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Taking your Online efforts Offline – Part III

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One month after Inman Real Estate Connect, most of us start forgetting what we learned and go on with our routine.  A post like this one that tells you about my presentation may sound like any other Yada Yada Yada…..but listen up – you may get something from it.

Part I of this series talked about rewarding your sphere with your online influence and it reminded you to keep it real.

Part II talked about being creative, branching out your blog and creating a brand that makes an impact and is remembered.

In Part III I want to talk about taking all those efforts and actually focusing on F2F (Face to Face) meetings that will strengthen connections and make your efforts tangible.

Easier said than done

Tweet-ups are HOT now and someone somewhere is trying to arrange some kind of Twitter get-together now.  Let me tell you that it’s easier than it looks and it doesn’t matter the size of the group either.  With the help of TweetDeck I have managed to group my Twitter followers into different categories and this helps me follow different types of conversations at the same time.  I have my local followers, I have my close Twitter friends and I recently created an architecture group to follow even another type of conversation.  (Rick does think I’m crazy, just in case you were wondering).

So one night I posted a photo of a mojito on TwitPic and a local follower said, “when are we having mojitos, Ines?” – one thing lead to another and we arranged a Miami Mojito Tweet-Up 3 days later.  10 people showed up and we had a quaint but very powerful get together at a local bar in South Beach.

What’s amazing about this small event is that I felt so much closer to each one of these individuals.  Their tweets were meaningful, I went out of my way to re-tweet and pay more attention to what they had to say and our relationship was strengthened.  This applies to any F2F type of interaction.   From this small tweet-up I received a call to participate in the local social media events, to participate in a case study on the use of social media for business and was even featured in a business directory in the UK….and the best part is that we enjoyed mojitos and had a great time!

F2F can be achieved from any of the social media outlets – think of individuals with like-minded interests and make it happen.

No Face to Face Effort is too Small

The next type of F2F interaction without actually sharing the same physical space is video.  Although we are seeing more people use video today than we were seeing 6 months ago, I cannot stress how important and how easy it is to use video on a day to day basis.  There are so many platforms out there that make this possible and you have no excuse NOT to use these.  Here’s a few:  Seesmic, Skype, Facebook, TokBox, EyeJot….please go take a look, you will be surprised how easy it is to use these.

Jeff Turner was telling me a few months ago how surprised he was that Facebook Video was so underutilized – I began following his lead and leaving Happy Birthday Video Messages and from one message to a Venezuelan friend from my childhood I actually sold a vacation home here in Miami…..that easy!!  Video happens to reinforce that connection when actual F2F is not possible.  (I personally don’t know what I would do today without Skype…..we video chat with people from all over the world….a truly amazing tool).

What are others doing?

Linda Davis from Eastern Connecticut Real Estate Blog and who has had a well established real estate business sends a newspaper to over 6000 homes in her market area.  Because Linda’s customers are not web savvy, her blog provides content for her newspaper.

Linda was the same person who said in the last Bloggers Connect in San Francisco, “If your Real Estate Business sucks, blogging is not going to help!” – ( I *heart* Linda).

Our own Mariana Wagner, with powerful on-line as well as off-line marketing, incorporates some traditional methods with technology.  She has a newsletter that pimps out her blog, she still does door knocking in her neighborhood, has neighborhood picnics and if you haven’t received or at least seen a “@MIZZLE sticker”…. then you should consider removing the rock from over your head.

St. Paul’s only Teresa Boardman could not be left out of my presentation.  If you know anything about T, you know that she loves photography and will find her with camera in-hand at all times.  Teresa has managed to document the whole city and gets called by her community to use and display her photos.  In addition to that and with the use of Flickr groups, she goes on “photo walks” and achieves F2F with like-minded individuals (or at least people with the same passion for photography).

Joe and Rudy accomplished the ultimate F2F event ever with their Blog Tour USA in 2007.  To think that they actually toured the US and met hundreds of bloggers from all over the place.  I personally felt a connection when they came to Miami and was so glad we got to spend quality time together.  I’m not telling you to go tour the US, but I am telling you there are no boundaries.

And finally – Agent Genius Extraordinaire himself, Benn Rosales.  Benn admitted to me that he uses no print media at all.  His efforts vary from coffee socials small in scale and he uses social media to help others and in return they often pay it forward.

It goes back to the concept of using your on-line influence to help others without expecting anything in return.  The ultimate goal for anyone using the Internet and Social Media to market their business is to achieve some sort of real, live connection.  Social Media is about keeping it real, about being genuine and about not having a hidden agenda.  Transparency has reached a new height and you will be outed if your motives are contrived.

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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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    February 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Ines, this is so true, they were planning a Detroit tweet up and I posted I couldn’t come as I was going to be in Norfolk, VA that weekend visitng my son.

    A few minutes later I got a DM from someone in Norfolk they were having one that weekend and invited me to come.

    Love all the videos you and Jeff are doing on FB. You can tell the folks whose birthdays they are having are wow’d.

  2. joseph ferrara.sellsius

    February 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    A smiley face will never replace the real thing. (And I’d much rather hug you in person.)

