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Geeky Web Design Part II – Who Are These People and What Do They Want?



This week in our website redesign saga, we try to answer the question: Who are these people and what do they want from me anyway? (You can catch up on Part I here)

I came across a theory that says people will do business with me if I can be the resource that finally answers the questions that visitors can’t get answered anywhere else.

Running with that for a bit, I decided to categorize web visitor types, and investigate what each category would want answered that they couldn’t easily find elsewhere, building off of four major personality types.

Site visitor categories would be things like Relocation Buyers, First Time Buyer, Those Just Looking, Move-up Seller, Investor, and so on. We’ll stick with 4 personality types, calling them Methodical, Spontaneous, Humanistic, and Competitive.

Let’s look at a Relocation Buyer – someone who has probably bought a home before, is moving to the area but is not very familiar with it. In my experience, this person is usually already convinced that they need an agent, and usually comes to me already pre-qualified for a loan.

category analysis for relo buyer

We follow this with a big brainstorm list of things that category of site visitor might like to see, just to get all our ideas out in one place. For our Relo buyer, it’s things like examples of typical costs and who pays them, explanation of local real estate taxes and auto registration, how to finance a home here if the existing house hasn’t sold, local attractions, more specific items like that. These are items that span many personality types and categories.

This was a more difficult exercise than I had anticipated. For example, I don’t get those Spontaneous types, those fast, emotional decision makers. I’m a Methodical. I understand the Competitives, and somewhat less so the Humanistics, but for the life of me, I can’t wrap my mind around what the Spontaneous-es want. Which means I probably won’t easily attract or work well with them anyway. It’s okay. I don’t want a site that sets expectations that I will be one way and then I’m totally different in person. However, I’m not going to neglect that personality type as we’re all most likely at least a little bit of each.

So now we know the various types of information and features that I need, and how to present it in different ways to attract a larger audience. Now, I can start framing paths for these various scenarios. I know that on a market stats page, I don’t need a big link to testimonials. I know that anytime I offer or describe a service, I need to quickly and clearly describe the advantages and link back to a guarantee.

This would be the framing of the site – figuring out how someone might enter the site, what information they want and how it should be presented, and eventually presenting them with a call to action that is a tangible reason to return to the site, to build a trust relationship with me, and want to work with me.

Man. It’d be a lot easier to come up with some fantastic feature list and pass it off to a developer! I am convinced this is time well spent, however.

What about your website? Who is your clientele and what do they want? How do you answer the WIIFM for them?

I’m running with the idea that answering questions that can’t be answered elsewhere will make people want to work with me: an implied quid pro quo. Does this make me a useless bag of information? Am I really adding value, answering a need, becoming useful? Or was Mom right about not buying the cow if the milk is free?

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.

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  1. Carson Coots

    October 22, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    What a great way to approach a site… We are in the process of developing a master-planned community website, and one of the challenges is breaking up the audience into segments and targeting each effectively. Good way to brainstorm.

  2. Benn Rosales

    October 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    geez, your site is going to be awesome…

  3. Kelley Koehler

    October 22, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    thanks guys – we’re aiming high on this one.

  4. Benn Rosales

    October 22, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    I think you have to, it’s a very expensive task.

  5. Nicole Mills

    November 1, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    “I’m running with the idea that answering questions that can’t be answered elsewhere will make people want to work with me: an implied quid pro quo. Does this make me a useless bag of information? Am I really adding value, answering a need, becoming useful? Or was Mom right about not buying the cow if the milk is free?”

    Hi Kelley,
    I’m constantly wondering about this. Since I started using a website, it’s always been my opinion that it should provide information…lots of it. I try to put relevant, useful info. too, not the canned, keyword stuffed crap you find on many RE sites. I also provide this information in hopes that the consumer will see that I’m providing something that others aren’t, and doing so in a “real” voice.

    I do get comments, occasionally, from clients that they like my site, and find it useful. Those comments keep me working on my site, but I do often wonder…am I providing too much and not asking enough in return??

