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Are You a Victim or a Vitamin?



Daily Dose by Veo_Are We Victims?

Some people allow events, people and circumstances to impact them permanently negative!  These people are victims. You recognize a VICTIM like so:

  1. Victims mope, whine, opine and wish things were like they used to be….way back when.
  2. Victims bleat, it’s never their fault, there is no forgiveness or acceptance.
  3. Negativity poisons their passion?
  4. Setbacks cripple compassion and chinks their soul.
  5. Hopelessness brittles their heart and turns their futures fruitless.
  6. Misery loves company.  Victims throw impromptu pity parties to infect friends with their victim-virus.
  7. Victims are mean and small and petty.

At times, life’s hard, unfair and brutal.  How we handle accidental adversity and unexpected impact is up to us.  Victimhood is a choice, so is Vitaminhood.

Are We Vitamins?

Some people allow events, people and circumstances to impact them permanently positive!  These people are Vitamins.  You recognize a VITAMIN like so:

  1. Vitamins get that change is life and life is a wild, sometimes quiet and often scary adventure.  They change, reinvent, improve and adapt.
  2. Vitamins take responsibility, they support and forgive and they try to forget. Sometimes they succeed at all four.
  3. Negative and positive experiences power their passions.
  4. Setbacks and triumphs deepen their understanding, juices their compassion and levels their humility.
  5. Vitamins learn, grow and share from their experiences, turning futures fruitful.
  6. Vitamins throw impromptu parties to celebrate, recognize, congratulate and compliment.  They infuse their friends with hope, confidence, camaradery and self responsibility.

Yeah, I know.  Humans are imperfect and living life as a Vitamin is a challenge.  When life kicks you in the balls, it’s natural and normal to cry, scream, go fetal, mourn, anger and depress…and that’s the point…it’s normal.  To shine, lead and succeed, we can’t wallow long or hang with victims.  We gotta take our lumps, learn and be THE VITAMIN.


Cheers and thanks for reading.

Seems I’m stuck in attitudes/hardships/triumphs mode these days.  On the left hand, you might think, what does this have to do with real estate?  On the right, I believe that this Victim or Vitamin perspective is what the real estate business is truly about.  To me, it’s not about selling houses or real estate.  Our business is about people.  It’s about help, service, support, leadership, knowledge, performance, delivery, communication, creativity and more. Prospecting, listing, selling and closing is process and outcome, but not the profession.  If we’re victims we can’t do any good.   At best we’re powerless and worst, we infect and damage others.

I think my recent fixation is a response to my personal feelings caused by the prolonged fatigue of our crushed economy, real estate seasonality and the weight and witness of angels broken.  I am certain a shiny sunrise is peeking over our horizon.  We’ve come so far and we’re so close, now is the time to lock arms and help each other run to the sun.  Will you join me?  Will you be a Vitamin.

Viva La Vitamin revolution, send this to your friends.

Worry is praying for what you don’t want. ~Deepak Chopra

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Patrick Flynn

    January 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Dynamite post Ken. When I was Coaching Agents, this was always the case! Victims are Energy Vampires and have no place in our business.

  2. Russell Shaw

    January 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Perfect post, Ken!

  3. Erin Robbins

    January 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I needed this right now. Tweeted because I think a few others do too. 🙂

  4. Ken Brand

    January 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Erin – Glad it might help. It’s the sorta thing I need to remind myself of as well…all the time. I think that’s why I write it, sorta self slapping my lazy-lame-victimitus right off myself. Cheers.

    Russell and Patrick – Thanks gents. Cheers.

  5. Nanette Labastida

    January 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    ken you speak what i think! thanks

    facebook is so full of victims it is such a bummer but it actually often reminds me how joyous and easy it is to stay positive and vitamin-y, and by easy i don’t mean easy to do necessarily, but how easy it is to get on with it, and make positive impact and progress.

    victims suck! and by suck i mean the suck light out of those around them
    vitamins revitalize those around them.

    it’s a great gift

  6. Ken Brand

    January 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Nanette, it’s a choice isn’t it:-)


  7. Norman Frenk

    January 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I’ll be a vitamin! Bam Bam, Fred or Barney. Don’t make me be a Wilma.
    Great post Ken!

  8. April Groves

    January 31, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Love this…wondering how many people I can share it with…..

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Business Marketing

The secret to crafting consistently high-converting emails?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.



Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject LinesThink about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?

    If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.

    The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.

  2. Nail the IntroNever take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.

    It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!

  3. Use VideoEmail might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.

    According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”

    This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.

  4. Keep Eyes MovingThe goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.

    One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.

    One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.

  5. Don’t Ask Too MuchIt can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.

    Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

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?



A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

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.

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Business Marketing

The rise of influencer marketing and its effect on digital marketing

(BUSINESS MARKETING) More businesses are planning to invest a larger part of their marketing budgets on more relatable, branded content and influencer marketing.



Influencer speaking to camera for marketing segment.

The digital age has created more savvy consumers, and the barrage of advertising on top of the plenitude of content online can be a lot. Many consumers have learned to hide ads or they simply scroll past them to their content of choice. Most business owners know that digital marketing is a crucial part of any ad strategy, and branded content and influencer marketing continues to grow in the market, because consumers see that it’s different from traditional advertising.

Hardly anything stayed the same in 2020, and traditional advertising also has shifted. Advertiser Perceptions reported on the trend for 2021, based on a survey from late 2020.

“More than half of advertisers using paid branded content and influencers say doing so is more critical than it was a year ago. Throughout the second half of 2020, 32% increased spending on branded content and 25% spent more to back influencers. They’re now putting 20% of their digital budgets into the complementary practices, which is more than they put into any other digital channel (paid search is 14%, display 13%, paid social 12%, digital video 12%).”

The benefits of branded and influencer content are that you are speaking to the consumer where they already are, when you choose an influencer. The people who follow their accounts are more likely to trust that the influencer would only share something they like or use themselves. The best matches are when the influencer marketing fits nicely into the kind of content, the voice, and any specialties they already deal with.

The word “influencer” as well as the concept rubs some people the wrong way. Marketers see the value, though, as influencer marketing can be effective if done well, and the cost to hire them is often less than a traditional ad campaign. If I want to know about food in a city, I’ll follow the hashtags until I find a local food blogger or micro-influencer whose style I like. Then I’ll seek out those restaurants when I visit. Sure, some of the meals are comped, but the truth is that food bloggers and influencers like to share their food recommendations. I have been influenced this way more than once, and not only for food. I am not alone in this, either, which is why it’s an important part of a marketing strategy.

In influencer marketing, the content creator is then given free rein to create within their own style, voice, and persona. They need to connect with their audience in an authentic, familiar way without creating a dissonance for their followers between their public page(s) and the brand. The level of trust is fairly high with influencer marketing, and many influencers realize that promoting something crappy or something outside of their area of expertise or recognition hurts everyone involved.

The power of storytelling comes into play here, as with all good advertising. Branded content is specifically all about the story, often the story of the business’s philosophy or some lifestyle aspect that goes with the brand’s vibe–or is so off that it goes viral. Some branded campaigns join into or build off of conversations already happening in the wider world. The purpose is to have people engage with the brand, with the content, build awareness, encourage conversations, sharing, comments, all with the long term goal of fostering a positive image of the brand so that down the line, they will become consumers.

Think of 2004 Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, based on a study showing that around 2% of women saw themselves as beautiful. The widely studied, award-winning campaign featured women of all backgrounds and body types, without airbrushing and Photoshopping them into a narrow vision of “beauty.” While some people hated it, many loved it and applauded the brand for treading into traditionally uncharted waters. Among haters, fans, and people who weren’t sure what to think, the Dove Real Beauty branded content campaign generated conversations. The campaign also encouraged women to feel good about themselves and lift up other women. One could argue that the campaign you could argue that the Real Beauty campaign was a forerunner to the currently popular body positivity movement, which started gaining traction around 2012. Dove increased sales by at least $1.5 billion in the first ten years the branded content campaign ran.

The goal of branded content is to raise awareness of the brand, but the path from point A (creating the content) to point B (brand awareness, ultimately leading to better sales) is not a straight line. Brands are paying attention to grabbing attention, aka building brand awareness via more upper funnel marketing than lower funnel.

One thing that marketers are looking for now, however, is almost eliminating the funnel. With the mind-boggling increase in e-commerce since the beginning of the pandemic, clickable sales capability becomes important in any kind of marketing, including influencer and branded content. It pays to listen to customers, to find an influencer who meshes with your brand’s purpose, and to create thoughtful branded content that isn’t out of line with your core product or service.

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