Here’s the first thing you ought to know about me … I don’t believe my own press clippings. Well, assuming I had any press clippings in which to believe. I am as aware as anyone of my place in the wider world of the real estate blogosphere (in which I have a decent foothold) and the greater real estate world in general (in which I’m scrapping like everyone else, but keeping busy through a large degree of hard work).
So it was with considerable surprise that I found myself being asked repeatedly if I was going to be at Bloodhound Unchained. Those who read me here or on my home blog ought to know the answer and the primary reason for it. But beyond that, here’s the thing …
The agenda just didn’t excite me.
Now … I have the utmost respect for Brian in attempting to put an event like this together and I have great respect for nearly all of the speakers asked to provide the content. But at the end of the day, the content wasn’t worth the financial outlay.
Transparency Moots the Presentation
When I switched domain names last week, I lost all of the backlinks to my blog. I started talking to my one-time web designer about a possible fix and we scheduled time the next day to diagnose. Then I went home, looked up the information on .htaccess redirects on Google, and fixed it myself.
All of the information I needed already was on the web.
If I have questions about investing, I can call Jeff Brown whenever I like (unless he makes the choice to not answer my thrilling calls.) I also have a mountain of posts he’s written that also can provide me the information I need.
Andy Kaufman and Brad Coy gave what I heard to be a great presentation about Twitter today, the basics and the possibilities. Except I can go through the archives here and in a number of other places on the web and read similar information. It may not be the same quality of what Andy and Brad presented, but at a savings of a couple of Benjamins, I’ll take the free option.
Blogging for Business? I don’t believe it’s taking anything away from Laurie and Teri if I say I’m already doing this every single day. And Laurie’s blogging playbook as it were has been reviewed and dissected as much as anyone else’s.
From the outside, there appears to be little being offered that can’t be found somewhere in the real estate blogosphere free of charge. And with that gone, what’s left is a discussion of the ancient Greeks and their relationship to the modern-day agent. (Still chewing that one based on the snippets I saw.)
Oh, and for the record. I keep my phone in my pocket. But that’s a different story.
A Decent First Attempt …
I’m not the target demographic for BHBU, or so I’ve been told a few times. That leaves me wondering what the demographic might be since most agents trying to get their arms around much of Social Media Marketing can’t overcoming their fears/concerns/worries long enough to start a blog much less open a Twitter account.
And I tend to wonder where those less-connected agents who want to become more connected would have heard about the conference in the first place. (Since the word on the street is that the conference was filled to about one-third capacity – word I’m still trying to verify with a third source, it seems many didn’t hear of it.)
When I started writing my blog in earnest two years ago, Ardell DellaLoggia asked me what I knew about the Bloodhound Blog. The answer? Not a thing. It was the blog for just one of the several boutique real estate firms here in the Valley.
Hell, your average agent doesn’t know about Inman Real Estate Connect either … this was learned when I mentioned I was speaking at the conference (not Bloggers’ Connect, for those who dismiss RE Connect as only a blogging conference, but at the main conference on Thursday) and I was met with blank stares.
Those are the reasons I don’t believe my meager press clippings on success here in the real estate blogging world. Success here doesn’t necessarily translate to being an 800-lb. gorilla in the real world of real estate.
Word is there are going to be more of these conferences and if that’s the case then I think there needs to be more unique content, not much of what can be found elsewhere. All of the information on Zestifarming and the like has been written in depth online. At least to me, there needs to be something more – something new, something unique.
Something that will cause people looking for ways to build their business to take the dollars dedicated toward marketing their own business and their clients’ properties and instead invest it in yet another sure-fire training session.
And perhaps that’s another reason I skipped the Bloodhound Unchained. After sitting through enough training sessions promoting the one best listing presentation or the key to attracting buyers, or even the classic Tommy Hopkins “I’ll just note that here on the paperwork” and alternative of choice, I’ve become hardened to the conference concept.
If I weren’t speaking at Inman I wouldn’t attend because there’s not a sufficient ROI. It’s nothing personal, no indictment of the conference, but a financial choice I make.
Every dollar you spend either is going to help you make more dollars or not. And all that you do either has the potential to generate income or it doesn’t.
For some, BHBU may result in more dollars in and the twin eight-hour days may turn into tangible income. Not so much here.
It’s not that I know all that’s being taught. Clearly, I don’t. But I know enough that the potential incremental increase in business didn’t justify the expenditure of either the time or the dollars. I need a higher return if you want my money – not to be told what I already know, that my success or failure is in my own hands and no one cares which way my career happens to fall. And certainly not to hear about the Greeks.
What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups
(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?
Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).
So let’s break it down.
Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.
Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).
What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.
Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.
Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.
How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?
Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.
Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.
Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.
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.
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!
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.
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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