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How to avoid the trainwreck of hiring social media influencers

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social media influencers

Watching The Profit’s season six episode nine, Feat Socks, is almost like watching a real live train wreck. Two millennial entrepreneurs and social media influencers, Taylor and Parker, are picked up by angel investor Marcus Lemonis for help with their struggling small business, Feat Socks.

They are also included in a business group called Community, created by known faces in the Lemonis empire. In almost no time at all, Taylor and Parker manage to completely alienate all the other business owners.

After having experienced a little (but short) taste of success with Feat Socks, Taylor and Parker suddenly think they are invincible and can do anything after selling some overpriced socks. Not only does their attitude make them annoying, but it makes me want to see them knocked down to their knees and forced to swallow a humble sandwich. Whole.

There are some real lessons to be learned here when hiring social media influencers.

1. A positive, encouraging attitude is everything.

If your attitude is bad, you will fail in business. Period. Parker and Taylor prove that with their struggles when dealing with others. Their arrogance isn’t doing them any favors either. Keeping a positive and encouraging attitude will attract far more opportunities and the right people.

2. They need to know your product.

You need to know your product inside and out, but so do your social media influencers. They should be able to explain it to others in a way that makes sense and makes them excited. This is more rare than you’ll ever know.

3. Don’t be awful to others.

It doesn’t matter what your role is or how successful you are or think you are, being a douchebag to others will burn you every time and cost you opportunities. It may even cost you friends and potential partners. Being a know-it-all is sure to hurt your prospects as well.

4. Be humble.

Being humble is something that will always serve you well in business. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made $10 or $10 million, if you’re an arrogant jerk, no one will want to be around you, making it very lonely at the top. Or at the perceived top.

5. Be a team player.

If you’re a business owner, then you’re part of a team, even if it’s a small one. If you’re a social media influencer, you’re also an important part of a team. Act like it and show courtesy to your team members.

6. A business is more than just numbers.

A profit and loss statement only tell one part of the story. A business is run by people, supported by people, and successful because of people. Without people to direct it, a product doesn’t sell itself. So be good to people in your business, whether it’s staff, customers, vendors, or anyone else you meet.

Watch the full trainwreck here:

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Charity Kountz is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction author as well as a Realtor and certified Paralegal. Her writing has been featured in Coldwell Banker, iPhone Life, Strategy magazine, Duck Soup magazine, and more.

Real Estate Marketing

How to get a 9 star rating on Zillow when you’re limited to 5 stars

(MARKETING) When you’re limited to just a few stars on Zillow or similar sites, how do you prove to the public that you’re worth many more stars?

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five stars on zillow

Let’s say that you ask all of your customers to rate you on Zillow. Let’s say that you think it’s the best site since sliced bread (or you hate it, whatever, that matters not in this scenario).

But let’s also say that you’re either an overachiever or a smartass and you believe that your five star rating is simply too low and that you have actually earned more stars throughout your stellar career.

What do you do? How do you break out of the “Five Star Zone” without paying people to rate and rank you and without bribing Zillow?

You get creative.

Enter Frank Llosa, Esq., Broker of Frankly Real Estate, who is both hated and revered for his endless pushing of the envelope. Years ago, he figured out a way around the five star rating system on Zillow without any cash exchanging hands.

How? Behold:

Llosa did this stunt long ago, but Zillow never shut him down (and if they had, he’s used to his shenanigans being stifled).

Will Zillow shut you down if you try this? Probably.

While hilarious, it does prove that the web doesn’t limit the creative, rather, it unveils the endless opportunities to capture consumers’ attention – wouldn’t you take a second look at a 9-star agent on Zillow? I sure would!

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Old School Marketing

This simple questioning technique will help you convert more sales

Will you read this article? According to the latest research, if you got as far as reading that question, the answer is more likely to be, “yes.”

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Will you read this article? According to the latest research, if you got as far as reading that question, the answer is more likely to be, “yes.”

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that asking someone a question about a behavior made much more of an impact than telling someone what to do.

Just asking someone a question about a behavior increases the likelihood that they’ll do it.

It’s called the question-behavior effect. According to lead researcher, Eric Spangenberg, the question-behavior effect is most notable when the question encourages behaviors that are already socially celebrated. For example, will you try to eat healthy in 2016? Will you exercise today?

Exactly why questions are more effective than statements remains unknown, but it probably has to do with the mindset of the answerer. If someone tells you, “you should volunteer for this charity” you are more likely to bristle at being told what to do, rejecting the authority and advice of an outside opinion.

But when asked, “will you make a donation?” even if you don’t answer right away, you become more open-minded to the possibility.

Your options become expansive, rather than set, which makes you feel empowered and self-confident that you can make a positive decision for yourself.

The study also found that the effect was strongest when questions were administered through a computer or on paper, rather than orally, and when the question called for a direct “yes” or “no” answer. Perhaps having to type out or write down an answer made people feel more accountable to following through with the behavior.

Could you use the question-behavior effect to improve your business? (You see what I did there?) Asking an employee, “will we see your report in time for the deadline?” may just increase the chances that you will. And perhaps asking if your customer wants to purchase your product will put them in an open-minded state to say yes.

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Real Estate Marketing

The white-boxing trend is back in real estate

(REAL ESTATE) White-boxing refers to emptying out your entire house instead of staging it like an IKEA display, and some are opting for this when selling.

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Staging your home for sale is a hilariously convoluted process that can involve anything from vacuuming your sofa to renting a whole house-worth of furniture to ensure that the feng shui (or whatever) matches up with the price tag. If your client is in a slightly less pretentious mood when it comes time to sell, consider white-boxing.

Far from being a racial slur, white-boxing refers to emptying out every space in a house to present clients with a blank slate. The idea is that no furniture is better than outdated or ratty furniture (your horse-hair blanket is hurting more than it’s helping, Kyle), and clients may even be able to save on some renovation costs along the way.

White-boxing also allegedly allows potential buyers to envision freely the space as they prefer it rather than emphasizing a style which may not appeal to everyone in the market.

Buyers who are interested in touching up or renovating their home may also be more attracted to a white-boxed house due to the open nature of the presentation. By that same token, though, white-boxing makes it much harder to hide blemishes and other flaws which can turn buyers away — if a home is a bit quirky, you may want to stick to a traditional form of staging or address the problems before the house goes on the market.

There are a couple of key things to note if you’re thinking about white-boxing a home.

Firstly, the home’s location and/or view should be the main selling point if you’re in a high-end market; otherwise, you may end up with a string of snooty customers wondering why there’s nowhere to sit. Similarly, you should avoid white-boxing a client’s home if it’s particularly cozy — empty rooms can appear even smaller than they actually are, so you may have to rely on the existing furniture to close the deal.

Hiring a staging professional is always ideal and is proven to increase the bottom line, but in some instances, white-boxing (you know, the way you used to sell homes) is a growing trend that has some upsides to consider.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you commit to a staging style — leaving a dining room set in the middle of an otherwise empty house is super weird, and the inverse is just as unnerving. However, if you’re looking to cut down on staging costs and your client’s home has little to hide, white-boxing may be the right choice.

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