the exchange between colleagues. Most blogs are dull, but I have learned as well, so sitting through the dull has been worth it. Getting the link love is a big benefit to being involved in blogs.

    As Shailes has said, there is a jackpot yet to be hit. I think that there is something to blogging. I think that there needs to be a better platform than blogger or wordpress. The blogs are a bit cumbersome to get around in, particularly for the consumer. Until a more user-friendly platform emerges, I suspect that no one will hit the jackpot.

  31. Laurie Manny

    December 2, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Wade,

    I listed 3 properties this last week, all short sales. I have a double end offer in on one of them, buyer was a referral client. I referred out 9 buyers and am working with 3 of my own. I have another dozen or more buyers to refer out and a shortage of competent agents to refer them to and 5 more buyer leads came in today. All but one of the listings came straight from my blog, the other from a past client referral. Do I think blogging works? You bet I do!

  32. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Mariana and Laurie – thanks for bringing your stats out here. I think there are many out there that are hesitant and may not see the light at the end of the tunnel and it helps to hear success stories.

    Wade, I also recommend that you talk to some successful Bloggers in the loan industry like Brian Brady and the X-broker…..their business models are completely different, but their numbers will astound you. There are plenty out there that are getting great results.

  33. john harper

    December 2, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Blogging has evolved from fun and interesting to challenging, hard work, interesting and fun.

    I follow over 70 blogs to keep abreast of what is happening in real estate, business, technology and communities we serve. This alone takes 1 to 2 hours a day depending on the amount of comments I leave.

    There is no shortage of ideas or topics, just time to post on 6 blogs I write for.

    Evolving technology represents another challenge. Two Web 2.0 assets I am now incorporating into our marketing efforts are Utterz and Spresent (www.xxxx.com for each) This is the first listing we are using Utterz on. The incorporation of client and neighbor interviews into the listing has received many favorable comments.

    Spresent is presenting me with a few challenges. Mainly, synchronizing an audio track hosted elsewhere with the flash presentation.

    We, generally, receive 2 to 3 leads a day from our site that incorporates direct response marketing. The blog represents 70% of our traffic (organic search). We are recognized as leaders and innovators in our markets with the use of technology in real estate.

    Our online marketing efforts are beyond what anyone else in the area is doing by a factor of 3 or more. I spend 5 to 7 hours a day on a computer to make it happen.

    I don’t know how solo agents do it all, but my hat is off to them. We just merged our team with another very successful team to position ourselves for more international real estate transactions and to increase our business focus locally.

    Things change – change or die.

  34. John Harper

    December 2, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Looks like I screwed up the link and I can’t seem top edit the comment to correct it so here it is:

    https://www.theharperteam.com/blog/our-team/fantastic-family-home-ideal-for-entertaining/

  35. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 9:24 am

    John – I just checked out your utterz and real estate shows and I have to commend you for your creativity. We may have the tools within our reach, but it’s how we use them to our favor that really matters.

    The home owners’ interview and neighbor interview is a fantastic idea.

  36. Benn Rosales

    December 2, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Wade, my stats from blogging this year is 3.2 million in additional sales. I’ve been blogging since March.

    2.0 is not the only answer, it’s a re-application of old standards with new methodologies. I do not believe that the 2.0 approach actually totally is the one way to do all things. I think you have to balance new with old. Your mailers today aughta look and sound like your blog or 2.0 site- modern. I think the willingness to let a buyer or seller walk because you’re willing to simply answer a direct question is an honest approach to business in general- you’re not being a corny canned salesman only telling someone what they want to hear.

    We’re absolutely not geniuses here, you’re right, the point of ag is to learn and what we’re debating here are variable approaches to the same goal. We’ve vetted out a lot of things that are wastes of time, and brought about new ideas for the future- I am really glad we have people like you that make us take a second look- it’s how we grow.

  37. Ines

    December 2, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Benn – I think you would agree that we all have different reasons to blog, although ultimately we have the same goal.

    I started blogging because the traditional methods were not getting us results. We were spending more and more on marketing and seeing less and less sales. Could we attribute this to the slowing down of the market? Absolutely!

    But as our markets change, so should our strategies. What makes us geniuses here is not our IQ or what we do for a living, it’s the concept of being able to scrutinize our business models and make changes accordingly. Changes that will benefit us as well as our customers.

  38. Benn Rosales

    December 2, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Could not have said it better myself…

  39. Jonathan Dalton

    December 3, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    One buyer strictly off the blog. Another listing strictly off the blog. How many others have been influenced but not necessarily off the blog directly is hard to say.

    Google love is easy to document

  40. Jeff Turner

    December 12, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Ines… I’m late to this party, but I’m glad I came. Most of the new “tools” we all talk about as being the new Web 2.0 will indeed come and go. It’s not the tools that make the difference. It’s the person behind the tools. It’s the need to learn and grow that lives behind the tools. It’s the desire to build relationships in the most effective ways that will end up winning in the long run. This has always been the case and always will be. Great first post here!

  41. Ines

    December 12, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Jeff – better late than never!…coming from “tool boy turner” himself who has the perfect balance of using technology and creating relationships, means A LOT!!

    I can speak for myself when I say that I have a lot to learn, but we have to be open to all those changes and we need to stay on top of technology (so please don’t stop sharing all those great new gadgets with the less geeky types like myself)

  42. Ryan Hukill

    February 6, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Ines, I missed this one the first time around, and have been MIA from AG for some time now, mostly due to all the new business web 2.0 is bringing me. You made some great points here that I often ponder myself. It’s amazing how many agents are just afraid to even TRY to adapt. Their loss, our gain!