  6. Kelley Koehler

    November 2, 2007 at 3:31 am

    Hi Nicole – that’s the question I’d love to have answered too! I’ve been reading a lot about online marketing and persuasion, and the recurring theme is to keep providing the right information, at the right time, to keep someone moving forward to take an action: to register, to email or call, to do whatever it is that you want them to do. We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the various types of visitors, what I can give them, and then taking it a step further – define what I want them to do. Only one way to see if it works, eh?

  7. Kerrie

    February 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    I have been trying to figure out how to market ME. I’m a bit different than the “typical realtor” in that I sold new homes for over 10 years and that my personal is “owl, bull, tiger” quoting Charles Clark? I am almost equal parts to the tee with NO lamb.

    How do I attract people that will appreciate my thorough, scientific and numbers approach to real estate. I believe that my main asset is being able to take the emotion out of the listing price or buying price using data. I do also agree that buying or selling is an emotional experience but help the numbers take precedence. I also have an extensive psychology background that helps diffuse this. I work well with engineers and creative types, not so well with nice church ladies who must ask everyone they know before they make a decision. I have several types of websites right now & have taught myself to create & maintain them however am not very successful at increasing the page rankings. There are services you can pay but my budget is tight & I’d at least like to know how they do it so that I can make sure I am getting my money’s worth.

    I work great with email, text, google searches for info & more but need to get my site seen. Any ideas?

  8. Bob Wilson

    February 24, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Kelley & Nicole,

    I have done this with my site. It features an integrated blog where I write only for consumers. Since I’m in San Diego where distressed sellers are the rule, I started doing a series on HR 3648 from its introduction to its passage and becoming law. I then wrote an overview of the new law.

    The response has been far more than I expected.

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Social Media

Snapchat shifts strategy to open their arms to competitors

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Snapchat opens some interesting doors after keeping the padlocked for years – will this new strategy solidify their status as a digital giant?



purchase snap snapchat advertising

There’s no denying the notable impact that Snapchat has had on the visual side of social media apps. From knock-off Snapchat-esque filters to more egregious rips such as the “Stories” feature, allusions to Snapchat are inherent in the bulk of social media platforms. Snapchat’s response is simple: to monetize these allusions via the Snapchat Story Kit.

The “Stories” feature has rapidly become a massive part of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, with over a billion daily story users across these three services. Comparatively, Snapchat enjoys around 186 million daily story users, making it nearly impossible for the original story curator to compete.

Like many modern businesses, Snapchat’s initial response was to ignore the competition in a display of relentless, self-indulgent optimism. Now that such optimism has been dampened by cold, hard numbers, Snapchat is turning to another venue: sharing.

By sharing their “Stories” feature via a new developer suite — called the “Snapchat Story Kit” — Snapchat will be able to monetize its most ubiquitous aspect while maintaining some semblance of branding across any participating platforms.

In theory, the Snapchat Story Kit will allow app users to post their Snapchat stories to apps such as Tinder, Twitter, and so on; this will enable the same level of story interaction one would find within Snapchat or on Facebook without taking the focus away from Snapchat’s API.

Since any story posted via the Snapchat Story Kit will still go through Snapchat rather than a nonpartisan third-party app or program, this move will continue to emphasize Snapchat’s presence in the visual world.

There are a few possible downsides to this power-grab, not least of which is Facebook’s level of control at the time of this writing. Since Facebook already uses its own version of the “Stories” feature on all of its most-frequented apps, Snapchat has essentially missed out on some of the most powerful opportunities to monetize its features.

It’s also within the realm of reason to assume that Snapchat will require Snapchat Story Kit users to jump through additional hoops before they can use its features—a move that, similarly to the Bitmoji jump, may prove to be more annoying than hindering.

