Reflecting on a Year to Remember
I’m a New Year’s Baby, so I’m allowed to be melancholy and introspective at the turning of the calendar. I have only one resolution for the new year: Succeed. Instead of writing about how I can adapt that resolution to various aspects of my business, I’m instead looking backwards on 2008. For me, this year has been both the best and worst ever. Worst year from a business/ company standpoint (thankful I have remedied that) and best ever from the connections I’ve made, all I’ve learned, and my personal growth.
When the calendar turned on 2008, I was coming off a rough 2007 business year. Looking to reinvigorate my marketing, I had just launched LoCoMusings in December, after blogging with on ActiveRain for nine months (learning so much and finding so many wonderful people to follow around the interwebs). I joined Twitter around that time, and started networking with some very creative minds in the online real estate community. The generosity of ideas and the sense of community is still an amazement to me.
The Best of the Best
Attending the VAR Bloggercon in the spring, then Inman Connect SF in July, followed by REBlogWorld and the VAR Annual Convention (with another Bloggercon) in September gave me so many ideas to work with. I wanted to share the highlights of what I took from those, as I get ready to head to New York next week for Inman Connect there. Here’s some of what I learned this year:
- Don’t be intimidated..there are bloggers of all skill levels at these conferences. Everyone can learn something.
- “You wouldn’t walk into the middle of a PTA meeting and yell ‘Hi! I’m a Realtor!’ So don’t act like that online.”
- Think about inviting members of your community to write as guest bloggers on your site. (and then email them a link to the post after it’s published so they can send it to all their friends)
- “Participate in an online community before you try to utilize it for your business”
- YEO (you engaging others) is just as important as SEO. Meld your online efforts with your ‘real life’ activities
- Look at the keyword searches that brought people to your site. Are there unanswered questions there that you could blog about?
- “The internet doesn’t replace contact, it enhances it.”
- Don’t neglect to put properly worded calls to action in the right places within your blog posts.
- “Be shamelessly and genuinely curious about the person you are talking to” when you contact them, to find out their needs and wants.
Color Me Optimistic
(Can you guess who said each of the quotes?) I have pages and pages of notes I took..each conference I came away with an ‘aha!” idea that I had to use right away. There is no way that I can adequately describe the connections that I’ve made this year, or the number of times I’ve had a chance to sit (inside or outside of a conference room) and listen to successful people talk about what is working for them. Despite the recession, despite the doom and gloom pall over everything, I’m invigorated by the sheer amount of energy and ideas that I’ve seen this year. It’s made me want to be a better Realtor, a better blogger, a better businesswoman.
I’ve made a ton of changes to my blog, implemented many of these ideas, but there’s so much more I want to do in 2009. What did you learn this year? What’s first on your list for next year?
Happy New Year!