Your business is your database. I learned that when I first got into real estate over 16 years ago. I believe that simple truth still applies today. However, how we build our database needs an overhaul, and that can be done through content marketing.

  • Find a format that feels strong to you, and use it as your primary format.
  • Figure out a topic that resonates with you as it will serve as a beacon to attract others into your database.
  • Test your format and topic to make sure you have the right fit for the sustainability of your content marketing efforts

Your business is your database. I learned that when I first got into real estate more than 16 years ago, and I believe that simple truth still applies today.

However, how we build our database needs an overhaul, and that can be done through content marketing.

If you had 500 friends and family from all walks of life whom you imported into a contact relationship management (CRM) versus 500 people in your local pmarket who want to get fit by improving their nutrition and who put themselves into your CRM, which database would be more responsive?

This is the role of content marketing. It attracts those we seek to serve.

What does ‘native’ mean and why does it matter?

In “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” Gary Vaynerchuk stresses the importance of our content strategies to be “native” to the platform we’re posting on. In other words, your post on Facebook should look and feel like how people on Facebook post their content.

I want to extend the principle of native to growing your database. How we deepen relationships and communicate with our database should be native to how relationships develop.

We don’t walk into a party, meet someone and say: “Hi, I’m Chris Angell. I just sold this house in your neighborhood.” In fact, even in our closer relationships, if all we ever said was something about real estate, people would not look forward to our future interactions.

Relationships require context. And for most agents, there is no context for all those gathered in your CRM.

So, if we want a database that converts, we need relationships that are native to us as human beings and built around something we can talk about. And when the time comes, we can shift the conversation to real estate.

Finding your voice

This brings me to a recent live Facebook session I did on “3 steps to find your voice in content marketing.”

How to get started in Content Creation so you can build a database that converts. Q&A at the end. I’d plan for 20-30 minutes

Posted by Chris Angell on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Here’s a recap of what I covered in this live session if you don’t have time to watch it now:

Content marketing promotion is about attracting our people or tribe. It’s about building a database of people who interact with us, trust us and respect us, and like us.

The problem most agents face in content marketing or lead generation, in general, is we aren’t consistent. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to talk about. Other times it’s because we haven’t found a native way to talk about it; I call this your “format.”

The other problem we face is that our database is made up of random friends and family (or Internet leads) with no unifying context, theme or topic.

Without a unifying topic, all you have to create content around is real estate, which can be OK on the narrow window “I’m in the market for a home.” But what do you talk to me about for the next five to seven years after I bought my home?

To build a strong database that is engaged, we need to find a topic and method for content creation we can be consistent with that develops our voice and influence.

3 steps to getting started

Here are three steps to get started with your own content creation:

1. Find your format

All forms of content can be deconstructed into writing, audio or video. You want to choose a primary format that best suits your strengths and captures your voice.

When working with clients, I will often ask them “Where does the best stuff come out of you? Do you say your best stuff in writing? In conversation with others? Teaching?”

As we look at where they feel strongest, it usually points to a primary format they can use to capture their content.

2. Figure out your topic

It seems counterintuitive to build a database around a topic that isn’t real estate because that’s what we do professionally. But your topic is the point of connection for people to stay engaged with you in all seasons, not just when they’re buying or selling a home. We need this point of connection to remain interesting and relevant to all our outbound content

To figure out your topic, there are a couple of places you can look. I suggest people look at their passions or skill sets. I’ll often ask clients “What do you talk about on a daily or weekly basis in your life?”

Evidently, these are the topics in life you’re already interested. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. If you’re always talking about tennis, there are others who are just as interested. If you’re into wine, there are others who like talking about wine as well.

Another place to find your topic can be found in what you want to learn. You don’t have to have all the answers; you just have to facilitate that content or the conversation.

A great example of this is a popular podcast called “The Eventual Millionaire.” The host wanted to be a millionaire but wasn’t one yet.

She set off to interview millionaires and then shared those interviews with others who also wanted to be millionaires. Her credibility and influence didn’t come from having all the answers or being an expert.

Her influence came from the value she provided through her interviews. So if you want to learn how to cook, you could use that as a topic to build relationship and influence with. By the way, Tim Ferriss did this exact thing with “The 4-Hour Chef.”

Finally on finding your topic, you can look to what causes inspire you. It could be schools and education. It could be parenting. It could be non-profits. It could be politics. It could be conservation. You name it.

When you tap into the things you care about that serve a greater good, you’ll find others who have the same values. People who have the same values have a strong and immediate connection that’s hard to build in any other way.

3. Test your format and topic to see if it’s a fit for you

It’s important that the topic and the format fit together. If you like wine but don’t enjoy writing about it, you need to find another format.

Try video and wine tasting like Gary Vaynerchuk did — and Tim Ferriss did this exact thing with “The 4-Hour Chef.” back in the day. Or do an audio recording where you taste wine every Friday with three of your friends and turn that audio into a podcast or blog post.

What we are after is a topic and format that is easier rather than harder to sustain. Your success in lead generation and database building will come down to your consistency first, followed by the degree your topic and format resonates with others.

As you level up your database and marketing in 2016, remember to:

  • Find a format the feels strong to you and use it as your primary format
  • Figure out a topic that resonates with you as it will serve as a beacon to attract others into your database
  • Test your format and topic to make sure you have the right fit for the sustainability of your content marketing efforts

Want to see how to build your influence and database inside your farm? Get started with my Smart Farm Launch Plan.

Chris Angell is an author, speaker and coach with Groundswell Business Consulting. You can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thechrisangell or Twitter at @chrisangell.

Email Chris Angell.

 

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