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Social Media

MeWe – the social network for your inner Ron Swanson

MeWe, a new social media site, seems to offer everything Facebook does and more, but with privacy as a foundation of its business model. Said MeWe user Melissa F., “It’s about time someone figured out that privacy and social media can go hand in hand.”



mute social media

Let’s face it: Facebook is kind of creepy. Between facial recognition technology, demanding your real name, and mining your accounts for data, social media is becoming increasingly invasive. Users have looked for alternatives to mainstream social media that genuinely value privacy, but the alternatives to Facebook have been lackluster.

MeWe is poised to change all of that, if it can muster up a network strong enough to compete with Facebook. On paper, the new social media site seems to offer everything Facebook does and more, but with privacy as a foundation of its business model. Said MeWe user Melissa F., “It’s about time someone figured out that privacy and social media can go hand in hand.”

MeWe prioritizes privacy in every aspect of the site, and in fact, users are protected by a “Privacy Bill of Rights.” MeWe does not track, mine, or share your data, and does not use facial recognition software or cookies. (In fact, you can take a survey on MeWe to estimate how many cookies are currently tracking you – apparently I have 18 cookies spying on me!)

ron swanson

You don’t have to share that “as of [DATE] my content belongs to me” status anymore.

Everything you post on MeWe belongs to you – the site does not try to claim ownership over your content – and you can download your profile in its entirety at any time. MeWe doesn’t even pester you with advertising. Instead of making money by selling your data (hence the hashtag #Not4Sale) or advertising, the site plans to profit by offering additional paid services, like extra data and bonus apps.

So what does MeWe do? Everything Facebook does, and more. You can share photos and videos, send messages or live chat. You can also attach voice messages to any of your posts, photos, or videos, and you can create Snapchat-like disappearing content.

You can also sync your profile to stash content in your personal storage cloud. Everything you post is protected, and you can fine-tune the permission controls so that you can decide exactly who gets to see your content and who doesn’t – “no creepy stalkers or strangers.”

MeWe is available for Android, iOS, desktops, and tablets.

This story was originally published in January 2016, but the social network suddenly appears to be gaining traction.

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Social Media

How to spot if your SEO, PPC, social media marketing service provider is a con-artist

(BUSINESS) When hiring a professional, did you know there are actual questions you can ask to spot a con-artist? Too often, we trust our guts and go with the gregarious person, but too much is on the line to keep doing that with your business.




In this day and age the cult of positive thinking and “the law of attraction” are still very much alive and well in the business services industry. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask prospective business service providers to help you gauge if they are the real deal or just caught up in the fad of “say yes to everything,” or “outsource everything” being populated online by countless “thought leaders” and cult gurus.

Lots of people will ask, “What’s the harm of people trying to make something of themselves?”

Well, I’m here to tell you there is a huge harm in taking risks with a client’s money and manipulating people into trusting their “expertise” when they have none.

Business owners: Due diligence is more important than ever these days.

There are whole communities of people helping to prop each-other up as experts in fields they know nothing about while outsourcing their tasks with little or no oversight into the actual work being done on your behalf.

It is nearly impossible for you to tell if this is even going on. Don’t worry. I am here to help you avoid a con-artist.

How? By showing you how to weed out the bad actors by asking really simple questions.

This set of questions is perfect for people who need to distinguish if the expert they are talking is really just an expert in bullshit with a likeable personality.

Why do these questions work? Because people who are into this kind of stuff are rarely hesitant to talk about it when you ask them direct questions. They believe that what they are doing is a good thing and so they are more open to sharing this information with you because they think by you by asking that you are also into similar things.

It is a fun little trick I picked up while learning to do consumer polling and political surveying.

