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One of my favorite people and mentor (Paul Chaney) was being interviewed last week about Real Estate Blogging by non other than MarketingSherpa and dropped a line at Facebook asking some questions to a few blogging Realtors.

Keep in mind that Paul was co-author of Realty Blogging and not only is a social networking guru, but a super nice guy. (Sorry Richard for always leaving you out)

Little did I know that my very impromptu answers would turn into rocking link love (thank you Paul). But most importantly it shows how the ball rolls in this intertwining web point something world.

We blog, we share, we pay attention, we reciprocate, we have a little fun (please don’t be so serious) and things turn out beautifully!

A perfect example is RealSeekr.com – Lani introduced us to RealSeekr a couple of weeks ago and I will admit I was hesitant of yet another real estate listing site. I could not have been more wrong. As soon as I visited I got a personal e-mail from the founders (Gia and Grant Freer), then a phone call, soon we were chatting and laughing in Twitter and then I was fortunate enough to spend some time this past weekend with them on our boat making fun of Grant’s English accent (squall and all). 🙂

So what am I talking about here?

Go out of your way to welcome somebody, to help out in any way you can. Open your mind to the possibilities that this Internet World is opening to us – connect with old friends. Don’t be so methodical and don’t strategize your every move. By joining the conversation you are opening up to a world that is so powerful that it will make your head spin!…….just wait.

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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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. BawldGuy Talking

    June 19, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Amen and Happy Anniversary. 🙂

  2. ines

    June 19, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Awww! Thanks Jeff….that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    June 19, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better!!! By being a connector, your own network gets bigger with each relationship either you engage in or you help others to. It’s a lot of fun personally but has turned out to be tremendously beneficial in business!

    It’s fun to play-fight on Twitter, to teach each other inappropriate emoticons on skype (thanks Gia & Grant) and to learn more about each other through blogs. Social media is great for the social minded AND for those who are *learning* to be social minded. 🙂

  4. ines

    June 19, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Lani – sometimes I wonder if those friends in my computer are real, can’t wait to meet you in person and btw….you are “THE” connector.

    now off to teach some unsocials some twitter moves 😉

  5. Chris Shouse

    June 19, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Love this post I feel so close to some of the people I meet on line and if I could help in any way I would. But people help me all the time and I am so grateful for the help I get. I learn so much from this group and I love ya all. Happy Anniversary Ines:)

  6. ines

    June 20, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Hi Chris – thank you! I think it will be an awesome day, already feel it.

    I think you have captured the spirit of what I’m talking about – the fact that we can post a question on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pownce or where ever and get immediate answers – people jumping in and sharing – it’s truly amazing. I don’t know if you read but today I video talked to an old friend I had not heard from in over 10 years through skype (she’s in Spain and was right in front of me within reaching distance!)…….I never knew I would love technology so much.

  7. Jamie Geiger

    June 20, 2008 at 12:16 am

    What a great post and really hits home, as a newer blogger- I am trying to come out of my “lurking” shell- I learn so much from everyone everyday and hope that I can help others in the future. This community is so unselfish and always willing to teach and share. Thank you Ines for the encouraging words and I will continue to work on my social ways. Happy Anniversary to you and Rick.

  8. Jeff Turner Says Amen

    June 20, 2008 at 12:27 am

    And again I say, Amen.

  9. Gia & Grant Freer

    June 20, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Ines,

    Through tweeting, skyping and overall connecting, we have made some wonderful friendships that we know will last. It is all about connecting with others, learning from them, hearing their suggestions, teaching them new things on skype (Lani…LOL) and overall having fun.

    Grant and I hope you and Rick have a wonderful anniversary! Besos a los ninos!

    Gia

  10. Bill Lublin

    June 20, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Ines – Interesting post – It did however make me feel stupid (an easy task) – after following Paul on twitter ,friending him in some other venues , and “speaking” with him, I hadn’t connected him with “Realty Blogging” – I just knew him as a bright and pleasant guy who knew stuff.

    I do wonder though, are the people we hang with in these venues so pleasant on so many levels because we were lucky, or are really social pleasant people attracted to the “mean streets” of twitter and facebook etc? Surely there are other people there besides the brunette queen of all media , the Tan Princess of Miamism, the Photo Queen of St Paul or the Barefoot Countessa of WV? Do they just hang in different neghborhoods then we do?

    A question for the ages…

  11. Mack in Atlanta

    June 20, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Ines, If I ever get to south Florida or if you ever get to Atlanta I want to buy you a drink. You along with so many others here are an inspiration.

  12. ines

    June 20, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Jaime – Lurking Shell? no way! you are doing a great job and you are definitely connecting – it obviously comes easy to you – thanks for the anniversary wishes!

    Jeff – “poke”

    Bill – YESSSSsssss! (I made you feel stupid – do I get a prize or at least a side of something with that?)
    You are a trip my friend and have the ability to make people laugh and enjoy the conversation. As for Luck……it seems to me that all the people you mentioned have good social skills….in twitterland and beyond (I think) 😉

    Mack – if would be a pleasure to hang out with you! I will expect that drink if I’m ever in Atlanta.

  13. Paul Chaney

    June 20, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Ines, you’re a dear. Thanks for those kind words. And, btw, it’s ok to leave Richard’s name out. 🙂

  14. Ines

    June 20, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Gia & Grant – you were stuck in spam! na na na na na! 🙂 …and seriously, you are doing a great job of adding personal service to a market that really needs it – Kudos to you both!

    Paul – LOL! Just talked to Natalie from MarketingSherpa (thank you) – you are a great guy with untouchable ethics and a glowing spirit, thanks for everything you’ve done for me.

  15. Paula Henry

    June 20, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I welcome the opportunity to someday meet many of the faces I see through my computer screen. I feel as if I know many of you already. It truly is a powerful connection!

  16. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 21, 2008 at 6:05 am

    The short sighted people are all about “spammin’ and jammin'” for short terms gains (through links, publicity, etc). And while that may have its place and usefulness, people with a bigger picture in mind realize that its really all about creating relationships with others – and it goes beyond just hitting up potential customers. Relationships are where its at.

  17. ines

    June 21, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Paula – I totally agree

    Jennifer – sometimes I wonder if those spammers are just new to the medium and need to be taught manners or if they just have poor people skills. Sometimes we forget that although we may be doing business through a computer, those people skills are very important and sometimes more difficult to put across because or writing can be misinterpreted.

    I recently found a local woman and blogger write a statement in a forum about one of our listings and mentioned it in twitter – she later found the twitter stream and got offended and felt we were talking about here behind her back. It’s not an easy one, that’s for sure.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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