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Business Marketing

Taking your Online efforts Offline – Part I



A lot of you know that I just spoke at Inman News Real Estate Connect in New York and I have to tell you that it was an amazing experience.  After the presentation, a lot of people approached me and thanked me for inspiring them to do things differently and to go above and beyond and not settle for average.

Because I was asked to share the presentation, I decided to do it here at Agent Genius.  The whole concept of New Media is that you can take a small idea and make it great.  There are no rules when it comes to Internet Marketing and the more creative and open you are, the better.  As long as you are genuine and have no hidden agenda, there are no boundaries.

Official Launch

The first thing I will share with you is that you must complement, link and find a balance between your online and offline marketing efforts.  I’m not just talking about the obvious, like including your blog and social media efforts in all your print advertising (a lot of us have done away with the majority of print due to the high costs and weak results).  I’m talking about doing an official launch of your efforts, your blog and your brand.

You can achieve this with a press release (both online and offline).  We had a professionally written press release done when we launched and sent it not only to the local media (small and large publications, news channels, magazines, etc), but also to PRWeb where it was picked up by a lot of different sources.

We’ve also found that press releases are helpful when you change something in your marketing, whether it’s a fresh new look to your blog, announcing a new team member or even an upcoming speaking engagement.  It’s official, local media channels are now looking to local bloggers for content.

Expect good and bad press….it’s part of the equation – but always remember that the way you react to that press will set you apart from your competition.

Identify your sphere of influence offline &

reward them using your online influence

When you go to Realtor School (for the record….i am not trivializing this, although I should), the first thing they teach you is to hit your sphere of influence.   In my opinion there are good ways and bad ways of doing this.  You can choose to just mail them hand written cards from here to eternity, you can call them and remind them what a wonderful Realtor you are, or you can be different.

So why not use your online influence to help others?  We started with restaurant reviews of places where we know the owners and they take time to engage us (very similar to the way we do business).  We took photos of with the owners, made fun posts and later asked them to include simple window clings with our website somewhere in the entrance to their establishment.

We are also constantly looking around to see who can benefit from our online presence – our pediatrician, a new local business, local photographer… name it.  We help them and expect nothing in return.

New Media gives you the power to connect with your community at many different levels and in the words of Benn Rosales (who I thank for letting me attempt to fill his shoes at Inman) –

By using social media we are able to create what we call “the bowl” – we’re able to actively help others, and in return, they very often pay it forward.

….stay tuned for taking your brand to the next level

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and 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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  1. Monika

    January 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Thank so much for sharing your presentation Ines. I bet NY was awesome.

  2. Marvin Jensen

    January 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm


    Thanks for the tips. I am getting ready to launch a local addition to my blog and these are good ideas!

  3. Lisa Sanderson

    January 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Ines, you were awesome in New York and you are awesome here. Thanks for sharing your experiences…I find these real-life examples to be extremely motivational. The only problem is, between you and the rest of the speakers last week, my to-do list has grown to a mile long! Not complaining. I just have to really sit down and create a plan before I start doing things willy-nilly.

    Thanks, again, and it was great to meet you IRL!!!

  4. Mike Mueller

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Wonderful message.

    I followed Inman from afar and wish I could have been there in person.

    “We help them and expect nothing in return.”

    Wouldn’t the world be a much better and very different place if everyone took that position?

  5. Jeff Turner

    January 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Ines… you killed it at Inman. I know you have very little time to prepare, but it didn’t show. Why? Because you know your shit. It’s that simple. Well done.

  6. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Monika – I’ll keep sharing….it’s only right – the real live audience was just a small part of it…and yes…..had a BLAST!

    Marvin – glad to be of help, just know that there are no rules and you can think outside the box.

    Lisa – thank you so much, it was so great to meet you and hang out with you. I love leaving these conventions feeling empowered, especially when the rest of the world seems to be so negative. May your list get shorter. 🙂

    Mike – the world would definitely be a better place, thank you.

    Jeff – I can’t tell you how cool it was to present right after you and then share Q&A’s together….maybe we can make this a habit 😀

  7. Gretchen - LifeStyle Denver

    January 12, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Good practical information and tips are always hard to come by. Thanks!
    I soo wished I could attend ICNY. (or was it IheartNY?). One question – were people Twittering in the audience like at Jeff’s performance in Orlando? 🙂

  8. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    January 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Hi Gretchen – too bad you couldn’t make it….great stuff. People were definitely twittering in the audience – I found a lot of it afterwards – go take a look at the hash tags and you’ll get a good laugh.

  9. Paula Henry

    January 14, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Ines – I don’t know if anyone combines the local and personal with the online as well as you do.

    I keep learning from the best here..thanks for sharing your insights from Inman!

  10. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    January 14, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Paula, you are too kind – I’ll keep sharing…’s what I do best 😉

  11. Ibrahim |

    December 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

    What a great post! You’ve given me insight into how I can take my web endeavors to a whole new level. Cheers!

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Business Marketing

Simple way to send text, email appointment reminders to clients

(MARKETING) This new app has tons of automatic tools that help small businesses continue to move into the digital age with ease of use.