The Questions:

  • Who influences you professionally?
  • Do you follow any “thought leaders” “gurus” or coaches? If so, who?
  • What “school” of thought do you ascribe to in your profession, and where do you learn what you know?
  • Are there any industry standards you do not agree with?
  • How do you apply the services you offer to your own company?
  • Can you please tell me the background of your support staff and can I see their CV’s?
  • Do you outsource or white label any of the work your company does?
  • May we audit your process before buying your services?
  • May we discuss your proposed strategies with others in your industry to ensure quality?
  • Would you be open to speaking with an independent consultant that is knowledgeable about your industry about your proposals?
  • Can you show me examples of your past successful jobs?
  • Do you have any industry accepted certifications and how many hours of study do you do in a year to keep your knowledge up-to-date and current?
  • How many clients have you had in the past?
  • How many clients do you have currently?
  • How many clients are you able to handle at one time?
  • How many other clients do you have that are in the same industry as my company?
  • How long is your onboarding process before we start getting down to actually making changes to help solve the issues my company is facing?
  • Can you explain to me the steps you will take to identify my company’s needs?
  • Have you ever taken a course in NLP or any other similar course of study?
  • Have you ever been a part of a Multi-Level Marketing company?
  • Fun. Right? Well, we aren’t done.

    It is not just enough to ask these questions… you have to pay attention to the answers, as well as the WAY they are answering questions.

    And you also have to RESEARCH the company after you get your answers to make sure they ring true.

    You cannot keep accepting people at face value, not when the risk is to your business, employees, and clients. There is little to no risk for a person who is being dishonest about their capabilities and skill sets. They will walk away with your money, ready to go find another target for a chance meeting that seems amazingly perfect.

    Do not leave your business decisions to chance encounters at networking events. Research before saying yes.

    No matter how likeable or appealing the person you are speaking with is.

    How do you research? Easy. THE INTERNET. Look at the website of the company you are considering working with.

    • Does it look professional? (do not use your website as a standard for professional unless you have had it done by a professional)
    • Can you see a list of their past clients?
    • Do they effectively tell their story as a company or are they just selling?
    • What do their social media profiles look like? Do they have many followers? Are they updated regularly?
    • Do they have any positive reviews on social sites? (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin, etc)

    You can also do some simple things like running SEO Website Checkers on their websites. There are tons of these online for free and they will give you a pretty good indicator of if they are using best practices on their websites – you can even do this research on their clients’ websites.

    Also, if you know anything about SpyFu, you can run their website through that to see how they are doing their own online marketing (the same can be said for their clients if they are selling this service).

    Facebook also has a cool section that shows you ads that a Page is running. You can find this info connected to their business Page as well as the Pages they manage for their clients as well. None of these things automatically disqualify a potential service provider, but their answers the question of “why” things are the way there are might be very illuminating to you as a business owner.

    This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be if you do not do these things regularly and have them down to a system, but the cost of not doing these things is way too high. A con-artist is born every day, thanks to the internet.

    You have a right as a business owner considering services from a vendor to ask these questions.

    They also have the responsibility as a service provider to answer these questions in a professional manner. Sometimes the way in which they answer the questions is far more important than the actual answer.

    If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to handle, that is okay.

    • You can ask one of your staff in your company to take on this role and responsibility.
    • You can hire someone to come in and help you with these decisions (and you can ask them all the same questions as above before taking their services).
    • You can reach out to other business owners in your network to see if they have recommendations for someone who could help you with things.
    • Heck, you can even call up companies that look like they are doing as well as you want to be doing online and ask them who they are using for their services. Try successful companies in other industries as your competitor won’t likely be interested in sharing their secrets with you…

    What is important is that you are asking questions, researching, and ultimately making sure that you are doing as much as possible to ensure making the best decision for your company.

    Final thoughts:

    “But, Jay, what’s wrong with taking a risk on an up-and-comer?”

    The answer to that is NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on someone. Someone being green doesn’t make them a con-artist.

    The issue I am raising is in the honest portrayal of businesses and their capabilities. It is about honesty.

    I am a huge fan of working with people who are new and passionate about an industry. But I only work with people who are honest with me about who they are, what they can do, and how their processes work.

    I have worked with tons of people who are still learning on the job. It can be quite educational for a business owner as well.

    Just make sure they are being honest about everything up front. You are no obligated to give anyone a chance when it comes to your businesses success, and it’s not right that someone might manipulate you into doing so.

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