    Rudy and I learned a lot from the meetups we did around the country– I remember one of our first in Laguna Beach w/Jon Washburn, Laurie Manny, Brian Brady, Loren Nason and a whole band of bloggers who showed up to share food, drink, good conversation and laughs. Those meetups were the inspiration for the cross country Blog Tour (we visited over 30 cities & went 10,000 miles). There was nothing better than seeing all the folks we had met online. It helped us forge deeper connections, that remain to this day. (and one day the videos will be revealed– right Rudy?) And Ines, thank you for making our time in South Beach even hotter than that 103 degree day (remember Miami Ink?).

    Nothing is definite yet, but there is an around the world blog tour brewing.

  3. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    February 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Missy – it’s the little things that make a difference and people do remember. Going out of your way isn’t that difficult and makes it so worth it. I for one have loved every minute of our get togethers IRL – with you and Christa, of course 🙂

    Joe – you ROCK! I still remember you and Rudy walking into the ocean at South Beach with your Bermudas with sweat rolling down your face! 🙂 PRICELESS!! and can’t wait to hear what you cook up with an “around the world blog tour”.

  4. Monika

    February 3, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    We recently had a NH tweet up and it was a blast! I can’t wait for the next one. Ines will you be attending RE Bar Camp in VA next month?

  5. Linda Davis

    February 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    As a matter of fact, I finalized my newspaper today – my annual state of the market issue. I’m of the “there is more than one way to skin a cat” philosophy. And Now I have lots of material for my blog after writing it.

  6. Ines

    February 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Hey Moni – tweet-ups can only be good 😀 (unfortunately I will not go to the VA REBarCamp) but I will be at RETechSouth in March (Atlanta).

    Linda…I can’t say it enough….you are DA BOMB!

  7. The Harriman Team

    February 3, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    If I had to pick one agent in Connecticut to be like when I grow up, it’s Linda! If all goes right, we’ll be meeting her this Friday night for the first time at a tweet-up at our Mohegan Sun casino. It’ll be our first tweet-up so we’re looking forward to that! We were in Hawaii last month and had a tweet-up in Waikiki that was actually set up for us, but we had to miss it due to flight changes. That bummed us out big time. How often do you have a chance to attend a tweet-up in Paradise?

    Oh yeah…me have no @Mizzle sticker…rock on head hurt like hell…

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Business Marketing

10 inspirational print brochure examples

We believe that print is nowhere near dead, it is just changing as things go digital, and only the best stand out.

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Below are 10 inspirational print brochure examples that show print is not only alive and kicking, but when infused with a bit of creativity, can make an enormous impression. Gone are the days of horrid clip art and walls of text that overwhelm. Clean typography and design are the name of the game, and added flair can go a long way. Here are some ideas to get you started, click any of the images below to see more photos of each campaign and to dig deeper:

Craft Beer Field Guide

With this fold up brochure guiding Madison’s Craft Beer Week attendees, a vintage vibe is created through color and typography choices, with an emphasis on function and ease of reading. The guide is so enchanting, it is likely that most attendees kept the brochures, a dream for any designer or marketing team!

Italian Loft Brochure

In this Italian Loft Brochure, a classic Tiffany & Co styled blue and chocolate brown highlight the features of this luxury loft community, and is presented in a beautiful, heavyweight cardstock cover that keeps all additional papers that come along with tours. It’s more than just the brochure’s design, it’s the presentation, simplicity, and choice of materials that is eye catching about this print brochure.

Campaign for Freedom

Expressing the dire situation in North Korea, this campaign brochure uses simple to digest infographics and keeps to four colors – black, white, red, and yellow. It is effective for sticking to the point and using bold graphics.

Gourmet Natural Foods

Retailers often go overboard either by offering too many walls of words and facts, or by trying to be clever. Instead, this company’s design focuses on the simple ingredients that goes along with their streamlined, organic-looking containers. This brochure makes you want to go start eating hippie food, even if you’re a cow eater, just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing!

Graphic Designer Portfolio

When a seasoned graphic designer shows off, you can be sure that their presentation will never be an aged headshot of them with bullet points of their accomplishments. No, graphic designers show instead of tell, as below:

Typefamily Brochure

When introducing a typefamily to the world, a designer can choose to slap up a website, or go the traditional, and more elegant route of printing a type booklet explaining the type and giving buyers of the typefamily (font) a closer look at what they are buying. Brilliant.

Yahoo! Brochure

Yahoo’s brochure is a reminder that simple design elements can go a long way – a folding tab, white space, ditching clip art, and keeping consistency between pages all work in harmony to create a quality print brochure.

Antique News Format

In a very clever move, this commercial and residential space is being sold in the form of a large, folding antique- looking newspaper, complete with appropriate fonts and an antique layout, with surprisingly sharp and never cheesy images.

Architect’s Timeline and Story

Promoting an architect’s impressive timeline and story, this print campaign shows the power of red, black and white, making a dramatic impression at a quick glance. Using high quality photography and traditional movie poster tricks, the campaign is stunning.

Our Favorite: Lennar’s Old School Fun

Lennar’s new “Spencer’s Crossing” community brochures got a touch of old school, making the brochure a game that anyone can play. It’s more than a gimmick, it is consistent with their collateral that appeals to the youthful nature of the product and area.

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

A personalized daily digital marketing checklist

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website.

If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

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