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When Seth Godin Speaks, We Listen … Then We Act

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Most online marketers are familiar with Seth Godin and how he preaches Permission Marketing and how, if you are to be successful in anything, you need to be REMARKABLE.

This is a similar message in his new book – The Dip. In this book he talks about that time in every venture (business, relationship …) when there is a DIP. The Dip is explained as that time in your endeavor where it is easy to give up, because it is difficult to persevere. However, this is the VERY MOMENT when Superstars are born. And we are in a world where there are not enough Superstars.

Applied to our current real estate market, we are in what many would call a “dip” … right?

I had the honor of sitting second row to a presentation by Seth Godin, at our recent 2008 Keller Williams Family Reunion, in Atlanta GA. Seth went over his new book, and how we could apply it as real estate agents.

Basically, if you are strong enough … creative enough … determined enough to be remarkable in this current real estate dip … you WILL be a Superstar.

Okay. I can be a Superstar. I will go out and be remarkable.

He also approached “long tail” in a very interesting way: Instead of relating to keywords and SEO, Seth Godin talks about the Long Tail in reference to niche (neeshe) marketing.

For example: I market to/for Colorado Springs Real Estate (yes. I do deserve a keyword rich link from here to my site …), but the niche-markets that I also serve – the neighborhoods and demographics within Colorado Springs are like The Long Tail of my business. If I can dominate a lot of The Long Tail of my market, I can do better than competing with the “bigger dogs” of “Colorado Springs” …

Thank you, Seth Godin, for your inspiration to be a Superstar. Rock on!

(Picture taken 2/12/2008 immediately following his amazing presentation to my company. I was the only one to get a picture taken with him at that time. J)

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Ines

    February 14, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    You got a picture with THE SETH!! or is it THE GODIN?? Thanks for sharing the presentation with him…..did you ask him how he writes them so quickly? What’s amazing is that when I pick up a book, the goal is to get one or two concepts that I can apply. Seth’s stuff is full of concepts and the wealth of information is unbelievable.

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    February 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Not quite long tail, but my niche site for Westbrook Village has been all I ever could have wanted and much, much more. Long tail is helping me now in attracting Canadian buyers.

  3. Mariana

    February 14, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Ines – I had all but 2 seconds to thank him for being awesome and snap that picture. If only I had more time to chat with him. Maybe I will move to the little town in NY that he calls home and then I can have him over for dinner.

    Jonathan – I am learning that The Long Tail is a concept that spans beyond the internet as well …

  4. Seth Godin

    February 15, 2008 at 7:36 am

    thanks for such kind words! I’m really sorry I had to run off. Hate that…

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    February 15, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Mariana, thanks for sharing but I must say I’m a bit jealous.

  6. Mariana

    February 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Seth – You were amazing! I was so excited to hear you speak, and learned so much. Thank you!!

    Howard – 🙂

  7. Darren Kittleson

    February 15, 2008 at 9:56 am

    This was the second time I’ve had a chance to hear Seth speak. As always great insights from an incredibly clever guy. If you don’t subscribe to his blog…you’re missing the boat. Thanks for the post and sorry I missed you in ATL.

  8. Andy Kaufman

    February 15, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Way cool.

    Did he get your autograph? He DID know that you were the @mizzle, right?

  9. Mariana

    February 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Darren – Lucky You! I swear, everything he says turns into a whole yellow-pad of to-do’s for me. I lvoe it!

    Andy – Um. No. LOL!

  10. Chris Lengquist

    February 16, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I love neesh marketing. And how cool that Seth stopped by here!

  11. Barry Wolfert

    April 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Congrats on getting your picture with him. Thanks for posting. visited the links in your post and read some great stuff. You’ve turned me onto Seth Godin.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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small businesses new tech

While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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Business Marketing

6 tips to easily market your side hustle

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re starting a new side hustle. Here are some easy ways to make your marketing efforts more effective.

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side hustle marketing

Side hustles have become the name of the game, and especially during these turbulent times, we have to get extra creative when it comes to making money. With so many of us making moves and so much noise, it can be hard to get the word out and stand out when sharing your side hustle.

Reuben Jackson of Big Think shared five ways that you can market your side hustle (we added a sixth tip for good measure), and comment with your thoughts and ideas on the subject:

  1. Referrals: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!
    If you’re going to make a splash, you have to be willing to ask for favors. Reach out to your network and ask them to help spread the word on your new venture. This can be as simple as asking your friends to share a Facebook post with information that refers them to your page or website. Word of mouth is still important and incredibly effective.
  2. Start Where You Are
    Immediately running an expensive ad right out of the gate may not be the most effective use of your (likely) limited funds. Use the resources you do have to your advantage – especially if you’re just testing things out to see how the side hustle goes in the real world. You can do this by creating a simple, informational landing page for a small fee. Or, if you’re not looking to put any money into it right away, create an enticing email signature that explains what you do in a concise and eye-catching way. Check out these tools to create a kickin’ email signature.
  3. Gather Positive Reviews
    If you’ve performed a service or sold a product, ask your customers to write a review on the experience. Never underestimate how many potential customers read reviews before choosing where to spend their money, so this is an incredibly important asset. Once a service is completed or a product is sold, send a thank you note to your customer and kindly ask them to write a review. Be sure to provide them with links to easily drop a line on Yelp or your company’s Facebook page.
  4. Be Strategic With Social
    It’s common to think that you have to have a presence on all channels right away. Start smaller. Think about your demographic and do some research on which platforms reach that demographic most effectively. From there, put your time and energy into building a presence on one or two channels. Post consistently and engage with followers. After you’ve developed a solid following, you can then expand to other platforms.
  5. Give Paid Marketing A Shot
    Once you’ve made a dollar or two, try experimenting with some Facebook or Twitter ads. They’re relatively cheap to run and can attract people you may not have otherwise had a chance to reach out to. Again, the key is to start small and don’t get discouraged if these don’t have people knocking your door down; it may take trial and error to create the perfect ad for your hustle.
  6. Go Local
    Local newspapers and magazines are always looking for news on what local residents are doing. Send an email to your town/city’s journal or local Patch affiliate. Let them know what you’re up to, offer yourself for an interview, and give enticing information. The key is doing this in a way that your hustle is seen as beneficial to the public, and is not just an ad.

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