As the world becomes more heavily reliant on automated messaging and computer-mediated communication, we become more reluctant to actually speak to someone on the telephone. While I often find myself in this category, I also feel saddened by what Alexander Graham Bell must think. I digress.

We can certainly argue that a major reason we prefer to text or email rather than sit on the phone is for convenience. We can send a quick text while working, as it’s much more difficult to get away with a phone call on the down low.

That’s why it’s become so popular for places such as doctor’s offices and salons to begin using text and email alerts as appointment reminders. Now, Remindr is getting in on the action.

According to their site, “ is a tool for small businesses to schedule automated email and text message appointment reminders. Reduce your meeting no-shows by alerting your clients beforehand. Easily confirm appointments with your customers via text message.”

They proclaim that they’re “great for any business that schedules customer appointments or client meetings,” citing their top use cases as restaurant reservations, nail salons, personal trainers, barbers, tattoo shops, spas, real estate agents, independent car mechanics, and tech sales scheduling customer calls.

This is a win-win as it’s convenient for the customer, but also saves time on the business’s side because it eliminates hours of reminder calls. Additionally, the method supports the reduction of no-shows, which is incredibly important to businesses – especially small ones.

Remindr features include: text message, email, confirmation, reusable templates, schedule alerts, and easy user interface. With text messaging, businesses can send personalized SMS messages to customers from your Remindr phone number.

With email, businesses can send personalized email reminders to their customers through Remindr email addresses. Then, customers can confirm their appointment via text messages or email, and businesses can review confirmations on their Remindr account.

Businesses can create their own personalized reminder templates to pre-fill the reminder form (for example: “Hi NAME! We’re looking forward to your appointment tomorrow (DATE) at TIME. Respond YES to confirm your appointment.”) Reminders can be automatically sent via email or text at a predetermined time.

Remindr provides an easy user interface where businesses can start scheduling reminders instantly, use full-keyboard form navigation, and it is mobile friendly.

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Business Marketing

10 easy steps to get into Instagram marketing

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want to up your social media marketing game? Start better with Instagram for your business using these easy tips to quickly get established.



Instagram post open on a tablet

When Instagram first came on the scene, it was simply a place to share pictures of your cat or a pie that you just baked. While it still is a place for that kind of content, it has also grown into a platform where one can influence others and build an empire.

So, if you’re looking to step up your social media marketing game through use of Instagram, look no further than using these 10 steps from Neil Patel.

  1. Switch to a business profile: This is super easy and can be done in just a few clicks. Switching from a personal to a business profile gives a better look at your followers through Insights, allowing you to see analytics and impressions. It also adds a contact feature that takes a visitor right to an email draft to you – just like it would on your website. All this and it makes it possible to publish ads.
  2. Use free marketing tools: Because Facebook owns Instagram, they operate kind of similarly. As mentioned in #1, Insights allows for a deep dive into personalized analytics to see what kind of posts are clicking with your audience and which aren’t. That way, you know what kind of content to continue with and what to do away with.
  3. Post product teasers: There are a variety of ways to do this, including posting about flash sales or linking business platforms that sell your product to make it easier for your customer to shop. The trick here is to not be pushy, but instead be enticing and make the post convenient for your consumer.
  4. Create a sponsored ad: Like Facebook, you can post ads and include a specific budget of what you want to spend. You can showcase one ad or multiple with the carousel feature. You can also target the exact demographic you’re looking to hit.
  5. Instagram stories: These last 24 hours and don’t have to be as “fancy” as a regular post. Give followers a glimpse into your brand with behind-the-scenes shots, polls, fun questions, etc. Make them feel like they’re part of the experience and use this as a way to tell your brand’s story.
  6. Partner with influencers: Work out a deal with influencers who have a decent following. Send them one of your items in exchange for them posting a photo of the item and tagging your brand. This will reach their whole followership and build your credibility.
  7. Collect user-submitted photos: Share photos posted by customers loving on your brand or product. Either share them to your story, or use a regram app to repost customer photos to your feed. It’s basically free advertising for your product.
  8. Hashtags: Come up with an interactive hashtag solely for your brand. Think in terms of verbs (a la Nike’s “Just Do It”). It can be punny or practical, but something that people attribute to your brand and your brand only.
  9. Timing and over-posting: Look into the best times to post – this is when your users are most active. It will be helpful to use Insights to understand when your time to shine may be. According to SimplyMeasured, the worst days to post on Instagram are Wednesdays and Sundays, while Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to post. Also, don’t over post. It’s annoying and it’s always best to err on the side of quality over quantity.
  10. Track the right metrics: Insights do no good if you aren’t looking at the right data. You need to keep tabs on whether or not what you’re doing is increasing your follower growth as well as growth for your interaction. With research, use of Insights and a little trial and error, you’ll get yourself to where you need to be.