  43. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Ryan – nice to have you come by and glad to hear you are getting lots of business – and you can say that again…..”our gain”.

  44. Brian Requarth

    February 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Ines, this is an awesome blog post with outstanding comments. I am scheduled to put on several presentations in March and this summer about the benefits of real estate blogging for local NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate) chapters and this blog post is a gold mine of information to help communicate what blogging is all about. Saludos!

  45. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Brian – I’m going to have to get it together and find out more about NAHREP (Brian Brady was the first one to mention it and then Diane Aurit). Gracias por tu visita.

  46. Brian Requarth

    February 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    You should check out their website http://www.NAHREP.org (we designed it). I just signed an agreement with them to integrate their member base (14,000) in our Hispanic real estate portal, VivaReal.us. Basically all their members will have their own profile and blog (Acitve Rain style). Also, on VivaReal.us we are going to be featuring a few nationally recognized bloggers (bilingual). The bilingual blogging platform will go live in mid April. I will keep you posted as I think you are a good fit for our real estate section https://www.vivareal.us/guias/comprar/.

  47. Ines

    February 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Brian – thanks for the site and I remember looking at vivareal back when I wrote this post https://agentgenius.com/?p=477
    Definitely keep me posted!

  48. John Lockwood

    February 8, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I try to strike a balance between being a luddite and being a cheerleader.

  49. Ines

    February 8, 2008 at 9:18 am

    John – balance is always good, but I am confident that once you start seeing the results, your “luddite tendencies” will disappear

  50. John Lockwood

    February 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Yes, that must be it.

  51. Robin

    June 12, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    ““In the jungle where you are right now…..it is about how you take advantage of the opportunities that you have, anticipating that the world could be radically different 12 months from now”.

    This post was written in November. Just 8 short months agao. With the DOJ v. NAR settlement, Google’s advances, Trulia’s gain of market share, who knows where we will end up. To survive in the jungle you need survival skills.

  52. Holly White

    June 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    @Robin – and how you get those skills is by utilizing the tools that we have right here. I am realizing more and more that being a part of the real estate blogosphere is more valuable than getting a PhD.

  53. ines

    June 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Robin – nice observation! Things have certainly changed in 8 months – also look at Twitter and all the new tools out there and where we stand as agents as opposed to 8 months ago. I can tell you that our own business has come a long way – survival skills and hitting the virtual pavement!

    Holly – the tools offered by the RE blogosphere are priceless. The best part is that people are so willing to share what works…it’s not such a rough jungle after all.

  54. Susan

    June 28, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    >>>>@Robin – and how you get those skills is by utilizing the tools that we have right here. I am realizing more and more that being a part of the real estate blogosphere is more valuable than getting a PhD.<<<<<

    Holly, you got that right. There is a ton of knowledge here and people willing to share. My problem is finding the time!

  55. ines

    June 28, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Susan – Rick and I were discussing the other day that the knowledge I’ve acquired in the past 2 years on-line is like getting a degree. Time is a nice challenge (for everyone) – you are not alone.

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Business Marketing

Is Easy Advocacy the tool your business needs for ad campaign reach?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Product claims to make employee advocacy easier than ever with a tool that’s designed to enlist employees to share campaign content online.

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easy advocacy welcome page

Ever wished you could get all of your employees in on your campaigns, enlisting them all to help make your digital content go “viral”?

No? To be honest, me either – at least not until I learned about a new program called Easy Advocacy, created by a company called Agora Pulse.

Easy Advocacy is a productivity and marketing tool geared towards harnessing the power of larger internal groups (employees) in order to make content sharing (campaigns, social media posts, etc.) as easy as possible. The product is listed on Product Hunt, which is essentially a tech geek’s paradise for new and interesting technology. This week, on February 19th, Easy Advocacy was listed as the #1 product of the day.

The website boasts features like:

• Quick campaign setups
• Making content easier to share
• Knowing the reach of your shares

In addition to making it easier for employers to have their employees share content, the platform also offers basic analytics pertaining to things like number of shares and website visits. Employers can also identify their top advocates through a leaderboard.

Their website’s description of the toolset says that the tool “dispels the hassle of the usual employee advocacy complaints and makes the process of sharing content with employees, who then share on their social channels, easy peasy.”
One way it does this is by emailing your employees the exact instructions and copy the company would like them to share, making it somewhat automated.

Now, while this all seems great, my biggest concern is who their market truly is. Are they going after small teams? Probably not as having a team of only 5 people sharing a campaign would be nearly fruitless – unless you happen to have a major social media influencer under your employment.

If they go after larger companies, like Apple, for example, I can see this tool being helpful. However, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. Larger companies typically are beyond the point of needing word-of-mouth campaigns. Let’s use Apple as an example here, too. They’ve been around for years, and according to Statista, 45.3% of smart phone owners in the U.S. go with Apple iPhones. Given this, and the fact that everyone already knows what an iPhone is (unless you live under a rock…), I really can’t see much need for a tool like Easy Advocacy for such a large company.

So, where does that leave the company? Only time will tell. My first bit of advice to the company is that the name definitely needs work. The name “Easy Advocacy” implies that there’s some kind of advocacy happening for employees, when in reality, this platform is meant to help employers. But given my points above, I think they need to think about their model some more and maybe make this tool something that’s more robust that companies of all sizes can use.

Full disclosure, this does not mean it’s not worth trying out. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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