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Business Marketing

7 Low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses [sponsored]

(MARKETING) Marketing ideas are often expensive or ultra time consuming, but let’s talk about some proven tactics that won’t break the bank.



low budget marketing ideas

The following marketing ideas are provided to you buy Threadsy:

No matter the size of your business, marketing matters! It’s important for small and big businesses alike to attract new customers, establish brand awareness, and to create buzz around products and services. But we know that not every business owner has tons of funds to devote to their marketing strategy. The good news? There are some highly effective marketing tactics that are also budget-friendly!

Here are seven low-budget marketing strategies for small business owners and side hustlers to grow their reach:

1. Sponsor Local Events

One of the best ways to get to know potential customers? Actually meet and talk to them! When you sponsor local events, you can be on-site to help people put a face with your business’s name. Sponsoring events is also a fantastic way to offer branded merchandise that can help you get your name and your logo out there.

Besides branded materials like signs, banners, or fliers, think about offering some fun items like wine bags to give away to attendees. Goody bags also make fantastic take-home options for local events. A branded canvas tote can be repurposed as an environmentally-friendly grocery bag, lunch bag for work, or a carry-all accessory for conventions and tradeshows. Print your logo on the outside and fill your goody bags with customized items like water bottles, notebooks, pens, and towels.

2. Let Your Colors Fly

Make some cool t-shirts featuring your logo! Wear them to the sponsored events mentioned above, out in the community, or anywhere you may encounter potential customers and can strike up a conversation. You can also offer t-shirts at a discount in-store or online, and turn your loyal customers into advertisers.

Quick tip: Purchase wholesale shirts to reduce manufacturing costs.

3. Social Media

If you’re not already leveraging social media to promote your business, it’s time to start! Think your customers aren’t using social networks? While certain demographics use various platforms more than others, according to fundera, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. Plus, 96% of small businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy.

So use your social media channels to level the playing field. To maximize your time and effort, determine where your audience members spend their time. Which platforms are they using? If you have a dedicated social media strategist on staff, they can perform audience research to tailor your approach to your existing and potential customers. If you’re running your own social strategy, spend some time digging into the demographics to determine which platforms make the most sense for your brand. From there, you’ll need to decide on the types of content you want to post, how to interact with your customers online, and create a social media calendar to plan your strategy.

4. Host a Giveaway

Once you’ve got your social media strategy up and running, why not host an online giveaway/sweepstakes to build some buzz, boost engagement, and attract followers? Pick a social media platform where you already engage with your customers. You’ll want to offer an item as the prize. This can be anything from a free product, a discount on an expensive product or service, or inexpensive swag like hats to help you promote your brand.

Once you’ve chosen the prize(s), decide on the terms for your giveaway. For example, an Instagram sweepstakes might look like this:

  • Create posts about the giveaway and explain the rules (multiple stories and 1 or 2 posts depending on the length of the contest)
  • These posts should specify the terms, for example:
    – In order to enter, potential winners must follow you
    – Encourage your followers to tag other people who may be interested. Each “tag” gets them another entry into the contest
    – You can also specify that contest applicants must share your post on their own profile
  • Once the contest has ended, pick a winner. Tag them in a post and story announcing what they’ve won and ask them to also share these posts to their own profile

Quick tip: You can also offer smaller or less-expensive items as consolation prizes. People love free swag and it’s an easy way to get your name out there!

5. Referral Discounts

Offering friends and family discounts on your products or services can help you establish loyalty and promote exclusivity. Offer discount codes or create a refer-a-friend program. You can also offer small incentives for customers who share about your brand on social media. Referral discounts are a great marketing strategy whether you use them in-store, online, or both.

6. Create or Update Your Blog

If you already have a website, you can put it to use to help build brand awareness and attract high-funnel customers. Blogging is a low-cost way to generate organic traffic (website visitors via Google or other search engines). If you don’t already have a blog, there are a number of free and inexpensive blog platforms you can use including Wix and WordPress.

You’ll want to write about topics that are related to your product or service and are of interest to your customers. For example, if you offer graphic design, you might want to create content about how to find an effective graphic designer online, or which projects you can do with an online platform like Canva vs. more complex projects where you should hire a professional designer.

Your website and blog are also great places to post “about us” content to offer website visitors an opportunity to learn more about you, your business, and your mission and values.

7. Update Your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to share important information about your business like your address, hours of operation, and contact information. When your listing is optimized with this information, it’s displayed in Google Search and will also appear in Google Maps, which can help you attract local customers.

To get started, you need to create a GMB profile and verify your business information. This is a relatively simple but important step to ensure customers are able to find your business or service online. Make sure to keep your listing updated if you change any information like your website URL, address, or hours.

The takeaway:

When creating your marketing strategy, remember to stay true to your brand. Not every tactic will be the most effective for every business. Choose the tactics that make sense for your brand or product offering. Another way to prioritize is to consider the perceived impact and effort of each marketing strategy. Use the strategies that require the lowest effort but will potentially drive the highest return.

Once you have those in place, decide which of the other strategies make sense for your customers and your business goals. Also, make sure to keep track of all of your marketing expenditures and the sales from these tactics so you can assess which ones were successful and which ones you may need to re-evaluate or alter.

Remember, when it comes to marketing, it’s an ever-evolving system. Trust the process and try to have some fun with your marketing strategy!

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